A brief sampling of industry news from the past two days that caught my attention:
- American Airlines and US Airways won a mini-battle against the Justice Department today, as a judge ruled that a March start date for the antitrust trial as requested by the DOJ was “too far off.” The trial is expected to commence November 25.
- United Airlines announced new nonstop flights from San Francisco to Chengdu, China beginning June 2014 (pending government approval). The three-times-weekly service will be operated with Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
- Meanwhile, it (unofficially as of now) appears that United will begin SFO-Indianapolis nonstops on January 7. An announcement is expected in the coming week or so. My prediction: it’ll be an A319-operated route.
- Tomorrow is the last day to register for JetBlue’s TrueBlue Mosaic status challenge. If you’re eligible and approved, you’ll have 90 days to accrue 3,750 base flight points to capture the “badge.”
- As far as status matches on the hotel front, Marriott appears to have discontinued its “Taste of Gold” and “Taste of Platinum” offers.
- The current 1,641-room Peabody Orlando hotel will soon become the Hyatt Regency Orlando Convention Center, in a $717 million deal. The property recently underwent a $440 million renovation and expansion.
- The Canadian Transportation Agency issued new passenger protections for Air Canada and Porter Airlines fliers, including mandates surrounding denied boarding compensation and refunds for canceled flights.
- Here in the U.S., the Department of Transportation fined United Airlines $350,000 for failing to make timely customer refunds (within 7 days on credit cards, 20 days for check/cash payments), as well as filing late and inaccurate reports on bumped passengers and mishandled baggage. Tisk tisk, United.
- Finally, I wish everyone happy and safe travels this Labor Day weekend in the U.S.
– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.