What we’re reading: Hotel points need stayers, airline mergers, FAA action on rules

by Stephanus Surjaputra on February 26, 2010

Gloves are off as hotel rewards programs battle for members

Now that business travelers are starting to hit the road again, hotel groups are starting “aggressive head-to-head loyalty program campaigns.”

InterContinental Hotels Group set off the latest round of competition with a direct hit on a recent move by Hilton Hotels to increase the number of points that HHonors members need for free nights.

IHG’s “Luckiest Loser” campaign offers 2 million IHG Priority Club points to the Hilton HHonors member with the highest balance. Another 20,000 “Lucky Losers” will be awarded up to 400 million total IHG Priority Club points to help compensate for what IHG says they are “losing” with Hilton HHonors.

ALPA chief sees more airline mergers

The head of the Air Line Pilots Association that airline mergers will be more likely in the near future.

Capt. John Prater told the Reuters Travel and Leisure Summit that under current circumstances, a combination between United parent UAL Corp (UAUA.O) and Continental Airlines Inc (CAL.N) made more sense, as the carriers have little route overlap.

However, Prater added that he had no indication from the companies that they were having merger discussions.

Lawmakers press FAA to act on safety proposals

After growing tired of waiting 13 years, lawmakers are pressuring the FAA to act on proposals related to icing.

It’s ”unacceptable” that FAA hasn’t proposed regulations requiring aircraft manufacturers to show their planes can fly safely in all kinds of icy weather, said Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s aviation subcommittee, at a hearing.

The recommended changes matter most for turboprop planes used by regional airlines and for small, private planes because they spend more time flying at lower altitudes and are more likely to encounter poor weather.

(Photo: jenniferrt66/Flickr Creative Commons)

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  • Joel Wechsler

    @Steve Surjaputra See David Rowell in his Travel Insider discussion of pitot tubes for more on the safety of flying in icing conditions.

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