Growing travel is great for the airline industry, but it also means prices are pretty high for summer travel. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council for 2023 Economic impact research (conducted in partnership with Oxford Economics), US travel and tourism is expected to contribute as much as $2.24 trillion to the economy this year, up from $2.17 trillion in 2019. Riding the wave of strong business, airlines are also investing into new products and community programs. Here are some of the latest airline news and updates for the summer season.
JetBlue overhauls loyalty program, partners with luggage brand
JetBlue is making big changes to its TrueBlue loyalty program, giving members more ways to earn Mosaic elite status. That includes offering more tiers, as well as expanding the number of benefits available at each tier (similar to what other airline programs offer, but allowing members to choose which are most important to them). Among the benefits are rewards such as: priority boarding, bonus points and free wine, beer or spirits.
JetBlue and United States Luggage Company, which owns brands such as Solo and Briggs and Riley, have teamed up to place the brand’s luggage on JetBlue’s Paisly.com sales platform. People can buy new luggage while shopping for their flights, combining a one-stop shopping experience. Travelers can also book rental cars, hotels and other tourist activities through the platform. An added convenience to purchasing items on the platform is that they can earn TrueBlue points based on their spending.
The private charter company Wheels Up adds a signature scent
On-demand private jet charter brand Wheels Up has teamed up with Hotel Lobby Candle to create a limited edition leather, mahogany and champagne fragrance. The scent is designed to “evoke the serene joy of private flying” and will be available as a surprise and delight experience for company members. For some, the ability to mask the smell of aviation fuel will certainly be a win-win.
Human Airlines and Make-A-Wish humanitarian flight
In partnership with The Points Guy, Make-A-Wish and The Walt Disney Company, American Airlines recently hosted a humanitarian flight that brought children to the “happiest place on Earth”. There were 26 children suffering from a serious illness and their families on board. The flight from New York to Orlando was in honor of World Wish Day, which takes place on April 29. It included a private red carpet welcome for kids and their families, a DJ-led party with a Disney-themed breakfast bar, face painting and a live photo booth, interactive in-flight games and the ultimate on-board host, travel guru Brian Kelly, and the world-famous “point” itself. He was the “principal companion of the party” accompanied by Michael James Scott, who played the Ghost in Aladdin on Broadway.
New Finnair livery dedicated to a local cartoon character
Two of Finnair’s Airbus A350s are getting a makeover with a special livery dedicated to the Moomins, iconic cartoon characters and favorite symbols of Finns. Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson created the Nordic comic, and the new livery arrives just in time. the airline celebrates its 100th birthday. The two aircraft that will show off the new design will be aircraft registered as OH-LWP and OH-LWO which feature the main characters Moomintroll and Snorkmaiden in a special anniversary livery. The planes will fly across the airline’s network, including cities such as Bangkok, Dallas/Fort Worth, London Heathrow and Tokyo.
Virgin increases loyalty options with Virgin Red
As Virgin’s group loyalty program, Virgin Red allows members to earn points for various purchases and other travel options (such as Virgin Cruises or Virgin Atlantic flights). Members earn points that can be redeemed for free travel, experiences and merchandise. It is also possible to transfer points from other programs, such as Delta SkyMiles and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, to Virgin Red points to accumulate faster.
Alaska Airlines hosts high school students in Hawaii
In partnership with STATE bags, Alaska Airlines recently hosted a dozen students from Oakland (California) High School, many of whom took their first flight, on an educational trip to Hawaii. In addition to tourism activities, they also participated in regional sustainability activities that are in line with the efforts of the airline itself in the country. As part of the Travel Academy program, the two brands worked together to curate trips. This is in conjunction with the airline’s greater efforts to give the gift of travel to deserving young people. The airline quotes a study by The Student & Youth Travel Association from 2019 which shows that 74% of teachers believe that travel can play a big role in personal development,
Forbes – Lifestyle