Lawyers Travel's weekly client e-newsletter, the Informed Traveler, keeps readers updated on travel industry news and trends.
Following is a recap of May's Top 5 (most clicked by Lawyers Travel's clients) e-newsletter stories.
Amtrak is buying 28 new sets of power cars and passenger coaches from French manufacturer Alstom SA, reports MarketWatch. The train model, known as Avelia Liberty, is from a family of trains already in use in France and Italy, Amtrak executives say. The new trains will be slowly entering the existing Acela service and will have a top speed of 160 miles an hour, up from 150 miles an hour on the current fleet. The trains will be built to tilt up to 6.3 degrees, allowing trains to run faster in curves and save energy by avoiding braking for some turns. Amtrak says the new trains will carry one-third more passengers with a maximum capacity of 378, up from the current 304.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that all major U.S. airlines and most smaller air carriers have voluntarily committed to a climate-mitigation plan that's independent of the Paris Agreement, reports Forbes. The program, called the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), caps emissions at 2020 levels even as air traffic is expected to triple by 2050. Airlines approaching the cap can gain headroom by using sustainable fuels or purchasing offsets through a carbon market. While voluntary now, the program is designed to become mandatory after 2027.
Delta Air Lines is offering free Wi-Fi on select flights in a test to determine whether it will become the second major U.S. airline to offer free in-flight internet service, reports USA Today. JetBlue has offered free onboard Wi-Fi since January 2017. Starting May 13th, Delta's two-week test features free Wi-Fi on 55 daily flights. The flights, all within the U.S., will change daily. Travelers will be notified via email, Delta's mobile app and on board. No streaming will be allowed. The airline will monitor the usage rates on the flights with free Wi-Fi and will survey travelers to see what they used it for, how the service was and whether they see value in it.
American Airlines and Hyatt Hotels Corporation have announced a new loyalty program to provide frequent travelers more ways to earn miles, points and status when they fly with American or stay at Hyatt. Through this relationship, elite members in both the American Airlines AAdvantage and World of Hyatt loyalty programs will be rewarded with more access to earning both points and miles on qualifying American flights and Hyatt hotel stays. Unique to this collaboration, AAdvantage Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum members and Explorist and Globalist World of Hyatt members will also have the opportunity to participate in limited time status challenges. Upon registering, these elite members will be able to immediately enjoy their new loyalty benefits in the reciprocal program tier as they work to maintain that elite tier status. The enhanced loyalty collaboration is expected to launch later this year.
Investment research analysts, Jefferies Group, expects Boeing to launch a new plane later than its analysts originally anticipated as the company grapples with an ongoing crisis related to its 737 Max plane, according to CNBC. The analysts believe Boeing was likely close to announcing a new mid-sized aircraft in March when the second of two fatal crashes occurred involving its 737 Max model. According to Jefferies Group analysts Sheila Kahyaoglu and Greg Konrad, the launching of this "New Middle Market Aircraft" (NMA) has been dubbed by industry insiders as the 797...a concept believed to be a replacement for Boeing's aging 757 and 767 models. While Boeing originally intended to launch the NMA in 2020, Jefferies Group estimates the company will wait on that until it stabilizes the 737 MAX program. Boeing is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to fix the system believed to have caused the crashes.