Today’s podcast looks at Wi-Fi on American Airlines, changes to Hyatt’s loyalty program, and a multiyear deal between Trip.com Group and AWS.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, December 1. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
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American Airlines is planning to improve its in-flight Wi-Fi access on regional jets, allowing passengers to easily check emails, browse the internet, or stream videos.
The carrier plans to install high-speed Wi-Fi on around 500 regional aircraft starting next year in partnership with satellite services provider Intelsat, writes Skift’s airline reporter, Meghna Maharishi.
While American already has high-speed Wi-Fi available on 900 mainline aircraft, the carrier said it wants to the same Wi-Fi service and speeds on its regional aircraft, with the goal of increasing the total number of satellite-connected aircraft to more than 1,400.
Next, Hyatt plans to improve its hotel loyalty program in January, reports senior hospitality editor Sean O’Neill.
Hyatt’s most notable change will be to expand the ability of program members to give some benefits to friends and family in one-off gifts. Before this, only certain members were able to share perks, which the company said has been highly popular. Those members could only share their benefits by booking a trip on behalf of someone else, using points or certificates.
But come January, they’ll be able to extend those benefits to someone who booked and paid for a trip on their own. Benefits include free breakfast and the possibility of a free late checkout.
Finally, Trip.com Group said Thursday that it has selected Amazon Web Services as its “strategic cloud provider” in a multiyear deal meant to drive innovations in travel bookings, personalized recommendations, and customer service, writes Skift tech reporter Justin Dawes.
China-based Trip.com Group owns Trip.com, Skyscanner, and other travel sites.
AWS is hosting a conference this week in Las Vegas, where it announced the Trip.com partnership as well as a number of other new technologies for the travel industry.
Trip.com Group plans to improve the booking process, optimize flight pricing, and create personalized travel planning capabilities for consumers, among a group of other projects the partners have been working on.