Monday, November 29, 2010

American Fires Back First Salvo Against Impending Virgin America DFW Invasion

American Airlines announced a new program squarely aimed at Virgin America's impending launch of flights from SFO and LAX to DFW.

The usual bag of tricks includes double AAdvantage miles and double elite qualifying miles. Somewhat unusual is the relatively long earning period - from tomorrow all the way until the end of February.

Slightly more original is the "15 Days of Giveaways" in which American is offering prizes on "mystery flights" between DFW and SFO/LAX free stuff such as 5K AAdvantage miles, Admirals Club Passes and AA Vacations discounts and AAvis car rental coupons.

A more original giveaway by American would have been a week on Necker Island...

Of course, Virgin still offers WiFi on every flight (free right now thanks to Google) and brand spanking new planes - two things, alas, AA can't come close to offering.

That said, penetrating a fortress hub like DFW is difficult for any upstart carrier, Richard Branson or not. American has already announced increased frequency on the LAX-DFW route and these programs will help ensure that AAdvanatge loyalists stay with Something Special in the Air.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brian Clark Joins Hudson Crossing

We are excited to announce Brian Clark has joined the Hudson Crossing team.

Announced at this year's PhoCusWright conference and only slightly overshadowed by the Kayak IPO news, Brian's deep commercial airline and online travel experience will bolster the Hudson Crossing team's rich operational experience.

"Brian’s real-world accomplishments, creativity and strategic foresight are the perfect complement to the Hudson Crossing team" said Tom Botts, Hudson Crossing Managing Partner. “He has distinguished himself as a true industry visionary with his accomplishments at both Virgin America and”

Brian has spent nearly 20 years in the travel industry and was most recently Senior Vice President and General Manager for In this role, Brian was responsible for launching in the US and Europe, including the business and financial plan development, product planning and site design, marketing and PR, airline and online travel agency partner contract negotiations, and overall operations of Prior to launching, Brian was a founding officer at Virgin America where he was Vice President, Planning and Sales, responsible for all commercial planning functions including route network planning & scheduling, pricing and revenue management, distribution, sales, and loyalty marketing. Brian began his career with US Airways where he held roles of increasing responsibility in revenue and schedule planning as well as operations.

"Hudson Crossing has created an excellent brand and contributed to the success of dozens of travel industry clients over the last several years," said Clark. "I look forward to continuing the tradition of strong industry leadership and to creating new opportunities and delivering superior results for our clients."

Welcome Brian!

Monday, November 8, 2010

And Virgin Jumps in with Free Holiday WiFi as well

Virgin America has joined Delta and AirTran in offering free holiday WiFi via GoGO in conjunction with Google.

We have to wonder where American, one of the first airlines to offer WiFi, is in this game? And we aren't talking just about this promotion.

American started out fast offering WiFi on 767-200s and selected MD-80s and 737s. However, "selected" seems to, unfortunately, be the norm with AA. None of the 757, 767-300 and a good number of the MD80 and 737 fleet are so equipped. Alas.

Dueling Delta and Airtran BOTH Announce Free Holiday WiFi with Google/GoGo

Have to laugh at this one. Delta and AirTran, arch enemies extraordinaire have apparently both been played by Google for the holidays.

In press releases issued minutes apart, both senior marketing types at Delta and AirTran announced free GoGo wifi for the holiday season courtesy of Google Chrome. A great boon for travelers but how ironic Google managed to get both AirTran and Delta signed up for the same deal.

Delta opines about their 540 aircraft that have GoGo installed (including a DC-9 I was recently on!) while AirTran states they are the only major airline with 100% GoGo on their entire fleet.

The promotion dates are even the same - November 20th through January 2nd.

Lets hope we can use Firefox and still get it free.