Road Warrior: The business of travel

Airlines pile on the extras to lucrative effect, while American Airlines crew get a new look

Aer Lingus earned $239 million in ancillary income, which was 12.6 per cent of income. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Aer Lingus earned $239 million in ancillary income, which was 12.6 per cent of income. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

 

Bonus income for airlines

Ancillary revenue is becoming more and more lucrative for airlines, with $40.5 billion collected by 67 airlines last year, from baggage fees, food, shopping, hotels, car rental, and frequent flyer incentives. In a survey by Cartrawler and Idea Works based on the 2015 financial filings, United topped the list with $6.2 billion followed by American ($4.7 billion) and Delta ($3.7 billion). Among the European carriers Air France topped the list with $2.1 billion, British Airways had a quarter of that at £594 million. The Irish carriers earned $1.7 billion for Ryanair which represents per cent of income and Aer Lingus $239 million, which was 12.6 per cent of income.

American uniform

Last Tuesday was U-day at American Airlines when 70,000 staff began switching to the long anticipated new uniforms, the first in nearly 30 years. The uniform colours are slate grey, cobalt blue and crisp white and will be worn by all frontline staff. The palate was chosen to represent the colours of the two airlines. It also marks the full integration of American and US Airways with all staff sharing a common uniform. The new uniforms are manufactured by Twin Hill corporate apparel company. Handbags and accessories are designed by Cole Haan.

Honey from the house

Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is going to have 180,000 new guests this month when the G&V Hotel welcomes three beehives on the roof. As well as benefitting the environment guests at G&V will be able to enjoy fresh honey with their breakfast. The restaurant Cucina will also incorporate honey into a new menu. G&V will join an illustrious list of hotels with bees, Waldorf Astoria New York, Fairmont Vancouver, Mandarin Oriental Paris and the St Ermin’s London.

Hotel megamerger

Hopefully today Marriott Hotels and Starwood Hotels have combined into one company before the markets opened. The final hurdle to the merger transaction has been given approval by the Chinese ministry of commerce. Marriott are paying $13.6 billion to be the largest hotel company in the world. The merger was agreed last November but derailed by a last-minute takeover bid from a Chinese consortium led by Anbang Insurance Group. The group ultimately withdrew its $14 billion offer.

Wild goose chase

Sad to hear, Harvey, the territorial goose that enjoyed chasing guests at Harvey’s Point Hotel in Donegal, has passed away. A self-invited guest at the hotel since 1989, he will be sadly missed.

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