American Airlines expands luxury Five Star Service; adds lounge access and boosts support for corporate customers
American, committed to addressing the changing needs of its premium travelers, announced that its Five Star Service packages are being expanded to four new airports including Atlanta, Austin, Nashville, and Newark. This will bring the total number of domestic airports that offer Five Star Service to sixteen, with four international airports also offering the premium amenity package. Five Star Service gives travelers in a premium cabin who purchase the exclusive service added amenities such as priority check-in, expedited security screening, access to the Admirals Club, an escort to their gate, and other customizable experiences tailored to their interests. At some airports, such as New York JFK and Los Angeles International, the menu of Five Star offerings includes helicopter transfer service. LAX travelers can purchase access to The Private Suite at Los Angeles International Airport, which also includes a private entrance to the airport away from crowds and traffic and a dedicated international arrivals hall in addition to expedited security screening, a Cadillac escort across the tarmac, and more.
In other news, American announced its new reciprocal airport lounge partnership with China Southern Airlines. Eligible premium passengers on American will now have access to China Southern Airlines’ 38 Sky Pearl Club Lounges at 23 airports in China, while customers of China Southern will have access to American Airlines’ 50 Admirals Club lounges located at 34 airports worldwide.
American also said it will increase its staffing levels for its dedicated Sales Support Team in order to provide more personalized service for corporate customers and their travel agents. The expanded team will be dedicated to top corporate accounts along with American’s AirPass and Business Extra Programs. American also said starting this fall it will add more support for its Atlantic Joint Business partners British Airways, Finnair, and Iberia.
Delta to realign some of its services to Asia as it moves to Tokyo Haneda
Delta Air Lines has started putting changes in motion. These changes are part of Delta’s master plan to transfer their full operations from Tokyo’s Narita to Haneda airport while also boosting their Asian connectivity through its partnership with Korean Air.
Delta was tentatively awarded five of the highly coveted Haneda arrival/departure slots that will be available next year. Tokyo Haneda is preferred by many travelers as it is conveniently located in Tokyo itself and offers quick access to all parts of the city. Coupled with its existing Haneda service to/from Los Angeles and Minneapolis/St. Paul, the upcoming move away from Narita would make Delta the largest U.S. operator out of Haneda.
As Delta moves toward this shift, the carrier also said it will end its connecting service from Tokyo Narita to Singapore as of September 22, 2019. Delta passengers will still be able to reach Singapore through Seoul via its Korean Air partnership. Delta will also move its connecting flights to Manila from Tokyo to Seoul in March as part of their joint venture with Korean Air.
Several strikes continue to loom in the UK; Gatwick strike suspended
Potential strikes still loom at London Heathrow and for British Airways and Ryanair. However, workers at London Gatwick suspended the job action planned for Aug. 10-11 as the two sides reached an agreement on a “dramatically improved” pay offer.
Details for each of the job actions along with airport/airline contingency plans continue to change daily. Adelman is posting updated information about these strikes and other issues around the world that may impact travel on our travel advisory scroll on our website at www.adelmantravel.com. Please check there frequently for all the latest information.
U.S. issues travel advisory for Hong Kong as more demonstrations are planned
The United States has become the latest country to issue a travel warning over Hong Kong’s ongoing protests, which at times have brought the city to a standstill. The advice urges travelers to exercise a high degree of caution as previous demonstrations in Hong Kong have turned confrontational and sometimes even violent. Reports indicate that more public demonstrations are scheduled to take place at Hong Kong International Airport Aug. 9-11. As this is also a developing situation, Adelman is posting updated information on our travel advisory scroll on our website at www.adelmantravel.com.