5 Airline Updates You Should Know

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airline updatesThings are rapidly changing in the airline industry.

We’ve given you the scoop on airline fees and in-air sexual assault via “The Checklist Planners Dread to Send…” Changing baggage fees to new facial recognition technology, here are more airline updates you should know about.

Airline Fees Continue to Surmount

JetBlue announced that it will charge $30 for a checked bag and United Airlines has followed suit. In a statement to Business Insider, JetBlue spokesperson Doug McGraw said, “As a matter of good business, we routinely review and adjust our ancillary pricing to ensure a healthy business so we can continue offering the best customer experience of any U.S. airline.” JetBlue also increased the charge of the second checked bag from $35 to $40 and for a third piece of luggage from $100 to $150.

Larger Aircraft in the Works

American Airlines plans to grow with larger aircraft at Ronald Reagan Washington National airport once a new concourse opens in three years. “Today we have 14 gates that are restricted to 50-seat regional jets, the new regional terminal opening out into 2021 will allow those 14 gates to handle up to 76 seaters,” said American President Robert Isom at the Cowen and Company Annual Global Transportation Conference.

Facial Recognition

Three days after introducing cutting-edge facial recognition tech in Washington Dulles International Airport, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations at the Airport caught an imposter posing as a French citizen.

“The new facial recognition technology virtually eliminates the ability for someone to use a genuine document that was issued to someone else,” Casey Durst, director of the CBP’s Baltimore office, said in a statement.

The Orlando International Airport (MCO) was the first in the nation to expand automated facial recognition technology to all international travelers and is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year, according to MCO airport spokesman Rod Johnson. Airports in Atlanta, New York and Miami and other cities are in the testing phase now.

Modernization Is a Priority

United Airlines is planning to invest $200 million in upgrades to Hawaii airports over the next decade, according to United CEO Oscar Munoz. Investment will be geared toward modernizing the tools and resources employees use at airports in the state, aiming to give customers a better experience. United is also planning to shift service schedules to make it easier to connect to Hawaii from its seven domestic hub cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, New York, Houston and Washington.

Teaming Up

Routes Online aviation reported on a joint venture between Delta Air Lines and Canadian airlines WestJet. Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive, said: “Combined, we will be able to offer more destinations to customers with an integrated network, superior airline products, improved airport connections and significantly enhanced frequent flyer benefits.” WestJet president and CEO chief executive Ed Sims added: “The joint venture will allow us to maximize our existing partnership with Delta to benefit customers by bringing greater competition to the transborder market.”

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