Latest Air Travel Updates: United Economy Gets Back an Amenity; Delta Tops Corporate Survey; Hawaiian Airlines Adds Even More Flights from California

American Airlines will begin offering Premium Economy seats in late 2016. The new section will be situated right behind Business Class and feature more legroom, wider seats, personal on-demand entertainment, noise reducing headphones, priority check-in and boarding, checked baggage allowance, amenity kits, enhanced meal service, and alcoholic beverages. The first planes to offer the new seating will be Boeing 787-9 with a 2-3-2 configuration; American’s Airbus A350 will enter service with Premium Economy in 2017.  

American Airlines launched new, nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Sydney, Australia (SYD) today.

United Airlines is bringing back complimentary snacks in United Economy on daily flights within North America and Latin America, restarting February 2016! Customers on flights departing before 9:45 a.m. will receive a morning stroopwafel, a Dutch, caramel-filled waffle. Customers on flights departing after 9:45 a.m. will received package snacks, like Asian-style snack mix or mini pretzel sticks. No word yet on what customers receive when departing on flights at 9:45 a.m.

Delta Air Lines announced a ban of hoverboards and “all lithium battery powered self-balancing personal transportation devices on carry-on and checked baggage,” the airline said in a statement. Lithium batteries have been known to spontaneously overheat, a potential fire hazard while in flight and on the ground. Travel weekly reports American, United, and JetBlue (previously) have also banned these devices.

Business Travel News Annual Airline Survey voted Delta Air Lines their leading airline for their fifth consecutive year. Delta swept all categories for the second straight year, including quality of customer service, quality of client communication, and overall price value.

Flying between Los Angeles and Sydney and Los Angeles and Shanghai? Starting Dec. 15, Delta One customers will be receiving in-flight loungewear. Delta will offer the light gray cotton wear to all Delta One passengers on all flights between China and the United States starting March 2016.

Delta Chart

Travel Weekly 2015 Readers Choice Awards present Delta with the Top Airline Overall, Best Domestic Airline, and Best Sales and Service titles.

Delta signed an agreement with Boeing to acquire 20 Embraer 190 and 20 new Boeing 737-900ER jets. Taking to the skies in 2017, Embraer 190 jets will feature two-by-two seating in the Main Cabin and one-by-two configuration in First Class. The Boeing 737-900ERs are expected to fly in 2019 and offer 20 First Class seats, 21 Delta Comfort+ seats, and 139 Main Cabin seats.

Delta and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have entered into a codeshare agreement with India’s Jet Airways, which will take effect on March 27, 2016, subject to governmental approvals. The codeshare will allow customers to use a single ticket and checked bags through to their final destination. Jet Airways will place its code on flights between Amsterdam and 11 destinations in the U.S. and Canada and KLM-operated flights to 30 European destinations.

Southwest Airlines is expanding its international routes with the addition of nonstop service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) in Liberia/Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Flights begin in April 2016.

Travel Weekly reports that Southwest will be ending its San Antonio-Mexico City route and be replacing it with a Houston-Hobby (IAH)-Mexico City (MEX) route (morning and afternoon service).

Hawaiian Airlines will be increasing service from California to Kaua’I next summer with daily service between Lihu’e and Oakland and Los Angeles, starting May 27, 2016 and running through the beginning of September. Flights from Oakland (OAK) to Lihu’e (LIH) and Kona (KOA) will be offered three times a week and service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Lihu’e and Kona will be offered four-times a week.