Delta reduces the recline
Delta Air Lines is reducing the amount that seats recline on some planes by about two inches, aiming to preserve the workspace of multi-tasking business travelers. The first Airbus A320s with the modified seats debuted last weekend. The distance that seats recline is dropping to 3 ½ inches from 5.4 in first class, and to 2 inches from 4 in Comfort Plus and coach. The A320s generally are used on flights of two hours or less. The change — made in response to customer complaints — should make life easier for business travelers trying to work on laptops perched on tray tables, often while viewing mobile phones and seat-back video screens, Delta said. “It’s all about protecting customers’ personal space and minimizing disruptions to multitasking in flight,” the Atlanta-based airline said by e-mail.
Icelandair scavenger hunt
Icelandair, known for cool budget airfares and its free Reykjavik stopover, is bringing a three-day scavenger hunt to the Twin Cities, with prizes including round-trip tickets to any of 20-plus European cities. Each day from May 1-3, the airline will send out clues to a secret location via Facebook and Twitter. The first person to arrive at the location each day (drive carefully!) wins. Additional prizes include $100 airline gift certificates, T-shirts and more. To participate in this so-called #Minneadventure Giveaway, follow Icelandair and that hashtag on the social media sites. The contest coincides with the Iceland Naturally cultural festival, hitting Minneapolis venues May 2-5 (icelandnaturally.com).
Simon Peter Groebner
Restaurant shifts at MSP
The best place to grab an iceberg wedge and a steak dinner on a layover is no more. The airport location of the Minneapolis stalwart Ike’s, on the north end of the Terminal 1 mall, has closed. Airport representatives confirmed the booth-lined restaurant went dark at the beginning of the year. Secluded from the rest of the terminal, the classic restaurant felt like a stand-alone spot in which to kick off vacation with a cocktail before ever leaving the ground. Coming this summer in its place will be the Cook & the Ox, which MSP describes as “an upscale restaurant and bar experience with high-quality, unique fare and excellent customer service that reflects the richness and authenticity of the food of the north.” While the menu isn’t finalized, expect the likes of bison meatballs, walleye, wild rice soup and, like Ike’s, steak.
Price, price, price
Expedia Group asked consumers what’s more important — price, guest ratings or brand value? In a survey of more than 900 people, Expedia Group found that hotel prices play a key role in the choosing of a hotel, and promotions and discounts tend to catch travelers’ attention when selecting a property. For independent hotels, this can be a fantastic opportunity, as customers are less concerned with a brand-name hotel’s reputation and more concerned about finding a hotel within their price range. Guest ratings also play an important factor in hotel selection. Expedia Group found that there is a 72 percent chance a customer will place guest ratings higher than a hotel brand name. Travelers are even willing to pay a bit higher for positive guest reviews. Participants said they’d pay 24 percent more for a hotel that’s rated 3.9 vs. 2.4, and 35 percent more for a hotel with a 4.4 rating than one with a 3.9 rating.