What we’re reading: Airport reward programs, the man behind SIA’s meals, Viking orders two luxury ships


Airports court fliers with rewards programs

Airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies give out rewards for those that do business with them consistently. Now airports are following suit.

Laura Fuller has her choice of three Florida airports when she travels for her job at a software company. Jacksonville International and Orlando International airports offer more frequent and inexpensive flights. But only Gainesville Regional Airport has given her a Nook e-reader.

“It does encourage me to fly out of Gainesville,” she says. Fuller is a member of Gainesville’s Road Warrior Club, a loyalty program run by the airport. Passengers register online each time they fly, making them eligible for a gift at month’s end.

The man who obsesses over SIA’s inflight meals

When passengers consume an inflight meal, few realize what goes behind the making of the meal. Singapore Airlines’ manager of inflight meals, Mr. Hermann Freidanck, gives us a look at what he does to ensure that each meal is perfect.

No stone is left unturned, right down to the compartmentalised aluminium foil packaging of each dish before it is presented to a passenger on board. In short, Mr Freidanck scrutinises all aspects of food and beverage served on board all of SIA’s flights. Even if one passenger is allergic to aluminium foil, as Mr Freidanck received an extraordinary special request recently, he will personally ensure that suitable alternative packaging is provided instead.

Shipbuilder STX France said last week that it received an order to build two luxury cruise ships for Viking’s newest brand, Viking Ocean Cruises.

There is an option for a third ship, STX indicated.

The 888-passenger luxury ships, to be delivered in spring 2014 and spring 2015, will primarily sail the Mediterranean, STX said. The ships will have 444 cabins and 444 crew members, according to STX.

(Photo: User:DouglasGreen/Wikipedia Creative Commons)