Amazon Decides It’s a Delivery Force
 
In a new shift, Amazon has declared that delivery and shipping services such as FedEx and UPS are its competitors. For years, the company had stated that it’s delivery service was not in competition with, but merely supplementary to, its partnerships with these transportation service providers. Last year, Amazon began testing “Shipping with Amazon,” a service that offers substantial discounts on shipping in the London and Los Angeles markets. Some analysts are predicting that Amazon will dramatically increase the growth of its shipping operations in the next year.
 
National Car Rental Reveals the Rise of “Bleisure” Travel
 
National Car Rental has published its second annual State of Business Travel Survey. Several notable findings include the rise of “bleisure” travelling (a portmanteau of “business” and “leisure”) among millennials. Bleisure travelers attend conferences and meetings, as one would in a traditional business trip, but also explore their destination’s nightlife and other attractions. Loyalty marketers in the hospitality industry should take note, as this could be an opportunity to present relevant rewards to their core clientele.
 
United Adds 1,600 Premium Seats
 
United Airlines has announced that it will be adding more than 1,600 United Polaris business class and United First seats to nearly 250 international and domestic aircraft. United is also introducing the two-cabin, 50-seat Bombardier CRJ 550 aircraft to its fleet in order to offer its customers on key regional routes additional legroom, storage, and amenities.
 
This announcement indicates that United is aware that flyers are beginning to find first-class upgrades unobtainable through the airline’s loyalty program. The addition of more higher-end seats could create an opportunity to present a desired, exclusive experience to loyalty members.
 
Another Acquisition of a Tech Startup
 
Besomebody, a Cincinnati-based business innovation firm that specializes in skills-focused job training programs and employer services, has announced the acquisition of Pixelbug Technologies, an augmented reality and artificial intelligence startup headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Increasingly, we’re seeing tech companies purchased by non-tech companies in order to expand the latter’s capabilities.
 

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