Air Travel: Amsterdam Schiphol's New Lounge, New Berlin Airport

South African Airways’ business rescue filing and United’s leadership shakeup may have led the headlines in the air travel world this week, but there’s plenty more news to keep track of. 

In Amsterdam, KLM officially opened its completely renovated Non-Schengen Crown Lounge at Schiphol Airport. Located between the airport’s E and F piers, the renovated lounge has doubled in size, and it is sporting a new look with areas designed to resemble five different Dutch landscapes. 

In more airport news, officials announced that Berlin’s new BER airport will open October 31, 2020, nine years later than previously scheduled. Flights to and from Berlin Tegel are scheduled to end November 8, 2020, but airlines will continue to use the Schoenfeld terminal for some time. 

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LATAM Airlines Group and Delta announced a trio of new codeshare agreements with LATAM affiliates LATAM Airlines Peru, LATAM Airlines Colombia and LATAM Airlines Ecuador. LATAM and Delta said that the new agreements will provide for greater connectivity with the United States starting in the first quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approval. 

Building on the framework agreement LATAM and Delta announced in September, the new codeshares will improve connections through Bogota and Cartagena in Colombia; between Quito and up to four onward destinations in Ecuador; and between Lima and up to 34 onward destinations in Peru. LATAM customers will also benefit from improved connections in the United States and Canada.

In new flight news, Condor announced a new route between Edmonton, Canada, and Frankfurt, Germany, running nonstop every Monday and Thursday. Additionally, the airline is reinstating flights from Halifax, Canada, and Seattle to Munich. Both changes are part of its summer 2020 schedule. 

In technology news, American Airlines launched mobile app passport scanning. When checking in for an international flight, customers will be able to use the American app to scan the information embedded in their passport chip via Near Field Communication (NFC). The feature allows customers to head directly to the gate for international flights without having their passports rechecked by a customer service agent.

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