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Hyatt swung tide for Spurlock’s new movie

From USA Today | When documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock first began asking big brands such as Nike, Volkswagen and Seven-Eleven to help bankroll “Pom Wonderful Presents The World’s Greatest Movie Ever Sold” — his take on the ubiquity of branded content and the age-old practice of product placement — he had a hard time.

Ban Deodorant eventually signed on, but Spurlock said that higher-profile companies only joined in after Chciago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp. said yes. Hyatt, he said recently at a screening in Washington, was the first “blue chip” brand that he landed, which “made a difference” when they approached other companies. Get the full story>>

Orbitz says it will defend self against American suit

Orbitz Worldwide Inc. said Wednesday that it will vigorously defend itself against a lawsuit filed by American Airlines, which is in a dispute with the online travel company over commissions. Get the full story »

Expedia shares gain on TripAdvisor spin-off plan

Shares of Expedia rose 13 percent Friday as analysts hailed the online travel agency’s TripAdvisor separation plan as a way to unlock potential value. Get the full story »

Disney begins work on Shanghai theme park

Dancers perform during the groundbreaking ceremony of Shanghai Disneyland. (Ally Song/Reuters)

Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert A. Iger was joined by Shanghai’s Communist Party chief and the city’s mayor Friday to officially commence construction of a long-awaited theme park that will give the Burbank company a critical beachhead in mainland China.

In a carefully staged groundbreaking ceremony interspersed with singing and dancing, Iger said the new park would feature a blend of East and West and underscored the importance of the $3.7-billion project for Disney. Get the full story »

Airlines may be easing up on fare hikes

Travelers check in at at O'Hare International Airport, Sept. 14, 2010. (William DeShazer/Chicago Tribune)

There are some signs that airlines are starting to take their foot off the pedal after pushing through more than six major fare increases in the first three months of the year.

March may have been a turning point. A $10 fare increase launched March 9 by American Airlines and two other $10 round-trip fare hikes launched by United Airlines were rolled back after some competitors declined to push their prices higher. And some ticket prices showed sharp price drops in the second half of the month. Get the full story »

Deal puts American back on Expedia

AMR Corp.’s  American Airlines said it has reached an agreement with Expedia Inc. to restore its fares to the popular online travel agent after a dispute kept them off the site for months. Get the full story »

Brunswick: Chinese yacht sales to grow 25% in ‘11

From Bloomberg News | Brunswick Corp., owner of the Boston Whaler and Sea Ray brands, forecasts sales growth of 25 percent in China this year as boating gains popularity, Chief Executive Officer Dustan McCoy said. Get the full story>>

Southwest cancels 70 flights, shares down 4%

Southwest Airlines Co canceled 70 flights on Monday as it continued to inspect Boeing 737 planes following the emergency landing on Friday of a jet with a hole in its fuselage.

Spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger said 70 flights systemwide were canceled for Monday out of about 3,400 daily flights. Of 79 older Boeing 737-300 planes that were designated for additional inspections after the Friday incident, 33 had been returned to service, she said. Get the full story »

Want a vacation home? Prices are falling

Been dreaming of a vacation home? Somewhere warm to get away? Or maybe a cabin in the woods? Prices are right if you can afford it. Get the full story »

Mishandled airline baggage rate rises in 2010

Luggage sitting inside Terminal 8 at JFK International Airport in New York. (AP Photo/Rick Maiman)

Over one percent of airline passengers last year had their luggage go astray and fail to turn up at their arrival airport when they did, the major IT solutions supplier to the air travel industry said on Wednesday.

That translated to nearly 12 in every 1,000 passengers. Get the full story »

Amtrak tweeting major N.E. corridor delays

Amtrak is introducing a pilot program to notify Northeast Corridor passengers about major service disruptions via Twitter.

The program using the @AmtrakNEC handle began Tuesday. Get the full story »

Marriott guidance drags down Hyatt, others

Marriott ($35.76, down 5.05 percent) said it has had robust demand internationally, but North American growth has been lower than expected during the first quarter.

The company expects first-quarter worldwide systemwide revenue per available room a key industry metric to increase 7 percent, at the low end of its 7 to 9 percent guidance. Get the full story »

Orbitz names replacements for outgoing directors

Online travel company Orbitz Worldwide Inc. said Friday that it named Robert Friedman and Kristina Leslie to its board in the wake of resignations from directors Paul Schorr IV and William Cobb. Get the full story »

Travel social network Gogobot partners with Orbitz

Gogobot, a Menlo Park, Calif,-based startup that culls travel recommendations from users’ online social networks, said Thursday it has integrated its service with Chicago-based Orbitz and four other booking sites. Get the full story »

Boeing shares gain after test flight of new 747

The 747-8 Intercontinental. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty)

Shares of Chicago-based Boeing Co. gained 3 percent Monday, a day after the successful first test flight of the 747-8 Intercontinental.

The flight was a milestone for the aircraft model, which is more closely associated with Boeing than any other commercial airplane. Get the full story »