Direct Travel News Brief - May 23, 2017


States Scramble to Comply with Federal ID Law     Business Insider

A January deadline is looming for lawmakers who have been scrambling for legislative fixes to the REAL ID Act, a 2005 federal law that requires state driver's licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and be issued to people who can prove they are legally in the United States. The Associated Press takes a look at the federal law and potential impacts.

Dayton Signs Bill Conforming Minn. Driver's Licenses with Federal Standards     Minneapolis Star Tribune

No budget agreement, but Real ID bill gets Dayton's signature.

Concur Will Rebrand as SAP Concur     Business Travel News

Concur will change its name to SAP Concur in January. German enterprise technology giant SAP acquired Concur in 2014.



Star Alliance Says It Won’t Chase Virgin Australia to Join     Australian Business Traveller

Star Alliance says it has little interest in signing up Virgin Australia as a member, despite its description of Australia as a “white spot” lacking a domestic Star airline.

American Will Prioritize Upgrades Based on Money Spent with Carrier     Business Travel News

On May 20, American Airlines will begin prioritizing upgrades based on travelers' business with American rather than how early they check in.

Delta to Test Facial-recognition Tech on New Self-service Bag Drop     USA Today

Delta Air Lines will begin testing facial recognition technology this summer in Minneapolis.

Delta and Aeroméxico Launch Joint Cooperation Agreement

Grupo Aeroméxico and Delta Air Lines began their joint cooperation agreement last week to operate trans-border flights between the United States and Mexico.

United Airlines Increases Service Between San Francisco and Eight Destinations     Airways Magazine

United Airlines announced last week they are increasing the number of flights between San Francisco (SFO) and eight destinations.



You Will Soon Need a New ID to Fly     Travel Pulse

Federally-compliant Real IDs will become mandatory by 2020.

U.S. And E.U. Officials Set To Meet Again To Discuss Laptop Ban     Travel Market Report

Should the ban be extended to Europe, more than 400 daily routes, and 65 million passengers each year, would be affected.

TSA Ensures Security Preparedness for High Summer Travel Volume

The Transportation Security Administration is preparing for the start of the summer travel period, as record numbers of passengers are expected at airports this summer—with peak travel periods occurring in June and July.

European Airlines Bracing for Expansion of Trump’s Laptop Ban    Bloomberg

European airlines are preparing for the anticipated widening of a U.S. ban on bringing laptops and other large electronic devices on board planes bound for American airports.

Can Online Passport Renewal Be On The Way?     Travel Market Report

State Department official tells Federal News Radio it's possible by 2018, in a push to digitize services.

Government Travel Warnings & Alerts    U.S. Department of State

Click here for information on current government issued travel warnings and alerts.



LAX’s Big Move was a Big Success     Travel Skills

Los Angeles International Airport finished up its monumental relocation of 20 airlines this week with no significant problems reported, and carriers are now proceeding to freshen up their new digs.

Canada Announces Plan For Air Passenger Rights     Travel Market Report

Process begins for legislation to protect airline passengers in Canada.

Travel Insurance Can Save the Day     USA Today

Accidents can happen anywhere, and many claims are due to unforeseen circumstances.

Can Online Passport Renewal Be On The Way?     Travel Market Report

State Department official tells Federal News Radio it's possible by 2018, in a push to digitize services.

American Airlines Curbs Electric Carts at Charlotte Hub     USA Today

Fliers will no longer have to look back for an electric cart rolling through the terminal.

J.D. Power Study Shows Airline Service In U.S. Is Improving     Travel Market Report

Despite the viral videos and the common commotion, passengers say airline service actually has improved in the past year, though those cramped seats are cause for concern.

Gogo's New Inflight Wireless Strong Enough to Stream You Tube, Facebook Live    USA Today

The upgrade permits Gogo to raise connection speeds to the aircraft in excess of 100 megabits-per-second.

What Happens to Your Seat Fees If You Get Upgraded?     The Points Guy

What happens if you paid for main cabin seating, and later get upgraded to first class…

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How to Stay Sane on a Business Trip     New York Times

A specific condition afflicts business travelers…



Amtrak Trains May Start Running out of Grand Central This Summer

Anyone coming into New York City on an Amtrak train currently has to arrive at Penn Station, reports Time Out New York. Governor Cuomo is in talks with Amtrak officials to reroute some of the 12 trains that run each weekday from Penn Station to Grand Central Terminal.

Delta Air Lines Links Its Rewards Program to Lyft     New York Times

The carrier's customers can now earn award miles traveling via the ride-sharing service...



Renaissance Hotels Reimagines the Airport Hotel Experience in Atlanta

Renaissance Hotels has announced the grand opening of Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway Hotel. The hotel is conveniently connected via SkyTrain to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Four Marriott Merger Updates     Business Travel News

Marriott International's recent Security Analyst Meeting provided the most in-depth discussion yet on how it will fold in Starwood Hotels & Resorts, from plans for the Sheraton brand and other Starwood legacy flags, as well as legacy program integration and plans for the global sales organization. 

Marriott to Open Two New Moxy Hotels in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan     Meetings & Conventions

Some 70 additional properties are in the works, including two in California and one in Washington, D.C...

Hilton Opens World’s Largest Hampton Property     Business Traveller

Hilton has opened its largest ever Hampton by Hilton property in Germany’s capital Berlin.

Sheraton Grand Nashville Unveils $35 Million Upgrade    Meetings & Conventions

The newly renovated hotel features extraordinary rooftop event space...