Direct Travel News Brief - July 18, 2017


BTN's 2017 Business Travel Buyer's Handbook    Business Travel News

Every year, BTN updates its Business Travel Buyer's Handbook to offer the most current guidance for establishing or extending your company's travel management program. In 2017, BTN adds a chapter on travel risk management. That's because 65 percent of travelers surveyed by BTN in February said their companies had increased focus on the corporation's duty of care to its traveling employees and on formalizing travel risk education and mitigation. 

Trump Travel Ban Takes Effect    Travel Pulse

Hawaii has already challenged the executive order, which went into effect Thursday at 8 pm ET.



American Airlines Benefit changes on Alaska Airlines

American’s relationship with Alaska Airlines is changing, and starting on January 1, 2018, American Airlines AAdvantage® members will see changes to their frequent flier benefits when flying on this airline.

Unite Announces Further Two Weeks of British Airways Strikes     Business Traveler

The Unite union has announced a further two weeks of planned strike action by British Airways Mixed Fleet crew. The industrial action is scheduled to start on Wednesday, July 19, and run until Tuesday, August 1, according to Business Traveller.

United to Deploy Polaris Cabins on More Routes    Frequent Business Traveler

This fall, United Airlines will put its new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft into service on routes connecting San Francisco to Beijing and Frankfurt, Germany, in addition to a new New York-Tokyo route. The planes will feature United's Polaris business-class cabins.

Virgin Australia Opens Lounges to Qantas Frequent Fliers     Australian Business Traveller

Qantas Gold, Platinum and Platinum One frequent fliers – along with paid-up Qantas Club members – can now visit Virgin Australia lounges prior to Virgin Australia domestic flights when booked to fly in Economy X, as part of a promotion until the end of August.

American Airlines Expands Free Booze Beyond Wine and Beer     The Points Guy

American Airlines continues to roll out improvements in its catering department. Passengers will have access to free spirits on flight

s to and from Japan, Sydney and Auckland.

United Moves to “Dynamic Pricing” for Frequent-flier Awards    USA Today

United Airlines announced that it is making changes to frequent-flier awards offered through its MileagePlus loyalty program.

Etihad Toughens Security, Drops Laptop Ban on U.S. flights from Abu Dhabi    USA Today

Even as foreign airlines and airports voice concerns about tighter U.S. security discouraging travel, Etihad Airways announced Sunday that it met the new standards and increased its passengers to the U.S.



TSA Offers 9 Tips to Avoid Security Checkpoint Hassles   Chicago Tribune

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is reminding passengers about what to do to avoid security delays.

USA Lifts ‘Electronics Ban’ on Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Flights     Australian Business Traveller

The United States has stepped down its ‘electronics ban’ on all Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways flights from Dubai, Abi Dhabi and Doha to the USA, with passengers again able to carry larger electronic devices like laptops, tablets and noise-cancelling headphones into the aircraft cabin.

TSA Testing Two Technologies to Speed Airport Screening     The New York Times

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently introduced pilot programs at four U.S. airports for two technologies intended to significantly speed up the screening process: computed tomography three-dimensional (CT 3D) bag screening and biometric fingerprint identification.

U.S. Pushes Foreign Airports to Install Explosives Scanners Within 21 Days    Wall Street Journal

Domestic and international carriers are getting four months to make other security enhancements.

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

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



Read This Before You Buy That High-Priced Luggage    Travel Pulse

You can find high-quality items for less if you’re flexible.

Five Tips For Safe International Travel     Travel Market Report

Here’s the International SOS list of the top ways to stay safe as you travel…

US Congress is Looking to Pass Legislation Making it Illegal to Squeeze Passengers into Small Airline Seats    The Independent

The House Transportation Committee has approved a bill which includes an amendment by Congressman Steve Cohen to establish minimum requirements for seat widths, lengths and pitch…

Lullabies for Jet Lag    Travel Pulse

Michael Tyrrell has found musical frequencies that he claims can help induce sleep while traveling.

IAG Sees Growing Roles for AI, Virtual Reality in Airlines     Air Transport World

Artificial intelligence and virtual reality will play major roles in shaping the passenger experience of the future, predicts Robert Boyle of the International Airlines Group. "Virtual reality is finally making it out of the lab to be a thing that works and is getting affordable," he said.



Lyft Announces Receipt Forwarding for Business Travelers

Lyft said Tuesday that it is debuting a new feature, receipt forwarding for business travelers and travel managers.

Amtrak to Operate Some Intercity Trains Out of Grand Central Terminal This Summer     Frequent Business Traveler

Amtrak announced Wednesday that it plans to operate some of its trains to and from New York City via Grand Central Terminal instead of Penn Station.

Uber’s New Feature Allows You to Book Rides for Others     The Points Guy

Uber is making it easier for you to request rides for family or friends in your contact list by setting the pickup address to anywhere that is not your phone’s current location. From there you will be able to select a rider, set their destination, and request a ride on their behalf.

How to Ensure Your Vehicle is Ready for a Summer Road Trip   Travel Pulse

Former ASE Master Technician of the Year Jamie Bullis shares her tips to make sure your vehicle is road trip-ready.

France Launches Two New High-Speed Rail Lines     New Delhi Times

France inaugurated two new high-speed rail lines Saturday linking the capital to the western cities of Bordeaux and Rennes in what is likely to be the last launches of their kind for years as public cash becomes increasingly scarce.

Enterprise Opening Multiple New Locations in Houston    Travel Pulse

Enterprise will open 12 new locations in Houston by the end of 2017.



Kimpton's Plans for Growth in a Boutique-Thirsty World    Business Travel News

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is on a path for growth, not just in the U.S., but also in Europe, where it opened its first property in May, the Kimpton De Witt in Amsterdam. CEO Mike DeFrino spoke with BTN. 

Best Western Tapped for NV’s Stratosphere, Aquarius Resorts    Commercial Property Executive

American Casino and Entertainment Properties chose the operator to run both Las Vegas' tallest structure and a 1,906-key resort in Laughlin, Nev. The deal is the largest ever for Best Western.

Wyndham, Caesars Forge Loyalty-Program Partnership     Successful Meetings

A new relationship between Wyndham Hotel Group and Caesars Entertainment is designed to give members of both companies’ loyalty programs that provide more options.

AC Hotels by Marriott Welcomes Its First Property in Germany     The Financial

AC Hotels by Marriott, a lifestyle brand from Marriott International, opened its AC Hotel Mainz last week. The property is the brand’s first to open in Germany.

InterContinental Opens in Downtown LA    Travel Pulse

The largest InterContinental property in the Americas has opened in the tallest building west of Chicago.

Marriott Announces Stricter Cancellation Policy    Travel Market Report

The world's biggest hotel company is cracking down on last-minute cancellations.