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April 10, 2018

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: the latest services and routes for airlines, Delta cyberattack, TSA might ask travelers to remove food from carry-on bags to reduce x-ray clutter, U.S. passport execution fee will increase to $35, Virgin Hotels takes a bet on Las Vegas, Springtime changes at the airport, traveler tips & tricks, and more!

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Optimize your travel program by monitoring these KPIs

Travel policies simplify corporate travel programs by standardizing processes and workflows. But as new technologies come to market and the travel industry changes with the times, your organization will have to remain agile - and that includes your travel policy too. Read More

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Business Travel Costs Rise Modestly in 2018

BTN's Annual Corporate Travel Index — BTN provides business travel per diems for 100 U.S. cities and 100 non-U.S. cities, breaking down hotel, food and car rental costs. Cities are also ranked by per diem costs. Plus, an analysis on cost fluctuations in each the U.S., Americas, Asia/Pacific and EMEA, and the biggest movers in each category and region. Read More

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Air Canada Unveils New Five-Tier Economy Fare Structure

Insider Travel Report — Air Canada has become the latest airline to put in expanded range of North America economy fares that it claims will give its customers greater flexibility to select the airport and onboard amenities they want when traveling. Read More

Delta Says Credit Card Details May Have Been Exposed by Cyberattack

NBC News — Delta Air Lines said that some of its customers' payment information may have been breached in a cyberattack last fall. Read More

American Airlines Lifts Curtain on Chicago-New York Shuttle Wednesday

Chicago Business Journal — American Airlines will launch its new Chicago-New York City shuttle service today. The flights will use Boeing 737 aircraft and offer passengers complimentary beer and wine. Read More

United Gains Tentative Approval to Expand Service to Cuba

Travel Pulse — The airline will offer daily service between Houston and Havana. Read More

Delta and Korean Air Joint Venture Receives Clearance

Buying Business Travel — Skyteam members Delta Air Lines and Korean Air will launch their transpacific joint venture “soon” after it was cleared by competition authorities in South Korea. Read More

Delta Adds Fingerprint Access to All U.S. Clubs

Business Travel News — This week, Delta is expanding a biometric check-in option to all 50 of its Sky Club locations across the United States. Read More

Etihad Airways and Swiss International Sign Codeshare Agreement

Travel Weekly — A new codeshare pact has been forged between Etihad Airways and Swiss International Air Lines. Etihad Airways will have its code on Swiss services between Geneva and Zurich from Abu Dhabi while Swiss will market its code on Etihad Airways’ service between Zurich and Abu Dhabi. Read More

United Airlines Now Offering Priority Boarding Access for a Fee

Travel Market Report — Starting at $9, the fee guarantees passengers early boarding and secures overhead storage space. Read More

American Airlines and Chicago Strike Agreement on $8.5 Billion O’Hare Deal

The Points Guy — American Airlines and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel have reached an agreement to move forward with the $8.5 billion deal to overhaul O’Hare International Airport (ORD). The concession comes after a feud between American and United for the number of gates each airline was assigned during the expansion. Read More

Air Canada to Shuffle Aircraft Amid Route Frequency Changes

Air Transport World — Air Canada is planning to increase the frequency of seven routes linking western Canada with Hawaii and Mexico next winter, and will swap out rouge-branded Boeing 767-300s for mainline 737-8s. Read More

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TSA Might Ask Travelers to Remove Food from Carry-on Bags to Reduce X-ray Clutter

USA Today — TSA might ask travelers to remove snacks from carry-on bags, just like electronics, to reduce clutter in X-ray screening. Read More

Biometric Self-boarding Trial at LAX a Technological Milestone

Travel Weekly — LAX tests biometric passport and ticket-free self-boarding. Read More

Lufthansa Will Expand Biometric Boarding After LAX Test

Business Travel News — Lufthansa will expand a biometrics-based boarding program, which it reports can enable a 350-passenger A380 to be boarded in about 20 minutes, to more of its U.S. airports after a trial run at LA International Airport. The carrier developed the program alongside Amadeus, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Vision-Box and Los Angeles World Airports Authority. Read More

U.S. State Department Lifts All Restrictions for Playa del Carmen

Travel Market Report — Backtracking from a March 7 alert, the State Department gives the all-clear to government personnel and American tourists traveling to the popular Mexican destination. Read More

Miami International Airport Opens Wholly Biometric Passport Screening Facility

tnooz — Miami International Airport now offers wholly biometric facial recognition passport screening at its newly renovated Concourse E, which serves international arrivals. This is the first facility in the U.S. to use biometric screening exclusively. Read More

U.S. Passport Execution Fee Will Increase to $35

US Department of State — Effective April 2, 2018, the passport execution fee will increase from $25 to $35, says the U.S. Department of State. The $10 execution fee increase only applies to U.S. passport applicants using the DS-11 form. Read More

Government Travel Warnings & Alerts

U.S. Department of State — Information on current government issued travel warnings and alerts. Read More

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Getting an Uber or Lyft at LaGuardia Will Soon be Much Easier

The Points Guy — Within weeks, hailing your Uber, Lyft or black car at LaGuardia Airport will be much easier. Read More

High-speed Trains Launch London-Amsterdam

Travel Weekly Europe — Eurostar targets one in four air passengers…Read More

Amtrak Gets Nearly $2 Billion in Federal Spending Bill, Despite Trump Criticism and Accidents

USA Today — Amtrak gets nearly $2 billion in federal subsidies, despite a spate of fatal accidents and vocal criticism about its service. Read More

Lyft is Testing a Netflix-Style Monthly Subscription Plan

The Verge — Lyft is testing monthly subscription plans for high-frequency users, a sign that the company is shifting toward a Netflix or Spotify model for transportation. Read More

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Hilton’s Collection Brands Launch Major Expansion in 2018 with Lineup of Impressive Independent Hotels

Business Wire — Curio Collection by Hilton and Tapestry Collection by Hilton to open distinctive properties in new and emerging destinations…Read More

Virgin Hotels Takes a Bet on Las Vegas

Travel Mole — Virgin founder Richard Branson buying Hard Rock Hotel in Sin City. Read More

IHG Buys Majority Stake in Luxury Hotel Company

Business Travel News — IHG has agreed to acquire a 51 percent stake in Taiwan-based Regent Hotels & Resorts from Formosa International Hotels for $39 million in cash. Read More

Hilton Follows Marriott on Group Commission Cuts — Hilton will cut the commissions it pays to third-party group and meetings planners at hotels in the U.S. and Canada from 10% to 7% effective Oct. 1. Read More

Marriott to Add 2 Moxy Hotels in New York

Travel Pulse — Marriott International's Moxy is expanding its urban, cutting-edge brand in New York City with the upcoming openings of Moxy Downtown and Moxy Chelsea. Read More

Hilton Garden Inn Announces Four New Hotel Openings

Hilton Garden Inn — Hilton Garden Inn continues rapid global growth with four new hotel openings. The award-winning brand arrives in Las Vegas city center and three international destinations…Read More

San Juan Welcomes First New Hotel of 2018

Travel Market Report — Expanding its brand into a lifestyle hotel, global restaurant brand Serafina Restaurant Group debuted the Serafina Beach Hotel Tuesday in San Juan, Puerto Rico – marking the city’s first new hotel opening this year. Read More

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Airline Cabins Aren't as Infectious as You Thought

Travel Market Report — Passengers are generally safe from a sick passenger with the flu sitting at least two seats or one row away, a recent FlyHealthy study finds. Read More

Which Airport Lounges Are Worth Buying a Pass For?

Business Report Online — From beer gardens to health hubs and cozy living rooms, airport lounges today have evolved far past the glorified waiting rooms with kitsch sofas they once were. Read More

The Best Travel Apps In 2018 - Tips From a Travel Writer

Forbes — Here are the essential travel apps you should have, as recommended by a travel writer. Read More

Travel Nightmares: What to Do If You Miss Your Flight

USA Today — If you miss your flight, don't stress out. There's more than one way to save your vacation or business trip. Read More

Springtime Changes at the Airport

New York Times — A look at what’s new, including apps that enable travelers to order food and headphones at their departure gate, more biometric boarding, and higher fees for some United States passport applicants.…Read More

Alaska Airlines to Open Rooftop Flagship Lounge at Seattle Airport

Australian Business Traveller — Next year, Alaska Airlines will open a flagship lounge on the roof of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The new lounge is part of a multimillion-dollar renovation of the airport's North Satellite terminal. Read More

Stay Healthy When Flying Long Distances

Walgreens — Thanks to delayed flights, restricted carry-on items and lost baggage, air travel can feel like a headache. And sometimes flying can lead to actual illnesses, too. Luckily, these actions can help you stay healthy on long-distance flights…Read More

Gogo Sees Rising Demand for In-Flight Connectivity

AIN Online — Demand for in-flight connectivity was up across all business aircraft segments, Gogo said, but was especially robust for light jets and turboprops, which surged 19 percent year-over-year. Read More

Sit in This Spot on an Airplane to Avoid the Flu While Flying

New York Post — Worried about catching a cold or the flu on an airplane? Get a window seat, and don’t leave it until the flight is over. Read More

How Uber-luxury Private Helicopters are Taking Off

CNN — Luxury private jets are one thing, but the real movers and shakers in the VIP world demand cutting-edge, customized helicopters. Read More

Airline Offering a Voucher? Just Say No!

USA Today — Beware of funny money, fellow travelers. Airlines, hotels and cruise lines are quicker than ever to push vouchers into your unhappy hands when something goes wrong and you're owed a refund or apology. But think twice before you say "yes," because you might be forking over your hard-earned money without even realizing it. Read More

Six Things Travelers Do That Get Them into Trouble

Travel Market Report — Consumer advocate Chris Elliott has been solving problems for more than 20 years. He offers up the top six mistakes travelers make during a trip that have them writing him later on. Read More

Must Have Travel Accessory of 2018

USA Today — The first Bluetooth-enabled lock that works with an app to secure your luggage and bags. Read More

10 Travel Tips You Can Learn From the CIA

USA Today — Smarter Travel shares former CIA agent Mathew Bradley’s top travel safety tips, both at home and abroad. Read More