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December 12, 2023

In This Edition… Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines merger, Air Canada bag tracking, airline updates, passport and visa news, East Coast train travel improvements, Omni Hotels enhances loyalty program, Hilton plans 24 new hotel openings next year, other hotel updates, many traveler tips, and more!

Dans cette édition… Fusion d’Alaska Airlines et d’Hawaiian Airlines, suivi des bagages d’Air Canada, mises à jour des compagnies aériennes, actualités sur les passeports et les visas, amélioration des voyages en train sur la côte Est, amélioration du programme de fidélisation d’Omni Hotels, Hilton prévoit l’ouverture de 24 nouveaux hôtels l’année prochaine, autres actualités hôtelières, de nombreux conseils aux voyageurs, et bien plus encore!

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Preparing Your Travel Program for the New EU Sustainability Guidelines

Regardless of where your company’s home base is located, it is important to understand why the new EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) has been enacted and how Direct ATPI Halo can help your business comply with CSRD. Read More

Top Risk Management Tips for Business Travelers

One of the most effective ways a business can help protect its travelers is by having a clear risk management policy in place. Read More

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Air Canada Expands Air-to-Rail Connections

Business Travel News — Air Canada has added new air-to-rail booking options with four European rail providers. Read More

Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines Agree to Merge in $1.9 Billion Deal

Travel Weekly — Alaska will pay $18 in cash for each share of Hawaiian. The deal also includes $900 million in Hawaiian debt. Both carriers would maintain their brands. Read More

Air Canada Adds Bag, Mobility Aid Tracking

Business Travel News — Air Canada has enhanced its mobile app to enable customers traveling within Canada to track the progress of their bags and mobility aids. Read More

Air Canada to Boost Asia-Pacific Capacity

Business Travel News — Starting in mid-December, Air Canada will strategically increase its Asia-Pacific network capacity for the 2024 winter and summer seasons. Read More

Air France’s Business-Class Seats Got an Upgrade—and We Tested Them Out

Afar Magazine — A French airline recently added several game-changing new features to this premium cabin. Here’s our review. Read More

Plan to Limit Flights at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport is Put On Hold

Travel Weekly — The decision to cut the number of flights into Schiphol Airport, including all JetBlue flights, was to go into effect next summer. Read More

Why Do Airplanes Dim the Cabin Lights During Takeoff and Landing?

Afar Magazine — One of the many mysteries of air travel actually has a very simple—and smart—explanation. Read More

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You Can Now Get Your U.S. Passport Faster, the State Department Says

Afar Magazine — Here are the new estimated processing times for passport applications. Read More

U.S. Vows to Tackle Visa Waits Amid Soaring Demand

Travel Weekly — Near-record demand is good news for U.S. tourism, but wait times of more than 500 days for a visa interview still persist in some key markets. Read More

TSA To Launch Self-Service Security Screening Prototype in Las Vegas

Travel Pulse — A pilot of a new self-service screening system for TSA PreCheck passengers is slated to begin at Harry Reid International Airport. 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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East Coast Train Travel Will Soon Be Much Smoother Thanks to These Major Upgrades

Afar Magazine — The Biden Administration has signed off on $16 billion in improvements along the Northeast Corridor. Here’s what that means for rail routes in the region. Read More

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Hyatt Unveils Plans for Hotels and Resorts Set to Open Through 2025 Globally

Insider Travel Report — Hyatt Hotels Corporation unveiled details for its development pipeline of more than 35 planned luxury hotels and resorts globally through 2025. Read More

Best Western to Offer Green Key Sustainability Certification

Business Travel News — Best Western properties in the United States and Canada will offer Green Key Global's sustainability certification organization through a new partnership. Read More

Omni Hotels & Resorts Enhances Loyalty Program

Travel Weekly — Omni is enabling customers to compile credits not only on room nights but for on-property purchases like spa treatments, meals and rounds of golf. Read More

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Debuts in Portland, OR

Meetings & Conventions — The 251-room luxury property, the brand's first in the Pacific Northwest, features 17,000 square feet of meeting space. Read More

Hilton Plans 24 Hotel Openings Next Year

Business Travel News — New properties will include local brand launches in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, and the United States. Read More

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Carbon Neutral, Net Zero, B-Corp—How to Make Sense of Sustainability Buzzwords

Afar Magazine — A breakdown of what common environmental lingo actually means. Read More

Our Favorite Airline Lounges Throughout the World

Afar Magazine — The race to court premium passengers is on as U.S. and international airlines roll out the red carpet with their lounge spaces, offering frequent fliers a tranquil airport oasis. Read More

Where You Can Travel Without a Passport (Beyond the 50 United States)

Afar Magazine — Instead of waiting on long U.S. passport wait times, head to these enticing destinations. Read More

These Are the World’s Safest Airlines

Afar Magazine — The good news is, there’s never been a safer time to fly. Read More

Don’t Touch That! The Dirtiest Parts of the Airplane Cabin, Revealed

Afar Magazine — We got the scoop on the dirtiest places aboard and talked to infectious disease experts about how you can stay hygienic and healthy while flying. Read More

China Ditches Visas for Six Countries

Travel Weekly Asia — China is looking to international tourism to boost its flagging economy by trialing no visa travel for citizens from six countries. Read More

Is the Future of Flying Wireless? United and Apple Think So.

Afar Magazine — United plans to offer Bluetooth connectivity on most of its airplanes, while Apple makes the case for the travel-friendly features of its wireless AirPods Pro. Read More

The Best Motion Sickness Remedies According to Experts and Travelers

Afar Magazine — Ginger? Acupressure bands? The patch? A comprehensive guide on how to tame that queasy feeling. Read More

The Ultimate Travel Checklist: 9 Steps to a Stress-Free Trip

Afar Magazine — A step-by-step guide to making sure you don’t forget anything important in the rush to get out the door. Read More

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Building a Sustainable Event

Creative Group — Sustainability extends far beyond going green, as demonstrated by a recent client event. Read More

Gratitude Isn't Just for Thanksgiving

Creative Group — Learn how a grateful attitude promotes positivity. Plus, get fun ways to incorporate it into your events. Read More

Looking for guidance on planning your next convention, incentive, or group trip? Direct Travel will assist with all your meetings and event details!  Whatever your needs may be when it comes to your event, you can always depend on us to design streamlined travel arrangements, plan strategic meetings, and deliver real-time results. For details, please send a message to: