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February 12, 2019

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: thoughts on Brexit, airline updates, four airports offer TSA and taxi wait times, Enterprise closes on Deem acquisition, new locations for Choice Hotels, Four Seasons, Kimpton and Hyatt, luxury airport lounges, protecting yourself from in-flight theft, collaboration on the road: 7 ways to maximize traveler productivity and more!

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Collaboration on the Road: 7 Ways to Maximize Traveler Productivity

When travelers are on the road, productivity is paramount to keeping them engaged and happy. Often, a traveler’s ability to stay productive is hindered by a number of factors, including poor working environments, lack of connectivity to the office and the stress of travel. Combined, these factors may not only limit productivity but can also lead to a decline in employee engagement and increased traveler attrition rates. Read More

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Can Travel Managers Prep for a No-Deal Brexit?

Business Travel News —With only two months until the United Kingdom exits the European Union on 29 March, and no one on this planet knowing what form that departure will take, travel management professionals are sitting frustratedly in limbo. Read More

Here’s What Could Happen to Air Transport if There’s a No-Deal Brexit

The Points Guy — Airline passengers could face higher fares, longer wait times at immigration and problems connecting to Europe through British airports if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal, aviation experts warn. Read More

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Delta Puts New Narrowbody Aircraft into Service

Business Travel News — On Thursday, Delta began its first service on its new Airbus A220-100 aircraft with flights between New York's LaGuardia Airport and each Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Boston. Read More

American Airlines Becomes First Carrier to Offer Free Apple Music Access Inflight

Future Travel Experience — American Airlines’ customers can now enjoy free access to Apple Music on any domestic flight equipped with Viasat satellite Wi-Fi. Read More

Lufthansa Launches Biometric Boarding in Miami & Biometric Terminals Are on the Way

Business Travel News — On Feb. 1, Lufthansa launched a boarding process for Flight 461 from Miami International Airport to Munich that uses facial recognition rather than boarding passes. Last March, Lufthansa, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Los Angeles World Airports had begun a trial of the biometric boarding...Read More

Delta to Give More Customers Option to Pick Meals Before They Fly

Travel Pulse — Delta customers traveling in the First Class cabin will soon have the option to choose their meal days in advance through the airline's popular pre-select meal program. Read More

Oneworld Lounges and New Digital Platform Planned as Alliance Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Business Traveller — Oneworld plans to open its first “branded, developed and managed lounge” later this year, as the alliance celebrates its 20th anniversary. Read More

Airlines Announce New Transatlantic Flights for 2019

Travel Market Report — Travel to Europe should be easier and more convenient next year, as a number of international airlines are adding new routes over the North Atlantic next spring and summer. Read More

United Airlines Debuts Redesigned Smartphone App for Apple and Android Platforms

Frequent Business Traveler — United Airlines introduced a completely redesigned version of its smartphone app. Read More

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Port Authority Offers Real-time Updates on TSA, Taxi Wait Times

NBC 4 New York — Passengers at JFK, EWR, LGA, and SWF airports can now access up to date TSA and taxi wait times on the Port Authority’s respective airport websites. Read More

28 Countries the US Government Doesn’t Want You to Visit

USA Today — It’s in your best interest to check the U.S. State Department’s website for travel advisories, which the department is constantly updating…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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The 10 Cities with the Best Public Transportation

USA Today — These cities have networks that cover all the neighborhoods you want to see, with reliable, frequent service at an affordable price. Read More

Madrid Taxis End Strike, Fail to Get Tighter Rules for Uber

The Washington Post — Taxi drivers in Madrid have ended a 16-day strike after failing to force authorities in the Spanish capital to impose tighter restrictions on ride-hailing companies like Uber and Cabify. Read More

Is This Finally the Dawn of High-Speed Rail Travel in the U.S.?

Insider Travel Report — Rail travel in the U.S. is littered with promises of modern high-speed inter-city rail. But Virgin Trains, a relatively new venture, announced an initial public offering of 28,334,000 shares of common stock. Read More

Enterprise Closes Deem Acquisition

Business Travel News — Enterprise has completed its acquisition of managed travel technology platform Deem. Read More

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Four Seasons Opening Nine New Hotels in 2019

Travel Market Report — Among the new properties is the first resort set within a world-class vineyard in Napa Valley. Read More

Choice Hotels Adds 42 Properties

Business Travel News — Choice Hotels International is set to expand its footprint across the U.S. with two development agreements. Read More

Marriott Christens Consolidated Loyalty Brand

Business Travel News — Marriott International will roll out Marriott Bonvoy next month to replace Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest. Read More

Hyatt to Open 40 New Hotels on the West Coast by 2021

Northstar Meetings Group — Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp. is expanding in California, Oregon and Washington state by nearly 45 percent, mainly by growing the portfolios of its limited-service brands, Hyatt House, Hyatt Place and Hyatt Centric...Read More

Hilton Enters 100th Year with Record Growth

Travel Pulse — Hilton is riding a wave of record-breaking growth and development…Read More

IHG to Open 25 New Kimpton Hotels Globally

Travel Mole — Asia, Caribbean and Europe to get new hotels over next five years…Read More

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Super-luxe Airport Lounges That May Make You Miss Your Flight

CNN — A handful of ultra-exclusive lounges, Instagram-worthy spaces with impressive settings that only a privileged few have access to, are attended by staff who act more like concierges at five-star hotels than airline employees. Read More

10 Ways to Make Your Flight Attendant Like You

Smarter Traveler — Friendly flight attendants can reward you with free drinks and seat upgrades. Here’s how to keep them happy. Read More

How to Protect Yourself Against In-Flight Theft

Airfare Watchdog (blog) — Safeguard your valuables from potential onboard thieves with these tips…Read More

7 Simple Travel Hacks to Make Any Airplane Seat Comfortable

Smarter Travel — These expert travel hacks really get the job done…Read More

7 Key Changes Travelers Can Expect in 2019

USA Today — "The biggest probabilities for changes affecting U.S. travelers in 2019 will be congestion and natural disruptions," says Paul Ruden, former executive vice president for legal and industry affairs for the American Society of Travel Advisors. Read More

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Turning Three into One

Creative Group — Creating cost efficiencies for international conferences…Read More

$188 Million Renovation of Memphis Convention Center Underway

Successful Meetings — The project, to finish next year, will add a new exterior concourse, prefunction space, breakout rooms and more...Read More

New Downtown Vegas Convention Center to Open in 2020

Las Vegas Review Journal — The 315,000-square-foot facility will provide exhibit space for the twice-a-year World Market as well as room for trade shows and community 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: