Direct Travel News Brief Header
January 15, 2019

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: rising concerns about the government shutdown, new transatlantic route in 2019, TSA confirms REAL ID extension, passport fees to rise, biometric car rentals, new hotels opening, Phoenix airport remodel, traveler tips, the best Navigator blog posts of 2018, what makes a great travel management RFP and more!

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The Best Navigator Blog Posts of 2018

We're looking back at the best Navigator blog posts of the year that cover a range of topics such as tips for packing light, what to do about travelers that book out-of-policy, staying healthy on the road, what millennials are looking for in travel policies, and whether you should include Airbnb in your travel program. As you settle into the new year, take a break from catching up on email to check out some of the top business travel blog posts. Wishing you a great start to 2019! Read More

What Makes a Great Travel Management RFP?

An effective travel management Request For Proposal (RFP) uses data to establish precise goals and realistic timelines. When travel managers have a transparent view of their historical data, they can more effectively craft a proposal that secures favorable discounts, amenities and other advantages that both enhance their travelers’ comfort and convenience while positively impacting their bottom line. Read More

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10 Trends That Will Shape Business Travel and Spend Management in 2019, and Beyond

Concur —Looking ahead, the pace of innovation will only continue to accelerate, fueled by smarter technology, evolving employee expectations, and an increasingly global economy. Read More

Concerns Mount Over Impact of Government Shutdown on Travel

Travel Market Report —Among the more than 400,000 federal workers who are working without pay are employees who have a direct involvement in aviation and air travel. Read More

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Delta, United, and JetBlue Pilots Are Warning That Flying Will Become More Dangerous as Government Shutdown Continues

Business Insider —The effects of the latest government shutdown are being felt across the US…Read More

American Airlines Launches Chicago-Grand Cayman Service

Caribbean Journal —American Airlines on Dec. 22 launched new weekly service between Chicago and Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. The service will operate through the winter season. 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

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For TSA Workers, Business as Usual During Partial Government Shutdown

Fox News (video) —Despite media reports stating national security is compromised at airports due to the partial government shutdown, a former deputy assistant secretary of transportation, Oliver McGee, affirms that's not the case. Read More

Facial-recognition Technology Gains Support to Expedite Airport Security

Phocuswire —It appears Americans are becoming more comfortable with facial-recognition technology, particularly if it is used to expedite travel or improve public safety. Read More

TSA Scales Back Controversial ‘Quiet Skies’ Program

Travel Market Report —The TSA is scaling back a controversial program that monitors ordinary Americans, who are not on any terror watchlists and are not suspected of any crime, at airports and on planes. Read More

TSA Launches Stricter Carry-On Screenings Nationwide

Travel Market Report —In addition to removing electronics larger than a cellphone, the TSA recommends separating foods, powders and items that can clutter bags to ease the screening process. Read More

TSA Confirms REAL ID Deadline Extension

Travel Market Report —A spokesperson speaking to Business Insider confirms TMR’s November report. Read More

U.S. Passports Will Cost More Starting This April

Travel Market Report —Travelers can save by applying for a passport before April 2nd. 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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Biometric Car Rental via CLEAR Spreads to Airports Nationwide

Secure ID News —Biometric car rental checkout using technology from expedited travel provider CLEAR could help streamline car rental transactions at airports this year, freeing travelers time at counters and exit gates. Read More

Rail Europe Adds U.K., Lithuania, Macedonia to Eurail Global Pass

Insider Travel Report —Rail Europe, the largest distributor of European rail products in North America, is now offering multiple new and upgraded options for exploring Europe in 2019. Read More

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Hilton’s New Luxury Brand Adds First European Hotel

Travel Market Report —The Biltmore, Mayfair - LXR Hotels & Resorts will be situated in the heart of London’s Mayfair district with views over Grosvenor Square. Read More

25 New Hotels for 2019

Travel Market Report —Here is a roundup of the more than two dozen new properties that will open around the world in 2019. Read More

Marriott Expects to Expand Its Portfolio in the UAE to More Than 80 Hotels By 2023

4Hoteliers —2018 anticipated to mark a milestone year for the company, with 11 new openings, the addition of over 2,600 rooms and the debut of two new brands by year-end, company’s select-service brands continue to spearhead its robust development pipeline. Read More

Marriott Says Fewer Customers Were Affected by Massive Data Breach than Originally Feared

USA Today —Marriott International says that the total number of guests affected by a massive hacking of a reservations database that the company disclosed late last year is smaller than the 500 million it originally reported. Read More

Hyatt Introduces Benchmark Rewards for Loyalty Members

SF Gate —Company says it will provide extra benefits ‘sooner and more frequently’. Read More

10 Tiny Luxury Hotels Opening in 2019

Forbes —If big, busy chain hotels aren't your speed, check out some of the smallest luxury hotels slated to open this year…Read More

Best New Hotels to Check Out in 2019

CNN —Whether it's for business or pleasure, travelers these days are savvier than ever about their hotel choices. Read More

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Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Unveils Brand-new Concourse

Future Travel Experience —Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has opened the second phase of its T3 Modernisation Program, which features a new concourse and remodelled terminal processor. Read More

What To Do If an Airline Damages Your Checked Luggage

USA Today —Travelers have options when it comes to damaged bags, and knowing your rights will put you in a better position to resolve the claim. Read More

Which Countries Have the Highest State Department Threat Levels for Traveling?

USA Today —As a new year of travel planning begins, the U.S. State Department has cautioned people not to travel to 10 countries around the world. Read More

The Best U.S. Airlines for In-Flight Entertainment

Smarter Travel —Which carrier will keep you most entertained in the sky? You might be surprised. Read More

Tax Deductible Rate for Business Mileage Jumps Again

Business Travel News —The IRS is increasing the rate used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business purposes. Read More

Here Are the Bag Fees for Major Airlines — And Ways to Avoid Them

Travel Market Report —Travel Market Report has compiled a list of luggage fees charged by the most popular airlines, along with tips on how passengers can save money. Read More

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Corporate Event Trends in 2019

Creative Group —Traditional lines have blurred, and expectations have changed…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: