Direct Travel News Brief Header
January 28, 2020

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: Direct Travel acquires Professional Travel, 2020 reimbursement rate for mileage, travel affected by Coronavirus, Delta and United club upgrades, new flight services, American to test Google Assistant’s Interpreter Mode, Global Entry expands, hotel updates, Florida prepares for Super Bowl guests, Delta offers uninterrupted television onboard, ATL bans smoking, traveler tips and more!

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Direct Travel Intensifies Growth Mode with Acquisition of Professional Travel

GLOBE NEWSWIRE — Direct Travel bolsters its position in the North American market by acquiring top travel management company Professional Travel of Cleveland, OH. Read More

IRS Lowers 2020 Mileage Reimbursement Rate

Business Travel News — The U.S. Internal Revenue Service for 2020 has lowered the rate used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business purposes. Read More

China’s Coronavirus Outbreak: What International Travelers Need to Know

Afar — This week, the CDC confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the United States. Read More

CDC to Provide Airports with Fast Coronavirus Test

United Press International — Testing for the 2019-nCoV coronavirus originating in China currently takes place at Centers for Disease Control labs, but the CDC will be rolling out faster testing options. Travelers from Wuhan, China are being funneled to five US airports for screening. Read More

What Airlines, Airports Are Doing About Coronavirus

USA Today — Visitors from the virus' epicenter in China are being routed to five U.S. airports for screening. Here's what airports around the world are doing. Read More

IHG, Hyatt Allow Cancellations, Changes for Some China Hotel Bookings

Business Travel News — InterContinental Hotels Group and Hyatt Hotels Corp., in response to the growing concern about the coronavirus outbreak in Asia, will allow guests at hotels in China to change or cancel stays without penalty, as reported by Reuters. Read More

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Delta to Upgrade Atlanta Club as Part of Systemwide Project

Atlanta Business Chronicle — Delta is planning a $670,000 renovation of its Sky Club at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. The airline said the facelift is part of a multimillion dollar effort to renovate clubs across its network and open new ones. Read More

United Airlines Gets Approval for 24 New Gates, Upgraded Clubs at DIA

Denver Business Journal — The Denver City Council has approved United Airlines' bid to add 24 gates at Denver International Airport, as well as expand two passenger clubs and construct a third. Half of United's new gates will be among the 39 being built in the airport's $1.5 billion ongoing expansion project. Read More

United Airlines Debuts Hourly Shuttle Service Between New York and D.C.

Travel Market Report — The new shuttle service will provide up to 13 daily flights between the New York Metro area and Washington, D.C., more than any other airline. Read More

Delta to Bulk Up Service to Miami

Business Travel News — This summer, Delta Air Lines will add 13 daily nonstop domestic flights to Miami International Airport. The routes include five roundtrip flights from Orlando, two from Raleigh-Durham, one from Salt Lake City and five from Tampa. Read More

United Airlines Expanding Service in California on Several Fronts

Chicago Business Journal — United Airlines announced new regional service from Santa Maria, California (SMX) to three United hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver. The carrier also said it will start nonstop daily seasonal service between San Francisco International Airport and Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport (MKE). Read More

American Airlines Becomes First Airline to Test Google Assistant’s Interpreter Mode

Future Travel Experience — American Airlines has introduced Google’s interpreter technology in its lounges at LAX to provide real-time translation to international travelers. Read More

Delta Launching Airport Display with Customized Info

Travel Weekly — Imagine shared flight-information screens at airports that are tailored to the individual traveler, in real time--at its Detroit hub. Read More

American Airlines and British Airways to Begin Redevelopment of JFK Terminal

Travel Market Report — New widebody gates, an enhanced baggage system, and upgraded concessions and retail locations are part of the $344 million development project. Read More

DOT Puts Further Restrictions on Travel to Cuba

Travel Pulse — The agency has halted all charter flights between the United States and Cuban destinations other than Havana’s José Martí International Airport, and will cap the number of public charter flights to Havana. Read More

American Airlines Testing Google Nest Hubs as Translators in Its Lounges

TechCrunch — The idea is to make it easier for customer-service teams to provide personalized service to passengers when no multilingual representative is available…Read More

Delta Air Lines Adds Virtual Queuing to App

Travel Pulse — Compared to a pager issued by a restaurant as you wait for your table, Delta said the virtual queuing would allow travelers to relax at nearby establishments instead of staying at the crowded gate while waiting to board. Read More

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Global Entry Just Got Even Easier at These 15 Airports

Conde Nast Traveler — Facial recognition has been added to the Global Entry program at 15 airports in the U.S. and overseas, allowing international travelers to navigate re-entry at a much faster pace…Read More

Facial Recognition for Global Entry Gaining Popularity

Travel Pulse — Technology allows for quicker trip through customs…Read More

Additional Vendors to Provide TSA PreCheck™ Enrollment for Travelers — Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced that TSA PreCheck™ enrollment services will now be provided by Alclear, LLC; Telos Identity Management Solutions, LLC; and Idemia Identity & Security USA, LLC, expanding the opportunities that enable travelers to apply for TSA PreCheck. Read More

Government Travel Warnings & Alerts

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

Hotel News Header

Hotel nhow London

Hospitality Net — Punk, Royals and Shoreditch: First UK nhow Hotel to Open in London. Read More

Hilton Launches New Tempo Lifestyle Hotel Brand

Forbes — The new chain of hotels will put wellness, sustainability and design front and center, a move that will help it align with younger travelers keen on more mindful and eco-friendly travel. Read More

Hilton Changes How Honors Loyalty Program Points Are Earned

Frequent Business Traveler — Hilton Honors, the guest loyalty program of Hilton hotels, announced changes to how members would earn points from stays. Read More

15 Chicago Developments to Watch in 2020

Curbed Chicago — From Vista Tower’s opening to the sale of the Thompson Center, these storylines will define Chicago in the new year. Read More

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Can Wearing Masks Protect Travelers From Coronavirus?

Afar — Before you stock up, see what the experts have to say. Read More

South Florida Ready To Receive 150-Thousand Super Bowl Fans

WJNO-AM (W. Palm Beach, Fla.) — The Miami-Dade Aviation Department is preparing for thousands of visitors to arrive for the Super Bowl by adding more security workers and Transportation Security Administration agents. Air travelers should be aware that the Super Bowl program is embedded with a magnet that will set off airport security sensors, so it should not be packed. Read More

Press Delta’s New 'Binge Button' to Sit Back and Enjoy Hours of Uninterrupted TV Shows

Travel + Leisure — No more pressing “next episode” — just hours of uninterrupted television. Read More

Genius Packing Tips Every Traveler Should Know

Smarter Travel — Whether you pack too much or too little, these practical tips can help. Read More

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Bans Smoking

Travel Market Report — Passengers of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) will no longer be able to smoke within the airport. Read More

How Safe Is Air Travel in 2020, Really?

Afar — Despite Boeing’s ongoing woes, and the tragic Ukraine crash at the beginning of 2020, air travel is still extremely safe. Read More

6 Stay-Calm Strategies for Dealing with Anxiety Before a Trip

Afar — If you're the type of person who feels more anxious the closer you get to your next trip, or if you regularly find yourself fighting back nausea on the ride to the airport, know that you're not alone. Read More

10 Hotel Room Exercises You Can Do Without Any Gear

Smarter Travel — Stay in shape on vacation without having to spend half your morning at the hotel gym. Read More

Thailand Joins Mexico in Banning Plastic Bags in 2020

Afar — For now, the change has only gone into effect in major stores, but a country-wide ban is planned for 2021. Read More

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Engaging Communication Campaign Increased Sales

Creative Group — Learn how a 14-month communication campaign helped motivate channel partners and increase sales. Read More

Creative Group: Feeling Great at 50

MeetingsNet — In an exclusive interview with MeetingsNet, Janet Traphagen talked about Creative Group’s golden anniversary year by looking back at the changes she's seen, and forward to the future. Read More

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