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January 30, 2018

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: new flights routes, biometrics for security, security wait time check app, tips for staying healthy while traveling, and more!

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How to Put Your Corporate Travel Data to Work

Businesses in every sector are eager to improve their use of big data analysis, and one area that's ripe for disruption is corporate travel data. Read More

Why Customizing Your Corporate Travel Booking Tool Makes All the Difference

Businesses are increasingly turning to corporate travel booking solutions to control costs and streamline the booking process. A properly configured solution enhances your traveler experience... Read More

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American, Delta Revive Deal to Handle Stranded Passengers

USA Today  — American Airlines and Delta are reviving a deal that lets them put passengers on each other's planes when travelers are stranded by disruptions such as winter storms and computer outages. Read More

United Plans to Compete More With Low-Cost Carriers

Travel Pulse  — United plans to increase capacity and lower ticket prices to compete with low-cost carriers. Read More

Alitalia Follows With Transatlantic Hand Baggage Only Fares

Business Traveller  — From April 10 Alitalia will follow the growing number of airlines offering cheaper fares for passengers boarding transatlantic flights with only hand luggage. Read More

American Airlines to Add Dozens of New Routes and NY-Chicago Shuttle in 2018

Travel Market Report  — American's 2018 schedule includes 52 new nonstop flights to domestic and international points. Read More

United Airlines to Launch Premium Economy Sometime in 2018

Travel Market Report  — The option will include more space per seat, upgraded dining on china dinnerware, free alcoholic beverages, a Saks Fifth Avenue blanket and pillow, and more. Read More

United to Launch New Ultra-long-haul Flight from Texas to Australia

The Independent  — United Airlines on Friday will launch a new 8,596-mile flight from Houston to Sydney. Read More

American Airlines Goes Cashless at Miami Airport

Miami Herald  — Starting on Thursday, American Airlines will no longer accept cash for transactions at Miami International Airport. Read More

American Airlines Reaches Direct Distribution Deal in China

Business Travel News  — American Airlines is opening a store on Alibaba Group's travel service platform Fliggy that will act as a direct sales channel for the airline's services and products. The partnership also will allow Fliggy loyalty program members access to some of the elite benefits of the American Airlines AAdvantage program. Read More

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Four Seasons Continues to Expand Global Portfolio of Hotels, Resorts, and Residences

PR Newswire  — 2018 includes new market debuts, the company's first standalone residential project, and a new executive appointment to oversee growing residential portfolio. Read More

Marriott Kicks Off Year of Big Growth in Asia

Travel Market Report  — Marriott International has kicked off a year of growth in Asia with the opening of Delta Hotels Shanghai Baoshan in China this week. Read More

Millennial Travelers Prefer Hotels Over Airbnb Rentals, Study Says

Travel Market Report  — Travel agents also edged out Airbnb as a preferred booking method of younger travelers. Read More

Country Inns & Suites By Carlson Changes Name

Travel Mole  — Brand now falls under Radisson designation…Read More

Wyndham Worldwide to Buy Midscale Hotel Brand La Quinta

Travel Market Report  — The world's largest hotel company adds to its midscale and upper-midscale portfolio. Read More

Historic Hotels of America Adds 20 Historic Hotels to Portfolio

Travel Market Report  — Historic Hotels of America has nominated and accepted 20 additional properties into the National Trust for Historic Preservation Historic Hotels of America program that range in age from 246 years to 52 years old with the oldest dating back to 1771. Read More

Hilton Honors to Add New Benefits Including Rollover Nights to Program

Frequent Business Traveler  — Hilton announced numerous new rewards and benefits for members of its Hilton Honors guest-loyalty program. Read More

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Uber Could Have Flying Taxis by 2020

Travel Pulse  — Bell Helicopter is showcasing its concept for a flying taxi system. Read More

Amtrak Hires Airline Expert to Improve Safety

King 5 News  — Commercial air travel has become incredibly safe. Two airline executives are now taking the lead at Amtrak hoping to change the safety culture at the railroad. Read More

Amtrak Adds Santa Barbara Capacity

Travel Pulse  — Additional passenger railcars are needed after mudslides have negated most automobile options. Read More

High-speed Rail Now Rivals Air Travel on Key Asian, European Routes

Australian Business Traveler  — Across Asia and Europe, high-speed rail is providing a competitive alternative to air travel on the same routes, in terms of price and the all-important barometer of time. Read More

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How biometrics could speed airline boarding, stop stowaways

USA Today  — Airlines are teaming with their airport partners to take the human element out of the boarding process. Read More

SmartDepart Lanes Come to Lufthansa Gates in Munich

Air Transport World  — Air passengers flying with only one piece of hand luggage can now enjoy Lufthansa’s SmartDepart gates at Munich Airport when flying to Düsseldorf, Berlin/Tegel, Frankfurt and Hamburg. Read More

Beijing Expands Visa-Free Policy for Transiting Travelers

Travel Market Report  — Beijing has joined a host of other popular Chinese cities and regions offering visitors transiting China to a third country the ability to stay and visit for up to 144 hours visa-free, doubling the time previously allowed as part of an expanding tourism-friendly program. Read More

TSA PreCheck Lines May Get Longer in 2019

USA Today  — TSA has an influx of people applying for their PreCheck program and it may cause delays next year. The program is designed to expedite the screening process at the 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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TripIt App Adds Airport Security Wait Time Alerts

SFGate  — TripIt's new update tells you how long you'll wait at TSA line…Read More

Airports Adding Fun Amenities in Effort to Compete for Passengers

The Denver Post  — Such airports as Denver International Airport are offering amenities and activities like ice skating, goat yoga and beer tasting in an effort to appeal to travelers and the airlines that serve them. Airport officials noted that the enhanced amenities are being paid for through revenues, without increasing taxes on travelers. Read More

First Look: Seoul Incheon Airport’s New Terminal 2 Big on High Tech, Art

USA Today  — Debut of the new high-tech Terminal 2 comes just in time to welcome visitors headed to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. Read More

Planes and the Flu: 6 Things to Know to Help You Stay Healthy While Flying

Yahoo  — As flu season strikes a strong blow to many people, including travelers, ABC News and Good Morning America consulted Dr. Nicolas Testa and flight attendant Val Halili to uncover the secrets to staying healthy while flying. Read More

Gogo Bandwidth Expanded Over Americas with SES-15 Satellite  — Six months following the SES-15 satellite launch, Gogo has revealed that the device is in its final orbital position and all tests have been successful, affording greater bandwidth to air travelers who fly over the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Read More

Is Your ID Approved for Travel? These Are the Latest Rules

New York Times  — The Real ID Act requires that driver’s licenses meet standards set by the Department of Homeland Security by October 2020. Many states are already compliant and others have been given extensions. Read More

The Ultimate Guide to Tipping While Traveling

Travel Market Report  — Whom to tip, when, and how much? Read More

Sharing Economy Spurs Hotel Investment in Tech, Loyalty Programs

Phocuswire  — Competition from Airbnb, HomeAway and other sharing economy businesses that offer alternative accommodations is prompting hotels to beef up their marketing technology and loyalty programs. Read More

The Death of Free Checked Airline Baggage

Bloomberg  — As fare wars with discount carriers cross the Atlantic, some “full-service” airlines are making you pay in other ways. Read More

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The Top 10 Meeting Trends for 2018

Meetings & Conventions  — Global hospitality-management company Benchmark has announced its top trends as observed at its 70 hotels, resorts and conference centers...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: