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July 30, 2019

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: Join Direct Travel at the GBTA Convention next week, new flight routes and discontinued services, United’s new free WI-FI, a new airport screening process is in the works, more on facial recognition, new hotels opening and new hotel brands, the middle seat could get larger, travel apps, additional traveler tips, a travel program fit for the future and more!

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A Travel Program Fit for the Future

The role of the travel manager is evolving, and as demands keep piling on – including keeping pace with the change of traveler expectations, technology, mandates from your organization to cut costs and more – you’re expected to keep up. Read More

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Elevate Your Travel Program at GBTA Convention 2019

Attending GBTA Convention 2019? Join Direct Travel at Booth #1437 to see how you can keep your program fit for the future.

If you register and attend an XP Series session or 1:1 appointment, you’ll automatically get to play the Direct Aim game for a shot at winning great prizes from gift cards to plane tickets. We hope to see you there! Read More

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BA Resumes Flights to Cairo

Travel Mole — Airline says it has reviewed security arrangements…Read More

Qantas Announces Chicago Flight Launch

Travel Mole — Route becomes world's fourth longest…Read More

Southwest Airlines to End Flights from Newark

USA Today — Southwest Airlines said it will cease operations in Newark, New Jersey, on Nov. 3. It is also adding more Hawaii flights and plans new service to Cozumel, Mexico. Read More

American Adds More Winter Flights to Phoenix

Phoenix Business Journal — American Airlines on Tuesday announced plans to add seasonal direct flights from Arizona's Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Fort Lauderdale International Airport in Florida; Colorado Springs Airport; and Hector International Airport in North Dakota. Read More

Delta's Newest Jet is Set for West Coast Routes

SF Gate — More efficient jets mean lower fares…Read More

United Airlines Planning to Offer Free WiFi

View from the Wing — During United’s second quarter earnings call airline President Scott Kirby reported that recent investments in new hardware and software for the airlines inflight internet has improved customer satisfaction with the service by 20%...Read More

United to Resume Direct Service to India

The Times of India — United Airlines will resume direct service between New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport and New Delhi and Mumbai, India, beginning Sept. 6. United will also launch direct seasonal service between San Francisco and Delhi on Dec. 5. Read More

Worker Strikes Threaten to Shut Down Summer Travel from London Heathrow Airport

Travel Market Report — The airport staff operating with the Unite union, plan to walk out on July 26, July 27, Aug. 5, Aug. 6, Aug. 23, and Aug. 24, in a move that could potentially shut down the airport. Read More

American Airlines Cancels Boeing 737 Max Flights Until November

Travel + Leisure — American Airlines joined United in canceling flights onboard the 737 Max through at least November, the airline announced Sunday. Read More

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Delta and TSA Test Faster, Less Annoying Security Process

The Points Guy — Delta is working with the Transportation Security Administration to make the lives of those in the ordinary security line a lot better, starting with a test at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport’s Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal. Read More

The State Department Issued a New Travel Advisory for Peru — Here's What You Need to Know

Travel + Leisure  — The U.S. State Department is once again warning Americans about traveling to certain parts of Peru…Read More

How Facial Recognition Technology is Being Used at Airports

Travel Market Report — The increased use of facial recognition technology at airports is raising serious concerns about privacy and security for the traveling public. Read More

Facial-Recognition Tech Is Growing Stronger, Thanks to Your Face

New York Times — Dozens of databases of people’s faces are being compiled without their knowledge by companies and researchers, with many of the images then being shared around the world, in what has become a vast ecosystem fueling the spread of facial recognition technology. Read More

Dubai Offers Visa Fee Waiver for Minors Travelling with Parents

The Times of India — Visitors under 18 years of age will be exempt from paying UAE visa fee if travelling to Dubai with their parent/s between July 15 and September 15, 2019. Read More

How to Renew a Passport in 24 Hours

Smarter Travel — Short-notice passport renewal is a logistical nightmare, and can cost you your trip—unless you know about the new 24-hour service that can save you. 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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Marriott to Expand Las Vegas Presence

Meetings & Conventions — The company will open Delta, JW Marriott and Edition properties over the next two years...Read More

Hilton Launching a New Upscale Brand

Travel Mole — Yet another new brand is in the works at Hilton; unnamed brand will focus on urban markets…Read More

Marriott and Emirates Are Latest to Launch Hotel-Airline Loyalty Partnership

Yahoo Finance — Everyone is starting to get paired off in the airline-hotel loyalty square dance…Read More

Atlanta Hotel Extends Closure as More People Get Legionnaires' Disease

Travel Mole — Nine confirmed cases at Sheraton Atlanta…Read More

Kimpton Hotels to debut in Mexico

Travel Mole — Two Mexico City boutique properties unveiled…Read More

Hilton Ramps Up Luxury Hotel Portfolio

Incentive Magazine — The hotel company will add 11 high-end properties by 2020...Read More

Wave of Change as Sheraton’s New Logo Appears on Hotels Worldwide

Hotel News Resource — Newly renovated Portland Sheraton at Sable Oaks becomes first property in the world to display new logo…Read More

Ascott Expands Global Presence with 26 New Property Deals

TradeArabia — Singapore-based Ascott, a leading international lodging owner-operator, is accelerating its growth globally with the signing of 26 properties, including in Saudi Arabia. Read More

Hilton Plays Catch-Up in Luxury-Travel Market

Wall Street Journal — Hotel operator to add 11 high-end properties this year, aiming to draw closer to Marriott and Hyatt. Read More

Margaritaville Coming to the West Coast

Travel Mole — San Diego island resort unveiled…Read More

Hyatt Announces Plans First Alila Branded Resort in Europe

Travel Market Report — Singaporean Alila Hotels and Resorts, a Hyatt affiliate, has entered into a management agreement with Resort 4 SA, owned by Ben Golf Investissements SA, for Europe's first Alila branded resort, which is expected to open in 2023. Read More

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FAA Approves New Design That Gives the Middle Seat More Space

Travel Market Report — The newer design will reportedly be installed on 50 aircrafts by the end of next year. Read More

25 Free Apps Every Traveler Should Know About

Travel + Leisure — Whether you're looking for discounts to popular local events, a last-minute booking at a fraction of the price or help to breeze through the airport, you'll find complimentary help here…Read More

Airport Lounges Adding Amenities, Getting Busier

New York Times — Airport lounges are upping their games with improved amenities like rotating gourmet menus, showers, comfortable seating and strong Wi-Fi signals. Read More

7 Things You Should Never Do on a Plane

Smarter Travel — When flying, the following seven behaviors should be avoided at all costs. Find out what not to do on a plane. Read More

How to Disinfect Your Airplane Seat

Smarter Travel — Take heart, germaphobes! There's an easy way to keep your airplane seat from becoming a petri dish of squirming bacteria. Read More