Direct Travel News Brief Header
March 7, 2023

In This Edition… airline updates and flight service changes, the latest on passport renewals, CLEAR adds lanes in 51st airport, Air Canada testing facial recognition, hotel updates, traveler tips, meeting trends for 2023, and much more!

Dans cette édition... les mises à jour des compagnies aériennes et les modifications des services de vol, les dernières informations sur le renouvellement des passeports, CLEAR ajoute des pistes dans le 51ᵉ aéroport, Air Canada teste la reconnaissance faciale, les actualités hôtelières, les conseils aux voyageurs, les tendances en matière de réunions en 2023, et bien plus encore!

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4 Ways to Maximize Your Travel Program With an Online Booking Tool

In today's world of business travel, companies are doing more with less. This post-pandemic shift has raised the bar for expedited bookings, stronger compliance, simplified processes, and tools that support duty of care. Read More

Top Tips for Transitioning to a New Travel Management Company

Making the jump to a new travel management company (TMC) can be a difficult initiative to execute successfully, but businesses are increasingly finding themselves in this position as they retool their corporate travel programs to adjust to the realities of a post-pandemic world. Read More

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Direct Travel Chatbot Simon Parle Français After Update

Business Travel News — Direct Travel has launched a French-speaking version of its Simon virtual assistant tool. Read More

European Union Delays Launch of ETIAS Until At Least 2024

Travel Market Report — All non-Europeans travelers, including travelers from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, will be required to obtain an electronic travel permit. Read More

Deem Updates Etta Booking Website

Business Travel News — Deem this summer will launch a new version of its Etta booking website, which will include more flexible shopping options, a mobile-friendly design and enhanced carbon emissions data. Read More

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American Is Cutting 50,000 Summer Flights From These U.S. Hubs

Afar Magazine — As airlines continue to make scheduling adjustments, here’s how travelers can prepare—and get compensated—for changes that might affect their itinerary. Read More

Virgin Atlantic Joins SkyTeam Alliance

Northstar Meetings Group — The carrier becomes the group's first member airline from the United Kingdom. Read More

Qantas Reveals Premium Seats on Planes That Will Fly the World's Longest Routes

Travel Weekly — The spacious first-class suite will make customers "feel like they are in a mini boutique hotel room," Qantas said. Read More

AA Reshapes Corp. Sales Org to Align with New Business Mix

Business Travel News — American Airlines sent a memo to its corporate partners announcing a sales reorganization that will closely align its sales strategy to its NDC and retailing strategy—as well as the new realities that are shaping the carrier’s business mix. Read More

United, Air Canada to Add Transborder D.C. Service

Business Travel News — United Airlines and Air Canada in June will add two new routes between Canada and the United States and offer "optimized connections" at each airlines' hubs, the carriers announced. Read More

Porter Airlines Connects Vancouver and Toronto Pearson

Porter Airlines — Porter Airlines is celebrating its first flights with the new Embraer E195-E2 between Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Read More

Singapore to Suspend Vancouver Service in October

Business Travel News — Singapore Airlines in October will suspend its route to Vancouver. Read More

United Launches $100M SAF Investment Fund

Business Travel News — United Airlines has launched a new investment fund focused on sustainable aviation fuel research, technology and production. Read More

Air Canada and United Airlines to Offer More than 260 Daily Transborder Flights and 2 New Routes

Air Canada — United and Air Canada to increase summer capacity by more than 20% with new non-stop flights between Washington-Dulles and Vancouver and Calgary. Read More

United Airlines Announces Improved Family Seating Policy

Travel Pulse — Traveling with your family has never been easier. Read More

Lufthansa Introduces 'Green Fares' to Make It Easier for Travelers to Offset Their CO2

USA Today — According to the airline, green fares subsidize the purchase of more expensive sustainable aviation fuel and help fund what it calls "high-quality climate protection projects.” Read More

WestJet Announces Largest Network Expansion from Edmonton in Airline's History

WestJet — New transborder routes connecting Edmonton with Minneapolis and Seattle along with increased access across Canada underpins continued expansion of Alberta's global aviation network. Read More

Southwest Airlines Is Changing the Way It Charges for Wi-Fi

Travel Market Report — Some Southwest Airlines passengers will be paying more for Wi-Fi effective immediately. Read More

New Kansas City Airport Terminal Now Open

Business Travel News — A new $1.5 billion terminal at Kansas City International Airport opened today, marking the first major update to the facility since the airport opened in 1972.Read More

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Navigating Airport Security — Here is a big-picture guide to airline baggage and security regulations to help you pack like a pro and breeze through security on your next big trip.Read More

U.S. Passport Renewal Processing Time Now 8 to 11 Weeks

Travel Market Report — Expedited renewal for U.S. passports is now taking over a month.Read More

CLEAR Adds New Lanes at Kansas City International Airport

Travel Market Report — CLEAR will officially open new lanes at Kansas City International Airport, the company’s 51st airport overall.Read More

Air Canada Testing Facial Recognition for First Time in Toronto and Vancouver Airports

The Star — The airline has rolled out the new tech to identify passengers becoming the first Canadian airline to do so.Read More

TSA PreCheck Program Sets Record by Surpassing 15 Million Members

Travel Pulse — The agency added a record 19,200 travelers to the program in one day.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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Uber to Add 25,000 Electric Vehicles in India

PhocusWire — The San Francisco-based ride-hailing company has committed to ensuring 100% of rides take place in zero-emission vehicles - or buses, trains, bicycles and scooters - by 2040.Read More

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Best Western Looks to Corp. Travel to Buttress Growth

Business Travel News — Best Western CEO Larry Cuculic, who took that role in December 2021, said he's focused on positioning the company for global growth in both leisure and business travel.Read More

Marriott Is Bringing the Ritz-Carlton to this Iconic Italian Destination

Travel Market Report — The new hotel will be the first Ritz-Carlton hotel in all of Italy.Read More

BOLD by Wyndham Signs Nearly 20 Hotels

Travel Market Report — Since launching last summer, Wyndham’s BOLD by Wyndham program has signed nearly 20 hotels across the United States, including 10 under its newly launched ECHO Suites Extended Stay by Wyndham brand.Read More

Canada Hotel Performance Surpassed Pre-Pandemic Levels

4HOTELIERS — Canada’s hotel performance fell slightly from the previous month but surpassed the 2019 comparables, according to STR’s January 2023 data.Read More

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Popularity of Workcation Travel Trend Continues to Grow

Travel Pulse — Blending business and pleasure continues to impact travel.Read More

CBSA’s Tips As March Break Travel Gets Underway

Open Jaw — As the March Break travel season starts, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is providing Canadian travellers with some tips for a smoother trip.Read More

The Most and Least Welcoming Countries Around the World for 2023

Travel Weekly — The website Passport Index has issued a ranking of countries based on how welcoming each country is for visitors.Read More

A Flight Attendant's Secrets to Surviving Long-haul Flights

CNN — Should you prioritize sleeping or eating? Should you attempt to exercise in the aisle? Is it ever acceptable to take off your shoes?Read More

Take the Fast Lane Through Baggage Claim With These 7 Tips

The Points Guy — Nobody likes baggage claims, but these tips can help make your experience less bothersome and ensure your bag reaches its final destination in a timely fashion...Read More

Capital One Expands Airport Lounge Network and Launches New Premier Collection

Afar Magazine — Capital One has gone all-in on travel with branded airport lounges and a new hotel collection program, elevating its premium Venture X Rewards credit card to one of the industry’s best.Read More

Flight Trackers: Our 5 Favorites

Prevue Meetings — Flight-tracking apps and web sites abound — here’s our pick for some of the best flight trackers.Read More

What It Means When You Have “SSSS” on Your Boarding Pass

Afar Magazine — First class or coach, travelers can earn this inconvenient designation on any flight, international or domestic.Read More

Proposed Law Could Require Airlines to Pay Bumped Passengers $1,350

Afar Magazine — Two U.S. senators are trying to implement a “passenger bill of rights” that, if passed, would give fliers more protections. Here’s what that means.Read More

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The IRF 2023 Trends Report

Incentive Research Foundation — The Incentive Research Foundation released a report on trends for 2023 with key findings including the importance of a unique travel experience, attitudes toward COVID and changes in destination preferences.Read More

Meet in the Florida Keys & Key West

Northstar Meetings Group — With miles of warm, clear water, wide-open spaces, incredible food, live music, and outdoor activities for every interest, groups will find moments to treasure all year round in the Florida Keys & Key West.Read More

5 Trends That Will Define the Future of In-Person Events

Skift — More business travelers are looking for experiences and opportunities to explore outside of the convention center.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: