Direct Travel News Brief Header
May 22, 2018

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: O’Hare adds new gates for the first time in 25 years, United tests new mobile alert system, TSA prepares for a busy summer travel season, Real ID Update - Minnesota driver’s licenses good through 2020, new technology to speed up rail services, Marriott sets sights on Airbnb with home sharing partnership, 5 essential summer travel tips, what you need to know while traveling during hurricane season, and more!

Navigator Header

Innovation Drives Personal Travel Experiences

Handwritten notes and a bottle of water are important parts of a hotel welcome. However, technology allows hotels to understand their guests better and personalize the travel experience more than ever. In fact, connected travelers expect touchpoints that are relevant to their travel. Through innovation, customers can choose their adventure based on options they care about, with the ability to do it seamlessly and efficiently. Read More

Why Your Corporate Travel Policy Needs to Address Foreign Business Etiquette

An effective travel policy covers traveler safety, financial moderation and basic logistics. By standardizing processes, workflows and vendor relationships, a policy keeps everyone on the same page and creates more opportunities for successful business trips. Read More

Airline Updates Header

Delta Expands 'Pre-select' Meal Experiment for Atlanta Overseas Flights

Atlanta Business Chronicle — Delta is flying forward with its pre-select meal experiment…Read More

Chicago O’Hare Opens New Gates for First Time in 25 Years

USA Today — Chicago's O’Hare airport has some new gates for the first time in a quarter century. The 'L-Stinger' addition boosts capacity for American Airlines. Read More

United 'Maximizing' Routes at Newark, Washington Hubs

USA Today — Changes designed to offer more Newark flights to destinations popular with NYC fliers as connecting-focused short flights shift to United's Washington hub. Read More

Delta Air Lines Launching Philadelphia Flights from Boston

Travel Mole — Daily service to Philly takes off on October 1…Read More

United Tests New Mobile Alert System

Houston Chronicle — The new service aims to communicate more detailed cause of plane delays…Read More

WestJet Pilots Move Canada's Second Largest Carrier Closer to a Strike

Travel Market Report — WestJet pilots overwhelmingly voted for a strike this week but vowed to remain on the job through the upcoming Victoria Day holiday weekend. Read More

American Airlines Launches Seasonal Philadelphia-Budapest Flights

eTurbo News — On Saturday, American Airlines launched daily seasonal service between Philadelphia and Budapest. Read More

Safety and Security Header

TSA Prepares for Busy Summer, but Changing Expedited Precheck Remains Contentious

USA Today — The Transportation Security Administration is preparing for a busy summer by hiring 1,600 more officers, 50 dogs and buying 35 3D scanners. Read More

TSA partners with British Airways to offer TSA Pre✓® — The Transportation Security Administration today announced the expansion of its TSA Pre✓® expedited screening program to include British Airways. Read More

Minnesota Licenses Without Real ID Good for Flights through 2020, State Says

Minneapolis Star Tribune — Feds say Minnesota's plan for updating driver's licenses, IDs is sufficient. Read More

TSA Asks Foreign Airports to Tighten Electronic Screenings

Travel Market Report — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) asked foreign airports to strengthen screenings of U.S.-bound passengers' carry-on electronics, according to Reuters, citing officials and a memo to foreign airports. Read More

Government Travel Warnings & Alerts

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

Ground Transportation Header

Ride-Hailing Services: Uber Vs. Lyft

Business Travel News — As ride-hailing apps integrate more deeply into managed travel programs, how do travel buyers choose which supplier, if any, to tap as a partner? Uber and Lyft have similar interfaces and offer many of the same features, but there are subtle differences between the two market leaders. Read More

Technology to Speed Up Rail Services

Buying Business Travel — Today brings potentially more good news for the United Kingdom's rail passengers, says Buying Business Travel, as Network Rail has outlined an ambitious upgrade plan that it says will deliver faster and more frequent services to millions of passengers. Read More

Hotel News Header

Marriott to Open Five New Hotels at Simon Shopping Centers

Travel Pulse — Marriott International will launch several of its brands at five or more Simon shopping centers in the US over the next few years. Read More

Marriott Sets Sights on Airbnb with Home Sharing Partnership

Travel Market Report — Marriott International has partnered with Hostmaker, a London-based homestay property management company, for a six-month trial of Tribute Portfolio Homes. Read More

Waldorf Astoria to Take Over Mandarin Oriental on Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas Review-Journal — Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria luxury brand expects to plant its flag on the Strip when it takes over operation of the 392-room Mandarin Oriental at CityCenter in August. Read More

AccorHotels to Buy Chile’s Atton Hoteles

Reuters — French group AccorHotels has agreed to buy the management company behind Chile’s Atton Hoteles in a deal which AccorHotels said would boost its earnings and strengthen its position in Latin America. Read More

Radisson Shows Growth in Brazil

TravelPulse — Radisson Hotel Paulista Sao Paulo has opened for business in Brazil. "We are thrilled to welcome this hotel as we continue growing the Radisson brand in Latin America, especially in this beautiful area of Sao Paulo," said Radisson's Frances Gonzalez. Read More

Hilton to Allow App to Control Guest Room Lighting, TV, and AC

Frequent Business Traveler — Hilton announced enhancements to its Hilton Honors app that will allow guests to use their smartphones as a remote for lighting, temperature, and television at some hotels. Read More

Hyatt Expands With 2 Luxury Hotel Openings in South America

Travel Weekly — Hyatt Hotels has debuted two new luxurious Hyatt Centric properties in South America: the 254-room Hyatt Centric San Isidro Lima in Peru and the 166-room Hyatt Centric Las Condes Santiago in Chile. Read More

Langham Hotels is Looking at the Middle East for Further Growth

4Hoteliers — With the arrival of the first Langham hotel in the Middle East, The Langham Downtown Dubai with its 2020 opening, the company is currently exploring opportunities in the region. Read More

Traveler Tips Header

Study Finds Women More Concerned About Safety

Travel Pulse — A recent survey focusing on women's travel safety found that almost half of female tourists feel less safe when traveling than they did five years ago. Read More

TSA’s 5 Essential Summer Travel Tips — Summertime is almost here! If you plan on traveling this year, take advantage of these five travel tips and you’ll sail smoothly past TSA on your way to your gate. Read More

Agents Add Value by Saving Consumers Time, Money

Travel Market Report — A recent television program highlighted how agents are valuable and a better option than online travel sites, because agents can find great deals for consumers and save them hours of research time. Read More

Simplifying VAT Reclaim

Business Travel News — Companies leave billions of dollars in unclaimed value-added tax on the table annually…Read More

Hurricane Season Travel: What You Need to Know

USA Today — Hurricane season starts June 1. What do you need to know if you are traveling to the hurricane belt?Read More

Meeting and Incentive Travel Header

Dual-Branded Marriott Opens at the Galleria in Dallas

Successful Meetings — The new AC Hotel and Residence Inn Dallas by the Galleria has 256 rooms and more than 17,000 square feet of meeting space. Read More

IHG Reduces Third-Party Commissions

Travel Pulse — InterContinental Hotels Group will cut group booking commissions from 10% to 7% for Canadian and US properties effective Jan. 1, 2019. This decision aligns with the latest industry trend, as both Hilton and Marriott have opted for the cost-cutting measure. 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: