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May 28, 2024

In This Edition… more on NDC, airline flight service updates, TSA prepares for busy summer, many articles on ground transport, hotel updates, traveler tips, and convention center updates!

Dans cette édition… plus d’informations sur la NDC, des mises à jour sur les services de vols des compagnies aériennes, la TSA prévoit un été chargé, de nombreux articles sur les transports terrestres, des actualités hôtelières, des conseils aux voyageurs et des mises à jour sur les centres de congrès.

Exciting News: Direct Travel Acquisition — We’re excited to share important news about Direct Travel’s next chapter and how we plan to take that to a new level across corporate travel, leisure, and meetings and incentives. More

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Why Incorporating a SAF Purchase Option is a Smart Move for Travel Sustainability

Here, we examine what a SAF purchase option is and how it’s paving the way toward a more responsible future in business travel. Read More

How Price Assurance Can Transform Your Hotel and Air Spend

Instead of relying on team members to monitor supply changes, those who manage travel for their organization can enlist the help of their travel management company (TMC) to guarantee the lowest rates in these areas. Read More

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TMCs Face 'Rough Seas' But Report Strides After AA Jolt

Business Travel News — There's no question that American Airlines' strategy around New Distribution Capability lit a fire under U.S.-focused travel management companies. What remains to be seen is whether that fire is attached to a rocket booster or a dynamite fuse. Read More

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WestJet Unveils 'Bare-Bones' Fare for Pax Ready to Fly Bag-Free

OpenJaw — WestJet's CEO, Alexis von Hoensbroech, introduced the "ultra-low" offering on 22MAY, describing the initiative as appealing to budget-conscious travelers while freeing up overhead bin space. Read More

Alaska Launches Daily Service to Seattle from Toronto

OpenJaw — Alaska Airlines is adding a new daily direct flight between SEA and YYZ. Read More

WestJet Inaugurates Non-Stop Flights Between Calgary and Iceland

Open Jaw — With the departure of the sold-out WestJet Flight 38, WestJet marks its seventh direct connection to Europe from its global hub in Calgary this summer. Read More

Qantas to Suspend Shanghai Service, Add Manila Flights

Business Travel News — Qantas beginning July 28 will suspend flights between Sydney and Shanghai "due to low demand." Read More

Qatar Airways Nears Southern African Airline Investment

Aviation Week — Qatar Airways is close to completing an equity investment in an undisclosed southern African carrier as it seeks to deepen its network across Africa. Read More

Etihad Launches Abu Dhabi Stopover Program

Business Travel News — Etihad Airways has launched a complimentary stopover program, allowing travelers to book up to two complimentary nights at "a range of premier hotels" in Abu Dhabi. Read More

Delta Air Lines Announces Major Summer Schedule Expansion and Improved Flight Experience

Travel Pulse — Delta Air Lines is expecting a busy summer as it prepares to start rolling out its biggest-ever international schedule. Read More

Swiss Launches Toronto Service with a Splash

Open Jaw — A group of executives from tourism and the travel industry, top customers and members of the diplomatic corps convened in at Toronto’s Design Exchange to celebrate all things Swiss – including flag carrier SWISS service ex YYZ and YUL. Read More

ITA Launches Toronto-Rome Service

Open Jaw — ITA (rebirth of Alitalia) told Open Jaw, “The A330-900 serving the Toronto route with 291 seats – 30 in B, 24 in Preferred Y and 237 in Y – will operate seasonally six days a week until June when it will increase to daily.” Read More

Middle-East Strife Forces Air Canada to Delay Israel Again

Open Jaw — Air Canada says recent developments in the Middle East have forced it to pause flights to Tel Aviv until August. Read More

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TSA Prepared for Busiest Summer Travel Season Ever — Agency projects it will screen a record number of travelers this summer, emphasizes readiness in the transportation ecosystem with airport, airline and travel partners. 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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Lyft, Uber Reach Minnesota Minimum-Wage Deal

Business Travel News — After threatening to withdraw their business from Minnesota if a new minimum-wage bill went into effect, Lyft has reached an agreement with state officials. Read More

Atlanta Airport MARTA Station Reopens

Mass Transit — The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Airport Station reopened on May 20 after a six-week closure to renovate the concourse and platform levels. Read More

Uber to Add Airport Shuttle Service in U.S.

Business Travel News — Coming this summer, the service will offer transportation to events and airports and will not be impacted by surge pricing. Read More

Amtrak’s New Borealis Train Expands Service Between 2 Great Midwestern Cities

Afar Magazine — Amtrak predicts the new train will welcome more than 200,000 passengers aboard within its first year of service. Read More

Uber Adds Shared Rides and Train Booking in Spain

PhocusWire — Uber said the UberX Share service is the evolution of a carpooling initiative it has had in the United States and some cities across Europe, including Paris and Stockholm, for a number of years. Read More

Construction Begins on High-Speed Train Between SoCal and Vegas

Daily Bulletin — Officials project the $12 billion project will have millions of ticket-buyers boarding trains by 2028. Read More

Undersea Train Tunnel Could Connect Spain With Morocco by 2030

Travel Pulse — Spain and Morocco reconsider plans for a groundbreaking undersea rail tunnel connecting Europe and Africa, with hopes of streamlining travel between Madrid and Casablanca ahead of the 2030 World Cup. Read More

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Sonesta Executes 15 New Franchise Agreements in Q

Lodging Magazine — Sonesta continues strong growth momentum. Read More

Three New Luxury Hotels Will Change San Antonio Landscape

Northstar Meetings Group — Three new hotels are adding a combined 990 rooms to San Antonio's downtown inventory this year. Here's the latest luxury hotel news from the Alamo City featuring Plaza San Antonio Hotel & Spa, Kimpton Santo and InterContinental San Antonio Riverwalk. Read More

Hilton to Launch Spark in U.K.

Business Travel News — Hilton plans to open in London its first European property under the flag of its new midscale "premium economy" brand Spark. Read More

IHG Hotels & Resorts Expands Upscale Staybridge Suites Brand in Europe

Travel Pulse — Staybridge Suites is expanding across Europe with several brand debuts in new destinations. Read More

Marriott to Convert Japan's Unizo Hotels to New Brand

Northstar Meetings Group — Fourteen hotels will become Four Points Express by Sheraton properties, marking the midscale brand's debut in tourist destinations across Japan. Read More

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Mohegan Gaming Parting Ways

Travel Weekly — Virgin Hotels will take over management of the casino by the end of the year and anticipates no disruptions for guests. Read More

Amsterdam Implements New Restrictions on Hotels to Curb Overtourism

Afar Magazine — A recent announcement included numerous measures aimed at controlling what has become an irrepressible flood of visitors. Read More

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Understanding the Causes, Dangers of Inflight Turbulence

Meetings & Conventions — Most people associate rough flights with heavy storms, but the most dangerous problem is clear-air turbulence, which typically occurs with no visible warning. Read More

Pushing to Make Early Check-ins More Than Just a Free Perk

Phocus Wire — As personalized travel becomes more of a priority and guest demands grow more routine, many in the hospitality industry are rethinking how they handle early check-ins. Read More

How You Can Track Your Flight Status in Real Time

Afar Magazine — These online tools and apps can help you determine if your flight will be delayed and for how long. Read More

10 Companies That Ship Luggage, So You Don’t Have to Check a Bag

Afar Magazine — Sometimes, it’s easier to ship luggage instead of checking it. Here’s what you need to know about how it works, along with a list of the best luggage shipping companies. Read More

Delta Opens Expanded Sky Club at LaGuardia

Business Travel News — Delta Air Lines opened a 35,000-square-foot Sky Club, now its largest, at New York's LaGuardia Airport. Read More

How to Stay Calm When Your Trip Goes Wrong

Afar Magazine — If the road gets bumpy, try these mindfulness techniques. Read More

Should Travelers Stop Tipping for Everything?

USA Today — An increasing number of Americans believe that tipping expectations are unfair. Read More

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Where Are the World’s Top Meetings Cities?

Meetings & Conventions Asia — Paris, Singapore and Lisbon among top 10 cities for meetings hosted in 2023. Read More

Major Convention Center Expansion and Renovation Projects

Northstar Meetings Group — The expansion of Milwaukee’s Baird Center opens this week, and Fort Worth raises its occupancy tax to fund phase two of its convention center project. 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: