Direct Travel News Brief Header
May 7, 2019

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: The new BTN Corporate Travel Index, new airline flight services, UK opens ePassport gates, information on Real ID, a guide to TSA Pre-check renewal, driverless taxis in 2020, new hotel properties, traveler tips, graduating to managed travel in higher education and much more!

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Graduating to Managed Travel in Higher Education

If you don’t work with higher education institutions frequently, you might not realize this: Universities are complex and dynamic institutions, constantly changing and have specific travel program needs. Read More

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Two in Three Travel Programmes Impacted by Data Breaches

Buying Business Travel — Nearly 70 per cent of travel buyers say their travellers have been affected by a payment-related data breach from an outside vendor such as an airline, hotel or retailer in the past year, according to research from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in partnership with AirPlus International. Read More

BTN's Corporate Travel Index

Business Travel News — BTN provides business travel per diems for 100 U.S. cities and 100 non-U.S. cities, breaking down hotel costs by five hotel tiers in each city, digging into three meals a day, and laying out car rental costs in the U.S. and taxi rides for non-U.S. cities. This year, BTN adds travel risk scores for each city. Plus, analysis of and forecasts for prices in each the U.S., the Americas, Asia/Pacific and EMEA. Read More

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Delta Will Return to India in December

Business Travel News — On Dec. 22, Delta will begin daily nonstop service between Mumbai and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. Delta suspended service to Mumbai in 2009 amid growing competition from Middle Eastern carriers. Read More

Boeing MAX Return to Service Must Be Done Right Says United CEO

Travel Pulse — During a discussion with Bloomberg, United CEO Oscar Munoz said the plane should not be returned to service until all airlines using it are able to fly it “safely and uniformly.’ Read More

United Adds More Daily Service Between Chicago and Columbia, MO

KOMU-TV (University of Missouri) — United Airlines has added a third daily flight between Missouri's Columbia Regional Airport and Chicago. The airline said "consumer demand" prompted the increased service. Read More

These 3 Factors Will Likely Keep Airfares Low in 2019

The Points Guy — Aviation economists say there are three factors outside of airlines’ control that help determine the cost of your ticket. And fortunately, all three are predicted to hold airfares at relatively low prices in the US for 2019. Read More

United Airlines' New Livery Debut is a Turning Point for the Carrier

The Business Journals Chicago — United Airlines wasn’t kidding when a spokeswoman for the airline noted last Friday that the unveiling of the carrier’s new livery on Wednesday will come with more than a little “pomp and circumstance.” Read More

Delta Air Lines Restarting Mumbai Flights

Travel Mole — New York JFK service expected to begin in December...Read More

Washington National Set to Open First Piece of $1B Expansion

FlightGlobal — Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Virginia was set to open a section of new apron this week. The airport is building a new regional concourse, part of a larger $1 billion project to improve the airport and connect the concourses behind security. Read More

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New TSA Screening Equipment "Sees" Too Much

Travel Pulse — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was testing a new body scanner system to screen passengers at U.S. airports, but it seems the system was too revealing. Read More

U.K. to Open ePassport Gates to U.S. Citizens

Frequent Business Traveler — The United Kingdom announced plans to allow travelers from seven countries, including the United States and Canada, to use ePassport gates, or e-gates, when arriving at the country’s airports starting in June of this year. Read More

Travellers to Turkey Told to Print E-Visas or Face Being Turned Away at the Gate

The Telegraph — Those with trips booked to Turkey this summer have been told they must carry paper copies of their electronic visas or risk being turned away at the departure gate. Read More

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Upcoming REAL ID Deadline

Travel Market Report — Starting in October 2020, to travel domestically, every traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or an approved ID card or passport. Read More

A Guide to TSA PreCheck Renewal

Smarter Travel — Here's all you need to know to renew your expedited-security membership. Read More

Qatar Airways Joins Precheck

Business Travel News — Qatar Airways has joined the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's Precheck program. 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 Remains the Most-Expensed Brand, While Lyft's Price Has Leapfrogged Uber's

Business Travel News — After ranking as Certify's most-expensed brand for North American businesses in 2018, Uber maintained the top spot during the first quarter of 2019, according to the expense management provider's latest SpendSmart report. Read More

San Francisco Airport to Deploy Electric Bus Fleet

Frequent Business Traveler — San Francisco International Airport has purchased six 18-battery Catalyst E2 electric buses to transport passengers between terminals and to parking garages. The new buses will replace older, less fuel-efficient buses. Read More

Tesla Plans to Launch Driverless Taxi Service in 2020

Hotel Marketing — Tesla says that next year, it’ll leverage a fraction of the millions of Tesla cars on the road to launch an autonomous taxi service powered by its Autopilot software. Read More

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Choice Hotels Unveils New Midscale Brand Logos

Travel Mole — Quality Inn, Clarion, Sleep Inn, and MainStay Suites get a refresh…Read More

Hyatt Adds Milan and Venice Properties

Business Traveller — Hyatt has debuted its Centric brand in Italy, with the addition of two rebranded properties in Milan and Venice. Read More

Wyndham Completes La Quinta Integration & Revenue Increases 55 Percent

Business Travel News — Wyndham Hotels & Resorts reported year-over-year revenue gains of 55 percent, to $468 million, during the first quarter. Read More

Radisson Opening Six New Hotels Across the Americas

Travel Market Report — The signings and conversions reach from the expansive Great Plains to the sunny West Coast and the tropical Caribbean. Read More

Marriott Plans Expansion in Mexico

Travel Market Report — The global hotel brand expects to expand its footprint in Mexico by more than 50 percent, by the end of 2023. Read More

Hilton Expands Canopy Brand with Five New Openings

Travel Market Report — Canopy hotels will debut in France, Paris, Venice, Maine, and Washington, D.C., over the next two years. Read More

Four Seasons Unveils Plans for New Custom Private Jet for 2021

Insider Travel Report — Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts announced plans for an all-new Four Seasons Private Jet that it says will evoke the bygone glamour of air travel coupled with thoughtful, guest-centric design. Read More

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Experts Warn Summer Travelers to Be Wary Of Measles

Travel Pulse — The measles outbreak is at a 25-year high in the U.S. Read More

Flight Attendants Reveal All the Places You Don’t Want to Touch on a Plane

InStyle Magazine — Flight attendants took to Reddit with answers to the question “What do the passengers *not* know?” The answers varied from surprisingly useful information to TMI. Read More

U.S. Imposing New, Harsher Restrictions on Americans Traveling to Cuba

Travel Market Report — The latest changes reverse some of the previous policies that helped open up the country to travel by U.S. citizens. Read More

6 Things Tourists Should Never Do in Major Cities

Smarter Travel — These rules of urban behavior apply in nearly every city across the world. Are you guilty of violating them? Read More

Airports and the TSA are Gearing up for the Real ID Deadline. You Should Be, Too

USA Today — If your driver’s license doesn’t have a star in the upper corner of the card, then your license is not Real ID compliant. Read More

Airline Passenger of Size Policies: Will You Be Forced to Buy an Extra Seat?

SmarterTravel — As airlines continue to cram more and more people into each plane, the flying experience gets less comfortable for all passengers—especially as the traveling public grows increasingly overweight. Read More

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Choices are Great, but Enough is Enough!

Creative Group — Incentive buyers beware: too many choices are hurting your incentive programs. Read More

Meeting Planning Tip: How to Find Diverse Speakers for Your Meetings

Successful Meetings — Learn a planning strategy that can help you recruit diverse speakers and panelists for your events...Read More

5 Great Meetings Hotels in Nashville

Northstar Meetings Group — Want to see what the Nashville buzz is all about? Here are five hotels that are ready to host your meeting group...Read More

5 Fresh All-Inclusive Resorts for Meeting Groups

Northstar Meetings Group — These all-inclusive resorts offer stress-free experiences for meeting attendees...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: