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November 5, 2019

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: Airline and flight updates, the return of the 737 MAX, Cuba ban, passport renewal rules, many Americans are unprepared for REAL ID launch, Enterprise in Brazil, Lyft membership program, high-tech hotels, Choice expands in Japan, Hilton expands in Canada, airline passenger rights, boosting productivity while traveling, how to optimize your meetings and incentives, upgrading air travel for your executives and more!

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Upgrading Air Travel for Your Executives

Travel decision-makers are often times faced with figuring out the best way to take care of their most elite travelers. It’s a balancing act between financial responsibility, VIP traveler happiness and their demanding schedules. Often times that can require travel managers figuring out challenges that others may not face, including determining if a private jet is worth the investment, will a first-class seat suffice or how to ensure they reach their destination for a critical meeting. Read More

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British Airways Launches First International Flight to Beijing’s Daxing International Airport

Travel Market Report — The new state-of-the-art facility is not only the world’s largest airport, but it is also one of the most technologically advanced and it boasts impressive sustainability-focused innovations. Read More

TAP Air Portugal to Auction Business Class Seats up to One Hour before Flights

Business Traveller — TAP Air Portugal has partnered with startup Seatboost to allow passengers to bid on seat upgrades via an app before they fly. Read More

O'Hare International Airport Begins $334M Runway Extension

Travel Pulse — The completion of the runway extension will set up the final phase of improvements at the Chicago facility, an ambitious $8 billion project that will create a 2.2 million-square-foot Global Terminal…Read More

United Airlines Fleet Upgrade Tied to Return of 737 MAX in Early 2020

Travel Market Report — United has big plans to expand its fleet, but there’s a hitch: The ongoing grounding of the 737 MAX is holding up the scheduled retirement of older jets. Read More

U.S. Banning All Flights to Cuban Cities Outside of Havana

Travel Market Report — The United States Department of Transportation on Friday announced that it will suspend all flights from the U.S. to Cuba, aside from those scheduled to fly to Havana, in the latest crackdown on Cuban travel. Read More

New Orleans Airport to Finally Open on November 6

Business Traveller — After several delays, New Orleans’ new $1.3 billion airport will make its official debut on November 6…Read More

Port Authority Approves Billions for Airport Projects

Wall Street Journal — New AirTrains at LaGuardia and Newark airports, plus work at JFK, were funded…Read More

United and Air New Zealand Launch Service Between New York and Auckland

Travel Market Report — United Airlines and Air New Zealand are teaming up to launch the only nonstop flight service between New Zealand and the U.S. East Coast. Read More

Lufthansa Extends Hand Baggage Only Fares Network-Wide

Business Traveller — Germany’s Lufthansa said today that its less expensive ‘Economy Light’ fares will be extended to all long-haul destinations starting October 30. Read More

United Targets Big Spenders with First Class in Small Cities

Bloomberg — The airline designed its own regional jet to close an amenities and revenue gap with its two biggest rivals. Read More

American Airlines Adds Flights to Hilton Head, S.C.

Dallas News — American Airlines is adding seasonal service to Hilton Head Island, S.C., from Chicago O'Hare, Philadelphia and Dallas/Fort Worth starting in March. Read More

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6 Passport Renewal Rules You Need to Know

SmarterTravel — Following these little-known passport rules can help for a quicker turnaround. Read More

Using Global Entry is About to Get Even Easier

The Points Guy — Global Entry is making its kiosks even more efficient by eliminating passport and fingerprint scans, and relying instead on facial recognition technology. Read More

Most Americans Are Unprepared for REAL ID Deadline, U.S. Travel Says

Travel Market Report — Millions of Americans are unprepared for the launch of the REAL ID program, which could prevent them from flying, according to the U.S. Travel Association. 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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Enterprise Rent-A-Car Launches Operations in Brazil

Travel Pulse — The world's largest car rental provider, Enterprise Holdings Inc., announced its further expansion in South America with the launch of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand in Brazil, reports Travel Pulse, joining the National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands in the country. Read More

Lyft Adds Membership Program for Ride Discounts

Business Travel News — Lyft is launching a membership program for frequent riders that offer discounts and benefits for a monthly fee. Read More

Amtrak Boosts Rail Service Between LA and San Diego

Business Traveller — Amtrak is filling a major service gap in its Pacific Surfliner service in California by adding a new train on its Los Angeles-San Diego route. Read More

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The Hotel Experience Gets High-Tech

Hotel Marketing — Guests can check-in via phone and even choose their own room as hotels get a digital makeover. Read More

Choice Hotels to Open More Than 30 New Hotels in Japan by 2033

Travel Pulse — Choice Hotels expects to open more than 30 new Comfort hotels in Japan by 2033. Read More

Grand Hyatt at SFO Open for Business

Meetings & Conventions — A luxury property is the only on-site hotel at the San Francisco International Airport. Read More

Hilton Expansion Brings New Brands to Canada

Travel Market Report — Canada will see the expanded footprint of Tru by Hilton, and the introduction of Canopy by Hilton and Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Read More

Best Western Launches Extended-Stay Brand

Business Travel News — Best Western Hotels & Resorts' newest brand, SureStay Studio, will compete in the upper end of the extended-stay economy segment and will include both conversions and new builds. Read More

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United Teams with Marriott, Clear, and Other Suppliers to Improve Passenger Experience

Travel Market Report — The new services, developed both in-house and with industry partners, tackle some persistent pain points in the air travel experience. Read More

Do You Know Your Airline Rights? Probably Not, Says Survey

Forbes — What if your airline overbooks your flight and leaves you stranded overnight? Do you know your airline rights? Read More

5 Travel Hacks to Boost Productivity on Every Trip — Business sojourns can be less of a grind if you use the right strategies. Read More

How To Stay Healthy During Winter Travel

Successful Meetings — Hydration is a priority during the cold, dry months of winter. Read More

Sleep Sounds

Meetings & Conventions — This app can help travelers who want to drown out sounds from down the hall. Read More

Delta Launches Subscription Service, SkyMiles Select

Travel Market Report — The program offers travel perks — including early boarding — for an annual fee. Read More

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Corporate Meetings and Incentives: Cost Cutting Without Bloodletting

Creative Group — Need to cut costs? Learn 7 ways to optimize your meetings and incentives without impacting the program. Read More

5 Meeting Hotels Coming to Nashville in 2020

Northstar Meetings Group  — New, conference-friendly properties will be debuting in Music City next year...Read More

How to Plan Ahead for Food Allergies at Your Conference

Northstar Meetings Group — What planners need to know when catering to attendees' dietary needs. 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: