Speed Up Airport Screening, Mix Business with Pleasure

Amelia Island Boardroom

Loews Partners With DHS to Speed Airport Screening
Loews Hotels & Resorts is partnering with the Department of Homeland Security to help promote DHS’s Global Entry program, whose members skip the U.S. Customs line when entering the country and go through a kiosk. Loews will cover the $100 application fee for Global Entry for platinum members of its YouFirst loyalty program.

The DHS is recruiting other travel companies for similar partnerships. To qualify for Global Entry, travelers must do an in-person interview with Customs and Border Protection, undergo a background check and submit their fingerprints. Global Entry members automatically qualify for the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program, whose members can go through a separate and faster security line and separate screening machines when boarding domestic flights.

They don’t have to remove their shoes or take their laptops out of their bags. Airlines can recommend some members of their frequent flyer programs for PreCheck; the drawback to this is that you can only go through PreCheck when flying that airline. If you belong to one airline frequent flyer program but are flying another airline, it’s back into line for you. (Source, Loews press releases, DHS interviews).

Mixing Business With Pleasure
Over half of U.S business travelers 52% have invited family along on business trips, according to research by the Wyndham Hotel Group.

Americans come in second to the Chinese 67% of them have brought a family member along. Least likely to bring along a family member: British travelers, who do so just 33% of the time. U.S. and Canadian travelers see these trips as a way to explore a new destination, according to the study, while Chinese view it as a way to enjoy higher-end hotels. (Source: Wyndham press release).

Spotlight On…
    Travel Taxes

Inhospitality taxes can increase the taxes visitors pay by 57% over the general sales tax, according to the Global Business Travel Association Foundation’s fifth annual study of car, hotel and meal taxes.

These taxes often fund local projects unrelated to tourism and business travel, according to the study, which rates the top 50 travel markets in two ways. The first is total tax burden—combining general sales tax and discriminatory travel taxes. The second is the discriminatory tax burden, looking only at discriminatory travel taxes.

  • Least burdensome in total taxes: Fort Lauderdale at $22.50 per day’
  • Most burdensome in total taxes: Chicago at $40 per day
  • Lowest discriminatory travel tax: Burbank, Calif., at $1.81 per day
  • Most burdensome discriminatory travel tax: Portland, Ore., at $22.45 per day
  • “Overly burdensome taxes on visitors can often do more harm than good , especially when those taxes unfairly target visitors,” said Joseph Bates, vice president of research for the Foundation. (Source: GBTA).