Business Travel News

Here is the latest travel news for business travelers.

Stay up to date with the latest news, including who is giving discounts or surcharges and best ways to take advantage of frequent flyer miles. These press releases are from Travel industry websites for airlines, hotels and car rental companies.

Travel Language for Business

These days it’s easy for even small companies to have a global presence and that means business travelers may find themselves taking a work-related trip to a country where they don’t speak the native Language.

learn a new language for your next business trip

While business is frequently conducted in English, it never hurts to know a few words and phrases – or more – of the local language. It makes getting around and absorbing the culture easier, and it makes a good first impression. Plus, research has shown that the skills involved in learning a second language help keep your brain active and healthy.

Of course everyone learns in a different way, and there are many options.

Language Classes Or Lessons

Some learners benefit more from a structured classroom setting and the give and take between students and teacher. A class also puts you in the same room with other learners, giving you a chance to practice your conversation skills, which can be an invaluable experience. Check out a local college or even your public library may have a class that meets your needs.

For people who can’t commit to a class, software programs offer the advantage of allowing learners to go at their own pace and sit down for a lesson whenever they have the time. They’re portable and versatile, available on a variety of devices, from a desktop or laptop to an iPad or smartphone, whether you’re using iOS or Android.

Audio CDs that are geared toward conversation are another option, letting listeners learn a language while they’re on the go, whether it’s commuting, working out or working around the house. Rosetta Stone and Simon & Schuster’s Pimsleur are among the best-known brands.

Free smartphone apps like Duolingo and Google Translate are another good way to learn the basics of a foreign language. Duolingo’s brief lessons start with vocabulary before moving on to constructing short sentences. Google Translate lets users type in words or phrases in English and find the equivalent in dozens of languages.

Travel Language Phrases You Should Know

Once you’ve decided to study a foreign language, what are the most important words and phrases to learn first?

It may sound obvious, but Do you speak English? is a good place to start. Many people in foreign countries learn English in school, so you’re likely to run into someone with whom you can talk.

Then there are the essentials. Where is the restroom? always comes in handy. Words like help and emergency are good to know. Numbers, especially 1 to 10, are helpful if you’re trying to buy something or giving an address to a taxi driver. Also, learn a few directional terms like right, left and straight ahead.

Of course, it’s highly important to be polite in any language. Learn how to say: My name is and where you’re from. Please, thank-you, excuse me, I’m sorry, pleasure to meet you, good morning, good evening, hello and goodbye – and even how to make a formal toast – will go a long way wherever you are in the world.

Let us know how we can help plan your next business trip.

TSA, REAL ID Act & Your Driver’s Licenses

Some travelers from a handful of states may be in for a huge, unpleasant surprise next year when they find that their driver’s licenses aren’t sufficient to get them through airport security for a flight within the United States.

tsa airport

Next year TSA will no longer except Driver’s licenses from these states.

In December, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began posting signs at airports alerting travelers that starting January 22, 2018, state-issued driver’s licenses or ID cards from

  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Washington State

The driver’s license from these states will no longer be accepted as valid identification to get through TSA’s airport security screening starting January 22, 2018.

Travelers from those states will be required to present an alternate form of identification, even for a domestic flight.

REAL ID Act

It all stems from the REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005 with the goal of improving security and preventing fraud.

The act established federal standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibited federal agencies including the TSA from accepting IDs that do not meet those standards.

States were required to implement anti-counterfeit technology and institute more stringent requirements for proving identity and U.S. citizenship, or legal residency, before a driver’s license or ID card can be issued.

Over the past decade, states have been given time to bring their processes for issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards into compliance with federal law. As a result, the REAL ID Act’s restrictions have not yet been enforced at the nation’s airports. Most states have either complied or been given an extension by the Department of Homeland Security, and the TSA has continued to accept IDs from all states, regardless of their status.

The TSA has stepped up its campaign to notify flyers that a change is coming.

The deadline is spurring discussions among lawmakers in some of the affected states, so the situation could easily change between now and next January. Already, South Carolina and Oklahoma, two of the states included on the airport warning signs, have been granted extensions through June 6, 2018. (The TSA will update signs if and when states receive extensions.)

It’s important to remember that the TSA will continue to accept IDs from all states for the remainder of 2017.

Next January, security personnel will only accept state-issued driver’s licenses or ID cards from states that are compliant with the act or that have received an extension.

By Oct. 1, 2020, every traveler will need REAL ID-compliant identification for domestic air travel. (And remember that this only applies to adults.

The TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. The companion will need acceptable identification.

The TSA will accept alternate forms of identification, such as a passport, a passport card, a trusted traveler card issued by the Department of Homeland Security, a military ID or a permanent resident card.

In addition, for an added fee Washington and Minnesota will issue their residents Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (EDL) that meet the new federal standards.

Please contact up with
any questions.

2017 Business Travel Forecast

The 2017 Business Travel Forecast shows costs associated with business travel will be largely unchanged in 2017 but several factors could translate into fewer employees going on the road, according to our Travel Leaders Business Travel Forecast.

business travel forecast 2017

Airline Forecast

The fallout from Brexit, the decision by United Kingdom voters to leave the European Union, a continued slowing of the world economy, a potential decline in U.S. business confidence, lower energy prices and security incidents around the globe such as those we’ve seen in 2016 could lead business travelers to delay or cancel their plans.

In North America, the supply of airline seats is outstripping demand for the first time since the big three carriers emerged from consolidation. At the same time, competition from low-cost carriers will prevent meaningful price increases.

Airfares dropped 7% in 2016 compared with the previous year, and they’re expected to remain flat in 2017. Next year’s average domestic airline ticket should be unchanged at $410.21.

Car Rental Companies

Rental car companies are facing competition from ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft. A modest decline in days rented is projected for 2017, and the average daily rate should remain flat at $38.41.

There’s also less demand for used cars, meaning lower margins from reselling rental fleets. Rental car companies are expected to increase fuel surcharges and one way fees, and new fees.

International Travel

When it comes to international travel, the outlook for the 2017 business travel forecast is similar in terms of airfares and hotel and rental car rates.

Low cost carriers are bringing super low fares to transatlantic and European markets.

Coupled with tepid economic expansion and the Brexit fallout, airfares in Western Europe are projected to drop by 1 to 3 percent.

In the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, airfares will be flat. While one-time events like the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil helped boost demand, Latin America could see anywhere from a flat rate to a 2 percent decrease. The average international airfare is estimated at $1,559.75 next year.

Hotel Rates

For the past half-dozen years, hotels have been reaping the benefits of a low supply and high demand. While room capacity has increased, it will take time for the market to adjust.

Rates are projected to rise in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Orlando and Seattle, but decline in Charlotte, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. The average domestic daily hotel rate should increase about 1 to 2% in 2017, to $154.69.

For hotel rates, the forecast predicts no more than a 1 to 2% increase in Western Europe, flat rates in Asia Pacific and a decrease of 1 to 2% in Latin America, with 4 to 6% reductions in Brazil. The international average daily hotel rate for 2017 is projected at $193.73.

Our 2017 Business Travel forecast expects Slow economic growth, a rise in ride sharing and convenient high speed rail will affect rental car rates in Western Europe next year. (In Latin America, demand for rental cars has historically been low.) The international daily rate is projected to be flat in 2017, at $40.61.

For help planning next year’s business travel program please contact us.

Vidanta Resorts in Mexico

We are pleased to offer some new special properties at incredible rates for you to enjoy….the Williamsburg Resort Collection.

These are very special 5 star resorts that offer a beautiful setting, top ammenities, and are available at very, very special rates.

The Grand Mayan Resort
in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Grand Mayan Resort in Puerto Vallarta

Link to the resort

The fantastic resort is available at $499 per week for a party of 2. Included is discounts on golf and deep sea fishing

The Grand Mayan Resort
in Playa de Carmen, Mexico

Link to the resort

This incredible resort is available at $499 per week for a party of 2.

Other Locations In Mexico

  • Nuevo Vallarta
  • Cabo San Lucas
  • Puerto Penasco
  • Mazatlan
  • Acapulco

Prices can change without notice.

Please contact any of our
vacation specialists for information and reservations.

The New Airbus A350 for Flights to Asia

Business travelers facing the prospect of long flights to Asia will soon have a new option that’s designed for maximum passenger comfort.

Delta One Suites

The New Airbus A350

The Airbus A350 is a new family of jets that offers a roomier feel than older wide-body aircraft. The first commercial flight took place in January 2015 and Airbus has sold about 800 of the planes to nearly 40 different customers.

Delta Air Lines will be the first U.S. airline to take delivery of the A350. The carrier has ordered 25 A350 aircraft for delivery beginning in the middle of 2017 and will fly them primarily on long-haul routes across the Pacific.

Delta currently flies from Detroit, Los Angeles and Seattle to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo.

Airline employees got a sneak peek at the A350 when Airbus brought one to Delta´s Atlanta headquarters. They raved about the design that enhances the plane´s sense of space and height, giving the cabin a roomier feel, including recessed LED lighting and a vaulted ceiling.

The Airbus A350 other notable features include

  • increased space at shoulder level
  • more overhead storage, with room for more than one roller bag per passenger
  • a fully flat cabin floor for extra legroom.
  • advanced technology to provide optimal air quality in the cabin, including air exchange every two to three minutes

As all travelers who have made the trip know, flying from the United States to Asia can take a physical toll, these are some long flights. A nonstop from Detroit to Beijing is 14 hours. For business travelers, who may have work to do en route, and may need to be on the go as soon as they land, comfort is key.

The A350 will be part of Delta´s new all-suite business class cabin, dubbed the Delta One suite. And Delta has designed these suites with the needs of business travelers in mind, with the touches that will help them work, relax and rest while they’re en route to their destination.

Added comfort and privacy are important to business travelers, Delta´s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, “and that drove the design of the all-new Delta One suite.

Business Class Suites

Every Delta A350 will be outfitted with 32 business class suites. Each suite will provide direct access to the aisle for easy exit and entry. There will be full-height sliding door and dividers between center suites to ensure maximum privacy.

The suites are also equipped with a full flat bed seat with a memory-foam enhanced comfort cushion, personal storage space with dedicated compartments for shoes, laptops and headphones and an 18 inch, high resolution in flight entertainment monitor. A universal power outlet and high powered USB port will be at every seat, and passengers will have in suite customizable ambient lighting.

The Delta One experience also includes chef crafted meals, wine pairings, noise-canceling headsets and such amenities as cotton lounge wear and premium skin care products.

Contact us for more information

Delta’s New Menu From Seattle’s Famous Seafood Restaurants

Delta is offering customers seated in First Class fresh, seasonal meals crafted with ingredients from local Seattle restaurants.

Delta Luvo meals

Seattle’s Famous Seafood Restaurants

The salmon and other fresh seafood of Pike Place Fish Market are world famous for taking flight. Now, they’re taking to the skies above Seattle along with several of the city’s most celebrated local purveyors of fresh, sustainable food on select Delta Air Lines flights from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

New Items On The Menu

  • Pike Place Chowder
  • Pike Place Fish Market
  • The Pike Brewing Company’s Stout Mustard
  • Uli’s Famous Sausage
  • Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
  • Le Panier Bakery
  • Pappardelle’s Pasta

The menus will launch this week on flights from Seattle to Los Angeles and San Francisco and will expand to other mainline lunch and dinner flights between 900 and 1,500 miles.

Fresh, local and sustainable are core tenets of Pacific Northwest cuisine and Delta’s on-board food and beverage program, and that’s precisely the philosophy we follow with our new menus, said Mike Medeiros, Delta’s Vice President – Seattle. Our region’s most recognized purveyors shine in these thoughtfully crafted menus, giving Delta customers from around the world a taste of Seattle, whether they’re destined for SeaTac or just passing through.

Menus include

  • Pappardelle’s lavender fettuccine with Pike Place Fish Market’s wild Alaskan coho salmon and Northwest Seafood Seasoning
  • Uli’s Famous German bratwurst and smoked bacon sausage with German potato salad and sauerkraut with sautéed apples
  • Garden vegetable salad with Pike Place Fish Market candied salmon and Beecher’s Flagship cheese with lemon vinaigrette

All menu pairings feature Pike Place Chowder’s award-winning clam chowder, Le Panier Brioche and a Le Panier chocolate macaron with chocolate ganache.

Delta partners with some of Seattle’s most recognized brands. The airline serves Starbucks Pike Place Roast and Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Italian Roast decaf on all flights.

Fremont Brewing’s Universale Pale Ale is available on Delta Shuttle flights from Seattle to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Delta is the largest global carrier at Sea Tac and has more than tripled flights and destinations at its Seattle hub since 2012. Delta offers more than 150 peak-day departures to more than 40 destinations from Seattle, and every Delta flight from Seattle features jet service with Delta One/First Class and Delta Comfort+ seating.

In addition to this new partnership, Delta has in the past year enhanced its chef curated menus featuring the talents of Chefs Linton Hopkins and Michelle Bernstein on a wide selection of transoceanic routes. The menus highlight the airline’s industry-leading focus on seasonal and regionally inspired cuisine.

Along with the latest creations from the airline’s partner and in-house chefs, customers will also be able to enjoy seasonally rotating wines from Delta’s 2016 wine program, curated by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson. Delta began syncing up its on-board wine selections with the seasonal rotation of its menus earlier this year.

Business Travel First Quarter Grows

In an encouraging sign for the economy, domestic business travel grew in April for the first time in more than a year, according to a leading industry organization.

Business travel

Delta’s new terminal at JFK airport.

The U.S. Travel Association is a nonprofit organization that represents the travel industry, which generates $2.1 trillion in USA economic output and supports 15 million jobs.

Every month the association publishes a Travel Trends Index, which measures the pace and direction of travel to and within the USA, both for leisure and corporate. A number greater than 50 indicates an expansion of travel volume, while a number below indicates a decline.

In April, U.S. domestic business travel measured 51.7, a noticeable rise and the first positive year over year gain since March 2015. Overall, the April Current Travel Index rose to 52.2, the 76th straight month of growth for the travel industry, which continues a 6 year expansion.

“The big takeaway here is that April was the beginning of what we anticipate will be the inversion of many previously long travel trends, amid continued overall growth,” according to David Huether, the association’s senior vice president for research. Part of the increase is attributable to the Easter holiday falling in March, which pushed some business travel into the next month. Still, Huether notes that the growth in domestic business travel for the first time in 13 months is a major reversal.

What the U.S. Travel Association Says

While April’s figures were encouraging, the association has a mixed outlook on corporate travel over the long term. Business travelers may take more trips overall, but their spending may not be as robust.

Over the next six months, according to the association, “While looking forward, corporate travel searches and bookings are growing, economic prospects for domestic corporate travel remain muted through October 2016.” Still, the outlook for the total travel market – business and leisure travel combined remains positive, with overall USA travel expected to grow by about 2% through October.

What does this research mean for business travelers?
While there’s been some growth in the number of trips, travelers and travel managers alike will continue to keep a careful eye on the bottom line. That’s where an experienced corporate travel agent can be of invaluable assistance.

New Benefits for Medallion Members

Delta and CLEAR Improve SkyMiles Members Experience

Delta and CLEAR are partnering to expedited security experience to more major airports across the country and ultimately reducing the time spent by customers in security lines.

Coming this summer, Delta will provide CLEAR’s biometric service to U.S. Diamond Medallion members free of charge and all U.S. Delta SkyMiles members will have access to preferential pricing.

CLEAR is the leading U.S. biometric identity platform that utilizes fingerprint and iris identification technology at airports and sports stadiums across the U.S.

This year, Delta and CLEAR plan to expand airport security line access points to Delta’s U.S. hub airports allowing registered customers to expedite the document check process at security screening checkpoints.

Book Award Travel

SkyMiles members can now book Award Travel on more partner airlines than ever, 24 total, conveniently from delta.com. To see the most options and best deals on both Delta Air Lines and our partners, view our Award Calendar by selecting flexible days when searching for a flight.

Earning miles for your car rental is easier than ever before. You can now book your next rental with more search results on delta.com, which features rich mileage offers from our SkyMiles partners Hertz, Enterprise, Alamo and National, as well as multiple rental options from Dollar and Thrifty.

SkyMiles Member Benefits

Hertz Car Rental

  • General members earn 500 miles per rental
  • Gold and Silver Medallion® members earn 1,000 miles per rental
  • Diamond and Platinum Medallion members earn 1,250 miles per rental
  • For a limited-time, Medallion members earn 300 bonus miles per day and general members earn 200 bonus miles per day
  • Enjoy savings of up to 40% on every rental
  • Qualifying Medallion members will enjoy status in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program when they follow these simple steps
    • Diamond and Platinum Medallion members will receive President’s Circle status
    • Gold Medallion members will receive Five Star status

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental

  • Earn 500 miles per rental
  • For a limited-time, earn an additional 200 bonus miles per rental day
  • Enjoy additional savings off everyday low rates
  • SkyMiles is proud to be the exclusive mileage earning partner for Enterprise.

Your Cards In the Cloud

Get the latest Fly Delta app today and experience new features, including access to your digital SkyMiles and Delta Sky Club® membership cards — anytime, anyplace.

To find and use your digital cards, check out “My Wallet” in the My Delta section of the Fly Delta app for iPhone and Android. Plus, if you’re using an iPhone, you can send your SkyMiles or Delta Sky Club card to Passbook for even easier access.

Crossover Rewards

With the Delta SkyMiles and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) programs allow you to earn even greater rewards when you travel.

Medallion members can earn miles for eligible stays at Starwood hotels and resorts and SPG elite members can earn Starpoints for eligible flights with Delta. All in addition to the benefits available in both programs.

Benefits When You Stay

  • Medallion members can earn one bonus mile per every dollar spent on eligible room rates at over 1,100 Starwood hotels and resorts in the SPG program.
  • Diamond and Platinum Medallion members can enjoy SPG benefits like access to the elite check-in line, 4pm late checkout, complimentary in-room Internet access, and more.

Benefits When You Fly

  • SPG Platinum and Gold elite members can earn one Starpoint for every dollar spent on eligible Delta flights.
  • SPG Platinum members can receive their first checked bag free, Priority Check-In, Priority Boarding and Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades.

Delta Updates for Medallion Members

Delta Air Lines has changed the way Medallion Members are upgraded to economy comfort seats.

Medallion members who purchase tickets through a travel agency may now opt in for upgrades in the following ways:

Request a Delta Comfort+ upgrade by locating the reservation in My Trips. Opt in for Complimentary Upgrades during check-in.

Medallion members can also set automatic preferences for the quickest way to ensure they’re always opted in:

Visit the Flight Preferences section under My Profile at delta’s website. Here you can set default upgrade preferences that will apply to every trip once the settings are updated.

Please note: Even with default settings, they can still opt in or out of Complimentary Upgrades for any individual reservation during booking or in My Trips.

Medallion Members Opt In

If a Delta Comfort+ seat is available, the Medallion member will be notified in My Trips and via email of the upgrade. It can take up to an hour for Diamond and Platinum Medallion members to receive Delta Comfort+ seat assignments after ticketing.

    • Medallion members who have selected upgrade eligibility for both First Class and Delta Comfort+ will be upgraded to the most premium option available. If they have been upgraded to Delta Comfort+, they will still be on standby for First Class upgrades.
    • If no upgrades to Delta Comfort+ are available, the Medallion member will be placed on standby for an upgrade. He or she may view their spot on the standby list in My Trips or in the Fly Delta App.
    • All seats in Delta Comfort+ are part of our premium experience. Aisle, middle or window seats will be assigned based on availability.
    • Following an upgrade, a Medallion member can always select another available seat in the same class of service. This means they can move to a different Comfort+ seat via the seat map, if one is available at that time. Once upgraded to Delta Comfort+, agents will not be able to revert back to their Main Cabin seat via the seat map.
    • Medallion members will continue to enjoy access to Complimentary Upgrades to Delta Comfort+ while maintaining the same clearance priority.

As always, following an upgrade a member may always select another seat, if available, in the same class of service. This means they can move to a different Delta Comfort+ seat via the seat map, if one is available at that time.

Once upgraded to Delta Comfort+, members will not be able to revert back to their original Main Cabin seat via the seat map.

Contact your travel agent for more details.

Free In Flight Entertainment with Delta

Prepare for Entertainment!

Delta Studio entertainment services

Delta Studio entertainment services

Delta Studio, the airline’s industry-leading suite of onboard entertainment, will be free for all customers on two-class aircraft by July 1. With this announcement, Delta becomes the only U.S. airline to offer all in-flight entertainment for free.

Delta Studio offers

  • up to 300 movies
  • 750 TV shows
  • 100 foreign film titles
  • 2,400 songs
  • 18 channels of live satellite TV on select aircraft
  • selection of games on aircraft with seat-back entertainment systems

Delta is the only U.S. carrier to offer personal, on demand entertainment at every seat on all long-haul international flights.

The airline also operates the world’s largest WiFi equipped fleet, with more than 1,000 connected Delta aircraft, including the airline’s entire fleet of 660 domestic mainline aircraft, Delta Connection 2 class regional jets and 99% of its widebody international fleet.

Delta has made significant investments in its onboard product and the customer experience, including modernizing the interiors of hundreds of aircraft with high capacity overhead bins, seatback entertainment systems, new lavatories, ambient LED lighting, new seats with power outlets, and other upgrades.

Entertainment options will vary by aircraft type and route.

Delta operates the world’s largest in-flight entertainment-equipped fleet, with more than 1,000 aircraft offering Delta Studio via streaming through laptops, mobile devices and tablets, in addition to nearly 400 aircraft equipped with seatback entertainment systems.