Week in Review
The U.S. State Department has just issued a travel alert advising citizens to refrain from traveling to regions of Ethiopia due to political unrest and anti-government protests. Shortly after, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added the Bahamas to their list of travel notices for Zika. Travel + Leisure reports local mosquito transmission of Zika has been confirmed in the Bahamas region. The CDC also continues to advise pregnant women to avoid the Wynwood and Miami Beach areas in Florida, according to the Miami Herald.
Boeing is developing a new technology that would enable airline passengers to control their environments using a mobile app on their smartphones. Skift reports the technology could allow passengers to operate their overhead lights, call flight attendants, check the status of restrooms and order food and drink.
On the mobile front, a recent study shows that few corporate travel companies have mobile strategies in place. Skift shares findings from a study by the GBTA Foundation in partnership with Carlson Wagonlit Travel and the Carlson Family Foundation in which nearly 70 percent of travel buyers said their travel policies did not include a mobile strategy. Of that group, 45 percent reported that their companies planned to adopt a strategy within the next two years, and for good reason, as a majority of searches for travel-related terms begin on a mobile or tablet device. According to Tnooz, a recent analysis of the web activity of nearly three million British shoppers found that 60% of travel searches originate on a mobile device.
Travel Daily News finds new research revealing passengers’ deciding factors when picking an airport. A variety of factors are taken into account, such as efficient security (77 percent), easily accessible parking (48 percent), food and beverage offering (44 percent) and more. The study also found that 58 percent of Millennials enjoy the airport experience, compared to only 42 percent of baby boomers.
Delta will be operating exclusively at Heathrow Terminal 3 as of 14 September. According to Buying Business Travel, the airline will transfer all of its flights from Terminal 4, enabling fliers to manage their travel more easily. Japan’s biggest airline ANA has decided to start grounding its Boeing 787 Dreamliners, after discovering complications with its engines. The Guardian reports this change could lead to the cancellation of at least 350 flights through the end of next month alone.
Bloomberg finds the biggest cause of U.S. flight delays is airline miscues, not the weather. Almost six out of 100 flights were delayed last year due to mechanical breakdowns, lack of flight crews, and other factors attributed to airlines, making airline miscues the largest category of delay in 2015. Travelers at LaGuardia Airport faced some hiccups this week, with gridlock preventing them from getting in and out of the airport. Travelers were seen dragging their luggage along Grand Central Parkway to the airport in order to avoid missing their flights, CBS Local New York reports.
Backpackers are being replaced by business travelers at refined hostels around the world. According to Bloomberg, hostels are starting to cater to business travelers with smart designs and private rooms. Aloft Hotels has just introduced voice-activated room service to its U.S. properties in Boston and Santa Clara. Tnooz states guests can use an in-room iPad to issue voice commands, ranging from “Siri, cool the room” to “Siri, what are some of the attractions near me?”
Global business travelers have a new option for accommodations today, following the soft opening of Jakarta’s tallest hotel The Westin Jakarta which offers 360-degree views of the city. Travel Daily News shares that there are 541 new hotels being developed across the Middle East, which is projected to bring an additional 158,590 hotel rooms to the region. The source notes that a majority of the rooms will open by 2020. Residents of Singapore can now hail self-driving taxis with their smartphones, and Bloomberg notes this is the world’s first public trail of driverless technology.
In honor of the National Park Service celebrating its 100th anniversary this month, this week’s list comes from USA Today: