Week in Review
A security scare at Frankfurt Airport led to flight delays across Europe on Wednesday morning, Buying Business Travel reports. Police were forced to evacuate areas of the airport after a passenger entered the airside area without full completion of a security check. The TSA is under scrutiny after failing to follow protocol during security scares in Los Angeles last week and New York last month. According to Skift, the agency lacked properly-executed security protocols, as evidenced by agents leaving their posts.
In acquisition news, American Express Global Business Travel has just purchased travel tech provider KDS. According to Tnooz, the acquisition is a result of a plan to broaden the company’s online and digital services. In the wake of Tropical Storm Hermine, airlines are waiving change fees and issuing flexible re-booking policies. USA TODAY claims the storm had strengthened to hurricane status as of late Thursday afternoon.
Delta Air Lines plans to invest $50 million in luggage-tracking technology and deploy a radio-frequency ID (RFID) tracking system globally. The Wall Street Journal reports the airline will be switching to baggage tags embedded with the RFID chips, with hopes to have the system in place by the holidays. According to Business Traveller, American Airlines has partnered with British Michelin-starred chef Mark Sargeant to develop a new menu for first class passengers on flights from the U.K. The menu is slated to have dishes like poached native lobster, roasted duck, slow-cooked West Country pork belly and more.
USA TODAY reports the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced hefty fines for American, Alaska, Southwest and United Airlines for involuntarily bumping passengers from oversold flights and failing to provide accurate notices explaining compensation for mishandled luggage. Qatar’s Hamad International Airport has added a new departure tax for all passengers flying out of the airport in Doha, including those with connecting flights. USA TODAY shares the nearly $10 tax will apply to all tickets bought after 30 August for departures starting 1 December.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) continues to expand in Germany, with the signing of five new Holiday Inn and Holiday Express hotels. In addition to the new signings, 4Hoteliers shares IHG has announced a record for new signings within the first half of the year, already having signed 4000 rooms. Tnooz reports Expedia is subject to a class action lawsuit after “bait and switch” allegations by a California-based property. Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village claims Expedia posts fake phone numbers for the property, which then divert callers to Expedia’s operators. Amtrak has unveiled a new fleet of Acela trains that are set to debut in 2021. USA TODAY shares the new trains will have larger seats and improved Wi-Fi access.
Ever since cases of Zika have popped up in the area, Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood has taken a tourism hit. Skift notes various local restaurants report business dropping by as much as 75 percent. The same source discusses the complicated issue of Zika when it comes to the corporate travel space. Employers must communicate the associated risks with their travelers, without crossing the line and asking about an employee’s intent to start a family.
Uber will begin allowing its Business customers to use a pre-booking service. According to Buying Business Travel, the “Scheduled Rides” feature will enable users in London to pre-book the service anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 days in advance.
Your list for this week comes from Small Business Trends: