For those people that travel, this probably will not come as a surprise. For those that approve and review expense reports, this will be one of those, “yes, I know that” articles. But for those that fall outside those two assemblies, it may come as a mild surprise that, according to both Concur and Certify expense tools, the #1 expensed item in business travel is…… Uber.

Safety. Security. Peace of mind. These are not words usually associated with business travel. Especially if you are a woman. Travel, domestic or international, poses risks for anyone and TravelPlex wanted to provide a travel guide that contains tips to minimize risks and help women make their traveling safe and enjoyable.

The world is an unpredictable place, and while you can’t be prepared for everything, knowing and planning for potential risks can help you travel confidently.

TravelPlex wanted to update you on the Real ID Act status and let you know that earlier today the U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted Missouri a grace period for compliance through August 19, 2019.

The old extension was to end next week.

Every day we have travelers that call us to find out the latest on the current Real ID act that could prevent Missouri, Illinois, and travelers from many other states, from utilizing their driver's licenses to gain access at an airport.

TravelPlex will keep all our valued clients up to date as best we can. Following is an article providing the latest information on what is occurring with these efforts.

TravelPlex wanted to update you on the Real ID Act status and let you know that earlier today the U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted Missouri a grace period for compliance through Jan. 21, 2019. The current extension ends Oct. 10.

If you are one of those travelers who have yet to decide on whether a TSA Pre Check enrollment makes sense for you, the latest news from the Transportation and Security Administration might make your mind up for you.

TSA just announced that, starting this week, travelers can keep their liquids and laptops in their bags.

TravelPlex counselors are asked many times a day when the optimal time to buy a business ticket might be. “Is there really that much of a difference between a seven-day purchase and a 21-day purchase?”. Yes, there is, and it is the main reason companies have such directives in their travel policy.

If there is one constant in TravelPlex’s blogs, it’s trying to alert the traveling public of any dangers that may await them on their next trip. While we don’t want to be alarmists, there are security and safety concerns travelers need to be aware of. This week we are again addressing airport Wi-Fi and the extreme lack of security.

A recent study of airport wi-fi systems showed that travelers logging on to these networks are extremely vulnerable.

Signs of discontent with the sharing economy are beginning to surface among travelers as a growing number of unsatisfactory experiences has come to light. Misrepresentation of product or service offerings, a lack of host accountability and sometimes compromised review processes are a few of the factors contributing to a growing public apprehension.

For all of you road warriors, a phone app that coordinates all your travel data is not so much a luxury as it is a necessity. For those of you using the Concur Travel tool, we hope you have the TripIt app downloaded on your phone. The basic version is free, but for $49 a year, TripIt Pro offers travelers real-time flights alerts; fare refund notifications; tracks reward program points; alerts you to any travel delays / gate changes, and much more.

And a new service was just announced, TripIt Pro users now have access to safety ratings for nearly 30,000 neighborhoods around the world.

If you’ve been watching the incredible vacation deals for this summer and fall like I have, you’ll notice some vacations that are hard to pass up. While these are great opportunities, there is one thing that could prevent you from travelling. An expired passport. Well, not technically expired. Most people do not realize that some countries will not allow you into their country if your passport will expire within three to six months of your date of entry.

Every year, numerous research companies around the world publish their “top” lists. Top Airline. Top Hotel Chain. Top Rental Car Company. Top... well, you get it. It seems every airport, airline and hotel are at least in the top five of someone’s list. The exact science used in culminating these “Top” lists is a bit nebulous, and if you inquire as to the reporting metrics used, you will receive as varied a response as the registers themselves deliver.

Nonetheless, these opinions are rather fun to view. The accent of the research company often times dictates who they place in their “Top” lists. Research companies in the US are usually bullish on New York, Atlanta and Chicago. Research firms with European accents migrate to companies based on their continent. While this “homer” mentality is nothing new, it is the fuel for interesting debates.

If you’ve ever rented a car, you’ve probably walked away wondering how the reasonable base price turned into an exorbitant bill, weighty with extra fees. Here's an outline of some of the more common fees to expect when renting a car.

Besides understandable local and state taxes, the three most common rental car fees are:

Southwest Airlines has canceled 40 flights a day since they announced their voluntary inspection program following a deadly accident aboard a plane that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

"The 40 cancellations today (Sunday, April 22nd) are due to aircraft being out of service for our accelerated engine fan blade inspection program, which we announced on Tuesday night," Southwest said in their statement.

Many times we at TravelPlex are asked by corporate clients about the current travel per diems (car, hotel and food/beverage). The question is fueled with the intent of incorporating the values into their travel policy. While each company maintains a unique culture and objectives, there are ways to position per diems into a travel policy and make them work for everyone.

The more defined a travel policy, the greater the travel savings. That said, we want to pass along Business Travel News 2018 Travel Per Diems, including both domestic and international per diems.

During a recent flight, I was served what – to the eye - looked like a delicious meal. A chicken breast with a cranberry-raisin-wine sauce; green beans tied with a strip of thin bacon; rice medley and a sourdough roll. The “icing on the cake” was actually cheese cake. Now, I may not have done the meal justice with my description, but it looked great and I was anxious to enjoy this airline culinary offering. However…

As I began tasting the food, it was, shall I say, not that great. It looked amazing, but the food was rather bland. It was then that a memory bulb popped in my head and I recalled hearing something about food tasting differently at 30,000+ feet. Could it be true?