If you’ve been traveling for the past year or so, or even shopped for a hotel to stay, you may have noticed an unprecedented number of new hotel brands. Major chains such as Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt are expanding their offerings in order to offer a hotel room for almost anyone’s economic or demographic sector.

As the newest wave of travelers wash into the job market, millennial travelers have every hotel chain looking to offer them a hotel product that will appeal to their liking.

Woman in Hotel Room

Today, women are traveling more than ever. Unfortunately, they face some unique risks - as the U.S. Department of State perfectly puts it, “The truth is that women face greater obstacles". The most frequent security risks that female travelers face are opportunistic crimes, especially bag snatching, followed by sexual harassment and assault.

There are various precautions women can take prior to a trip and when travelling to minimize these risks.

Southwest plane

Some of you who frequently fly Southwest Airlines, or have friends or co-workers flying the carrier, may have noticed the unusually high amount of cancellations the airline has had in recent weeks. Most notable to many travelers are that these are not weather-related cancellations.

It was announced last week that Southwest Airlines has sued its mechanics' union, claiming the union is encouraging mechanics to write up artificial aircraft maintenance reports that have no impact on flight safety.

Virgin Voyages Ship

Always wanted to try a cruise but you hate buffets and waterparks and long for adventure with an adult twist? Hang on to your sailor hat, there’s a new guy at sea!

Richard Branson now has a cruise line with a totally different take on cruising. 

Busy Airport

We wanted to alert all TravelPlex clients to the possible delays and cancellations at various airports throughout the country and the need for all travelers to check with the airline as to the status of their flight. This is due to staffing issues at several airports, including Atlanta, LaGuardia (NYC), Newark and Philadelphia.

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has made the decision to halt or delay flights into these three airports because of staffing concerns. Typically, these are temporary measures and involve ‘gate and/or taxi holds’.

Sad Businessman in Airport

As the U.S. government shutdown turns three weeks old, the odds of lasting effects on the travel community—disrupted trips or, even worse, security risks—are increasing.

“Air traffic control, understaffed before the shutdown began, soon could reach the point at which the government will need to reduce flight volumes, which will force carriers to cancel some flights”, states Bruce McIndoe, founder and president of global travel risk management firm World.” An extended shutdown could lead to entire airports being shut down, with only a "subset of the airports" running”.

Woman in Airport Security Line

TravelPlex has heard from many of our clients regarding the conditions at airports across the country and the TSA agents situation. While some TSA agents have called in sick for work, the agency took to Twitter Friday,  stating “security effectiveness will not be compromised and performance standards will not change” at all airports.

We have a few tips for dealing with this situation.

car dash

Beginning January 1, 2019, the IRS is increasing the rate used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business purposes.

TravelPlex Travel & Cruise, a Branch of Tzell Travel Group, has signed an agreement to acquire B & A Travel Service, which is headquartered in Carbondale, Illinois.  The merged operations of the two companies will represent $55 million in annual sales.

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.