In the past few months we've received calls from people who are interested in traveling to Mexico but are concerned about the various travel advisories they've heard or read about. We feel some of these advisories have resulted in a good deal of misunderstanding about travel safety in Mexico and need to be put in their proper context.

Mexico's Secretary of Tourism, Enrique de la Madrid, provides an interesting perspective on the travel alerts.

Before we go any further, this article is not meant to be a scary warning piece. This is intended only as an informational article to make you aware of an issue that could affect you or your company. If you or someone you know has made a reservation directly with an airline, the following could be of interest to you…

An article by Mitra Sorrells of Travel Weekly uncovers an issue that most travelers have no knowledge of. Malicious bots are stealing data, and content, from airlines websites. A lot of data.

TravelPlex likes to keep our travelers up to date on travel issues. Usually these are slanted toward corporate travel, but because of the overlap on this issue, we thought it best to alert everyone of this news. This is just one more reason why most corporations forbid booking business travel on Internet travel companies.

Online travel agency Orbitz believes their site has been hacked and personal data of as many as 900,000 customers has been leaked.

Often times we at TravelPlex will be asked advice from a traveler about whether they should pay the extra $10 to $50 airline fee for a better seat. It always seems that after you buy the ticket, the airlines want to plop you into a less than coveted middle seat. The very real rationale is that they’ll find enough business travelers who really don’t care about paying an extra $25 to $50 for a good aisle or window seat.

Robert Silk of Travel Weekly wrote a very good article at how to win at the great airline seat assignment game. In his article, he highlights ways to beat the airlines at their own game. 

TravelPlex Travel & Cruise, with 2 retail locations in St. Louis was awarded the prestigious Crystal Apple Award from tour operator Apple Vacations, the leading name in all-inclusive vacations to beach destinations throughout Mexico, the Caribbean and Central/South America, as well as vacation packages to the Hawaiian Islands.

Crystal Apple travel agencies are the top sellers of Apple Vacations packages in their region and receive extra benefits with Apple Vacations...

Many Missourians who travel via airline have been a bit nervous regarding the federal Real ID requirements. The U.S. state driver's licenses that comply can be used to pass through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints. All but three states, Louisiana, Michigan and New York and a few U.S. territories, have either achieved compliance or have been granted an extension for that deadline.

The TSA lists 27 states as compliant with Real ID requirements, meaning travelers can use their current state issued drivers licenses at airport TSA checkpoints.

It was announced in May that software giant SAP purchased Concur Expense and Travel, and that Concur would be integrated into SAP’s offerings.

Effective in the next few days, Concur will be rebranded SAP Concur and the conversion will begin.

TravelPlex's own Donna Oliver was one of 12 travel professionals selected by THOR Inc., an international travel services company, to contribute to the 'Travel Agent Talk' segment of their THOR Advantage publication. Each agent provided answers to a set of 15 travel-related questions. Following is the feature dedicated to Donna.

On Saturday, December 9th, six airlines will change their terminals of operation at New York's LaGuardia Airport amid ongoing construction at the 78-year-old facility.

Finally, a beach that is friendly to people with disabilities!

Congratulations to the government of Mexico and municipal president Remberto Estrada Barba for making it so much easier for people with disabilities to enjoy the beach in Cancun.  This fully equipped beach, Playa Las Perlas, has ramps and beach chairs so everyone can now be included in a trip to the beach.

If you travel, there is a very good chance you rent a car while on a trip. As we speak with various clients, we’ve come to realize that many people think that booking a full size car is the best way to ensure a larger car. Yes, you spend an extra few dollars, but many travelers feel renting that larger car provides a wee bit more room.

However, there is a little secret we at TravelPlex would like to let you in on. If you register for an Emerald Club membership with National Car Rental, you can book a mid-size car and receive a full-size car - or larger.

Periodically, we have a corporate client who asks for our assistance on either updating, or revamping, their travel policy. The most important thing for a good travel program is to have at least some type of strategy in place. The benefit of a good, tight travel policy can be witnessed in the savings a company can claim at the end of a year. (Should you or your company need assistance in updating your travel policy, TravelPlex would be happy to assist you).

Earlier this week, Amanda Metcalf of the Business Travel News wrote an article on the importance of a company having a travel policy. What stood out in the article was the belief that a policy too limiting creates unhappy, and sometimes confused travelers.

As all of you know, the winter season is near and with it many “challenges” for travelers. Flight cancellations and delays are as common and expected as cold weather, snow and family get togethers. We at TravelPlex thought you’d like some tips on how to play Nostradamus, and avoid sitting around airports waiting on the next flight to your destination. REMEMBER, TravelPlex is here for you 24 hours a day to help when delays occur.

Every fall, we at TravelPlex don our Nostradamus hat and, with the assistance of numerous sources, attempt to forecast various industry growth – and potential declining – statistics.

The 2018 predictions for the U.S. hotel industry have just been released and all projections indicate continued growth, however, at a slower pace than in recent years.

Well, you knew something would happen from the horrible press United Airlines received in the wake of the passenger being pulled off a plane. And it did. The number of passengers being bumped from airlines has declined since that April occurrence and the ensuing outrage.

According to the latest Air Travel Consumer Report from the Department of Transportation, involuntary denied boarding’s were down 29 percent, falling from .62 DB’s per 10,000 passengers from April to June 2016 to 0.44 DB’s per 10,000 passengers for the same period this year.

I guess it was only time. While Southwest Airlines continues to beef up its presence with more non-stop and connection flights servicing St. Louis, the airline just announced two more non-stops flights starting this spring.