FlightStats reports monthly airline timeliness. TravelPlex monitors these statistics as it aides your travel counselor in selecting carriers for the business traveler. The last thing business travelers need is to be on an airline that ranks near the bottom of the punctuality list.

Since airline punctuality has taken on more value in the last year or so, we thought we would take a look at  FlightStats' latest report.

This month, TravelPlex takes you to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.  One reason Washington D.C. is popular as both a business destination and a vacation city is because the city has an unmatched collection of free, public museums and many of the nation's most treasured monuments and memorials. Whether it’s visiting the National Mall, complete with its blanket of cherry blossoms in the spring; the Smithsonian; or any of the many famous memorials (Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, WW II or the Vietnam Monument), this city stands as a testament and a beacon of the world's wealthiest and most powerful nation.

We are often asked for methods to not only analyze travel spend, but to unveil a secret formula for limiting or controlling travel expenses. As you know, the best way to control primary and ancillary costs has been, and always will be, a strong updated travel policy. This has been addressed earlier. However, this week we’d like to look into the “smaller” expenses associated with business travel.

Most executives and accounting folks focus on the primary travel costs – airfares, hotel and car rentals. But what we’re going to discuss here is the smaller stuff that’s beginning to add up for almost every company.

Late last year, TravelPlex reported that Hilton Hotels and Marriott Hotels were testing the notion of charging a $50 cancellation fee regardless of when a room reservation is cancelled. If a room was booked and cancelled, say, 30 days prior to check-in, the traveler would still be assessed a $50 cancellation fee. 

Yesterday, Hilton Hotels announced that its trial of a $50 anytime cancelation fee at selected hotels will be scrapped. Marriott Hotels has yet to announce that they too will end this practice.

Security while traveling has been addressed a number of times by this forum and TravelPlex in general. In the past several months, hotels have come under fire by hackers gaining access to traveler’s credit card numbers and other confidential information.

Business Travel News has compiled an analysis of why hotels are being targeted and the extent of their legal responsibility. They have also developed recommendations for how Travel Managers can help protect their travelers from cybercriminals.

TravelPlex was fisrt inducted into Funjet's 500 Club in 2002, and we have continued to earn this distinction for fifteen consecutive years. 

As a multiple year award winner of the 500 Club Program, we continue to be honored by Funjet's recognition of the hard work and dedication each of our counselors puts into finding a great vacation experience for each of our customers.

Would you buy a seat on a discounted flight—one with no food, entertainment, or baggage allowance—to save hundreds of dollars? In 2016, travelers will see the return of the $99 round trip airfare. In fact, fares even lower than that are being tracked by TravelPlex counselors. These low prices are due to a few factors. The first, oil prices continue to drop. With fuel prices down over 50% in the last 18 months, airlines are finding it harder to justify fare increases. Even static pricing is drawing the ire of most travelers.

That said, there are many things to consider before jumping at those eye-popping prices...

January’s Memorable City is unforgettable for a number of reasons, and if you’re a Cardinal fan, the painful memory of October, 2006 is still fresh. That said, Boston is still a very popular travel destination for St. Louisians. We’ve all grown up studying famous historical events and figures such as Paul Revere; the battles at Concord and Lexington; the infamous Boston Tea Party and the USS Constitution. And how can one speak of Boston without mentioning Harvard and the Kennedy’s. What baseball fan hasn’t dreamt of hitting a ball off – or over -the “Green Monster” at Fenway Park?

On your next visit to Bean Town, we’ve assembled a few of Boston’s lesser known charms - hidden gems that most out of town visitors never see but are worth an hour or two of your time.

It’s that time of year again where we don our Nostradamus hat and predict what will impact the travel industry in the new year. The big travel news in 2016 is likely to follow a few main themes. Notice I reference “themes" versus “trends”, because instead of blockbuster announcements, you're more apt to see evolving developments throughout the year. New slants to old problems, and new fights over new problems. The perfect example is Uber and how it will mesh with – and impact – the corporate travel industry. While it may not be a great year for travelers, it will certainly be an interesting one. Here are some trends to watch for in the year ahead.

We here at TravelPlex have received many questions from travelers about news they have recently heard regarding what will be allowed as identification at airports. In order to clarify recent TSA announcements, we have quarried many sources to provide you the truth as to what will be allowed as ID and when any enforcement of these new policies will take effect.   

Currently, travelers from four U.S. states will not be able to use their driver’s licenses as ID to board domestic flights. Those with driver’s licenses from New York, Louisiana, Minnesota, and New Hampshire, are considered “noncompliant” with the security standards outlined in the Real ID Act.

TravelPlex would like to address rumors that are floating out there regarding acceptable ID.

If you travel enough, you’ve had this problem. You have 10 minutes before your three-hour flight begins boarding and you’re scanning the airport newsstand, urgently searching for a snack to get you through the flight. Sometimes you might find something reasonable, at least until you see how much it costs ($6 for a small bags of nuts! Really?). Sometimes we're not even that lucky. The same can be said for in-flight snack boxes. It's a rarity to want everything inside one, so you're essentially paying for things you won't eat (or won't enjoy).

But there is a solution.

This past year, as security has ramped up the importance meter and more and more people are growing cognizant of possible security exposure, TravelPlex has offered a number of things travelers can do to protect their security and prevent potential security hacking.

We don’t want to alarm or scare people, but being aware of what could happen helps prevent the possibility of having personal information breached. An item we would like to bring to your attention is your airline boarding pass. Have you ever tossed away your boarding pass in the trash can at an airport, or worse, left it behind in the magazine pocket at your seat? Well, you might not want to do that in the future.

Newly combined St. Louis headquartered travel management company grows to $50 million in annual sales.

St. Louis, MO (December 18, 2015):  Two of St. Louis’s leading travel companies announced they are joining forces: TravelPlex Travel & Cruise, a Branch of Tzell Travel Group, has signed an agreement to acquire Travel etc., also headquartered in St. Louis.  The merged operations of the two companies will represent $50 million in annual sales.

Delta Airlines, St. Louis’s fastest growing airline in terms of seat capacity, has for the fifth straight year been named by corporate travel managers as their favorite airline. The carrier once again earned the top score in all 10 categories in Business Travel News' Annual Airline Survey. Delta continued to gain ground on its competition, posting a total score almost 1 point higher, on a five-point scale, then all its competitors. Last year, Delta’s premium over the nearest competitor was 0.7 points. This year’s rankings were Delta Airlines - 4.19; United Airlines – 3.31; Southwest Airlines – 3.28 and American Airlines – 3.27.

Kansas City, St. Louis’s little cousin located a few hours west on I-70, is home to a number of great sights, including a vibrant arts scene, professional sporting teams (including a decent baseball team….), world-class attractions, great food (and BBQ almost as good as Pappy’s!) as well as a blend of eclectic and specialty shops. Whether you are visiting Kansas City for business, or a quick weekend getaway, take the time to discover a mix of new and traditional favorites...

Now through July 31, 2016, members of Enterprise’s Enterprise Plus program can earn bonus points for a number of qualifying activities. These extra’s include:

  • Earn 50 bonus points for agreeing to receive marketing emails from Enterprise
  • Earn 150 bonus points for the first Enterprise rental booked with no prior bookings within 24 months
  • Earn 75 bonus points for the first weekend Enterprise rental booked with no prior weekend bookings within 24 months