As anticipated – and no big surprise - American Airlines joined the ranks of United, Delta, and even Southwest Airlines, in giving their AAdvantage program a facelift.

Starting August 1, 2016 AAdvantage members will earn 5 miles per dollar spent, 7 miles for Gold status members and 8 for Platinum members. For those holding Elite Executive Platinum status, those travelers will receive 11 miles per dollar spent.

Almost everyone has heard of the recent security line debacles at airports across the country. The long wait times people are experiencing at search points in airports should cause many companies to consider requiring that their travelers get a TSA PreCheck pass so they can avoid the long airport security lines. TravelPlex recently had two companies contact us about the logistics of getting any traveler that flies for company business more than six times a year a PreCheck registration.

This month’s Memorable City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and with good reason. New York City is the heart and soul of business in the United States.

As a true “melting pot” of American culture, there is something for every style, taste and budget in New York City. Each “district” offers something completely unique to visitors. Uptown and the Broadway district offer travelers tastes, impressions, and yes, even smells, completely different from those found a few miles south in Little Italy or SoHo.

If you have flown recently, you have probably been witness to unusually longer lines at airport security lanes. Mr. Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security Director, is committed to easing this problem. Summer always means increased travel, as many families take to the friendly skies for their vacation. 

Mr. Johnson has outlined various methods to deal with the approaching problem...

TravelPlex has written a few articles in the past couple of years dealing with protecting your confidential information while traveling – on business or on personal trips. New cons and rip-offs seem to be popping up on a weekly basis. It’s as if people have nothing better to do than think of new ways to steal from travelers (people in general).

The latest scam involves a relatively innocent set-up...

TravelPlex wanted to provide you the latest news regarding the three major airlines (American, Delta and United Airlines) and the introduction of “multi-city fares”. As many of you have noticed, these actions are confusing to most travelers and have forced travelers (and companies) to pay hundreds – even thousands – more for the exact same itineraries.

Although this is being posted on April Fool’s day, this is not a joke. It seems that the perfect storm of big spring break mobs, intensified airport security measures and a deficit of TSA screeners is equaling longer security lines at airports across the country. With summer travel just around the corner, lines will only get worse.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is asking flyers to check-in at least two hours prior to their flights. The agency is placing the blame on a tepid traveler response to the agency's PreCheck program.

Often times TravelPlex blogs are about travel per diems (car, hotel and food/beverage) and how they can fit in with a travel policy. While each company maintains a unique culture and objectives, there are ways to configure per diems into a travel policy. Remember, the better the travel policy, the greater the travel savings.

With that said, we want to pass along Business Travel News' 2016 Travel Per Diems. These are only to be used as guidelines, and their usefulness may vary depending on your travel program.

A recent study from Concur Solutions answers an age old question; “How much is last-minute business travel costing our company?” The report supplies evidence on how much money companies can save when a strong travel policy, plus the latest travel management technology, are effectively utilized and monitored.

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...