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GBTA Week in Review

The Economist reported on the results of the latest GBTA China BTI results that showed that China is now the leading business travel market in the world.

This coverage rounded out a busy week for GBTA, which held its annual Legislative Symposium, where more than 100 GBTA members came to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers and advocate on behalf of the issues that affect business travel. Several of these, like passage of the pending FAAS legislation and fixing TSA’s pre-check policies were on the agenda.

Attendees got to hear from TSA’s CMO John Sammon, Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and many others. Rep. Cohen and Senator Klobuchar were among several policymakers awarded the GBTA Navigator Award which honors his work on behalf of business travelers and the business travel industry.

Also during the Legislative Symposium, GBTA released its Rules of the Road, a new declaration of travel reform will make create a travel ecosystem that fosters growth, jobs, safety and efficiency around the globe.

The Rules of the Road declaration was highlighted in an Op/Ed in The Hill by GBTA’s Executive Director Michael W. McCormick. Mr. McCormick urges lawmakers to join with business travel professionals to make business to optimize the global business travel infrastructure—making it safer, more secure and more productive.

Airlines continue to reap the benefits of low fuel costs. San Antonio Express News reports that despite the increased savings to the airlines, no carriers have stated that they will phase out baggage fees, which generated close to $4 billion for the airlines last year.

The Wall Street Journal also looked at how airlines are benefitting from lower fuel costs reporting that Emirates full-year profits rose 56 percent due to lower fuel costs, which now constitutes 26 percent of the carrier’s operating costs.

Satisfaction with North American airlines rose for a fourth straight year, as well, measuring at a record high 726 points on a scale of 1,000 – a nine point jump over last year. While overall performance and satisfaction rose, complaints still found a way to increase by 38 percent, according to CNN.

With the deepening ties between Silicon Valley and London, British Airways has added a San Jose-London flight, whose inaugural flight took to the skies this week, according to USA Today. The new San Jose-London service supplements the carrier’s San Francisco-London service, and will use Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

If you happen to take advantage of the new San Jose-London route, you may want to consider traveling by train rather than by air once you land in Europe. New research from GoEuro found that traveling by rail rather than air saved passengers an hour or more for 10 of Europe’s most popular routes, according to Buying Business Travel.

Skift reports on the consequences that Marriott shared if the hotel chain had lost its bid for Starwood properties to China’s Anbang Insurance Group. Marriott would have collected a $450 million breakup fee, in addition to $8 million in extra costs, from Starwood/Anbang, but it probably would have lost much more overall, in the long term, in the missed opportunity of becoming the world’s largest hotel company. Other details were also revealed at Marriott’s first quarter shareholder meeting, which was open to the public.

In terms of customer satisfaction, Skift also reported on the best hotels for customer satisfaction – with Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt taking the top three spots.

While U.S. hotel brands scored high in customer satisfaction, these same chains lack visibility overseas according to L2Daily.

Bloomberg shares tips on how to improve your hotel visit during business trips.

More and more hotels are aiming to give travelers a more authentic, home-feeling experience according to tnooz. This change is being lead by increased competition as well as traveler demand.

Your list for this week:

4 Charts on the Reality of Expenses in U.S. and UK Corporate Travel – Skift

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