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Week in Review

This week in business travel news, Cindy Goodman of the Miami Herald writes about navigating the demands of business travel. She highlights the busy lives of several international travelers and cites GBTA data predicting an estimated 5.6 percent increase in international outbound travel from the U.S. as companies deem travel critical to winning new customers, closing new deals and developing global relationships with suppliers.

Given the impact on the economy and the travel industry from the 2013 government shutdown, the last thing the business travel industry wants is a repeat of that. CNN reported that Congress approved a spending bill narrowly averting another government shutdown last night for at least a couple more days. The House approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill that keeps the government open through September while the Senate agreed to a two-day extension of current funding levels to give itself time to approve the House bill.

It was a busy news-week on the airlines front with The New York Times reporting airlines are expecting a big rise in profits in 2015 as fuel costs drop. American Airlines announced a $2 billion investment in customer improvements according to Business Traveler, while CNET says United Airlines plans to equip 23,000 of its cabin crew with Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus devices. Scott McCartney writes in his Wall Street Journal Middle Seat blog that the airlines are trying to class up coach service. He asks if better food and video options can really make up for tight legroom on long flights.

When it comes to flight issues, USA Today reported on flight delays and Southwest’s fall from one of the most punctual of the big U.S. airlines to the bottom of government rankings for on-time arrivals. The article says airlines are placing a strong focus on making sure the first flight of the day gets off on time to set the tone and cites an FAA study estimating that flight delays cost the airline industry $8 billion a year and costs passengers even more – nearly $17 billion. Rene Wisely wrote in The Detroit News how costly air travel headaches can be for businesses noting a GBTA study showing on average mishaps cost business travlers $1,154 in missed work and out-of-pocket expenses.

Looking to pack lighter when you travel? The New York Times reports on loan programs not only becoming an accepted feature at luxury and full-service hotels, but notes they are expanding their offerings in the wake of the sharing economy to include items like bicycles, automobiles and running gear.

Also this week, the GBTA Foundation revealed results of its latest Travel Managers Data Needs and Challenges study focusing on the APAC and Europe regions and how travel managers use data to save money. The study showed that Asia Pacific companies appear to be more successful than their European counterparts in utilizing data.

In other GBTA News, the Foundation and Project ICARUS announced open nominations for its 3rd annual Outstanding Achievement Awards for Sustainability in business travel and meetings across North America. Earlier this week on the blog, we also highlighted the European sustainability award winners.

With 2015 fast approaching 4Hoteliers featured the top 10 hospitality industry trends to expect in 2015, and Travel Pulse reported on an American Express study revealing business travelers top preferences and requests. Mashable also shared 9 hacks to keep your routine during business travel in the coming year.

Finally, Inc. shared a fun infographic on twitter showing the surprising truth about business travel productivity. Do you and your smartphone have a relationship like this?


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