Week in Review

On Wednesday night, Congress released the details of the FY18 Omnibus spending bill, rejecting an increase on the passenger facility charge (PFC) from $4.50 to $8.50. GBTA is pleased to see that attempts to increase the PFC were rebuffed – taxes and fees associated with travel typically lead to a negative effect on the U.S. economy at large.

Expedia-owned Orbitz discovered a potential data breach affecting 880,000 credit cards, The Verge writes.

European lawmakers are acting to address unfair airline competition rules, Reuters reports. On Tuesday, a European Parliament committee passed new rules that could revoke non-EU carriers’ rights to fly if they engage in “unfair” practices.

It may have been the first day of spring on Tuesday, but Mother Nature has not given up on winter just yet. The most recent Nor’easter from this week led to over 5,700 flight cancellations through the mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S., USA TODAY reports.

Across the pond, snowy conditions in the UK region led to airport closures, flight delays and cancellations, Buying Business Travel notes.

According to CNBC, over 16,000 flights have been cancelled this month due to a barrage of snowstorms, making it “the worst March for flight cancellations in at least six years”.

Budget airline Ryanair plans on investing €100 million to acquire a 75% stake in Australian airline Laudamotion, Travel Weekly reports.

Episode three of The Business of Travel delves into the potential rollback of consumer protections as part of the DOT’s “deregulatory” initiatives. Travel Tech’s Steve Shur shares what’s at stake if these regulations disappear, and Rick Wakida provides a buyer perspective on the potential impact on travelers and travel programs.

BCD Travel forecasts a rise in hotel rates of two to four percent in 2018, Hotelmarketing’com reports.

Skytrax released its list of the world’s best airports for 2018, with Singapore’s Changi Airport taking the lead for the sixth consecutive year, TravelDailyNews International writes.

According to Bloomberg, airlines are asking the Trump administration to help hide fees from passengers by keeping relevant data out of their hands.

The same source notes that starting next year, the DOT plans to change the way an airline’s lost-bag rate is calculated.

Budget carrier AirAsia is in talks to launch an airline serving Myanmar, Reuters reports.