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Week in Review

It has been quite the week of natural disasters. On Thursday, Typhoon Jebi made landfall in Japan leaving nearly 3,000 passengers stranded at Kansai International Airport, Business Insider reports. Due to severe flooding, the airport was forced to shut down.

Tropical Storm Gordon also made landfall this week, causing major airlines to waive change fees in advance, USA TODAY notes.

Officials have unveiled a new facial recognition system at Dulles International Airport in the Washington, D.C. area, The Washington Post reports. The system is expected to eventually replace boarding passes for international travelers with facial scans.

According to Skift, TSA is planning to expand its testing of next-generation scanners (computed topography X-rays) for carry-on bags.

United Airlines announced plans to ditch plastic straws and cocktail stirrers for bamboo equivalents in November, CNBC reports. American Airlines and Alaska Airlines took similar steps earlier this year.

According to SFGate, the House approved a new bipartisan bill called the “PreCheck Is PreCheck Act of 2018” this week. If it becomes law, the legislation will bar TSA from letting non-members into PreCheck lanes.

Ben Coleman, Global Security Executive Services Manager for Facebook, identifies the benefits of leveraging security and travel to build a better travel risk management program.

Skift notes that a rise in peak occupancy nights in 2018 is helping hotels.

A flight from Dubai to NYC ended with passengers and crew taken to the hospital and a quarantined jet, NPR reports. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 100 people on the flight complained of illness.

According to TravelDailyNews International, a new IATA report reveals worldwide annual air passenger numbers exceeded four billion for the first time. The report also delves into airline industry performance in 2017.

USA TODAY notes a “refresh” is coming to JetBlue’s TrueBlue loyalty program. Though the points scheme will remain the same, members will have access to an updated website to track and redeem points.

New research out from GBTA, in partnership with U.S. Bank, reveals mobile payments among travel buyers and suppliers are still in the early adoption phase. Although most buyers and suppliers are familiar with mobile wallet and contactless payment solutions, nearly 50% are unclear on the benefits.