GBTA began this week just as last week ended – advocating for Congress to pass a bill fully funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). GBTA’s Mike McCormick spoke with Joe Sharkey of The New York Times about how the funding standoff creates uncertainty for the business travel industry, which directly impacts the economy. USA Today reported how lawmakers were looking for a way out of the DHS funding impasse. They also quoted GBTA saying, “For the sake of our economy at large, Congress must stop moving from crisis to crisis.” When Congress did finally pass a bill funding DHS for the rest of the fiscal year, GBTA was relieved that road warriors can now continue to travel without disruption, disappointed that the path to a full-year funding bill was fraught with such uncertainty.
Also on the advocacy front, the House passed an Amtrak reform bill this week. Matt Alderton of Successful Meetings reported that if there is one thing Republicans and Democrats agree on, it’s the importance of upgrading the nation’s passenger rail system. GBTA was pleased to see this pass the House and urges the Senate to move forward with legislation approving funding for Amtrak.
We all know mobile is big now, but just how big? Booking.com now sees 100,000 transactions a day on mobile.
Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) was awarded its second Project ICARUS Sustainability Gold Medal from Project ICARUS and the GBTA Foundation. The Gold Medals recognize travel and meeting industry companies who are committed to making sustainability a core function within their business and are leading the way by commitment and actions to provide best in class sustainability programs for their company, travelers and customers.
In a look at airline news, The Dallas Morning News reports U.S. airlines are growing without adding airplanes. Terry Maxon writes that they are doing this by putting more seats in their airplanes, replacing smaller airplanes with bigger airplanes or flying their airplanes more often or on longer trips. USA Today’s Bart Jansen reported on a survey that shows travelers overwhelmingly oppose increasing fees on airline tickets that help pay for airport improvements.
Also, Hotelmarketing.com writes Google is making a stronger stake in the mobile travel sector by rolling out an updated flight-search tool that will enable consumers to use their mobile devices to search for fare prices and a slew of flight options and may cut into the crowded sector of booking applications.
CNN Money reports that Malaysia Airlines hopes a revamp will revive the airline. Slightly removed from two major tragedies, the immediate financial crisis is drawing to a close, and the company has developed a turnaround plan that shows a return to profits by 2017. USA Today looked into airline safety and writes that air travel will get even safer in 2015.
Finally, Fast Company on their Future of Everything blog makes 3 bold predictions about the future of air travel.