Week in Review
According to The Hill, Reps. Joe Heck (R-NV) and Mike Quigley (D-IL) have re-filed a measure that is known as the Jobs Originated Through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act that would expand the expand the State Department’s Visa Waiver Program. The VWP has come under fire by some recently who say the program could weaken national security by allowing for easy entry into the United States for people with Western passports. In a recent House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing though, experts disagreed, unanimously testifying that the Visa Waiver Program is beneficial to both the economy and national security. GBTA’s Mike McCormick spoke with national correspondent Kristine Frazao about it saying that while there will always be risk in any environment; these are programs that are vital to keeping the economy moving. They don’t compromise security and safety they’ve been well tested programs that have taken years and years to develop.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) entered the spotlight this week too, reports the National Journal. The Senate Commerce Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee is examining TSA’s PreCheck program as background checks for Pre-Check applicants face questions from lawmakers and privacy advocates.
In hotel news, Hotel Marketing reported U.S. hotel occupancy will hit a record high in 2015. They also reported on the massive opportunity the internet economy is offering the hotel industry.
No one enjoys flight delays. According to USA Today, Nate Silver, the data guru who attracted national attention for his on-target forecasts during the past two presidential elections, is taking on another challenge: predicting on-time flights. Silver believes this will be a necessary tool because of the severe economic impact flight delays have on the economy. GBTA agrees as a recent study revealed air travel mishaps — which include delayed and canceled flights — took nearly 11 hours to resolve and $1,154 in missed work and out-of-pocket expenses.
Despite facing delays and other travel mishaps more passengers will be taking to the sky says CNBC.com. The article says the number of travelers flying on U.S. airlines is expected to grow by about 50 percent in the next two decades, according to a report by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. According to tnooz, many of those travelers will be using mobile boarding passes – and soon. They reported on a new survey that says more than 1.5 billion boarding passes will be delivered to mobile devices by airlines within four years.
Finally, The New York Times talks “Open Skies”. In a review stepping into uncharted territory for the United States, the Obama Administration announced that it is in the early stages of studying claims that Gulf airlines have received market-distorting subsidies.
Remember to check back every Friday for the latest news in business travel.