Week In Review

The Week in Review keeps you up-to-date on the latest business travel news.

This week, GBTA has been at the ITB Asia conference where we unveiled our latest business travel spend report on China and Asia Pacific. Most notably, as Travel Daily Media reported, nearly 40% of business travel spending will come from Asia Pacific. Read our recent blog post here with more on our findings.

On Wednesday, the Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Aviation Consumer Protection hosted a panel discussion and debate on a number of key issues, including cell phones on planes and ancillary fees. USA Today’s Bart Jansen covered and shared remarks from participants, including GBTA’s Director of Public Policy Shane Downey, who noted our most recent tax study found a 1% increase in fares would result in a 0.5% decrease in passengers taking flights.

On the Ebola front, the virus hit the business hub of New York last week after Craig Spencer, a New York-based physician who recently returned from the West African country of Guinea, tested positive.  USA Today’s Charisse Jones reported that travel industry professionals remained confident that it would be business-as-usual for New York City. GBTA Executive Director Mike McCormick reiterated the need for caution, not panic.

The Dallas Morning News reported this week that American Airlines and US Airways will stick to a miles-based frequent-flier program when they merge in 2015. This is in lieu of a dollar-based frequent-flier program that focused on spend for a ticket and related fees.

Visual learners will love Inc’s recent infographic-heavy post on the dos and don’ts for international business travel. Some of our favorite tips: stick to business dinners and don’t pour wine back-handed in Argentina, steer clear of high heels in China and never eat before the host does, and make sure you give an even number of flowers to your host in Italy.

Qantas Airways just made business travel even more appealing with upgraded amenity kits. According to Business Traveler, the fashion-forward Kate Spade and Jack Spade travel pouches will be filled with selection of ASPAR goodies. Look for them on flights between Australia, London, Dubai, Los Angeles and Dallas/Fort Worth.

Traveling to Europe for business soon? Expect to pay a premium for your hotel room if you stay in London. Buying Business Travel reported this week that the average room rate in London was £134.63 in September, nearly a £10 higher than the average rate for Paris (£125.44), which came in second. New York City, however, ranked highest among major cities worldwide.