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Week in Review

The Verge reports Airbnb is transforming from a short-term rental company into a full-scale travel agency. The company launched a new initiative called Airbnb Trips that enables travelers to experience new cities from a local’s perspective. According to The New York Times, the platform allows travelers to partake in activities ranging from stargazing outings to historical tours.

Bloomberg shares United will begin selling a basic economy fare in January. Fliers who purchase “basic economy” tickets board the plane last and are not entitled to overhead bin space. The new category was created to make United competitive against low-cost carriers like Spirit.

According to USA TODAY, European carrier easyJet plans on establishing an operating company in the European Union to keep its intra-EU flight rights once Britain officially leaves the EU.

Skift reports business travel in Europe’s largest markets continues to grow despite Brexit. A new outlook from GBTA forecasts business travel spending in Western Europe is expected to increase 6 percent in 2016 to $210.7 billion USD and another 4.7 percent in 2017.

According to Bloomberg, three of the busiest airports in the U.S. will be testing new, automated security-screening technology this Thanksgiving season. The automated bin systems are expected to improve airport screening efficiency by moving nearly 30 percent more passengers in a given period.

USA TODAY reports Alaska Airlines powered a cross-country flight using a wood-based biofuel. The commercial flight from Seattle to Washington, D.C. used a jet fuel blend containing 20 percent renewable biofuel made from wood scraps.

According to Buying Business Travel, Edinburgh Airport announced plans to expand over the next 25 years. The airport plans to increase the aircraft parking area and extend a terminal building to accommodate more passengers and facilities.

A new report from Rotten WiFi shows U.S. and Thailand airports lead the global trend for fast and free Wi-Fi.

Tnooz reports Jambo, an app enabling business travelers to connect with other professionals while on a trip, won Marriott’s startup accelerator.

Buying Business Travel reports HRS’ Jason Long unveiled research showing a perception gap between travellers and buyers at GBTA Conference 2016 | Frankfurt in Partnership with VDR. According to TravelDailyNews, the GBTA study, in partnership with HRS, identifies business traveller perspectives on company travel policies, compliance and valued amenities. Four out of five (79 percent) business travellers report their company’s travel policy has the greatest impact on their decision when booking travel for work. The study also identifies ways business travellers wish to be contacted regarding travel policies, in addition to regional and generational differences in desires.

The GBTA Foundation, in partnership with BCD Travel, launched two updated global resources designed to help travel professionals assess and build their travel programs. The Sustainability in Travel Self-Assessment Tool and the Managed Travel Index® provide travel professionals with recommendations based on their current programs.