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Travel Industry Travel News

Free TSA Pre-Check Status Is Ending

If you have traveled frequently in the last month, you may have noticed a major change. Most airlines are no longer providing free TSA Pre-check status like they have in the past. Those receiving TSA Pre-Check for free will now be offered it less and less. The Transportation Security Administration has begun limiting access to its expedited physical screening lanes. Only those who have paid for and enrolled in a Department of Homeland Security trusted traveler programs—TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI will be offered on a consistent basis. My thinking is that every once in a while they want to make sure you are still going by the rules and have you go through regular security lines for a full review.

Applying for TSA Pre-Check

Though an application and approval process is required to receive TSA Pre-Check status, it is very easy.  Interested fliers apply online, submit to a background check, and then visit one of more than 380 enrollment sites across the country. This in-person appointment with a TSA agents can be scheduled online as well.  I enrolled in Global Entry early in 2016 and loved how it expedited my re-entry to US. If you travel 3-4 trips a year, it is well worth the $85 for five years ($17 a year) or Global Entry is $100 ($20 a year).  Learn more about the application process in our ultimate TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry guide.

TSA Pre Check alternative payment methods

Some airlines are offering payment by using your miles. United Airlines and Alaska Airlines require using 10,000 miles, while Southwest  needs 9,000 rapid rewards points.  Delta Air Lines is using miles, but instead offering Diamond and Platinum Medallion Members the ability to select Global Entry application vouchers through Choice Benefits. This loyalty program feature is only available to Delta elite Members. JetBlue is also offering TSA Pre Check for free to elites, similar to Delta’s system.

If you love not having to remove shoes, leaving laptop in your bag, along with your Ziploc bag of liquids don’t delay because the necessary face-to-face appointments are filling up fast.  In other words—don’t wait until right before your next trip to apply as you will be sadly disappointed.

Any questions about TSA PreCheck eligibility contact TSA at (866) 289-9673 or submit questions to @AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook.com/AskTSA.

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Travel News

United Airlines Offers New Non-Stop from Denver to Tokyo

United Airlines will begin daily nonstop service from Denver International Airport to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport in early spring 2013, after more than a decade of Denver’s efforts to land the route.

Click here for the full story.

 

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Travel Management Travel News

The United/Continental Merger: A Personal Epiphany

I was recently sitting in a client review meeting with our United Airlines sales representative. I, like most, have been extremely frustrated with the immediate results of the United/Continental merger and how it has wreaked havoc in our travel community. But I was pleasantly surprised with how our United representative took ownership of the situation and the difficulties that have surrounded this transition. She actually shared many points about this process and what has been occurring over the last two months.
One comment in particular stood out above all others. She said, “This was the single largest technology conversion in aviation history and we are working through the technical issues that inevitably accompany a project of this magnitude.” From that one statement, it all began to make sense to me.
Perhaps you could call it a personal epiphany, but I decided I wasn’t going to be frustrated anymore. I couldn’t. Anything of this magnitude can’t be easy!
It was then I took a deep breath and decided to just have patience.

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Travel News

United Airlines and Continental Merge Frequent Flyer Loyalty Program

CHICAGO, June 29, 2011 – United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) today announced that Mileage
Plus will be the loyalty program for its wholly owned subsidiaries United Airlines and Continental Airlines beginning in 2012. Moving to a single loyalty program is a significant milestone in the integration of the two airlines and will provide a more consistent travel experience for customers.
United will announce complete details of the Mileage Plus program – including elite levels, qualifications and benefits, lifetime benefits, and other program developments that will take effect in 2012 – in the coming months.
Continental’s OnePass loyalty program will end on Dec. 31, 2011. United will automatically enroll OnePass
members in Mileage Plus and deposit into Mileage Plus award miles equal to their OnePass award miles balance.

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Travel News

United to Retain Economy Plus & Expand to Continental

>United will retain its popular Economy Plus® seating and expand the option to Continental aircraft beginning in 2012, providing more opportunities for customers to enjoy additional legroom and comfort. The decision to maintain and expand Economy Plus across the combined fleet marks a significant milestone in the product integration of Continental and United. It also demonstrates the company’s commitment to provide innovative options to customers that enable them to customize their travel experience with superior products they value.
United offers Economy Plus on all 359 mainline aircraft and more than 150 larger regional jets operated by United Express® carriers. When the multi-year conversion process is complete, the company plans to offer Economy Plus on more than 700 mainline aircraft, including all Continental mainline aircraft, as well as larger regional aircraft. When fully deployed, the new United fleet will provide more than 122,000 Economy Plus seats each day, the largest amount of extra legroom economy seating available to customers of any airline in the world. OnePass and Mileage Plus elite members may confirm extra legroom seats at no charge, and other customers may purchase seat assignments in Economy Plus.
For more information, please contact your designated Christopherson Business Travel Account Manager.

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Travel Management Travel News

New FEES – United US/Canada Checked Baggage

Below is the checked baggage policy for United Economy® travel wholly within the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada.
Frequently Asked Questions
This policy has been revised, effective for tickets purchased on or after January 14, 2010 for travel on or after January 21, 2010. Fees for first and second checked bags have changed. There is still a discount for checked bag fees paid through EasyCheck-in Online® at united.com.
If you are traveling on an Economy ticket or an Economy award ticket, please see the information below regarding checked baggage fees that may apply.
Please note that there are some fee exceptions. All fees shown below are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise specified.
For customers who are not exempt, first and second bag fees (each way) when paid at the airport are as follows:
If you purchased your ticket(s)… for travel… then the following fees will apply for bags checked at the airport
First bag Second bag
before
January 14, 2010
anytime $20* $30*
on or after
January 14, 2010 before
January 21, 2010 $20* $30*
on or after
January 14, 2010
on or after
January 21, 2010 $25* $35*
*Baggage fees are per person and for a single direction of travel. United offers a discount if you check your bags via EasyCheck-in Online® at united.com within 24 hours of your flight. The amount of the discount percentage is subject to change without notice.

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Travel News

United Leads the Way in Denver

In 2009, 50 million customers passed through Denver. With 41 percent of the total capacity at the Denver International Airport, United continues to be the largest carrier in Denver with almost three times more flights, seats and cities than any other carrier. Internationally, we resumed nonstop service between Denver and London Heathrow in 2009. That flight will return again this summer along with the non-stop service between Denver and Anchorage, Alaska.
Carrier United Frontier Southwest

  • Cities Served 118 55 43
  • Departures 407 166 128
  • Seats 37,444 13,340 17,536

New International Service

  • March 28 — Brussels, Belgium
  • April 18 — Bahrain (via Kuwait)
  • May 2 — Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria

United will inaugurate its first-ever service to Africa this spring with one daily, same-plane service from Washington to Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria. We also will extend our existing daily Washington – Kuwait flight to include Bahrain, and will offer a new nonstop flight between Chicago and Brussels, Belgium. Introduction of all of the new services is subject to government approval.

Categories
Travel Management Travel News

Fees, Fees and more Airline Fees

In the beginning we may have been caught off guard by ancillary fees charged by some of the major airlines, Delta, United, Continental, American Airlines and others, but what is happening now? Are we learning to accept them, ignore them or just plain hate them?
According to a study by ProMedia Travel, many corporations are reporting that anywhere from 5% – 15% of their corporate travel budgets have been consumed by airline ancillary fees. What appears to have happened is that many airlines have ‘unbundled’ their fees, but have not lowered airfare. Consumers are okay with paying fees for items or services that add value to their travel experience, however, they are not okay with paying fees for what use to be included in the cost of their airline ticket such as baggage fees. Checking baggage is an essential part of travel and most people feel should be included in the price of the ticket, the quoted price by the airline, which it isn’t.
Several carriers, such as JetBlue and Southwest, are charging additional fees, but these fees are for services that add value while fares remain reasonable and a checked bag is included. This has allowed these airlines to generate revenue while at the same time keeping their customers happy. JetBlue does this by charging additional for seats with extra leg room and their TruBlue program has no blackout dates, you can use points to book any seat on the plane, points don’t expire and change and cancellation fees are reasonable. Though the boarding process with Southwest can be challenging at times, their philosophy is similar, they don’t charge change or cancellation fees and neither airline charges for the first checked bag, and they use this as a very effective advertising tool.  These airlines are actually turning million dollar profits while the major carriers are reporting multi million dollar losses.  When will the major airlines realize that there is something to be learned from JetBlue and Southwest Airlines?
We don’t necessarily need to become a prisoner to ancillary fees. Travel managers can try using the increased cost of doing business with the airlines as a tool during contract negotiations. The Department of Transportation could make a ruling mandating that airlines display what every passenger considers to be part of a reasonable airline ticket, and then allowing us to ‘opt out’ of items like a first check bag.