What's New in Travel

Alaska Airlines Begins Seattle-Nashville Route

Alaska Airlines announced the launch of new daily, non-stop service between Seattle and Nashville. The carrier will operate the service using Boeing 737-900 planes.

Flights will depart Seattle at 9:30 a.m. and arrive in Nashville at 4:05 p.m. From Nashville, flights are scheduled to depart at 5:05 p.m. and arrive in Seattle at 8:20 p.m.

Alaska Airlines’ 737-900s are equipped with 16 seats in first class and 165 seats in economy. First-class seats are 21” wide, and have a pitch of 36”.

Along with the new Seattle-Nashville route, Alaska Airlines began new service from Seattle to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport last week.

Alaska and Icelandair partnership finally reopens door for direct award tickets to Iceland

This is potentially huge news for mileage collectors, as Iceland has not been easily accessible for award ticket redemptions from the U.S. in several years (Alaska and Icelandair were partners awhile back, but discontinued that relationship in 2013). Sure, Delta flies to Iceland seasonally, but good luck trying to use Delta’s award search function or trying to determine the amount of miles it should cost to get there. Furthermore, in order to get to Iceland through United, you typically have to go through Europe, adding 14 or more hours to a flight that is usually about five from New York.

Sea-Tac Parking Deal

Print this coupon and provide to the cashier upon exiting the garage to redeem this offer.
**Deal valid from 9/15/2015 to 11/30/2015. See coupon for rules and restrictions.**

TSA Ends Free Passes to Airport Pre-Check Lines

TSA's contorversial but traveler-friendly Managed Inclusion Program, which allowed passengers labled "low risk" to use the expedited security lanes in order to speed up the security process, is officially phased out of all airports nationwide. In June, TSA announced that they would be ending the program after a Homeland Seurity report revealed that a convicted felon and former member of a domestic terrorist group was selected by Managed Inclusion and cleared the PreCheck lanes. He was identified later and re-screened before boarding the plane. Now, only people enrolled in PreCheck will be able to use the PreCheck line.
Enrollment includes an application, an $85 fee, and an in person interview at one of the 330 application centers around th courty. Once the traveler is enrolled, PreCheck status is valid for 5 years.

American Airlines and Delta Airlines End Interline Agreement Effective September 15th, 2015

Unable to come to terms, American Airlines and Delta Airlines have mutually agreed to end their interline agreement effective September 15. This means that from that date, neither carrier will offer interline services to the other, including the ability to rebook passengers at discounted rates on the other when flight disruptions occur. American and Delta indicate they will continue to honor valid tickets already purchased on or before September 14 through their existing interline agreement.

Going forward, passengers will no longer be permitted to connect from one airline to the other while traveling on a single ticket. With the end of their interline agreement, travelers will now have to purchase two tickets and will be required to pick up and recheck any checked bags when flights on both carriers are purchased for a particular trip. Additionally, travelers will no longer be accommodated from one to the other carrier during poor weather conditions or other irregular operations.

Alaska Airlines Acquires Naming Rights to Husky Stadium

As part of a 10-year, 41 million dollar partnership between Alaska Airlines and The University of Washington, Alaska Airlines has attained naming rights to UW's Husky Stadium as well as becoming the official airline of all three UW campuses. For the next 10 years, the UW's new football stadium will be known as Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. The school has stated that the money from the naming rights will go towards athletic scholarships and other student programs on campus.

Delta Basic Economy vs. Economy

Not sure whether to choose Basic Economy or Economy? Use this chart to help make your decision.

ETC Travel Voucher

We have a $100 travel voucher available for the 200th person to like our Facebook page! Use this voucher as part of a vacation package or any other service that ETC provides. We are also beginning contests on our Facebook page for more prizes! So click on over and give us a like for your chance to win!

Turkey Travel Warning Issued by State Department

On September 2, 2015, the State Department advised U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Turkey that the "U.S. Consulate in Adana has authorized the voluntary departure of family members out of an abundance of caution following the commencement of military operations out of Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey." U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Turkey are advised to be alert to the potential for violence. In the past, terrorists conducted attacks on U.S. interests in Turkey, as well as at sites frequented by foreign tourists.

The State Department urges U.S. citizens to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings, including demonstrations intended to be peaceful as they can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. The U.S. Consulate in Adana also advises that U.S. citizens seeking to depart southern Turkey are responsible for making their own travel arrangements with no plans for charter flights or other U.S. government-sponsored evacuations. The Consulate advises commercial flights are readily available and airports are operating normally. Additionally, the U.S. Consulate in Adana will continue to operate normally and provide consular services to U.S. citizens.

The State Department offers this advice: "Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news media for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security, and follow instructions of local authorities."

For information about travel in Turkey and the rest of the world, visit The State Department's Website.

La Quinta Resort Offers Luxury Driving Experience

The La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs California is introducing packages that offer guests the chance to test drive three haute autos: the technological Ferrari 458 Italia Spider, the McLaren MP4-12C and the Porsche GT3. This experience includes an introduction and tutorial about each vehicle by Didier Theys, a tour through the desert, and a return trip into the sunset through the Anza-Borrego Desert. This is all in addition to the outstanding accommodations offered with the newly renovated guest casita or suite.

New Privatized International Airport Opening in Saudi Arabia

The project consists of a three-level terminal covering more than 156,000 square meters with 16 aircraft stands and boarding bridges. It also includes a widened and extended runway with 10km of taxiways capable of accommodating A380-size aircraft. It is expected to add 20,000 new jobs in the area and include accommodations for 100,000 people. While growth in the aviation sector will help the country diversify, experts warn that challenges still persist within the invisible infrastructure of air traffic that will need to be addressed.

New Non-Stop Delta Flights out of Seattle

Flying Delta out of Seattle has never been easier!

  • Billings, MT (BIL) - Starting December 19th
  • Boston, MA (BOS) - Daily Non-Stops Starting April 4th, 2016
  • Bozeman/ Big Sky, MT (BZN) - Year-Round, Daily Non-Stops as of Aug. 1, 2015
  • Cancun, MX (CUN) - Seasonal Non-Stops Dec. 18th, 2015 - April 9th 2016
  • Kona, HI (KOA) - Daily Non-Stops begin Dec. 19th, 2015
  • Missoula, MT (MSO) - Daily Non-Stops begin Dec. 19th 2015
  • Orlando, FL (MCO) - Daily Non-Stops begin Dec. 19th, 2015
  • Pasco/Kennewick, WA (PSC) - Three-Times Daily begin Nov. 1st, 2015
  • Victoria, BC, CA (YYJ) - Three-Times Daily begin April 4th, 2016

Save the Date!

Seattle is getting a new Hilton Garden Inn! The grand opening event will be held on September 23, 2015 at the new location.

1821 Boren Ave.
Seattle Wa 98102

Record Setting Numbers of Travelers through Sea-Tac Causes Security Backups

Sea-Tac Airport has seen a huge increase in travelers in the past few years. The previous record of 1.5 million passengers set back in August 2014 is expected to be blown out of the water this year with 1.7 million this month alone. August is always a busy travel month through the Seattle area with vacationers and cruise ship goers, however the number of big corporations in this area such as Amazon.com, Microsoft, Boeing, Expedia, and T-Mobile, the amount of business travel has contributed to the huge increase. Frequent travelers have said that Sea-Tac seems to have the equipment to handle the crowds, however they seem to be lacking in personnel to operate it. Sea-Tac TSA has addressed this shortage and has just hired new officers to screen departing travelers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection has added 10 new people to welcome arriving international passengers.

Final Phase of the Rearden Commerce Rebranding to Deem

We here at ETC Travel partner with Deem to bring some of our clients their online booking tool. In the final phase of Rearden Commerce's rebranding to Deem, the URL for all Deem and Rearden Commerce sites will be changing from companyname-etctravel.reardencommerce.com to companyname-etctravel.deem.com. On September 30th, 2015, the new URL's will become active and the previous ones will no longer work. Until that day, continue to use the old URL.

If this change affects you, your company has already received an e-mail from ETC Travel alerting them to the change and guiding them on how the change will affect them. If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please send them to elizabeth@etctravel.com. During this transitions, please use the online booking portal on our website to be directed to Deem with the correct URL.

Mobile Passport Now Officially Authorized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Mobile Passport was originally tested at a select few airports across the country and is now a reality! Officially authorized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Mobile Passport allows travelers to submit their passport control and customs declaration information via their cell phone or tablet.

There are five easy steps to MPC:

  • Download the Mobile Passport Control App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store prior to arriving
  • Create a profile with your passport information
  • Complete the “New Trip” section upon arrival in the United States
  • Submit your customs declaration form through the app to receive an electronic receipt with an Encrypted Quick Response (QR) code.
  • Bring your passport and smartphone or tablet with your digital bar-coded receipt to a CBP officer

Lufthansa Plans Overhaul of Airfare System

In October, Germany’s Deutsche Lufthansa AG plans an overhaul of its ticketing system that will require passengers to pay extra for checked baggage, seat reservations, and flight changes or cancellations. There will be three types of fares offered in economy class, ranging from “light fare” which will allow carry-on baggage only to traditional economy class. Other European low cost airlines such as Ryanair already have similar systems in place.

Alaska Airlines adds Hainan as Mileage Plan Partner

Alaska Airlines continues to expand their Mileage Plan with the addition of the China-based carrier Hainan Airlines. With this newest addition, Alaska Mileage Plan members can now earn miles by traveling on Hainan Airlines which flys non-stop from Seattle to Beijing and Shanghai. As an added perk, Mileage Plan members will receive double miles while traveling on Hainan starting July 23rd through October 31st and vice versa for Hainan Fortune Wings Club members while traveling on Alaska.

Click HERE to be redirected to the Alaska Air website for more information on this exciting announcement.

Delta Announces Changes to SkyMiles

Delta's SkyMiles program will adopt a "Supply and Demand" approach to free flights and upgrades. This new program will require more miles for free flights and upgrades for more popular flights than other less popular flights. This new program will go into effect June 1st, 2016. With these changes, Delta joins other carriers such as JetBlue, Southwest, and Virgin American who also employ a similar program.

Click HERE for more details on these changes from the Delta SkyMiles website.

New Center Runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

In the spirit of Seattle, Sea-Tac Airport is getting a recycled center runway made partly out of the old runway. The new runway will consist of 8 inches of crushed rock from the old runway, 4 inches of asphalt and 18 inches of Portland-cement concrete on top. The current runway has been in use since 1969 and after its reconstruction will stand for an estimated 40 years more.
This project began on May 4th, 2015 and is about a third of the way done with a completion date of October 30th, 2015. This project is not expected to impact flight schedules, passenger traffic, or other airport operations.
Click HERE for more details.

Emirates Improves Travel to Dubai
with the Addition of a Morning Flight

This flight will be operated with a Boeing 777-200LR. It will depart Seattle at 9:04am and arrive in Dubai at 10:55am the next day. With the addition of this new flight, it will be much easier to connect through to Dhaka, Kolkata, Mumbai, Tehran, Dar Es Salaam, Johannesburg, Nairobi and many other destinations.

Checked Bag Fees

With JetBlue's recent addition of a checked bag fee, here is a look at checked bag fees across carriers.

Icelandair Increases Service from Seattle-Tacoma

In response to the growing demand from the Pacific Northwest, Icelandair is adding four weekly flights from Seattle to complement their current daily service, including the only two international morning flights from Sea-Tac. With departures at 9:15am on Wednesdays and Saturdays, passengers will now have more options to Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Scandinavia, including Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and Gothenburg. These additional flights also give passengers more connections from Anchorage, Billings, Boise, Eugene, Fairbanks, Spokane, Portland, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver on Alaska Airlines, when traveling through their Seattle hub.

Completion of Terminal 5 at LAX Brings Fresh Experience Terminal-Wide and
First Delta Private Check-in Lounge

The experience at Los Angeles International Airport's Terminal 5 today reflects the style of the city and its travelers as Delta Air Lines unveils the completion of a three-year terminal-wide refurbishment, including the airline's first private check-in lounge, Delta ONE at LAX. The $229-million Delta project was completed in partnership with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the City of Los Angeles.

Additionally, a renovated Sky Club offers more space and an improved customer experience, including 100 additional seats; new shower suites and renovated bathrooms; an updated food area with cafe seating; and new furnishings and fixtures. New restaurants and shops in Terminal 5 feature celebrity chefs and retail brand names that reflect the cuisine, culture and lifestyle of Los Angeles.

Arriving in Costa Rica with Alaska

Alaska will soon be flying to two exciting destinations in Costa Rica: San Jose and Liberia. Connect through LAX and enjoy low intro fares this fall from $299* one way.

Delta Air Lines Is Adding Three Daily Flights to Pasco, Washington

Delta has added three daily flights between Sea-Tac International Airport and the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco, Washington. Delta will also offer three daily flights to Victoria International Airport, British Columbia, Canada.

2015 Corporate Travel Index:
Business Travel Costs Drop in Asia/Pacific region

The data in Business Travel News' 2015 Corporate Travel Index shows that combined hotel rates and miscellaneous costs for 2014 declined year over year in 15 of the 22 Asia/Pacific markets, many of them by double-digit percentages. With the exception of Jakarta (up 7.2 percent)and New Delhi (up 5.5 percent), increases were about 2 percent or less. Overall, the average daily hotel cost in the Asia/Pacific region in 2014 was $184, down 14.7 percent from the 2013.

2015 Corporate Travel Index:
Top 10 US Cities With The Highest Business Travel Costs In Hotel, Car Rental and Food

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