What's New in Travel
Alaska Airlines has opened its preferred seating category to all customers that gives more legroom, a cocktail and priority boarding, for a fee, but only after its Mileage Plan MVP, MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75k members have had an opportunity to reserve them.
The new upgrades start at $15 plus tax. Upgrades for elites will continue to be complimentary. The upgrade can be purchased within a 24-hour check-in window on its website, through its mobile app or at the airport.
Heading to a weekend Sounders or Mariners game from out of town? Park for only $12 at Sea-Tac and take Link Light Rail downtown to the game!
Alaska is opening up new service to Nashville TN, Charleston SC, and Raleigh-Durham NC from Seattle. For the first time, travelers can fly from Seattle to any of these amazing cities, non-stop.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) will introduce Star Wars livery, with the iconic R2-D2, on its newest aircraft 787-9 Dreamliner to mark the beginning of a five-year ANA Star Wars™ Project.The ”R2-D2 Jet” will take off in autumn 2015.
Planning a spring vacation? Save on parking at Sea-Tac Airport and park in the airport garage for only $20/day (or $105/week) now through June!
The 2015 U.S. Open Championship will take place on June 15-21, 2015, at Chambers Bay, in University Place, Washington, on Puget Sound southwest of Tacoma.
Most Tacoma hotels are already sold out for that period. And ETC is already seeing the effects of this event in Bellevue. If you are planning on coming to the Pacific Northwest, please try to stay away from these dates and/or book early.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has given travelers two pathways for utilizing TSA Pre✓® expedited security screening benefits.
TSA announced that beginning April travelers who use the second option and don’t have a KTN “will notice a reduction in the frequency in which they are chosen for TSA Pre✓®.” (Those who are enrolled in a DHS Trusted Traveler Program and have a KTN will not be impacted.) TSA recommends that travelers who “want to keep receiving TSA Pre✓® on a consistent/reliable basis for the next five years” enroll in one of the four trusted traveler programs offered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security:
Visa is now separating "ancillary" fees for travelers when processing payments, distinguishing between ticket price and fees for such extras as in-flight meals, baggage, Wi-Fi access and entertainment.
The socialist trades union for the public sector ACOD has announced a general strike for Wednesday 22 April. This is to protest against the policy choices in socio-economic areas made by the different governments in Belgium. The strike will hit all public services across the country: Belgian Rail and other public transport companies, postal services, education, administration etc..
The Port of Seattle welcomes the debut of The Club at SEA as part of new management of two airport lounges open to all passengers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The lounges are located within concourse A and the south satellite.
All travelers, regardless of airline, class of service, or affinity membership can access The Club at SEA via day passes available for purchase online or onsite. Current Priority Pass, Priority Pass Select, and Lounge Club members are welcome with their existing memberships.
Each lounge features spectacular views of the airfield, Olympic and/or Cascade Mountains, Mt. Rainier, and has more than 4,000 square-feet of space featuring a variety of settings including social spaces, areas for dining or cocktails, and quiet zones to relax or conduct business. Additionally, lounge customers have access to a number of amenities including complimentary snacks and beverages, high-speed Wi-Fi, bar service, and workstations with printers. The Club at SEA in concourse A, across from gate A11, will be open daily from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., and the south satellite location next to gate S9 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The Port of Seattle joined U.S. Customs and Border Protection on March 26th to introduce Mobile Passport Control (MPC) to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. MPC is the first authorized app to expedite a traveler’s arrival into the United States. Sea-Tac is the third U.S. airport to introduce the option. MPC currently offers U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors a more secure and efficient in-person inspection between the CBP officer and the traveler upon arrival in the United States.
There are five easy steps to MPC:
The Port of Seattle welcomes a second daily flight to Dubai, United Arab Emirates from Emirates airlines at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Emirates started selling seats on March 24th for the additional flight which will begin July 1.
Flight details for Seattle-Dubai additional flight
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:
|MileagePlus status level||Long-haul and p.s.® flights||Short-haul flights|
|F, A, J, C or D fare class||Z or P fare class||F, A, J, C or D fare class||Z or P fare class|
|Premier® 1K®||12,000 miles||3,500 miles||1,000 miles||500 miles|
|Premier Platinum/Gold/Silver||6,000 miles||1,000 miles||500 miles||250 miles|
|Member||3,000 miles||-||250 miles||-|
Alaska Launching New Service In 2015
A Trip to Seoul on Delta's Direct Flight From Seattle
The Food, The Palace, The Shopping, The Night Life and The DMZ
ETC Agent Tonya just came back from a Delta Travel Agent Familialization Trip to Seoul. She has shared her experience and knowledge with all the agents at Executive Travel. Our agents now can help you plan an awesome trip to South Korea based on the actual experience. Our Vacation Experts will make your trip easier!
Call ETC Vacation Specialist at 425-453-8200 or email us at email@example.com to check out details.
Hilton, Marriott to Implement Fee for Last-Minute Cancellations
Beginning Jan. 1, Hilton and Marriott hotels will charge a single night's room rate for late cancellations, a move that emulates the airline industry's fee increases in recent years. Traditionally, hotels have allowed same-day cancellations without penalty, but the new rule requires canceling your reservation by the day before your arrival.
Even hotels within large chains have varying cancellation policies, and the changes planned by Marriott and Hilton address only those last-minute cancellation rules. Policies won’t change for hotels that already have cancellation policies.
United Updates its Through-check Baggage Policy
Effective for travel on and after March 1, 2015, when a customer has two separate tickets, United will through-check bags only when the secondary ticket is for travel on the following carriers:
Short Nosed Dogs and Cats will be Prohibited as Cargo
or Checked Baggage
Effective October 30, 2014 Short‐nosed dogs (such as bulldogs and pugs, among others) and short‐nosed cats (such as Himalayans and Persians), known as brachycephalic animals, will be prohibited from traveling in cargo as checked baggage or as commercial shipments on all Alaska Airlines‐ operated flights.
No "Through-check" Bags To The Customer's Final Destination--Update From American Airlines
Recently, We sent you a message on American Airlines' New No 'Through-check' Bags policy which was supposed to be effective on October 1, 2014. On October 10, 2014, American Airlines has updated this policy. Here is the update:
For travel commencing prior to February 1, 2015, American Airlines airport staff will continue to “through-check” customer bags if an OA interline agreement exists.
Travelers are advised to check-in directly with an airport representative and provide documentation they are ticketed on separate tickets and ask the staff to check the baggage to the final destination.
For tickets issued on/after October 15, 2014 for travel on/after February 1, 2015, American will only ‘through-check’ bags” when the separate ticket is for travel on the following carriers:
For all other carriers, customers need to claim their baggage and recheck with the airline separately ticketed.
Check the Date! Passport Validity Requirements for Travelers
The U.S. Department of State has asked travel agencies to help remind their clients traveling internationally that they should closely monitor the validity of their own and their family members’ passports. Many countries throughout the world require travelers’ passports to have at least six months’ validity at the time of entry. If a traveler’s passport does not meet this requirement, a traveler may be refused boarding by an airline at the point of departure or even while transferring planes in another country. Travelers could also be denied entry upon arrival in a foreign country.
If U.S. citizen travelers are denied entry to a country while abroad and need a new passport immediately, they should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Travelers denied boarding in the U.S. and needing an immediate passport can call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 to schedule an appointment at one of 28 passport agencies around the country.
Hilton Now Allows Guests to Select Their Exact Hotel Room
In July, Hilton became the first hospitality company to offer room selection and customization via mobile and Internet-based floor plans.Guests can currently select their exact room online or via the Apple and Android HHonors apps across five Hilton U.S. brands: Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites. That covers nearly 1,000 Hilton hotels. The functionality will also be available at DoubleTree by Hilton and Embassy Suites Hotels properties within the U.S. this fall.
That’s in addition to digital check-in, digital checkout and the ability to order food, beverage and other items that will be waiting for you when you step into your hotel room.
By the end of 2014, digital check-in and room selection will be available at more than 4,000 Hilton Worldwide properties across 11 brands in 80-plus countries via members' Hilton HHonors accounts.
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United Adds Passport Scanning To Its Mobile App
United Airlines introduced passport-scanning function to its mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Passengers on United Airlines will be able to scan their passports and check in for international flights on their smartphones or other mobile device.
Here's how it works: Check in 24 hours before your flight using United's app and you'll be able to scan your passport using the camera on your phone/device. After it has been verified through a security company, you can print out your ticket, skip the check-in counter at the airport and head straight to security.
Stay Charged: TSA Bans Powerless Devices From Flights
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced Sunday that on certain overseas flights to the United States, it will not permit “powerless devices” — cellphones and computers that cannot be turned on. The traveler with powerless devices may also undergo additional screening.
According to Reuters, TSA officials singled out smartphones, including the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, for extra security checks on U.S.-bound flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Delta Launching New Seattle Service To Popular Ski And Beach Destinations
This Fall Delta Air Lines will add new service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to popular ski and beach destinations, including Spokane, Wash.; Maui, Hawaii; Bozeman, Mont.; Calgary, Alberta; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Service to Spokane and Calgary will begin Nov.3, 2014. Service to Maui, Bozeman, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta will begin Dec. 20, 2014.
Is Dubai on your travel list? Consult with ETC Vacation Experts, they will provide great help to you. ETC President Angie just came back on a Travel Agent Familialization Trip to Dubai. She has shared her experience and knowledge with all the agents at Executive Travel. The agents now even can tell you which side of the hotel you should stay so you can get a good night sleep besides all the fun trip plans. Our Vacation Experts will make your trip easier for you.
Delta Makes Radical Change to Frequent Flier Program
Starting in 2015, Delta’s frequent flier program will be revamped to reward members not by how many miles they fly, as in the past, but on how much they spend on airfare.