What's New in Travel

La Quinta Resort Offers Luxury Driving Experience

The La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs California is introducing packages that offer gussets 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.

Sea-Tac's Art Collection Now on Interactive Display

Through the STQRY app it’s easy to learn more about all 65 airport art pieces from paintings, murals, sculptures and more, including detailed descriptions, artist bios, fun facts, videos, and even online maps. You can explore, engage, and discover the one you’re most curious about or take a walking tour throughout the terminal! STQRY is available as a free download for iOS, Android, and Windows devices.

Delta Bans Shipment of Big Game Hunting Trophies

At this time, the ban only applies to Big Game hunting trophies such as lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses, and buffalo carcasses. However, they are evaluating their policy on all hunting trophies. This move is in direct response to the recent illegal big game hunting in Zimbabwe regarding Cecil the lion since the hunter had reportedly planned to have the animal's head and pelt shipped back to the United States as a trophy.

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

Alaska Airlines Tests CLEAR

CLEAR now offers a Biometric way of proving travelers identity in addition to their membership ID cards. Machines that scan finger prints and retinas to prove identity have been installed so instead of producing photo ID at every airport check point, travelers can now just go through a quick scan and away they go. This trial is for a select 200 frequent flyers out of Mineta San Jose Airport and since April has received tons of positive feedback. This may be the beginning of a new security standard for all U.S. airports.

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.

New Marriott Now Open in Bellevue, WA

With the completion of this new full service Marriott, travelers to the Seattle area now have another option when it comes to meetings and conferences. With 17 event rooms to choose from ranging in size from 6,240 to 600 sqft., and many different configurations possible it is sure to have a room to fit your needs. The guest rooms feature a large 55 inch flat screen TV and high-speed wireless internet to help with relaxation after a productive day. Located in downtown Bellevue, this hotel is a quick jaunt across the lake away from downtown Seattle making it a convenient option for Seattle business travel as well.

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.

Weekend Parking Deal at Sea-Tac Airport

Click HERE to print coupon and present it to the cashier at the exit to recieve this discounted rate.

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.

Delta is Trying New Early Valet System from Their Busiest Airports

Early Valet is a new system that will allow Delta employees to pre load carry on bags before boarding. This system began Monday June 22nd and will be offered through August on select flights from Seattle, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City.

Hertz Offers a New Express Refueling Option for Car Rentals

Beginning on 7/15/2015 there will be a new refueling option for Hertz rentals in the United States. This Express Fuel option applies at select locations to rentals during which the entire distance driven is 75 miles or less. If you drive 75 miles or less and do not purchase gas, or purchase gas but fail to produce a receipt, a charge of $13.99 will be applied. If you drive 75 miles or less and produce a receipt of a fuel purchase made during your rental, the $13.99 charge will not be applied.

Port of Seattle Welcomes Hainan Airlines’ Inaugural
Nonstop Service between Shanghai and Sea-Tac Airport

The Port of Seattle joined Hainan Airlines in a ceremony to celebrate the inaugural flight of Hainan Airlines’ new nonstop service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Shanghai-Pudong, China on June 22.

Hainan Airlines will operate two-class Airbus A330-200 aircraft four days a week to Shanghai, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

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.

Alaska Airlines Announces Preferred Plus Seating Program

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.

Double Miles to Great Destinations with Alaska Mileage Deals

Los Angeles - Baltimore Double Miles
Earn Double Miles when you fly our new nonstop service between Los Angeles and Baltimore.
Boise - Spokane Double Miles
Earn Double Miles when you fly nonstop between Boise and Spokane.
Celebrating New Service to JFK
Earn Double Miles when you fly nonstop between Seattle and New York - JFK.
Double Your Miles
Earn Double Miles on popular routes from Salt Lake City or Seattle

Flights to Nashville, Raleigh, and Charleston With Alaska New Non-Stop Service

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.

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

Hotel Costs:.

Car Rental Costs:.

Food Costs:

Download the Gogo Video Player Before You Fly Alaska

Introducing Alaska Beyond™ Entertainment, which allows you to watch premium movies, TV shows, and free exclusive content on your own device.

Alaska Beyond™ Entertainment is currently being rolled out on 737s—you'll know if it's available by an announcement from the flight team or a card in your seatback. Enjoy over 70 movies, 60+ TV shows and exclusive content from Alaska.

Entertainment will be available above 10,000 feet. The Gogo Video Player will be required to watch Movies and TV shows. Make your travel day easier and >get the Gogo Video Player before you fly: