April 2017
Delta Updates Baggage Policy for Travel Between the
U.S. or Canada and the Caribbean

(April 4, 2017) Effective immediately, Delta Air Lines will update two baggage policies for travel between the U.S. or Canada and the Caribbean.   Santiago (STI), Santo Domingo (SDQ), Port Au Prince (PAP) and Kingston (KIN)

Delta will modify its first bag fee for travel between the U.S. or Canada and Santiago, Dominican Republic (STI), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (SDQ), Port Au Prince, Haiti (PAP) and Kingston, Jamaica (KIN).

Key Change Summary
Passengers who purchase tickets on or after April 4, 2017, for travel between the U.S. or Canada and STI, SDQ, PAP and KIN will be charged a fee of $25 USD/CAD for a first checked bag. Previously, Delta did not charge for a first checked bag in these markets.

Baggage allowances for Medallion Members are not impacted by this change and they will continue to receive two complimentary checked bags on these routes.

The Caribbean

Delta will modify the third checked bag fee for travel between the U.S. or Canada and cities in the Caribbean.

Key Change Summary
Passengers who purchase tickets on or after April 4, 2017, for travel between the U.S. or Canada and the Caribbean will be charged a fee of $150 USD/CAD for the third checked bag. This is an increase of $25.

The United Kingdom has followed the United States in preventing passengers on flights from some countries in the Middle East and Africa from carrying devices such as laptops and tablets in the cabin.

The restrictions affect 14 airlines, six of which are based in the U.K. As in the U.S., the ban covers any electronic devices larger than a typical smartphone.
"The additional security measures may cause some disruption for passengers and flights, and we understand the frustration that will cause, but our top priority will always be to maintain the safety of British nationals," the government said in a statement.

The affected airlines are: British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air and Saudi Arabian Airlines.

The U.S. and U.K. regulations will affect different points of departure. The new restrictions on direct flights to the U.K. include flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
The latest upgrade to the boarding process features branded pillars to create four parallel lanes, keeping customers out of the walkway and providing a separate queuing area for Premium customers and those needing special assistance. The airline plans to roll out this interim solution to additional airports if customer feedback continues to be positive.

"We tested a variety of boarding processes, and our customers and employees let us know that this iteration makes their experience better," said Bill Lentsch, Delta's Senior Vice President - Airport Customer Service and Airline Operations. "We're excited to provide this interim solution, and we'll continue to evaluate new processes and technologies to make the customer experience even better."

As Delta develops new solutions to improve the boarding process, the airline looks to take the "hold room" feel out of the gate space and create an interactive area full of meaningful distractions that keep customers engaged and entertained while they wait, Lentsch explained.
Blue Ribbon Business Travel has partnered with automated online expense reporting tools!

Simplify expense reporting for your business travelers.
It's never been easier for business travelers to complete and submit an expense report and quickly 
get reimbursed - all online. 

These expense tools create expense reports automatically, pulling travel and expenses from airline, car and hotel itineraries, personal and corporate credit card transactions, checking accounts, and scanned receipts.  Streamline the expense reporting process and improve the review and approval flow between departments.

They turn lengthy, tedious paper-based approval processes into one-click, online approvals. Managers can easily review and approve expense reports from anywhere, at any time - no paperwork involved. 

In fact, most expenses are pre-approved based on policy rules set in the system, and scanned receipts are included online making review and approvals faster and easier. Expense policy violations are clearly highlighted so managers can request corrections or simply remove questionable line-items and submit the expense report for reimbursement.  

The expense systems convert transactions for international travelers into the appropriate currency based on the date of travel.

To learn more, email us at info@blueribbontravel.com
Blue Ribbon Business Travel International Inc. is committed to providing you with useful information on the latest developments in the travel industry. The following information has been compiled from a variety of sources and is updated monthly.
Hilton Honors NEW flexible Points & Money

Don't have enough Points for that week-long getaway? Want to make your dream room more attainable? Now you can use ANY combination of Points and money* to pay for your stay.
  • Available at 4,900+ hotels, any time, no blackout dates.
  • Choose ANY combination of Points and money* using our flexible payment slider.
  • More flexible Points pricing. When rates go down, Point prices can go down too.
MN State Senate rejects Real ID measure for driver's licenses

The Real ID  bill would allow Minnesotans to choose whether or not to get high-security driver's licenses. A federal law passed in 2005 requires the licenses for domestic  flights  and visiting military bases, starting in January of next year.    An effort to put Minnesota in compliance with federal driver's license standards - known as Real ID - has stalled out in the state Senate.  

So effective January 22, 2018, air travelers with a driver's license or identification card issued by a state that does not meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act must present an alternative form of identification acceptable to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in order to board a commercial domestic flight.  
CLEAR is the fastest, most predictable way through airport security. At participating airports, look for the CLEAR lane at TSA security checkpoints. A CLEAR team member will greet you at our lane. Just scan your boarding pass, tap your finger and we'll escort you straight to physical screening. It's that easy!

A subscription to CLEAR costs $175 annually, but there are promo codes out there which can help offset the cost for the first year. You can also add a family member for just $50 per year.

Delta debuts free 
Main Cabin 
meals in 12 markets

Delta is introducing complimentary meals on some of its longest domestic flights, including transcontinental routes between New York's JFK and Los Angeles/San Francisco. The airline will be the only U.S. carrier to offer complimentary fresh meals from nose to tail on select coast-to-coast routes.
Delta now offers complimentary meals in the Main Cabin on flights between JFK and LAX/SFO. On Apr. 24, the airline will expand complimentary meals to 10 other major domestic markets from Seattle, New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. including BOS-SFO, BOS-LAX, BOS-SEA, DCA-LAX, JFK-PDX, JFK-SAN, JFK-SEA, SEA-FLL, SEA-MCO and SEA-RDU.
The enhancement is part of Delta's ongoing multi-million dollar investment in the on-board customer experience that includes upgraded Main Cabin snacks, enhanced blankets, refreshed Flight Fuel food-for-purchase options and free in-flight entertainment. Main Cabin customers on long-haul international flights are also treated to complimentary beer, wine and spirits and sleep kits.
American Airlines introduces a new boarding process

American Airlines is simplifying the boarding process and introducing new boarding group names - numbers 1 through 9. American Airlines Corporate Travelers who are also AAdvantage ®  members will now receive complimentary Group 5 boarding on all American flights.  

T ravelers that already have higher boarding priority based on booking class or AAdvantage ®  elite status, will still be able to board with that priority.