September 2016 
Blue Ribbon Business Travel International Partnership News!

New Association, Same Great People!

As part of our growth and personalized service strategy, Blue Ribbon Business Travel International, effective October 1, 2016, will become an associate of Travel Leaders, one of the nation's leading travel companies.
This exciting change means enhanced access to the travel industry's most competitive business travel and vacation programs. 
Blue Ribbon Business Travel International will remain independently owned and operated but we are excited to bring the added value of Travel Leaders buying power to our customers. 
We appreciate our partnership with all of you and thank you for investing your confidence in our experience and expertise.
We will continue to be your solution-oriented travel professionals who help you meet, and manage, all of your travel needs -while providing highly personalized service.  

Delta Introduces World's First All-Suite Business Class with 
Delta One Suite
Lay back, relax and enjoy the flight in the comfort, privacy and exclusivity of your own suite. Delta Air Lines is redefining international business class travel with the introduction of the Delta One suite, the first business class cabin to feature a full-height sliding door at each suite.

Designed with an emphasis on exceptional customer comfort and privacy, the Delta One suite offers each customer a private space accessed by a sliding door with thoughtfully designed personal stowage areas, an advanced in-flight entertainment system and premium trim and finishes to create an unparalleled business class experience with a comfortable, residential feel.

The Delta One suite will debut on Delta's first Airbus A350, due to enter service in fall 2017. Each aircraft will feature 32 suites.
Late to the gate: Southwest, American Airlines both fare poorly on on-time arrivals


Southwest Airlines and American were late to the gate more than most of their competitors.

Hawaiian Airlines topped the rankings, with a 91.1 on-time rate, followed by Alaska Airlines with an 86.4 percent rate.
The survey ranks all U.S. airlines with at least one percent of total domestic scheduled-service passenger revenues.

Of the four biggest carriers not named American or Southwest, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines ranked fourth with an 83.4 percent on-time arrival rate, and Chicago-based United ranked fifth a 79.2 percent on-time rate.

The federal transportation department's Aviation Consumer Protection Division also reported fewer overall complaints from consumers about airlines between January and June 2016. The total number for the first half of this year was 8,376, compared with 9,542 complaints in the first six months of 2015.

ExpressJet Airlines, a regional carrier for American, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, had the fewest complaints in the first half of 2016, with 0.39 complaints per 100,000 enplanements.

Southwest Airlines and SkyWest Airlines ranked second and third for fewest complaints during the period.
The on-time arrival and complaint data was collected before Southwest suffered a technology meltdown July 20 that resulted in more than 2,000 flight cancellations.
Eight airlines selected for 
Havana flights

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stepped onto Cuban soil from the first U.S. commercial flight to the island nation in more than half a century Wednesday, a JetBlue Airways flight from Florida, marking a big step in restoring normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba.  Foxx also announced that the Transportation Department has finalized its selection of eight U.S. airlines to begin scheduled flights to  Havana's Jose Marti International Airport as early as this fall, including a daily nonstop, round-trip American Airlines flight from Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

For now, tourists won't be allowed to fly to Cuba. Travelers must fall under one of a dozen authorized categories, among them for family visits, humanitarian missions, journalistic activity, educational activities, professional research, religious activities, public performances, clinics, athletic or other competitions and import or export business.

American said last month that it would put tickets for its Havana flights, including four from Florida, on sale once the Transportation Department gave its final approval to the flights. Service is expected to begin in November, the airline said at the time. Foxx, a former Charlotte, N.C. mayor, rode on a JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara, Cuba. 

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
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.
Leave It to the Experts: Car Rental Insurance Explained

For US residents renting a car in Europe, one of the most perplexing parts of finding and securing the best rate is deciding on what insurance options to choose. Complicated terms, additional car rental fees, and varying laws by country all contribute to a gauntlet of options that leave many drivers worried about whether or not they'll have proper coverage. Well, fear not! If you're wondering about credit card rental car insurance we've got you covered with information on everything from types of coverage to costs and benefits.

U.S. hotels again set record for revenue from fees

U.S. hotels again collected a record amount in surcharges and fees last year, according to a NYU School of Professional Studies report.

The total of $2.55 billion was up 4.1% from $2.45 billion in 2014. Hotels' fees and surcharges have risen every year since 2010 and are up 82% from a decade ago.
At resorts, many operators charge a catch-all daily resort fee that covers Internet usage, access to the pool and fitness center, bottled water, and other services. The practice is prevalent in Las Vegas, and many hotels in Orlando also charge resort fees (but hotels at Universal Orlando and Disney-operated properties do not).  
At non-resort properties, hotels are collecting a la carte fees for items such as Internet usage, early check-in, business-center fees, room-service delivery surcharges and baggage-holding fees.

With total U.S. hotel room revenue pegged to increase 8.4% this year to about $157 billion, according to Phocuswright, surcharges and fees account for about 1.6% of total hotel revenue. Such charges may generate a gross profit of between 80% and 90%, according to the NYU report.

Because of such growth and profit margins, hotel fees are controversial, particularly the daily resort fee. Hotel operators are looking to defray costs related to improved technology and other services, but many consumers complain that fees aren't clearly stated in advance, especially the unavoidable resort fee. 
Amtrak Announces Purchase of 28 New High-Speed Trains

Amtrak announced that it has reached a new contract with rail transport company Alstom to produce 28 next-generation, high-speed trains for the company's premium Acela Express service.

According to Amtrak's official website, the contract for the new trains is part of a $2.45 billion investment into the modernization and expansion of the Acela Express service on the Northeast Corridor.
The new high-speed trains will boast a capacity of one-third more passenger seats than the previous trainsets, yet they will still feature high-end comfort of current Acela Express service. The trains will also include Wi-Fi access, personal outlets, USB ports and adjustable reading lights at every seat. The demand for Acela Express service is climbing, and the addition of more seats will help accommodate the influx of travelers taking to the rails. Amtrak is reporting the first prototype of the new trains will debut in 2019 and the first train will enter service in 2021. The new trains will replace the entire current fleet by the end of 2022.

In addition, the trains will be some of the safest in the world, with specifications that meet Federal Railroad Administration guidelines, including a Crash Energy Management system.

No End in Sight for Traffic Mess Near LaGuardia

The contractor overseeing the rebuilding of LaGuardia Airport last week defended itself against criticism over traffic delays caused by construction, but the company also said it was taking more steps to help the roadways flow better.

Even so, critics said the contractor's measures did not go far enough, and they predicted years of traffic congestion.  

"There have been plans in place a long time, and that's why on most days the airport works fine," Stewart Steeves, CEO of the prime contractor, LaGuardia Gateway Partners, said in an interview with Travel Weekly. "What we're suggesting here is there is always opportunity for perpetual refinement."

Traffic patterns were altered at LaGuardia to facilitate construction on Gateway Partners' $4 billion portion of what will be an almost complete rebuild of LaGuardia over the next five years. 

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