December 2016 

After decades of service, Delta Air Lines-branded peanuts and pretzels are stepping down as the airline's Main Cabin snack offering. With those snacks' retirement set for Dec. 14, Delta is unveiling its improved onboard lineup including Snyder's of HanoverŪ pretzels, Squirrel Brand Honey Roasted peanuts and NatureBox Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Bars. The airline's beloved signature Biscoff cookies will remain in service.

The enhancement will feature larger portions and more variety for customers while supporting Delta's mission of continuing to invest in the overall on-board experience. The airline will also refresh its Main Cabin snacks more frequently in the future based on direct customer feedback. The upgraded snacks are a result of positive customer and employee feedback as the tested branded snacks and larger portions earlier this year.
Alaska Air Completes $2.6 Billion Acquisition of Virgin America
Alaska Air Group completed its $2.6 billion acquisition of Virgin America Wednesday, becoming the fifth-largest U.S. airline in the process.

The next step following the acquisition is for the carriers to secure Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification to permit them to operate as a single airline. The carriers said they will work to do that over the course of the next year.

By joining forces, the expanded route network boasts nearly 1,200 daily flights to well over 100 destinations across the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and Cuba.

"Alaska Airlines and Virgin America are different airlines, but we believe different works - and we're confident fliers will agree," Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said in a statement. "Together, we'll offer more flights, with low fares, more rewards and more for customers to love, as we continue to offer a distinctive travel experience."
TSA to post REAL ID deadline notices at MSP Airport

Signs will soon be posted at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport with a warning that your current Minnesota driver's license won't be enough to pass through security in 2018.

Starting Jan. 22, 2018, you will need an alternate ID to fly if you have a standard driver's license or ID card issued by any of the following states: Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina or Washington. Alternate forms of ID include a passport, military ID, or permanent resident card. 

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, establishes the minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards for certain official purposes, including boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, from states that do not meet these minimum standards and have not received an extension for compliance from the Department of Homeland Security.
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.
China's HNA Completes Acquisition of Carlson Hotels

China's HNA Tourism Group has completed its acquisition of Carlson Hotels.  

In addition to the acquisition of Carlson's Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson Red, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites by Carlson brands, the purchase includes a 51.3 percent majority stake in Carlson's Rezidor Hotel Group AB.

Looking ahead, the new ownership appears poised to grow Carlson's brands in key markets. "As I think about key gateways in Asia Pacific that is something we haven't been able or willing to do given our capital light model, and now we have some opportunities with HNA," added Berg. "The new and significant infrastructure gives us a platform to think about other opportunities to add into the fold." It's expected that Carlson will remain based in  Minnetonka, Minnesota and Berg will stay on as CEO.
First United Polaris lounge opens at ORD 

On December 1, we opened our first United Polaris lounge to the public with the grand opening of our Chicago O'Hare (ORD) location. Considered the only lounge of its kind offered by a U.S. airline to business class customers,the lounge is getting stellar reviews
in its opening days. 

United Polaris lounges feature custom-designed chairs for working or relaxing, private daybeds, spa-like showers, bespoke art installations by artist Wolfgang Buttress, and chef-inspired hot meals served in a boutique restaurant setting so customers can refresh and dine before boarding their planes. Premium sparkling wines, craft cocktails and refreshing snacks are also offered.