Adelman Travel Newsline
Did you know that according to WebMD, people who take vacations have lower stress levels and have a lesser risk for heart disease? In addition, those who vacation have a better outlook on life and are more motivated to achieve goals.
Yes, vacations can help keep us healthy. Research shows that a good vacation can lead to feeling less stressed, which can last for at least five weeks after the trip. Another study found subjects had fewer physical complaints three days after a vacation, and their quality of sleep and mood had improved as compared to before the trip. Like the previous study, these gains were also still present five weeks later. In the work place, it has been found that employees who take regular time off to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive compared to their worn-out counterparts.
Rest and relaxation during a vacation can come in many forms, but Zoetry Resorts are a great option for those seeking that perfect balance between holistic wellness and unrivaled luxury. Located in Mexico and the Caribbean, each of Zoetry's exquisite oceanfront boutique havens offer unmatched lavish accommodations, highly personalized services and an exceptional array of Endless Privileges® amenities including in their topnotch gourmet à la carte dining options with an assortment of locally-sourced organic food and beverages. Guests will savor a wide selection of heart-healthy, vegetarian, gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan options. Visitors can even request a customized meal plan based on specific dietary needs or preferences.
Zoetry Resorts also feature world class fitness centers and spas for guests to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul. Guest can also take advantage Zoetry enrichment activities including yoga, salsa dancing or Temazcul ritual steam baths. A wide variety of other cultural, artistic, educational and volunteer opportunities along with athletic, aquatic and ecological adventures also await Zoetry guests.
Take the first step toward the relaxing vacation you so deserve by calling Adelman Vacations at 800-749-7116 or visiting our website www.adelmanvacations.com. Our expert team of professional leisure consultants will take the stress out of the planning process by helping you find the perfect getaway that is right for you!
BUSINESS TRAVEL BRIEFS
State Department to eliminate extra passport pages
The U.S. Department of State says travelers will no longer be able to request extra stamp pages for existing valid passports by the end of 2015. U.S. passport holders who run out of pages will instead need to completely renew their passport. This change will cost travelers more and require added paperwork. Officials do note that even with an early renewal, passport holders will not have to reregister and pay for new visas before they expire so long as the traveler brings their old stamp book along with the new one.
Citizens with valid existing passports who may need additional pages ahead of the upcoming policy change should submit their request and applicable paperwork no later than December 18, 2015 . Experts do recommend applying for the extra pages as early as possible to avoid potential delays caused by an increase in requests.
The U.S. State Department said new passport holders will receive a 52-page "jumbo" book in conjunction with this policy change. These books contain 20 additional pages compared to the current standard passports. U.S. passports will continue to remain valid for 10 years.
Visa to show airline ancillary fees
Global payment processor Visa announced it is updating its systems to allow airlines to process transactions so that they can be distinctly identified on customer statements. Prior to this change, any airline purchases were simply recorded as related to ticketing unless expense data was manually altered. Now, non-ticket related purchases, such as baggage fees, in-flight meals, Wi-Fi and entertainment, will be distinguished on a new ancillary payment line. Visa officials said the change was necessary as non-ticket related transactions have jumped nearly 400 percent since 2008. While this announcement is currently limited to Visa, MasterCard is also expected to offer similar capabilities in the near future.
Lower fuel prices will have favorable impact on airfares
Consumers and lawmakers have recently expressed concern that travelers have not seen a drop in airfares despite lower fuel costs. Delta Air Lines President Ed Bastian said, "lower fuel prices have moderated airfares and could lower them further should fuel prices stay low." However, Bastian also noted "airline fuel-hedging strategies have delayed the impact of low fuel prices but, if fuel prices stay at the $50 to $70 trading range, ticket prices will fall."Bastian made his remarks at the recent Association of Corporate Travel Executives' Global Corporate Travel Conference.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted American Airlines and US Airways a single operating certificate as discussed in the previous Adelman Travel News Line. While this is a major milestone for American, most passengers will not notice any immediate differences. The single certificate does, however, allow American to proceed with key integration steps that will lead to more visible changes down the road, such as the move to a single reservation system and website planned for this fall.
American also recently increased the benefits for AAdvantage members flying in first or business class. In addition to earning bonus miles, AAdvantage members will now also earn up to twice as many elite-qualifying points (EQPs) per mile with their first or business class ticket purchase. Travelers do not need to register for this promotion. Travel must be completed by December 31, 2015. For more information, please visit https://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/newsOffers/more-eqps.jsp;jsessionid=CF89B41E6FD8065B6E932CFA26C49FE4?anchorLocation=AAdvantageHomeBanner1&reportedTitle=Reach+elite+status+faster&reportedPosition=1&_locale=en_US.
In other news, American unveiled its new dining options for first class passengers traveling on domestic flights. Some of the changes include new plated snacks consisting of fruit and cheese, spinach dip, hummus and pita bread, or a charcuterie platter on shorter trips, while passengers on longer flights will have the option of choosing a salad as an entrée. These salads will include a choice of chicken, beef or shrimp. The enhanced menu options will be available on flights staring in May of 2015.
British Airways said it will merge its On Business loyalty program into American Airlines' Business Extra for customers in the United States effective May 20, 2015. According to airline officials, one of the key benefits of this merger is by being part of Business Extra, members will now be able to earn and redeem points across three global airlines (American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia Airline) instead of just one. For information on how to transfer On Business points into the Business Extra program, please visit http://www.britishairways.com/en-us/information/on-business/changes-us.
British Airways has also outlined other upcoming changes for On Business members worldwide. Please visit http://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/on-business for additional details.
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines announced it is expanding benefit options for members of its SkyMiles loyalty program. Members will be able to redeem awards with an expanded list of airline partners including Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, Garuda Indonesia, GOL Transportes Aéroles and Vietnam Airlines. Previously members could only redeem awards with Air France/KLM, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Korean Air and Virgin Atlantic.
Delta is also making the exploration process easier for members by including the new redemption partners into the search interface. These carriers will also be identified more clearly. The new enhancements come on the heels of Delta's announcement that SkyMiles members can earn Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs) on most partner airlines regardless of the ticketing carrier.
TSA will curb the number of travelers selected for complimentary expedited screening
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said in a recent blog that travelers who opted into TSA PreCheck through their airline loyalty program, but do not have a Known Traveler Number (KTN) will notice a reduction in the frequency in which they are chosen for expedited screening. The TSA said the move is necessary as approximately one million travelers and growing are now formally enrolled in TSA PreCheck.
The TSA notes that travelers who have a KTN through one of four Department of Homeland Security programs (PreCheck, Global Entry, Nexus or Sentri) will see no reduction in expedited screening opportunities.
Travelers who do not have a KTN should consider applying for TSA PreCheck membership, which costs $85 for five years, or Global Entry, which costs $100 for five years, but also provides expedited customs clearance when arriving on international flights in addition to expedited TSA PreCheck benefits. Once the background screening is complete and the traveler is approved, he or she will be issued a KTN (this may also be referred to a PASSID or a Trusted Traveler (TT) number) by the TSA or Customs Border Patrol. Passengers should then update their airline profiles along with their Adelman Travel customer profile so this number is included in future reservation information.
Hilton Worldwide: Hotel officials said the chain will expand its Hilton Huanying program that offers Chinese travelers customized hospitality amenities during their stay. More than 110 properties worldwide will soon be offering the special service.
Extended Stay America: The new Extended Perks rewards program is now available for customers. The new program includes a variety of benefits including check-in perks, weekly perks and access to special discounts at a variety of Extended Perks partners. For more information, visit http://www.extendedstayamerica.com/rewards-promotions/extendedperks?mid=eml-B2B-Perks0415.
Wyndham: Starting May 11, 2015, Wyndham is amending its rewards program by giving members lower thresholds on redeeming points for free nights. Company officials said the revamped program "lets members earn more and redeem faster than any other program in the industry."
Amsterdam: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport will streamline security screenings for passengers traveling to non-Schengen destinations. The Schengen area consists of 26 European countries that have abolished passport checks and other types of entry controls at their common borders. The five new centralized checkpoints for non-Schengen travel are expected to open midyear.
Denver: The Denver International Airport is adding 10 more charging stations to its public parking garages for travelers driving electric vehicles. Officials say the new stations will recharge vehicles faster than the existing charging stations.
Miami: An additional 44 automated passport control kiosks will be available at Miami International Airport to help expedite the arrivals process for international passengers. The new kiosks are being installed in the airport's North, South and Central Terminals.
Orlando: A new app is available to help travelers navigate the Orlando International Airport. The app interacts with beacons in order to provide targeted information for 1,500 locations within the airport.
Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh International Airport officials are finalizing plans to streamline the arrivals process for international travelers. The improvements are expected to be ready in time for the start of Delta Air Lines' service from Paris on May 10, 2015.
Seattle: Two new The Club lounges are now available at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. One is located in Concourse A, while the other can be found in the south satellite. Details can be found at http://www.theclubairportlounges.com/
Wichita: Wichita Mid-Continent Airport will open nine of 12 gates in their new terminal in May of 2015. The remaining gates will open after demolition of the old terminal is complete.
Visit our Web site at www.adelmantravel.com for more travel information, resources and unique services including corporate travel management and vacations.
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