What to Know Now

Happy new year. Roundup season is upon us here in the travel world and the store shelves are stocked. Can we help you with Strategies To Reduce Your Travel Stress In 2014? How about the best hotels or airlines?

Indeed, it may seem that the new year brings plenty of broad advice in an industry crowded with options, but there’s lots to discuss. Airlines are changing dramatically this year. Hotels are too. The economy is picking up and business travelers are flying again. If we stay on track, this could be a great year for everyone.

Since your flight today is probably canceled anyway, take some time this week to garden your travel plans and prepare for the year. A little forward planning goes a long long way.

Subscribe to the newsletter here and send tips to [email protected] or @grantkmartin.

Icy Weather

Top Story

It’s fortunate that this is a light week for business travel, but in case you’re headed for the airport, be prepared. Aptly named superstorm Hercules is on its way to the east coast after pummeling the Midwest and ratcheting up the angry tweet volume by 400%. We may need to expand bandwidth when New York gets hit tonight.

As always, keep calm, call the airlines and be flexible when the storm hits. JJ has a great tipsheet here.

Social Quote of the Day

When did http://weather.com turn into Buzzfeed?

— @justinglow, Senior Product Manager at Vox Media

aa 3


A Third Way in the American Airlines Tail Wing Debate: It’s no secret that we weren’t fans of American’s new livery when it came out, and although we loved the new 777 premium cabins, we thought the livery was missing the mark, being overtly American, one thing that Internationally has always been a nationalistic stereotype picked up on by the rest of the global community. Read more at Skift

Update: American Airlines Employees Decide: American Airlines employees narrowly opted to go with the new livery, picking the flag design for the tail over the classic American Airlines tail. Read more at Skift

The Future of Aviation: Airline Leaders’ Predictions: With the anniversary [of the first commercial flight] in mind, The Associated Press reached out to today’s aviation leaders to see what they are predicting for the future of flying. Read more at USA Today

United and Delta Elite Status Revenue Requirements Are Officially Here:  Now that we’re a day into 2014, it’s already time to start thinking about your elite status strategy and how to achieve your goals. Here’s what you need to know.  Read more at The Points Guy

Breaking Down the Differences Between the World’s Two Most Advanced Commercial Planes: For a supposedly quiet plane, there has always been a lot of noise around the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. From the unveiling of its pioneering design in 2004 to the first delivery in 2011, there was an industry buzz. Read more at Skift



Judge Rules U.S. Homeland Security Can Search Laptops at Airports: A lawsuit challenging government policy on searching laptops at U.S. borders was dismissed by a federal judge who cited past rulings that authorities need not show “reasonable suspicion” when they inspect computers. Read more at Skift

Denver’s Airport Is First City Facility to Prohibit Marijuana Possession: Denver International Airport will be the first city facility to prohibit marijuana possession on all of its property as it attempts to combat illegal interstate trafficking and comply with federal law, as Colorado implements the legalization of marijuana approved in November 2012. Read more at Skift

Expanded PreCheck and Tighter Airline Seats Expected In 2014: It’s likely that a number of airline fees will rise in 2014: ticket change fees, on-board purchases and baggage fees being the biggies. More passengers in the United States will be able to apply for TSA Pre-Check, as that program expands. Read more at Skift

london bikes


Welcome to the Age of the Upgrade: As the 1980s came to a close, a curious thing happened to American consumers: they began to really understand what the word “upgrade” meant. This realization occurred thanks to a magical fusion of technological advancement and capitalistic opportunity: the video game console. Read more at the Verge

What Personalized Airline Pricing Can Mean for Business Travelers As technology improves, we will see more and more personalized pricing. Instead of figuring out an overall “optimal” price, companies will be able to figure out what the optimal price is for you. Read more at Sulia

London’s Plan to Put Bicycle Lanes in the Sky: Plans to build a network of cycle paths high above the streets of London are being put forward for consultation. SkyCycle is a 136-mile (219 km) route, with the first phase, proposed from east London to Liverpool Street Station, costing more than £200m. Read more at Skift



Four Seasons Is Expanding Into Brazil for the First Time: Four Seasons Hotels Inc., the closely held hotel management group building its first two luxury lodgings in Brazil, is planning as many as three more properties in the country as demand for high-end services rises. Read more at Skift

These Hotels Weren’t Just Designed by Architects, They Were Designed by Starchitects: Pardon the pun, but these properties have star-studded design pedigrees. Click through for photos of 15 stunning hotels designed by the world’s best architects. Read more at Conde Nast Traveler

Corporate Housing in San Francisco Takes Bites out of Hotel and Rental Markets: Through the patio doors of the sleek studio apartment in San Francisco’s brand-new Nema complex, one catches a glimpse of a 65-inch flat-screen TV next to the saline lap pool. The furnished unit is tricked out with all the comforts of home, from bedding to kitchen supplies to bath towels. Read more at Skift

Your Turn

This weekend’s New York Times Travel section dropped with a great piece by our friend Freda Moon covering 36 Hours in Chicago. Incidentally, this coming week is also when the Times releases its top destinations for the coming year, including a fancy new design. Keep an eye out for that on Friday.

Tips and Comments

Can be sent to [email protected] and @grantkmartin. We publish the Business Newsletter twice a week on Monday and Thursday.


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Photo credit: An Airbus A380 aircraft of Deutsche Lufthansa (top) takes of passing over an Airbus A380 aircraft of Emirates. Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters

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