Travel News Report
Jan. 2, 2013

Looking ahead in 2013
Travel Weekly
The travel industry is poised for a good year in 2013. The industry's engines aren't firing perfectly on all cylinders just yet, but they are purring well enough to meet demand, maybe exceed expectations, and make a profit. Unfortunately, the major players can only go so far to make it happen. As always, they're going to be at the mercy of external events: global oil prices, macroeconomic forces, Middle Eastern geopolitics, U.S. government policy, European monetary policy, storms and all the rest.More

Feds seek travel management counsel
Business Travel News
The U.S. General Services Administration has announced plans to form an expert committee to review its travel program, which serves all U.S. federal civilian agencies. First on the agenda is a reconsideration of GSA's per diem methodology. Nominations for participation in the Governmentwide Travel Advisory Committee are due by Jan. 25. The council is designed to assess "existing travel policies, processes and procedures, that are accountable and transparent," according to an announcement posted in the Federal Register on Dec. 26.More

Congress passes bill that streamlines baggage screening
Business Travel News
Congress passed and sent to the White House the No-Hassle Flying Act of 2012 (S. 3542), a bill introduced in September aimed at eliminating some duplicative security screening for connecting baggage at U.S. airports. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill, which has broad bipartisan and industry support.More

Southwest Airlines to charge no-show customers
The Associated Press via The Weather Channel
Southwest Airlines doesn't charge customers to change their flight plans after buying a ticket. But soon they'll pay a fee for not canceling a ticket before the flight. The airline outlined the new policy recently at an investors' conference in New York. Right now, Southwest lets passengers who don't use their ticket apply the price toward a new ticket. Southwest says it can reduce no-shows and generate more revenue by adding the cancellation fee on restricted tickets. Company officials said the new fee will start next year, but they didn't give an exact date or say how much the fee will be.More

Austin entrepreneur designs futuristic skyway system for Texas travel
YNN
It's an idea that looks like something out of the Jetson's. The Electric Dual Mode Skyway is designed to zip you off to San Antonio, Dallas or Houston in half the travel time. The vision belongs to Innov8 Transport Inc. founder Travis Knapp. He said under his plan, drivers enter an elevated conveyor-belt-like track every eight to 10 miles. With your car in neutral, the system would hook onto the wheels and transport you at a high speed.More

Travel deals get social with Touristlink
TravelDailyNews
Touristlink.com, a social network connecting travelers with local travel providers, has announced new trip planning features set to launch this month. Travelers will be able to broadcast upcoming trip plans and then receive personalized offers from local travel businesses. When a traveler publishes his trip plan, it will be forwarded to relevant locals who can then pitch the best local travel deals that fit the travelers taste and interests. Travel business owners get a new marketing avenue by being able to pitch discounts on hotels, restaurant coupons, day trips, taxi services and more directly to interested travelers.More