2019 Archive
Business Travel Briefings
Joe Brancatelli created The Tactical Traveler in 1998 for the now-defunct Biztravel.com. The column was conceived as a series of items that would make frequent business travelers more productive on the road. There was also a heaping helping of Joe's trademark skepticism about the travel industry and its practices. After the 9/11 terrorism attacks, however, Joe recreated Tactical Traveler as the news and analysis column for JoeSentMe. There's still plenty of skepticism, of course, because life on the road makes us a wary lot.

JUNE 13 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: Pret A Manger is coming to U.S. airports. Aer Lingus adds a one-row business class for intra-Europe flights. SkyMiles and World of Hyatt find new partners. Marriott opens mid-scale hotels at two U.S. beach resorts. Qantas promises to launch nonstops to Brisbane from the United States. And more.

MAY 30 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: Tourism and new hotels may save Greece's ailing economy. United moves to new digs at LaGuardia. Major changes on India routes. Hotel chains expanding into historic buildings. BA compounds its business class seat-selection rip-off with higher fees. American, Alaska Air drop some California flights. Anbang's luxury hotels for sale.

MAY 16 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: Mobile, Alabama, gets a second airport, but it's short one airline. El Al hooks up with the Alaska Airlines frequent flyer plan. Hilton now has a Lyft tie-in. The TWA Hotel opens and JFK finally has on-airport property. Boston has more flights to sun destinations. Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel gets a new affiliation and a renovation. And more.

MAY 2 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: United's business class seat-installation program drags along. American Airlines adds two heartland routes from its hubs. Marriott enters home-rental business. Hyatt converts two Italy hotels. The SAS strike is over. Capital One points now transfer to JetBlue. And more.

APRIL 25 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: United's boss says airlines stink, so he'll repaint his planes. Marriott's future for Sheraton looks long on buzz and BS, short on substance. Austin/Bergstrom gets even more local. Air Italy and Asiana cut U.S. routes. SAS Scandinavian faces a strike. And more.

APRIL 18 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: Where the flights are: LAX, SFO, Las Vegas and LaGuardia. United adding two Florida destinations from its Dulles hub. Marriott hits the 7,000-hotel mark. New Orleans' new terminal won't open next month after all. Virgin Atlantic has a new business class. Las Vegas has a swanky new airport club. The Melt Shop chain will come to the airports. And more.

MARCH 28 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: Cathay Pacific hopes fourth time will be the charm for its Sea-Tac nonstops. You can buy Chick-fil-A at dozens of airports, but it's not welcome at San Antonio. Hyatt adds Thompson Hotels now, Joie de Vivre later. American will expand Admirals Clubs in Miami. And more.

MARCH 21 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: British Airways replacing its 20-year-old business class seats with a decade-old design. Marriott says it'll open 1,700 more hotels in the next three years. El Al returns to Chicago. Jet Airways of India and WOW Air of Iceland is collapsing. China Southern joins AAdvantage. And more.

MARCH 14 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: How Marriott messed up the name Bonvoy by not managing its Internet sites. Denver Airport hit by bomb cyclone and thousands were stranded. SWISS International and Finnair add premium economy cabins. Eurostar's delays are off the rails. And more.

MARCH 7 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: American AAdvantage essentially devalues by 10 percent. Southwest launches Hawaii flights and promptly annoys flyers in the East. Aer Lingus learns the limits of endless expansion. Canadian travelers get lots more flights. American grounds 14 jets and delays begin to pile up. And more.

FEBRUARY 28 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: The DOT whacks Delta and American for long tarmac holds. Southwest and mechanics squabble as cancellations spike. New hotels in London, Munich and Changsha, China. United pours new flights into Denver. Egyptair adds a Washington-Cairo nonstop. More PreCheck airlines.

FEBRUARY 14 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: Airbus kills Airbus A380, the aircraft that never made commercial sense. Marriott launches a new name (Bonvoy) and another devaluation. Tel Aviv gets more flights. Sea-Tac juggles dining options, boots Anthony's, Vino Volo. American continues JFK pulldown.

FEBRUARY 7 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: American keeps adding awful coach seats, but Delta and United are improving. A little. Three chains are developing 70 percent of the nation's new hotels. International routes come and go. More airport clubs where we need them. Um, Cindy McCain ... And more.

JANUARY 24 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: Airlines add flights, but you better like flying from their hubs. What happened to Hyatt's Canadian expansion? American AAdvantage unveils not-ready-for-prime-time changes. The shutdown shuts down some plans of Alaska and Southwest airlines. And more.

JANUARY 17 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: JetBlue dominates Boston/Logan despite Delta's new flights. ReallyStup: Marriott renames its loyalty program Bonvoy. Air Italy adds Milan nonstops from Chicago and Toronto. Airport clubs are hot global commodities. The start-up California Pacific is grounded. And more.

JANUARY 10 BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
What will 2019 look like on the road? If you can predict the outcome of the government shutdown and Brexit, you'd know more. But Amazon is headed to the airport, Southwest is headed to Hawaii, the international discounters are on the edge and some really big airports will open.