by By Cheryl-Anne Sturken | January 01, 2009

Hertz expanded its Simply Wheelz program to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas this past December, making McCarran the country's fifth airport to offer the product. Simply Wheelz allows renters to use a self-service kiosk to print out their rental agreement and purchase add-ons, such as insurance and GPS, prior to picking up their vehicles.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced it is raising the airline compensation minimum for lost baggage on domestic travel to $3,300 per passenger, up from $3,000. The new rate becomes effective in mid-February.

Effective as of Jan. 1, the Internal Revenue Service lowered the car-mileage reimbursement rate by 3.5 cents, to 55 cents per mile.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. has launched a new brand extension called The Reserve, which will feature exclusive boutique properties in unique settings. The first such hotel, the 54-villa Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, will open in Krabi in southern Thailand in March.