May 05, 2004

JetBlue is poised to launch a new corporate booking portal, CompanyBlue. The new service will allow business travelers to book tickets on the carrier's website using a special ID code. Corporate travel managers then will be able to access employee travel data through a secure site. According to JetBlue, as many as 12 companies are evaluating the free service, which is expected to debut later this month.

The Transportation Security Administration yesterday began a new screening program at Maryland's New Carrollton train station. The pilot program, which will last for 30 days, screens passengers and their luggage for explosives. The New Carrollton station was chosen for the project since it is the site of a variety of rail services and is close to Washington, D.C.

Steve Bova, CAE, has been named executive director of the Insurance Conference Planners Association. The move comes one month after ICPA's board switched management of the organization from its Vancouver, B.C.-based staff to association management giant SmithBucklin, headquartered in Chicago.

Dallas Cowboys officials have chosen Dallas' Fair Park as the site for a $650 million stadium. The move will bring the team to Dallas proper by 2009, ending the NFL franchise's 38-year relationship with the city of Irving, home of Texas Stadium. The new facility will offer 75,000 seats under a retractable roof. Financing possibilities include raising the city's bed tax from 15 to 18 percent, although the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau does not support this, calling for a county tax instead. If details can be hammered out, a referendum concerning public funding of the project might be on the November ballot.

Marriott International announced this week at the Arabian Travel Market being held at the JW Marriott Dubai that it will pilot its own travel card in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Company officials say the Marriott Travel Card will simplify travel arrangements for business and leisure travelers to the region by allowing them to prepay for stays at its lodging brands (with the exception of Ritz-Carlton and Ramada International) before leaving home. The card is now available through the company's global sales offices in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Marriott has 25 luxury and upscale resorts in the Middle East.