Posts tagged TSA

Menno Traveler – Sep 2018

Menno Traveler
Combine your accounts
Marriott Rewards, SPG, and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards now offer you booking, earning and redeeming at all hotels across all participating brands. Starting now, you only need one account to access these elevated benefits.
Even better, when you combine accounts your SPG and Rewards balance may instantly elevate you to a new Elite status. You’re almost ready to combine accounts! But first, please review the important information below.

                                              See more information (here)
1. Will my accounts automatically merge?
No. Combining your Rewards and SPG accounts is an action that you must take. It won’t happen automatically, even if you’ve previously linked your accounts.

2. Why should I combine my accounts?
When you combine your accounts, you’ll have one single account login and profile. All of your eligible stays and points will be in one account. Your combined nights will maximize your benefits and could elevate you to a new Elite status.

3. How do I combine my accounts? 
It’s easy! Before you combine your accounts, make sure you have your login information for both your Rewards and SPG accounts handy. Select the program that you want to start from and follow the step-by-step instructions.

To combine starting with your SPG account, begin here:

To combine starting with your Rewards account, begin here:

4. What login information will I use after I combine my accounts? 
Once you combine, you will have one single account login (email/member number and password) and profile across, and our mobile apps. For example, if you started the account combine process from your SPG profile, you will keep that profile. This will be your account and login moving forward.

If applicable update in Deem/Concur or E-mail Menno Travel (here) with your new number.

Southwest Airlines to increase early boarding fee on some flights

Southwest Airlines increased its early boarding fee on some flights.

EarlyBird Check-In, which gives travelers a better boarding position in Southwest’s unique open seating system, will go from a flat $15 per person each way to $15, $20 or $25 depending on the length of the flight and the popularity of EarlyBird Check-In on the route. The switch to variable pricing, unveiled to employees Friday and was formally announced Monday, begins Aug. 29.

Southwest, which famously doesn’t assign seats, introduced Early-Bird Check-In in 2009, charging $10 each way. It went up to $12.50 and then to $15 in 2016.

Read Full Article (here)

In Case You Missed it:

REAL ID Act REMINDER – What you need to know!

Some of you won’t be able to use your state-issued driver’s license to board a domestic flight after October 10, 2018.

For travelers with a driver’s license issued in: Alaska, California, Guam, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington an extension has been granted through October 10, 2018, allowing travel with state-issued driver’s licenses. IF AN EXTENSION IS NOT GRANTED YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE TO BOARD A DOMESTIC FLIGHT, ON OCTOBER 11, 2018!!!

The only way to board a plane will be with your passport. If you do not have a passport, you should begin the application process immediately. Summer is a very busy time for the passport office and it can take up to two months to get a passport.

The state of Indiana is compliant with the REAL ID act so no action is needed at this time.

Click on this link (here) to see the map above and see information on all 50 states.

You will now need to use an expedited service to get a passport by 
October 11, 2018.Please call Geof Landis with any questions (574) 534-1521
Keep moving. TSA Pre✓® saves you time and stress. Use the following link to set up an appointment and apply for Pre✓®.
Sign up (here)
JetBlue to charge $30 for first checked bag; will others follow?JetBlue Airways is raising baggage fees, becoming the first major airline to charge $30 for the first checked bag.

Beginning with tickets purchased Monday, Aug. 27, the airline will charge customers buying its cheapest “Blue” fares $30 for the first bag and $40 for the second. The current charges are $25 and $35, which is standard at other major carriers. A third bag will be $150, up from $100.

JetBlue’s more-expensive “Blue Plus” and “Blue Flex” fares include at least one checked bag at no charge, as do fares for the airline’s “Mint” business-class service.

The new fees are listed on the airline’s online baggage fees chart.

Also increasing: change fees. JetBlue’s change fees for its Blue and Blue Plus fares vary based on the total fare paid but will now top out at $200 per person per ticket – up from the previous maximum of $150.

Read full article (here)

*In the past few days, United, Air Canada, and WestJet have also announced they will be increasing their fees for checked bags

Fake Hotel Website Scams Target Travelers and Hotels

Cybercriminals will take advantage of any situation that separates people from their money. And what better way than to purport to be a reputable hotel and take reservations?
The recent example in Turkey covered below demonstrates how far cybercriminals are willing to go to setup their scam.
In this newest scam, fake hotel websites are setup (in some cases even copying a hotels entire website!) using as many as 50 domain names similar to the hotel’s brand name. These scammers are so good at what they do, in many cases, their fake websites ranked higher in natural search listings than the real hotel’s website.
Travelers book and pay for their travel, and find out only when they show up at the hotel, who has no idea about the traveler, let alone a reservation.

You can avoid this problem by booking your hotels with Menno Travel.

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Menno Spotlight:

How to Maximize Your Time Off for Your Career

When was the last time you gleaned insight from staring at your cubicle wall? What was the latest bright idea that came to you during your monotonous commute? Drawing a blank? It’s not you; it’s your work routine.

I have nothing against a good daily routine, but when routines turn into ruts, a change of pace can make all the difference. You don’t need to look far for a change: considering most Americans leave vacation time unused, I’m guessing you have a day or six to spare.

Stealing away from the workplace grind for a period of thought and reflection is a practice implemented by various business leaders, most notably Bill Gates. Gates’ well-publicized, semi-annual “think weeks” spent away from the distractions of work, friends, and even family have helped Microsoft stay ahead of industry trends like the “internet tidal wave” in 1995.

Admittedly, Gates’ think weeks weren’t exactly vacations in the way you and I think of them. They were occasions for him to digest feedback from company employees and sift through dozens of ideas about the future of the tech industry.

The key is that Gates spent his think weeks in a vacation cottage nestled amongst cedar trees, far from the distractions and stresses of the workplace. He understands that breaking up the monotony of the daily work routine helps him face challenges with a fresh perspective.


Article from Project Time Off (here)

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Important Dates to Remember for this Fall:

Notre Dame Home Schedule:
September 15th: Notre Dame vs. Vanderbilt
September 29th: Notre Dame vs. Stanford
October 13th: Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh
November 10th: Notre Dame vs. Florida State

Elkhart RV Show:
September 24-27th

A reminder that flights to and from the South Bend International Airport will be particularly busy in the days leading up to these events and spots will fill up fast. We suggest that you book tickets, hotels and cars surrounding these dates as far in advance as possible.

Menno Travel
Copyright © 2018 Menno Travel, All rights reserved.

Our contact information is:
(574) 534-1521
(800) 635-0963

Menno Travel

210 South Main Street

GoshenIn 46526

Real ID ACT? Will It Keep You Off An Airplane?

As a travel agency, our job is to keep you informed about changes in the travel industry. If you have traveled through any major airport in the past couple months, you may have noticed a TSA announcement about the REAL ID Act. Here is a brief description of the REAL ID act and how it affects you.



What is the Real ID Act?

The Real ID Act is a federal law that requires state driver’s licenses and ID cards to be accepted by the federal government for “official purposes“. The Secretary of Homeland Security has currently defined “official purposes” as boarding commercially operated domestic airline flights, entering federal buildings, and nuclear power plants. The REAL ID Act also helps secure domestic flights and federal facilities by increasing regulations on IDs to deter forgery. This new law goes into effect October 1, 2020.

How does it affect Indiana?

Indiana is fully compliant with the REAL ID Act (It is called the Secure ID in Indiana). When the new law goes into effect on October 1, 2020, you will need to make sure that your license meets the standard. A Secure Indiana ID has a star in the top right corner. When you renew your license, make sure you understand what additional forms of identification you will need to have a license that meets the new federal guidelines,

How does it affect other states?

If your driver license is issued by a state that is non-compliant with the REAL ID Act you will have to use another form of identification accepted by TSA (Passport or Passport Card, Global Entry card, U.S. military ID, airline or airport-issued ID, federally recognized tribal-issued photo ID) after January 22, 2018. To check to see if your state is compliant with the REAL ID Act click the map below.



November 2010 Newsletter

MTS Traveler Newsletter Masthead
Serving our clients since 1953
November 2010

Secure Flight Has Arrived!

On November 1, airlines began requiring additional passenger information to comply with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program.  The program was developed to allow for uniform watch list matching by TSA to identify known and suspected terrorists.  We have been collecting this information from our clients for many months now, to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Passengers must provide the following information  at the time of booking:
• Full name as it appears on passenger’s government-issued ID
• Date of birth
• Gender

Missing information will prevent us and the airlines from issuing tickets and travelers from printing boarding passes.  This is why we have been working with our travelers to update their profiles on a regular basis.  We want everyone to have a hassle-free travel experience! For more information, visit

Get 20% off at Four Points Hotels

Menno Travel Service clients receive 20% off a 2+ night stay at Four Points when the reservation is made through our office and paid with any American Express® Card. This offer is valid thru December 31, 2010.

Earn FREE Rental Credits With National’s Emerald Club

You achieve Executive status with National Car Rental after 12 rentals or 40 rental days and Executive Elite status after 25 rentals or 85 rental days, each within a calendar year. Membership is valid for the remainder of the year you qualify, plus 14 months.   Among additional benefits with Executive status you earn one free day with 6 Rental Credits.  This is decreased to needing only 5 Rental Credits to earn one free day with Executive Elite status.

Booking Tip: As an Emerald Club member, always begin the rental process by reserving a Midsize car. Then choose any size, make or model from the Emerald Aisle®/Executive SelectionSM area — you’ll only be charged the reserved Midsize rate.

Emerald Club membership fees are waived when registered through Menno Travel Service!

New Limits On Using U.S. Dollars In Mexico

A new Mexican law limits the use of U.S. dollars for purchases made in Mexico.  Payments made with credit card, Travelers Checks, pesos and non-American foreign currencies (including Canadian dollars) are not affected.

Hotels and exchange booths in Mexico will only change a maximum of $1,500 U.S. dollars per person per month into pesos.  Businesses in Mexico will only be able to accept a maximum of $100 U.S. dollars per transaction, but the number of transactions per customer is not restricted.  Certain businesses may not accept U.S. dollars at all.

If you are traveling to Mexico, be prepared to pay for purchases with a credit card, Travelers Checks or Mexican pesos.  Purchase Mexican pesos from Menno Travel Service, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  We take cash only and a valid driver’s license is required when purchasing foreign currency.

South Bend Airport Enjoying Increased Passenger Traffic

August reports from South Bend Regional Airport show that total passenger traffic at SBN was up 5.32 percent over August 2009—the first increase since April 2008. Competitive prices, nonstop flights to vacation destinations, hub connectivity, travel agency support, and affordable parking all contribute to the airport’s growing popularity.

Nearly every SBN carrier experienced an increase. Allegiant Air, whose passenger totals were up 35 percent, United Express reported a 5.9 percent increase and Delta Air Lines, reported a 3.9 percent increase over August 2009.  These increases can be partly attributed to a 5.1 percent increase in seat capacity and the addition of Allegiant’s nonstop flight options such as Phoenix/Mesa.

What You Need To Know About Rental Car Rates

Hidden costs on rental cars can drive up the price in a hurry.  To help keep the price down, or at least have a better understanding of the rates, here are some general guidelines:

Rental agencies located just off the airport grounds often offer cheaper rates than those located on higher-priced airport real estate. The cheapest alternative may be a location in the city.

Cities can levy all sorts of bizarre taxes and surcharges for expansion projects in addition to standard sales and excise taxes.

Rental companies may charge fees for shuttle bus service from the airport to the rental car location, energy surcharges, etc.

Gasoline purchased from the rental company as a “refueling charge” is usually sky high; more than the overpriced gas stations just outside the airport grounds. Fill up just before you return your car and make sure you have a receipt to prove it.

Now that states are moving to electronic toll-collection systems, you may be sold the option to pay through operations such as PlatePass. Some companies actually charge  a $2.50 daily fee even when you don’t use the system to pay tolls.

On a daily rental, these additional fees may double the price you eventually pay. On a weekly rental, they could make up 50 percent of the cost. Make sure to check the final price to get the best view of your options when comparing quotes.

New Nonstop Service to Brazil

Delta Air Lines has new nonstop service to  São aulo, Brazil from Detroit.  Service will operate twice weekly through December 15, when it will increase to five days each week to coincide with the start of the Brazilian tourist season.

Continental Merges With United

Continental has completed the merger with United Airlines®. For now, it’s business as usual. Each airline and frequent flyer program will continue to operate separately. The merger won’t affect miles in your account or your elite status:

  • Both United® Mileage Plus® and Continental OnePass® miles and programs remain unchanged. You will continue to receive all current benefits, and you will earn miles, points and segments as usual. You will also continue to be able to earn and use miles on 28 Star Alliance™ airline partners.
  • When flying Continental, you should continue to use for flight  check-in, and Continental kiosks or Continental ticket counters at the airport.
  • When flying United, you should continue to use for flight check-in, and United kiosks or United ticket counters at the airport.
  • Red Carpet Club® and Presidents Club® members will continue to enjoy access to each other’s lounge network, as well as to Star Alliance network and affiliated lounges around the world. Also, Red Carpet Clubs offer free wireless Internet access and a selection of complimentary alcoholic beverages.
  • Coming later, elite members will enjoy reciprocal access to complimentary elite upgrades and preferred economy seating on United and Continental flights. United elite members will have access to Continental’s preferred seating, and Continental elite members will have access to United’s Economy Plus® seating.

The full integration of United and Continental is supposed to take between 12 and 18 months. More information, including FAQs, is available at

There’s An App For TSA

TSA Offers Mobile Phone App – The Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) has developed a free app for iPhones and mobile Web devices to help travelers get all the information they need about security at the tip of their fingers. The new app includes a “Can I Bring My ____ Through the Security Checkpoint?” tool that will tell you if your item can be brought onto a plane in carry-on or checked baggage. Check it out at

And, about that vacation you’re planning to take…

Join Our 2011 Hosted Group Cruise Departures:

Southern Caribbean Cruise, Hosted by Tim and Marisa Yoder
February 26 – March 5
Tim and Marisa Yoder are long time residents of northern Indiana.  Tim is a partner in Yoder-Culp Funeral Home in Goshen and active in many local organizations including Kiwanis.  Marisa is a retired school teacher who has extensive travel background in Central and South America.  Join them on this escape from winter to the warm and beautiful Southern Caribbean.
Contact Tara Nisley at 574-975-7766 or for more information.
Additional information also available on the home page of

Alaska CruiseTour, Hosted by Geof Landis and Liz Gunden
August 11 – 22
Geof Landis, President of Menno Travel Service, and his wife Liz have traveled throughout Europe and North America.  They enjoy traveling with others and are excited to share the amazing wonders of Alaska with you.
Contact Maureen Russell at 574-534-1521 or for more informtion.
Additional information also available on the home page of

Travel Free With “Pay With Points”

Most American Express cards are eligible to earn  Membership Rewards points which can be redeemed for travel at Menno Travel Service!  Simply book your travel the way you always do with Menno Travel and we will redeem your points for payment.   Companies can save money by using their rewards points for their corporate travelers and individuals can save on their vacation expenses.

If you are not an American Express cardmember, contact  Geof to learn how you or your company can begin earning and using Membership Reward points.

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