Lawyers Travel's weekly client e-newsletter, the Informed Traveler, keeps readers updated on travel industry news and trends.

Following is a recap of November's top 5 (most clicked by Lawyers Travel's clients) e-newsletter stories.


American Airlines and British Airways have announced the unveiling of the newly renovated Terminal 8 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) as part of a $400 million joint investment to co-locate operations. The terminal is set to open on December 1 and marks the completion of the first phase of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s redevelopment of the airport. The renovated Terminal 8 includes a new check-in area, three traveler lounges, five new widebody gates, four new widebody parking positions, and an expanded and upgraded baggage handling system. In addition, the terminal has about 130,000 square feet of new space. Premium customers on both American and BA flights will have a new cobranded premium check-in area, with "concierge-style services," according to the carriers. The three lounges will be available for eligible travelers based on cabin of travel and loyalty program status. Additionally, Iberia plans to move into Terminal 8 on December 1, while Japan Airlines expects to move its operations to Terminal 8 in May 2023.


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is reducing the cost to apply for membership to its Trusted Traveler Program TSA PreCheck, reports Travel + Leisure. The enrollment and in-person renewal fee will now cost $78, down $7 from its original cost of $85; the cost to renew online will remain the same at $70. TSA Administrator David Pekoske said, “TSA PreCheck offers significant benefits to those who meet its enrollment standards – less physical contact, fewer items on the conveyor belt and faster screening.” The process can also save time at the airport; in September, the TSA reported that 93% of TSA PreCheck members waited less than five minutes to get through airport security. TSA PreCheck is available at more than 200 airports with more than 85 participating airlines nationwide. Earlier this year, the TSA opened its first-ever international location in Nassau, Bahamas.


Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental have announced the extension of several loyalty benefits that were set to expire soon, reports Travel Pulse. The free rental days in National's Emerald Club program were previously set to expire on December 31, but the company revealed they would extend the program through September 4, 2023. National also extended the elite tier status for qualifying loyalty program members, which includes Emerald Club Executive and Executive Elite, whose status was set to expire on February 28. If those members make at least one qualifying rental by the end of 2022, their elite status will be extended until February 28, 2024. Meanwhile, Enterprise is extending its “Plus Your Points” promotion that allows registered Enterprise Plus members whose status was set to expire on February 28, 2023, to extend elite-tier status for one year if they register for the promotion and make or already have made one qualifying rental by the end of 2022. Membership in both loyalty programs is free and open to anyone 21 years and older.


The US Department of Transportation's (DOT) has ordered six airlines to pay back $600 million in fines to hundreds of thousands of travelers who are owed flight cancellation refunds, reports Business Travel News. Refunds per airline range from $76.8 million to $222 million, with fines between $750,000 and $2.2 million, according to the agency. The six carriers issuing refunds and being assessed penalties, include Aeromexico, Air India, Avianca, El Al, Frontier, and TAP Portugal. Frontier Airlines is facing the largest penalty, paying back $222 million in required refunds and is now facing a potential $2.2 million penalty from the DOT. According to the DOT, airlines and ticket agents must refund travelers if the airline "cancels or significantly changes a flight to, from, and within the United States, and the traveler does not wish to accept the alternative offered." It is unlawful for an airline to refuse refunds and instead provide vouchers, according to the agency.


London Heathrow Airport (LHR) will not re-introduce a cap on passenger numbers this Christmas as it works to minimize the impact of the recent strike at the airport ahead of the holiday season, reports BBC. In July, Heathrow introduced a daily limit of 100,000 passengers to try to reduce the disruption travelers were facing, forcing several airlines to cancel flights to ensure compliance. The cap was extended until October 29, but has now ended. Heathrow says it has a "good plan" developed, which would not require a cap on capacity during the Christmas season. It is still in discussions with individual airlines about the details, but it is understood that some flights might be moved to quieter times and others might be consolidated. John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow's CEO, said: "We have come so far since Omicron grounded Christmas travel plans last year. Heathrow, our airline partners, and their handlers are all working together to make sure everyone can be reunited with their loved ones this Christmas." British Airways, the carrier with the largest operation at Heathrow, has already reduced its winter schedule to a level it believes it can run.