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April 6, 2021

In this edition of the Direct Travel News Brief… Upgrade your Direct2U app, Alaska Airlines joins Oneworld Alliance, Delta to end middle seat blocking, United returns to JFK, airlines extend unused credits, new flight services, TSA travel tips, TSA Precheck expands, hotel openings, new CDC guideline for vaccinated travelers, meetings news and more!

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Finding the Right Partner to Align with Your Corporate Travel Goals

From efficient technology and communication tools to traveler experience and ensuring compliance, a Travel Management Company (TMC) plays an important role in keeping your travel program running smoothly and driving ROI for your business. Particularly as market demand increases and COVID-19 restrictions ease, there has never been a better time to use an experienced travel partner to help you safely get your team back on the road... Read More

Utilizing a Mobile App to Instill Traveler Confidence & Ensure Safety

Today’s travelers have access to information like never before, but it’s not always the right information for the moment they’re facing. As businesses have witnessed with the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing restrictions and travel requirements can leave travelers in a lurch if they’re not prepared to tackle these changes when returning to the road.

In order to avoid this and ensure your team can travel confidently again, you need to equip your employees with the proper technology and timely information. With this goal in mind, Direct Travel recently launched a new version of our Direct2U mobile app. Below, we walk you through the mobile features and enhancements that matter most to your travelers... Read More

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Direct Travel Launches Redesigned Mobile App for Travelers Returning to the Road

Global Newswire — Boasting a sharp new user interface and a bevy of enhanced safety and security features, the latest version of Direct Travel, Inc.’s mobile app is now available for download on iOS and Android devices. Read More

Canada-U.S. Border Closure Extended Yet Again

Travel Market Report — While the news means another month of border closures, reports on Thursday suggested that the U.S. has put together a timeline for their reopening. Read More

Study: Domestic Air Travel Does Not Appear to Have Spread the Virus

Meetings & Conventions — In a recent report that is beginning the peer-review process, economic researchers examined whether air travel from early Covid-19 hot spots in the U.S. spread the virus to other parts of the country. Read More

Lack of Business Travel Has ‘Demotivated’ Workers, Says IHG Survey

Business Travel Executive — Large percentage say they miss face-to-face meetings and lack of opportunity to develop relationships. Read More

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American Airlines Announces New COVID-19 Testing Options, Quarantine-Free Travel to Italy

Travel Pulse — The carrier is making travelers more comfortable with new COVID-19 related options. Read More

Alaska Airlines Officially Joins Oneworld Alliance

Forbes — Over a year after renewing its partnership with American Airlines and announcing it would join oneworld, Alaska Airlines officially became a member of the airline alliance. Read More

Delta to End Middle Seat Policy, Extend Ticket Validity

Business Travel News — Delta Air Lines has mapped out its plans for an expected boost in travel demand over the next few months, including an end to its capacity-control measures, a faster track to elite status and extended expiration dates for ticket vouchers. Read More

After a Five-Year Hiatus, United Airlines Returns to JFK Airport

Travel Market Report — United will now operate out of all major NYC-area airports. Read More

American and United Extend Deadlines on Unused Flight Credits

Bloomberg — Unused airline tickets are getting extra shelf life as the steep drop in travel demand extends into a second year due to Covid-19. Read More

Delta Air Lines Launching Flights to Iceland for Vaccinated Americans

Travel Pulse — Fully vaccinated Americans can soon fly to Europe. Read More

United Unveils New Point-to-point Summer Routes

Travel Weekly — The 26 new seasonal routes will connect Midwest cities with popular vacation destinations, mainly in the South. Read More

Delta Air Lines Restoring Some In-flight Beverage Options

The Points Guy — Delta Air Lines plans to restore some in-flight beverage options in April. All cabins will have access to coffee, tea, unopened cans of soft drinks and canned cocktails from Tip Top Proper Cocktails. Read More

Air Canada Selling Caribbean/Mexico for May; Restoring Other Routes

Travel Pulse — Air Canada is selling flights to limited destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico for May. They also are restoring flights to Europe, Asia and some U.S. cities in May. Read More

As Air-Travel Freeze Begins to Thaw, United Adds Flights

Meetings & Conventions — The carrier is adding 26 nonstop routes between Midwest cities and popular vacation destinations in May...Read More

Delta Adds Quarantine-free Flights from N.Y. to Italy

Delta News Hub — Delta Air Lines will offer "COVID-tested" flights from New York to Rome and Milan starting in April, allowing passengers with "essential" reasons to travel to avoid quarantine. Read More

Delta Unveils Nine More New Summer Routes

Travel Weekly — The airline's plans anticipate rebounding demand for leisure travel. Read More

American Airlines Restarting Multiple Transatlantic Routes

Travel Mole — US travel restrictions could be eased in May…Read More

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TSA Offers Tips on Actions You Can Take When Deciding When You Are Comfortable Traveling Again

WFXR TV — With airline travel starting to pick up as the summer vacation season is inching closer, many, though, are still finding it hard to make the determination whether or not to travel in the coming months. With that in mind, the TSA has offered three actions you can take while you are deciding when to begin traveling once again. Read More

TSA Hits Another Highpoint, Marks 11 Straight Days of 1 Million-Plus Passengers

Travel Market Report — The bump comes as COVID-19 vaccination numbers in the U.S. continue to increase. Read More

FAA Extends Zero-tolerance Policy for Unruly Passengers After More Than 500 Incidents Reported

Travel + Leisure — The policy was set to expire this month…Read More

New Airlines Join TSA PreCheck® — These new airlines bring the total number of TSA PreCheck participating domestic and international carriers to 82. Read More

TSA Explores Use of Ultraviolet Light to Disinfect Checkpoint Bins

Passenger Terminal Today — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is trialling the use of new technology that uses ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light to disinfect airport checkpoint bins in a bid to provide safer checkpoint experiences and prevent the spread of Covid-19 and other viruses and bacteria. Read More

Government Travel Warnings & Alerts

U.S. Department of State — Information on current government issued travel warnings and alerts. Read More

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Radisson Individuals Makes U.S. Debut; More Openings

Hotel Business — Recent openings in the U.S. include the debut of the Radisson Individuals brand in the Americas, the first Graduate Hotel in New York City and more…Read More

Choice Hotels Unveils New Comfort Prototype

Business Travel News — After finishing a $2.5 billion transformation of its flagship brand, Choice Hotels on Thursday unveiled a new prototype for its Comfort properties. Read More

Virgin Hotels Set to Open Thursday. Here’s What to Expect.

Las Vegas Review Journal — The former Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas has had a $200 million makeover and is ready for its beauty shot as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. Read More

Sable Hotel Navy Pier Opening This Week with Lake Michigan, Chicago Skyline Views

ABC 7 Chicago — The first ever hotel on Navy Pier will open to the general public Thursday. Sable at Navy Pier is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. Read More

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Fully Vaccinated Can Travel Again, says New CDC Guidance

Travel Weekly — Add travel to the activities vaccinated Americans can enjoy again, according to new U.S. guidance…Read More

Flight, Hotel Prices Set to Rise as More People Get Vaccinated

USA Today — Experts cautiously advise booking your travel soon. Although much remains uncertain, prices are unlikely to return to 2020's bargain-basement levels. Read More

New York Becomes the First State to Offer a Covid-19 Vaccination Digital Pass

New York Times — New York State has introduced a digital app that allows individuals to prove they have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus or have recently tested negative. Read More

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions: What You Need To Know If You Plan To Travel Right Now

Travel Pulse — Travelers face new challenges one year into the coronavirus pandemic. Read More

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Hilton Offers Event Planners COVID-19 Testing and Health Screening Resources for Their Event Attendees — After booking a meeting or event at any U.S. property, planners gain access to third-party providers with COVID-19 tests and health screening options. Read More

The 5 Tenets of Smart Planning for Safer Experiences

Creative Group — Creating a safe experience that meets the demands of the current climate can feel like an overwhelming task. Through our extensive experience in running hundreds of live and virtual programs a year, we’ve narrowed your focus down to our 5 Tenets of Smart Planning for Safer Experiences. Read More

How to Address Attendee Travel Concerns

Successful Meetings — Understanding the behavioral science of how Covid-19 impacts the travel and event experience can help planners better serve their participants. Read More

Nevada Increases Gathering Size

PreVue Meetings + Incentives — Nevada loosens its gathering size restrictions, allowing meetings and conventions including IMEX America to increase capacity to 50 percent. Read More

Looking for guidance on planning your next convention, incentive, or group trip? Direct Travel will assist with all your meetings and event details!  Whatever your needs may be when it comes to your event, you can always depend on us to design streamlined travel arrangements, plan strategic meetings, and deliver real-time results. For details, please send a message to: