Direct Travel News Brief Header
April 19, 2022

In This Edition… mask mandate extension, airline flight expansions, United extends validity of unused tickets, Delta changes SkyMiles loyalty program, updates from the Transportation Security Administration, electric rental cars, Acela Express fleet launch, increasing hotel rates, Hilton expansion, IHG overhauls loyalty program, in-flight WIFI options, how to be a more conscientious traveler, understanding turbulence helps anxious flyers, and many more traveler tips!

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Traveler Tips for Stress Management and Staying Well on the Road

Take the word “business” out of “business travel” and what’s left? Travel. Whether you call it corporate travel, a work trip, or an offsite, business travel is still travel at its core—a powerful experience that brings people together and supercharges work performances. Read More

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CDC Mask Mandate for Travelers Struck Down by Federal Judge

CNN — A federal judge in Florida struck down on Monday the Biden administration's mask mandate for airplanes and other public transport methods. Read More

The Airline Mask Mandate Has Been Extended Into May

Afar Magazine — The Biden administration is extending the nationwide mask requirement for public transit as it monitors an uptick in COVID cases. Read More

Air New Zealand Resuming More U.S. Service

Travel Weekly — The carrier plans to bring back Honolulu flights on July 4 and Houston flights on July 7. Read More

Delta Air Lines Making It Easier for Groups to Sit Together

Travel Pulse — The carrier is using its dynamic seat-map algorithm to help families and friends taking to the skies. Read More

United Again Extends Validity of Unused Tickets

Travel Weekly — Unused tickets purchased between May 2019 and the end of this year will be valid through the end of 2023. Read More

Delta Air Lines Makes Changes to SkyMiles Loyalty Program

Travel Pulse — The carrier is making it more rewarding for loyal customers. Read More

Alaska Airlines Launches Flat $8 WiFi Fee

Travel Weekly — The carrier says its new satellite-based WiFi service is 20 times faster than the previous system. Read More

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TSA PreCheck About to Get Gender-Neutral Option

Afar Magazine — The option to choose “X” as a gender on passport applications also will be available starting on April 11. Read More

New TSA Technology Could Mean No More Removing Laptops or Liquids

Afar Magazine — The agency plans to start installing new high-tech x-ray scanners in airports this summer that could significantly reduce security screening times. 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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Your Next Rental Car Could Be Electric

Travel Market Report — A new partnership with Polestar, following a major announcement with Tesla last year, is moving Hertz towards an electric future. Read More

Amtrak Shares Sneak Peek Inside New High-Speed Acela Trains

Afar Magazine — When the new Acela Express Fleet launches in 2023, trains will be an even more sustainable option between Boston and Washington, D.C. Read More

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As U.S. Business Travel Gets Busy in 2022, Expect Higher Costs

Business Travel News — Pent-up demand for travel from two years of Covid-19 doldrums is bringing hotel rates in the United States within reach of—and often beyond—2019 performance levels. Read More

Hilton to Open 10 Lifestyle Properties by 2025

Business Travel News — Hilton Worldwide has signed to add 10 new properties of lifestyle brands Canopy, Tempo and Motto in the U.S., Latin America and Europe. Read More

How Hotels Are Becoming Better Places to Work

Time — Walloped by the pandemic, many hotels are now betting that the routines established in the crisis have permanently changed the ways in which we travel, whether for work or for pleasure... Read More

IHG Overhauls and Renames Loyalty Program

Travel Weekly — IHG Rewards is now IHG One Rewards. New tier and bonus-point earning structures are designed to "allow members to earn more points faster and gain rewards sooner." Read More

Australian Travelodges to Convert to Accor Brands

Business Travel News — Australian hotel management company Salter Brothers will rebrand 11 Travelodge properties as under Accor's Ibis Styles, Mercure and Novotel brands this summer. Read More

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5 Ways to Be a More Conscientious Traveler During Climate Change

Afar Magazine — No place is immune to the effects of extreme weather. But travelers can be part of the solution when they visit the right way. Read More

Inflight Wi-Fi is Getting Cheaper Across US Airlines The Points Guy Staying connected when flying is getting more affordable and reliable…

Park 'N Fly Launches a Robust New Website to Enhance Customer Experience

Phocuswire — Park 'N Fly has launched a brand-new website that makes it easier than ever to book while providing airport-specific travel information customers. Read More

10 Ways to Be More Sustainable Travelers

Travel Pulse — From buying luggage made from recycled materials, to choosing cruise lines or hotels that offset their emissions and use renewable energy, there are a number of great ways to become a more responsible traveler... Read More

What Are the Most Common Reasons For Flight Delays in the U.S.?

Travel Market Report — A large majority of flights were on-time in 2021, but what caused the rest of the 20% or so that weren’t? Read More

What Is Turbulence—and How Can Understanding It Help Anxious Flyers?

Afar Magazine — For those with a fear of flying, bumps during a flight can be the factor that turns nervousness into panic. Understanding what turbulence is—and why it’s really not so bad—is often the first step toward calming down while in the air. Read More

A Guide to Carry-On Luggage Size Restrictions

Afar Magazine — Here are the frequently asked questions and carry-on sizes for major domestic and international airlines to ensure everything rolls smoothly. Read More

White House Says No Plans to Ditch International Testing Requirements

The Points Guy — In a press briefing, White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients says, “No, there are no plans to change the international travel requirements at this point.” Read More

Workcations: The Travel Trend Mixing Work and Play

BBC — We’ve been taught to keep work and play apart. Yet more of us are still taking workcations, years into the pandemic – and reaping the benefits. The trend could be here to stay. Read More