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August 11, 2020

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: State Department lifts global travel advisory, EU extends travel ban for Americans, airline updates, COVID assessment upon check-in, two airlines file for bankruptcy protection, face masks required at airports, TSA adds security barriers, Amtrak extends premium seating, hotels add mask mandate, InterContinental to open luxury hotels, how to safely transport luggage, tips for road trips, COVID tracking maps, and more!

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Evolving Your Procurement Strategy to Drive Business Travel Forward

From implementing trip approval to weighing the benefits of safety over savings, attempting to predict the post-crisis changes to business travel has become a full-time prognostication game. While it may take up to two to three years for the industry to fully reach its pre-pandemic highs, business travel has already bounced back from its lowest levels. Masked-up road warriors are slowly returning to key markets again, which means, ready or not, the future of business travel has arrived. Read More

How Trip Approval is Streamlining Pandemic Travel Complexities

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shift once long-ingrained mindsets around corporate travel at record pace, from how businesses talk about risk management and safety to the ways travel managers measure the success of their program. Elements of the business once deemed indispensable have taken a backseat, while overlooked processes and policies gain new relevancy. Read More

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U.S. State Department Lifts Global Travel Advisory

Travel Market Report — After more than four months, the State Department is returning to country-specific levels of travel advice. Read More

Corporate Travelers Expect Companies to Implement Health and Safety Measures as Travel Resumes

Phocus Wire — The business travel community continues to go through a tumultuous time even as restrictions begin to lift in some countries, and there are many considerations across the entire ecosystem. Read More

Concur Study: Travelers, Managers Expect Major Post-Pandemic Changes

Business Travel News — Business travelers largely feel positive about eventually getting out on the road again in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, but the vast majority expect travel to look and feel very different than it did before the pandemic, a new study from SAP Concur found. Read More

European Union Extends Travel Ban on Americans

Travel Pulse — The United States was left off of the EU's updated list of approved countries for non-essential travel. Read More

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American Airlines to Restore Hot-food Service at Lounges

The Points Guy — American Airlines is bringing back hot food to Admirals Club lounges starting next week. Read More

Qatar Airways Adapts App for Touchless Travel

Business Travel News — Qatar Airways has added features to its mobile app that reduce touchpoints throughout a traveler's journey, including providing boarding passes that can be downloaded into mobile wallets and the capability to generate luggage tags that can be printed at home. Read More

United Extends Global Services Memberships Through January 2022

Business Travel News — United Airlines is extending Global Services status for current members through Jan. 31, 2022, VP of marketing and loyalty and MileagePlus president Luc Bondar said in a letter to members. Read More

Virgin Atlantic Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Travel Market Report — The airline, which is based in the U.K. and flies exclusively long-haul service, has been struggling with the fall-off in travel demand. Read More

Delta’s Updated Mask Policy Bans This Type of Face Covering

Travel + Leisure — Masks with an exhaust valve are not approved as an acceptable face mask for customers traveling on any Delta operated flight. Read More

United Airlines to Resume Over 25 International Routes in September

Travel Pulse — United Airlines will be resuming service on close to 30 international routes this September, including to Asia, Australia, India, Israel and Latin America, while also broadening access to popular vacation spots in the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico. Read More

Delta Adds Covid Assessment Step to Check-In Process

Business Travel News — Delta Air Lines added a health acknowledgment for passengers to its check-in process. Read More

Aeromexico Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Business Travel News — Grupo Aeromexico has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to restructure amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Read More

Delta Partners with Lysol to Bolster Hygienic Protocols

Business Travel News — Delta Air Lines has established a partnership with Lysol parent company RB to enhance its hygienic protocols. Read More

Delta is No Longer Capping Delta One Capacity on Every Flight

The Points Guy — Of the “big three” U.S. carriers, Delta’s done the most to reassure customers that it’s safe to travel. It’s capping the capacity of its flights, cleaning planes at each turn and modifying inflight service protocols. Read More

United, American Will Require Passengers to Wear Face Masks Throughout Airports

Travel + Leisure — United Airlines and American Airlines expanded its face mask rule to include the airports where it operates. Read More

Delta Air Lines Commits to Blocking Middle Seat Beyond September

Travel Market Report — For your comfort and safety, more flights will be added as planes reach the capacity limit and middle seats will continue to be blocked beyond September,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a message. Read More

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TSA Adding New Security Barriers at Priority Airports

Travel Pulse — The Transportation Security Administration has awarded a contract for acrylic safety barriers that will be installed at podiums and baggage screening equipment in 37 high-priority airports. Read More

Canada Updates Restrictions for those Traveling through Country to Alaska

Travel Market Report — The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on Thursday issued a statement that puts in place stricter rules and additional entry conditions for those traveling from the U.S. through Canada into Alaska. Read More

DHS Reverses New York Trusted Traveler Ban

Business Travel News — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has lifted a ban on New York residents joining and renewing memberships in Trusted Traveler programs and now faces additional legal action from the state. Read More

New York TSA Checkpoints Are Using New ID Authentication Technology

Travel Pulse — Transportation Security Administration officers at John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia Airports in New York are utilizing new technology at passenger checkpoints that both verifies travelers’ identifications and confirms their flight details, in close-to-real time. Read More

Global Entry Signups, Renewals Delayed Until Sept. 8

Travel Market Report — Trusted Traveler enrollment centers will remain closed through at least Sept. 8, 2020. 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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Amtrak Expands Premium Seating for COVID-19 Times

Business Traveler — New business class enhancements allow passengers to choose their preferred safe seats. Read More

Avis Budget Projects Positive Cash Flow for Second Half of 2020

Business Travel News — Avis Budget's second-quarter revenue was only a third of what it was a year ago, but the company expects revenue for the rest of the year will at least cover costs. Read More

Lyft Partners with Sixt to Expand Car Rental Options

Business Travel News — Lyft is partnering with Sixt to enable car rentals through the Lyft app beginning in three U.S. cities in August, the companies announced, with plans to expand in the coming months to more U.S. locations. Read More

Uber Commits to Being “Anti-racist” Company, Pledges Change in Leadership and $10M for Black-owned Businesses

PhocusWire — “Black representation and opportunity at Uber is not where we want it to be, especially on our technical teams and in leadership,” says Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Read More

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Choice Hotels Adds Mask Requirement, Reports Q2 Extended-Stay Resiliency

Business Travel News — Choice Hotels has joined with other major hotel companies in requiring guests to wear face masks in indoor public spaces, president and CEO Patrick Pacious said Thursday during the company's second-quarter earnings call. Read More

InterContinental Hotels to Open Nine New Luxury Hotels

Travel Market Report — From new builds and renovations in established regions, InterContinental Hotels Group luxury brand strengthens its foothold in the sector. Read More

Wyndham to Require Guest Face Masks in U.S., Canada

Business Travel News — Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, in alignment with the American Hotel & Lodging Association's guest checklist and following other hotel companies, will require guests to wear face coverings. Read More

Guest Satisfaction with Hotel Cleanliness Reaches Record High in 2020 J.D. Power Survey

Business Travel News — Sleep was the main priority for hotel guest satisfaction in last year's J.D. Power North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, but this year cleanliness expectations and guest communications not surprisingly are the top drivers for guest satisfaction. Read More

These Four U.S. Luxury Hotels Are Set to Open or Reopen Soon

Insider Travel Report — At a time when domestic U.S. travel looks to become all the rage, here are four luxury properties set to open or reopen this August and into the fall. Read More

Marriott Now Requiring Face Masks as Hotel Industry Pushes for Compliance

Travel Market Report — On the heels of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) announcement that guests would be required to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces, Marriott International on Monday announced that it will require all guests to wear a face coverings in its hotels effective July 27. Read More

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Chances of Contracting COVID-19 on a Plane Are Lower Than You Think

Travel Pulse — New study claims average of one in 4,300 passengers will become infected…Read More

How the Luggage Experience is Changing as a Result of COVID-19

Phocus Wire — Among the many concerns travelers face as they venture outside the home amid the coronavirus crisis is how to safely transport their luggage from one destination to another. Read More

Traveling this Summer? These 12 Things Will Keep You Safe and Comfortable

USA Today — Whether it be for business or pleasure, traveling during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic isn't the same as it was before all of this began. Read More

How to Get Through Airport Security Faster – and Safer

USA Today — If you're flying somewhere this summer, you have a good reason to get through airport security faster. Read More

What Does the End of 'Do Not Travel' Advisory Mean for Travelers?

USA Today — The State Department has lifted its blanket advisory for Americans to avoid international travel, put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic. Read More

More Than Half the Country Is Now on the NY, NJ, CT Travel Quarantine List

Afar — As the tri-state area comes out of lockdown, it’s wary of becoming a COVID-19 hot spot once again. Here’s what to know if you plan to visit. Read More

10 Tips for Road-Trip Health and Safety: COVID-19 Pandemic Edition

Travel Pulse — Set yourself up for a safe, successful escape from it all along America’s roadways with these valuable insights and recommendations to help those hitting the road this summer enjoy vanlife to the fullest while implementing effective precautions for preserving your health. Read More

American Airlines Launches In-flight AppleTV Streaming

Travel Mole — Free access to AppleTV+ shows…Read More

WHO Outlines Public Health Considerations While Resuming International Travel

Travel Pulse — The agency published guidance for countries as well as visitors traveling abroad…Read More

What Airports Are Doing to Welcome Travelers Back

MeetingsNet — It’s not just the airlines that need to keep travelers safe—airports also have a role to play. Read More

10 Packing Tips for Local Trips

Prevue — People are still traveling locally this summer, just by car instead of plane. Here are 10 packing tips from the road warriors at Prevue. Read More

Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Dealing with the ‘New Normal’

Travel Market Report — The U.S. Travel Association has partnered with the Infectious Disease Society of America and the CDC to try to establish consistent practices across the country. Read More

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COVID-19 Tracking Maps & Other Meetings Info

Prevue — Once things open up and it’s time to plan meetings and events, COVID-19 tracking maps can be invaluable. Here are a few that can help. Read More

Starting Up Meetings

Prevue — Here is the most up-to-date information regarding starting up meetings in a COVID-19 world. Read More

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