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December 14, 2021

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: new travel requirements due to Omicron and mask mandates, Delta ends mileage earning on Basic Economy tickets, American to cut some routes, United returns to Scotland, CLEAR expands at Newark Airport, Amtrak to temporarily cut some service, Hilton Honors point-expiration policy extended to 24 months, Hyatt introduces room keys in Apple Wallet, Accor launches new luxury collection, traveler tips, and much more!

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5 Reasons Travel Is Resilient to Future COVID Variant Risks

A new COVID-19 variant is threatening to challenge the progress made this past year, but exactly how much should businesses worry about the latest variant and its potential to upend travel?

Known as “omicron,” the headline-grabbing COVID-19 variant may be new, but it is hardly unexpected or surprising. Scientists have predicted...Read More

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Biden Announces New Requirements for Travel Amid Omicron Concerns

Afar Magazine — The president has issued updated guidelines regarding COVID testing and masking for travel. Read More

‘New Normal’: U.S. Travelers Are Not Panicking Over Omicron

Forbes — In less than a week since the latest and most mutated variant of the coronavirus got its name, omicron-driven travel bans are popping up around the world and the World Health Organization (WHO) is recommending that seniors postpone travel. Read More

U.S. Tightens International Travel Protocols, Extends Mask Mandate

Business Travel News — With the omicron variant of Covid-19 now identified in the U.S., the federal government revises entry requirements for international travelers among a host of new and reinvigorated public health measures. Read More

Federal Transportation Mask Mandate Extended Into Spring 2022

Travel Pulse — The federal transportation mask mandate has been extended through March 18, 2022, due to the newly discovered Omicron variant. Read More

WHO Flags Global Risk from Omicron, Countries Tighten Curbs

Reuters — The Omicron variant of coronavirus carries a very high global risk of surges as more countries reported cases, prompting border closures and reviving worries about the economic recovery from a two-year pandemic. Read More

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Delta: No More Miles Earned on Basic Economy Fares

Travel Weekly — Customers will no longer earn SkyMiles or credit toward elite status on purchases of Basic Economy tickets. Read More

American Is Cutting These International Routes in 2022

Afar Magazine — An aircraft shortage is forcing the airline to scale back on some global flights, including to Europe and Asia. Read More

United to Resume Nonstop Services from Scotland in March

BTN Europe — United Airlines will resume daily nonstop services from Scotland to the U.S. in March next year, making it the first carrier to reinstate flights between the two nations. Read More

United Airlines Makes History

Yahoo! News — United Airlines just became the first airline in history to operate a passenger flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel. Read More

LATAM Files Reorganization Plan

Business Traveler — LATAM Airlines Group has submitted a reorganization plan that includes a proposed capital infusion of $8.19 billion. Read More

Airlines Ban Passengers for Bad Behavior That Takes Place on Other Carriers

View from the Wing — Flight attendants have wanted a ‘national banned passenger list’ for customers who behave badly since the start of the year…Read More

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CLEAR Expands at Newark Airport

Travel Market Report — The move brings CLEAR’s total numbers to 39 airports and 109 expedited lanes across the U.S. 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 Expected to Cut Service in January Due to Vaccine Mandate

Fortune Magazine — Amtrak says it plans to restore full service and frequency by March…Read More

Eurostar Begins SmartCheck Contactless Travel Trial

Business Traveller — Eurostar has launched its contactless travel trial, allowing customers to complete ticket and passport checks at home, before using biometric face scanners to verify their identity at St Pancras International station. Read More

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Hilton Permanently Extends Point-Expiration Policy

Business Travel News — Hilton Hotels Corp. permanently has extended its Hilton Honors point-expiration policy to 24 months from the date of last activity from 15 months. Read More

The 6 Best New Hotels in Chicago

Afar Magazine — From luxurious downtown addresses to those that offer access to the city’s most colorful neighborhoods, Chicago’s new crop of hotels aims to serve the community and the environment with high sustainability standards. Read More

AHLA: 86% of Hotels Say Supply Chain Issues Impacting Operations

Hotel Business — Supply chain disruptions are impacting the operations of more than eight in 10 surveyed hotels, and nearly three in four hotel operators say the disruptions are negatively impacting their business revenue, according to a new survey of American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) members. Read More

Hyatt Introduces Room Keys in Apple Wallet

Business Travel News — Hyatt Hotels Corp. has introduced at six U.S. hotels room keys in Apple Wallet for World of Hyatt loyalty members, with plans to roll out the technology eventually across Hyatt's global portfolio. Read More

Accor Launches New Luxury Hotel Collection

Travel Market Report — Guiyang Art Centre Hotel, Emblems Collection, will be the first hotel in Accor’s new collection. Read More

Transient Business, Group to Spur U.S. Hotel Demand in 2022

Business Travel News — Leisure travel continues to dominate U.S. hotel demand, but PwC expects to see individual business travel and groups lead the demand recovery into 2022, provided Covid-19 infection rates drop...Read More

Sports Events Continue to Drive Group Business at Hotels

Sports Travel Magazine — Evidence shows that the sports market is outperforming other segments of group-related travel...Read More

New Best Western CEO Targets Loyalty, Corp. Transient

Business Travel News — Larry Cuculic takes over as BWH Hotels president and CEO on Dec. 1. He's been with the hotel company for more than a decade, as part of the general counsel's office. He spoke with BTN's Donna M. Airoldi in early November about his plans for the future of the company. Read More

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How Cancel for Any Reason Travel Insurance Can (and Can’t) Help You

Afar Magazine — In times of crisis, this travel insurance upgrade option may be your only saving grace—you just need to know the rules of engagement. Read More

Pre-departure Tests Reinstated by UK Government

Business Travel News Europe — Travelers to the U.K once again will be required to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test beginning Dec. 7 as global cases of the omicron variant continue to rise. Read More

Travel Etiquette 101: Expert Tips for Your Next Flight

Yahoo! — Whether you have started traveling or are planning a trip in the near future, the pandemic has introduced a new set of travel behaviors, rules and restrictions to help respect people’s sense of safety and comfort as we return to the skies. Read More

Optimism at GBTA Orlando

Prevue Meetings — GBTA (Global Business Travel Association)’s annual conference took place last week, attracting 3,500 attendees from more than 20 countries to Orlando after moving the date from August. The overarching mood was positive, based on the results of the latest Business Travel Index. Read More

What to Know About Travel After the Discovery of the Omicron Variant

Washington Post — The U.S. imposed restrictions, but experts say it’s too soon to cancel a trip to southern Africa. Read More

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The Continued Importance of the Experience Economy

Creative Group — What do Harry Potter, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Ole Henriksen all have in common? They understand the importance of creating an experience! Here’s why Creative Group believes experiences are especially important right now…Read More

Where IRL Meets URL

Creative Group — In a recent webinar, Creative Group and 6Connex walked viewers through the tactical steps to planning a unified hybrid event. You can access that webinar on-demand, now via Linkedin. Read More

The Continued Importance of the Experience Economy

Creative Group — What do Harry Potter, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Ole Henriksen all have in common? They understand the importance of creating an experience! Read More

Top Tips For Adding CSR Activities to Events

Northstar Meetings Group — Including a CSR activity in a group travel program gives participants a chance to attain far more than a passing glimmer of charity, offering a unique travel experience that connects attendees to their destination, and gives them something to feel good about, take home with them and share with others. Read More

Wary, Weary World Slams Doors Shut, Fearing Omicron Variant

Northstar Meetings Group — Scientists are racing to find out how dangerous the strain might be...Read More

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