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December 28, 2021

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: President Biden unveiled Omicron plans, Delta asks CDC for a reduction in isolation period, airline flight schedule adjustments, new airline partnerships, Delta changes Basic Economy fare structure, passport fees increase, Avelo Airlines joins TSA PreCheck, hotel openings, Hilton permanently has extended Hilton Honors points-expiration policy to 24 months, traveler tips and more!

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The Top Business Travel Articles of 2021

For all its many stops and starts, 2021 brought with it rapid growth for corporate travel, continued resilience in the face of uncertainty, and robust planning for the future.

While COVID-19 and the emergence of new variants remained at the front and foremost of concerns for businesses, it shifted from the uncertain and reactive responses of the year prior to a strategic and progressive path forward for...Read More

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Biden Unveils Omicron Plan, Including Free At-Home Tests and More Support for Hospitals

CBS News — President Biden unveiled plans to fight the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus, saying the government would make 500 million rapid at-home tests freely available to Americans, increase support for hospitals and add testing sites in regions that need additional capacity. Read More

Business Travel Stays the Course Even As Omicron Is A Cause For Concern

Global Business Travel Association — The recent emergence and yet-unknown trajectory of a new COVID-19 variant is the latest development on the road to recovery for the business travel industry. Read More

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Delta Asks CDC to Consider Latest Scientific Data to Shorten COVID-19 Isolation Period

Wheels Up Network — The request for consideration aligns with medical professionals and is based on a science-backed analysis of Omicron variant incubation and infection periods. Read More

Delta Air Lines and ITA Launch Codeshare Partnership

Delta Air Lines — The new agreement offers wider network and greater customer choice between North America and Italy. Read More

American Airlines 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 Enters Codeshare Deal with Virgin Australia

Travel Weekly — The partnership, which will replace Virgin Australia's current codeshare arrangement with Delta, is to take effect in April, pending government approval. Read More

Delta Air Lines Is Saying Goodbye to These U.S. Airports

Afar Magazine — And . . . “Hej” to Stockholm. Read More

AA, BA to Add Transatlantic Service

Business Travel News — American Airlines, British Airways, and several of its joint venture partner carriers will launch new ongoing and seasonal transatlantic routes through spring. Read More

Delta to Invest $1.2B in Newly Restructured Airlines

Business Travel News — Delta Air Lines will invest a total of $1.2 billion in Aeromexico, Latam Airlines Group, and Virgin Atlantic as each carrier emerges from restructuring or recapitalization. Read More

British Airways Plans New and Reinstated Routes for 2022

Business Traveller — The joint business which exists between airlines Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia and Level is set to see new routes being launched in 2022, along with the return of routes which had either been dropped or which had never launched as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read More

Delta Air Lines Makes Big Changes to Basic Economy Fare

Travel Market Report — The rules for Delta Air Lines' most basic fare are changing. Read More

Airlines' App Will Now Warn You if You're in a Middle Seat

Travel Market Report — Getting out of the middle seat just got easier on United Airlines. Read More

7 Airlines Are Awarded 'World Class' Status

Business Insider — The Airline Passenger Experience Association has revealed its yearly rankings for the best carriers in terms of safety, sustainability, and service…Read More

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Fees For US Passports Increase

CNN Travel — On December 27, the fee for a US passport book will shoot up by $20 for all customers, the US State Department has announced. Read More

FAA-Fined Unruly Passengers to Lose TSA PreCheck

Business Insider — Unruly airline passengers may face additional consequences for bad behavior under a new partnership between the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Read More

CDC is Handing Out Free Rapid Tests to International Arrivals

Thrifty Traveler — The CDC has begun handing out free rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits to international travelers after clearing customs at airports across the U.S., as part of a brand new program quietly rolled out this week to increase post-travel testing supplies and monitoring. Read More

Avelo Airlines joins TSA PreCheck

Transportation Security Administration — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the expansion of its TSA PreCheck® expedited screening program with the addition of Avelo Airlines, adding to the more than 80 TSA PreCheck participating domestic and international carriers. 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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Five More of the Most Anticipated Hotels Opening in 2022

Travel Market Report — To prepare for what's to come in 2022, here are five more of the most anticipated hotels opening next year. Read More

Hilton Permanently Extends Point-Expiration Policy

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

Hyatt Announces Two New Middle East Properties

Business Traveller — Hyatt has announced two new Middle East properties – one in Qatar and one in Saudi Arabia. Read More

New York City Hotel Occupancy Hits Pandemic High

The Real Deal — Early December’s 81.5 percent occupancy rate was welcome news to hoteliers, but a resurgence in Covid cases could stall further recovery…Read More

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What Happens if You Test Positive While Traveling?

New York Times — In the midst of the holiday season, the Omicron variant has many considering the prospects of getting stuck while traveling. Here’s what you need to know. Read More

What to Do if Your Travel Plans Are Disrupted by Omicron

Afar Magazine — The variant has spurred another round of new travel rules and public health concerns. But all is not lost with these tips and advice for how to navigate travel amid the new (variant) normal. Read More

Six Ways to Be a More Ethical Traveler in 2022

The Toronto Star — Sustainable tourism no longer just means reducing your environmental impact…Read More

Why We're Actually in Love with Airplane Food

CNN Travel — Sneering at the lows of cuisine served in the sky is a universal gag -- one that evokes that standup comedy trope: "What's the deal with airline food?" Read More