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December 29, 2020

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: 40 countries ban UK flights, US/Canada border to stay closed in to 2021, Delta’s new catering company, United’s new baggage technology, United ask passengers for contact-tracing info, Alaska Air introduces pre-clear for Hawaii travelers, Marriott expansion, new luxury hotels opening, more on COVID-19 testing, creating fun virtual events and more!

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Start Small, Think Big: Ways to Give Back this Season

The challenges of 2020 have led to an eager anticipation for a fresh start in the New Year. Before turning the page though, this holiday season presents an opportunity to recharge, reflect, and give back.

For an industry that was one of the first to be noticeably impacted by the pandemic, the travel sphere has shown a resilience and commitment to finding ways to help out since the beginning. If you’re looking for a way to wrap up 2020 on a positive note, here are a few ideas to consider, both as an individual and as a part of your corporate travel program. Read More

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Nearly 40 Countries Ban U.K. Flights After New COVID-19 Virus Strain Found

Travel Market Report — While the U.S. has yet to impose a flight ban, Canada has already opted to do so. Read More

U.S.-Canada Land Border to Stay Closed into Next Year

Travel Market Report — The land border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least Jan. 21. Read More

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Delta Hires Atlanta-based Catering Company for International Flights

The Atlanta Business Journal — Delta is overhauling its in-flight catering, and a metro Atlanta-based company will play a role in feeding the airline's international customers. Read More

Air Canada Adds WiFi Payment via Aeroplan Points

PaxExAero — Air Canada passengers now have the option of paying for in-flight Wi-fi service with Aeroplan points. Read More

No More Lost Luggage, Thanks to United Airlines’ New Baggage Handling Technology

KPRC-TV Houston — United Airlines has begun to deploy a new baggage handling system at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport that is the first such system in the US and expected to significantly improve baggage handling speed and accuracy. Read More

United to Ask All Passengers for Contact-Tracing Information

Business Travel News — United Airlines will begin asking all passengers during check-in to voluntarily provide contact information to assist any contract-tracing efforts. Read More

Alaska Airlines Introduces Hawaii Pre-Clear Program

Wheels Up Network — Alaska Airlines guests traveling to Hawaii can now pre-clear on the West Coast, avoiding lines and bypassing the airport screening process after they arrive in Hawaii with an approved negative COVID-19 test. Read More

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Holiday Plans? Safety First!

Transportation Security Administration — It’s the holiday season! If you choose to fly, check out our latest blog with helpful tips to get you on your way quickly and safely. 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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Marriott Plans Major Expansion for its Edition Brand

Travel Weekly — Seven new hotels, from Reykjavik to the Riviera Maya, are opening next year. Read More

10 New Luxury Hotels Opening in 2021

Travel Market Report — A new Waldorf Astoria Cancun, the first Six Senses in Rome, and new icons in New York and Chicago round out the list. Read More

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Can You Catch COVID-19 From a Hotel Room?

Smarter Travel — We answer this question plus ones on outdoor dining in bubbles, ski resorts, and more in this month’s edition of our travel advice column. Read More

These U.S. and International Airports Have COVID-19 Testing Facilities

Afar Magazine — Where you can get tested before takeoff or after landing. Read More

How to Get a COVID-19 Test at Home

Smarter Travel — Need a pre-travel COVID-19 test that's guaranteed to get you results before you fly (or drive)? These companies offer FDA-authorized tests you can do without leaving the house. Read More

Which Airlines Offer Free COVID-19 Travel Insurance Coverage?

Travel Pulse — The list of worldwide airlines providing complimentary travel insurance. Read More

CDC Asks Americans to Stay Home for the Holidays

Afar Magazine — The agency is reminding people that the safest way to celebrate is with the people you live with. Read More

International Travel Can Safely Restart, Without Waiting for Vaccines

Wheels Up Network — WTTC and major international industry bodies have joined forces to call for the immediate restoration of international travel using proven processes and without waiting for or requiring vaccinations. Read More

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Case Study: Creating a Fun, High-Energy Virtual Event

Creative Group — What do you get when you combine a clever theme with thoughtful planning, communication & gamification? A fun, memorable virtual sales meeting with high energy and engagement. Read More

3 Creative Ways to Replace Group Incentive Travel

Creative Group — If your group trip for top performers is still delayed or you need to launch a new program for next year, consider these options to keep your team inspired to deliver in 2021. Read More

Marriott Adds Optional Covid-19 Testing to Meetings Protocols

Business Travel News — Marriott International will offer new optional health protocols for meetings and events as part of its Connect with Confidence program, beginning in January 2021. 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: