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February 23, 2021

In this edition of the Travel News Brief… Canada further tightens border, JetBlue and American codeshare, AA offers at home COVID tests, United launches in-airport coronavirus testing, airlines expand flight service, Delta will block middles seats thru April, TSA will issue fine to enforce the airport face mask mandate, IHG announced a 10-year sustainability plan, changes at InterContinental Hotels, many traveler tips, the CDC’s latest pandemic guidelines for events, how to improve networking at virtual events and more!

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Mitigating Uncertainty through a Strong Travel Policy & TMC Partner

The pandemic has forced even the most nimble of businesses to rethink long-established policies and shift priorities at a moment’s notice. In fact, an outstanding 96 percent of employees surveyed by SAP Concur indicated that their organizations were not adequately prepared to address the problems triggered by COVID-19. This poses a formidable challenge to driving business growth, a topic we explored in depth in this recent blog post...Read More

How In-Person Meetings Can Help Rebuild Your Business

Growth is a goal for every company, no matter the business size or industry sector. Yet for many organizations in 2020, plans for growth were temporarily paused and replaced with new priorities of mitigating losses and shoring up safety concerns...Read More

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Survey: Buyers Generally Not Opposed to Pre-Trip Testing, Vaccine Mandates

Business Travel News — Most business travel managers and procurement professionals aren't necessarily opposed to corporate requirements that employees be tested for or vaccinated against Covid-19 before allowing them to travel for business. Read More

Canada Tightens Border Further, Will Require Negative COVID Test

USA Today — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that any nonessential traveler arriving in Canada by land will need to show a negative COVID test. Read More

The Latest Updates on International Gathering and Travel Restrictions

Northstar Meetings Group — New quarantine measures have been introduced in Canada and England. Travelers who do not comply with the regulations face hefty fines and potential jail time. Read More

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New JetBlue, American Codesharing to Begin

Business Travel News — American Airlines and JetBlue will begin selling codeshare routes, as the carriers prepare to add new service in the coming months as part of their partnership. Read More

Window or Aisle? Delta Seat Blocks Lead to Highest Yields

Travel Weekly — The carrier positioned itself as a "premium" airline. It appears to be paying off. Read More

American Airlines Now Offering At-Home COVID Tests to Help Avoid Quarantines

Travel Market Report — American Airlines announced that it would start offering its guests $129 at-home COVID-19 tests ahead of travel, giving them the option in order to avoid quarantines. Read More

Delta Expands Service To Latin America With New Routes

Travel Pulse — Delta Air Lines is resuming passenger flights between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Read More

American Airlines Adds 2 New Destinations and 7 Flights in Latest Route Map Shakeup

The Points Guy — American Airlines is adding two brand-new destinations to its network. The Fort Worth-based carrier confirmed that it will be launching its first-ever flights to Eureka, California (ACV) and Idaho Falls, Idaho (IDA) this summer. Read More

United Launches "Travel Ready Center" So Passengers Can Get COVID-19 Test at Airport

CBS — United Airlines is now the first U.S. airline to offer passengers access to in-airport coronavirus testing. Read More

Airlines Add Service to Mexican Caribbean, as Demand Remains Strong

Travel Market Report — American Airlines and Frontier are adding service to meet new demand. Read More

United Adds New Hawaii Flights From These U.S. Cities

Afar Magazine — It just got easier to get to the Hawaiian Islands this summer from the West Coast, Midwest, and East Coast. Read More

British Airways Expands VeriFLY Health Passport To All Inbound Flights

Simple Flying — British Airways is expanding its optional health passport app to all passengers flying to the United Kingdom. Read More

Delta Cuts 9 Routes, Adds 7 Others in Sweeping Route-map Shakeup

The Points Guy — Delta Air Lines is adding five new routes, meanwhile, nine other routes will remain suspended until at least the end of the year. Read More

Air Canada, WestJet Suspend Flights to Mexico, Caribbean

Business Travel News — Air Canada and WestJet each have temporarily suspended flights to Mexico and the Caribbean as a part of new, stricter travel restrictions announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Read More

American Airlines Plans 7 New International Routes, Will Link Miami to Tel Aviv and Suriname

Frequent Business Traveler — American Airlines announced plans to launch multiple new international flights...Read More

Delta Extends Middle Seat Blocking Policy Through April

Insider Travel Report — Delta is extending its policy of blocking middle seats and limiting capacity on all flights departing through April 30…Read More

BA’s UK Government Quarantine Update for Inbound Passengers

British Airways — The UK Government has announced further measures at the UK border effective as of 15 February 2021. Read More

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TSA Will Fine People $250 for Violating Face Mask Requirements at U.S. Airports

Travel Market Report — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has updated its plan to enforce the new airport face mask mandate. 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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IHG Unveils 10-Year Sustainability Plan

Business Travel News — More than four in five adults—82 percent—from around the world are committed to taking their everyday sustainability habits with them when they travel, according to a survey released by InterContinental Hotels Group. IHG also announced a 10-year sustainability plan for the company. Read More

Radisson Blu Prepares To Open in Aruba

Travel Pulse — Radisson Blu, an upper upscale hotel brand delivering positive and personalized service in stylish spaces, today announced the opening of Radisson Blu Aruba, a one-of-a-kind new hotel located in Palm Beach, Aruba. Read More

Changes at InterContinental Hotels

Travel Weekly — IHG has revealed new branding, a new logo and new brand categories. Read More

Virgin Hotels Will Open Three Properties in the U.S. This Year

Travel Market Report — The openings include new properties in New Orleans, New York, and Las Vegas. Read More

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Hawaii Partners With Clear to Seamlessly Integrate Travelers’ COVID-19 Test Results

Travel Pulse — Travelers on select United and Delta flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Honolulu's Daniel K. Inouye International Airport will test a new program, which allows them to register and carry their negative COVID-19 test results via Clear’s Health Pass app. Read More

How to Avoid the Worst Seat on the Plane

Smarter Travel — You can make sure it never happens again with these simple tips. Read More

How Should You Deal with Travelers Who Don't Think the Rules Apply to Them?

USA Today — Why do travelers feel the rules don't apply to them? And how can you talk them into following the rules? It all comes down to politeness…Read More

Hawaii Partners With Clear to Allow Travelers with Negative COVID-19 Tests to Skip Quarantine

Travel Market Report — Hawaii is entering a new partnership with Clear’s Health Pass to make traveling to the Aloha state easier. Read More

This Airline Allows Masks to Come Off While Sleeping in Business or First

Afar Magazine — Cathay Pacific says passengers in business and first class can remove their masks while lying down to catch some shut-eye. Read More

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How to Get Real, Actionable Feedback from Your Participants

Creative Group — Your participants have voices and you need to hear them. Creative Group provides insights into the survey questions that will enable you to turn post-event, participant feedback into successful future events. Read More

The CDC’s Latest Pandemic Guidelines for Events

Northstar Meetings Group — New CDC research reveals that double-masking or modifying the fit of a medical mask can significantly increase protection against Covid-19 transmission. Read More

How to Improve Networking at Virtual Events

Successful Meetings — Boost engagement and interaction among remote attendees with these 11 creative suggestions. Read More

Inclusivity Matters…Diversify Your Next Event

Creative Group — As industry leaders, it’s important to shine a spotlight on diversity and advocate for a more inclusive Meetings and Events Industry. Creative Group shares how you can take steps towards diversifying your next event. 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: