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January 12, 2021

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: Countries require negative COVID test upon arrival, how Brexit is changing visits to the UK, airlines with new flight services, Delta changes in-flight WIFI host, the Boeing 737 returns, TSA PreCheck versus Global Entry, TSA accelerates use of technology, many hotels requiring a negative COVID-19 test before welcoming travelers, Sonesta acquires Red Lion, the next phase of incentive travel, traveler tips and more!

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Top Business Travel Navigator Blog Articles of 2020

Whether you call it a year to remember or a year to forget, 2020 has distinguished itself as a true exercise in crisis management and prolonged recovery against the backdrop of a shifting corporate travel landscape. Read More

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COVID-19 US Travel Restrictions: State-By-State Guide for January 2021

Travel Pulse — Here is a state-by-state breakdown of the interstate travel restrictions, or lack thereof, to be found throughout the union as we head into January 2021. Read More

Canada Will Now Require a Negative PCR Test for Inbound International Travelers

Travel Market Report — The test is in addition to 14-day quarantine requirement for arriving international travelers. Read More

Flying from UK to US? You Need a Negative COVID Test

USA Today — The United States will require air passengers traveling from the United Kingdom to provide a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of departure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read More

Brexit: How the New Rules Will Change Your Visits to the EU

The Guardian — Before Brexit, UK citizens could travel, live, go on holiday and work anywhere in the EU without any special permits or visas. As of 1 January 2021 that is no longer the case. From holidays and health to mobile phones, we explain what has changed for consumers. Read More

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Alaska Airlines Adding Southern California Service for 2021

Travel Market Report — Another carrier is strengthening its California investment in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

WestJet Plans to Restart Max Service in a Matter of Weeks

Business Travel News — WestJet plans to return its Boeing 737 Max fleet to service in a "phased and transparent" manner beginning later this month. Read More

Delta Air Lines Positions Itself for a Free Inflight WiFi Future

Travel Mole — Free WiFi is now becoming a very real possibility for the carrier. Read More

US Airlines Petition for Government To Rescind Travel Bans

Simply Flying — The Airlines for America (A4A) has sent a letter to the Trump administration urging the government to rescind its current travel ban in place and instead to back a testing program for international arrivals. Read More

Boeing 737 Max Resumes Flying, Almost 2 Years After Worldwide Grounding

MSN — The first U.S. commercial flight on Boeing's troubled 737 Max jet left Miami for New York's LaGuardia Airport, almost two years after the aircraft was grounded worldwide. Read More

American Airlines Flight Marks Return of 737 Max

USA Today — On Tuesday, American Airlines flew the first commercial U.S. flight on a Boeing 737 Max since the plane's 2019 grounding. Read More

Singapore Airlines Begins Testing Digital Health Verification on Two Routes

Travel Weekly — The carrier has plans to spread it further across its network and eventually integrate the process into its mobile app. Read More

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TSA PreCheck Versus Global Entry: Which Is Best for You?

Afar Magazine — A guide to the application process, pricing, and benefits of the most widely used trusted traveler programs. Read More

TSA Has Sped Up Airport Tech Deployments Since Covid

Travel Weekly — The agency has accelerated its use of technology in order to reduce the number of touch points at airports. 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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Hotels Offer COVID Testing

Prevue Meetings + Incentives — This trend of hotels offering testing has its roots in high-end individual travel and isolated resort destinations such as the Maldives—essentially creating "bubble resorts." Read More

Your Next Hotel Check-In May Include a COVID-19 Test

The Points Guy — Are COVID-19 tests the latest resort welcome amenity? It's starting to seem that way. Many countries, states, airlines and even the limited cruise lines that have resumed sailing are requiring a negative COVID-19 test before welcoming travelers. But now, your next hotel or resort stay may require one, too… Read More

Sonesta Agrees to Acquire Red Lion Hotels for $90M

Business Travel News — Sonesta International Hotels has entered into an agreement to acquire Red Lion Hotels' parent company, RLH Corp., in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $90 million, the companies announced Dec. 30. Read More

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Delta Taps Viasat for In-flight Connectivity

Travel Mole — Airline will add Viasat's Ka-band sustem to 300 planes… Read More

Delivery Robots to Digital Health Apps: 5 Ways Your Next Airport Visit Could Be Contactless

USA Today — In addition to cleaning, sanitizing and setting up COVID-19 testing stations, airports are responding to the coronavirus pandemic by finding ways to make the journey through the terminal touch-free. Read More

Dr. Fauci Says Covid-19 Vaccine Could Become Mandatory for Travel

Travel Pulse — The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said he doesn't believe the federal government will mandate the vaccine, but such a directive could come from state and local governments or other entities… Read More

6 Things Not to Wear Through Airport Security

Smarter Travel — Avoid these shoes, accessories, and clothes for a smoother trip through security. Read More

How to Clean Your Passport Without Damaging It

Afar Magazine — Viruses—and not just the coronavirus—can survive longer on nonporous, water-resistant surfaces like plastic passport covers. Read More

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The Next Phase of Incentive Travel

Creative Group — Creative Group provides insights into the next phase of incentive travel based on the recent Incentive Industry Index Survey by SITE, The Incentive Research Foundation, Financial & Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP), and Oxford Economics. Read More

What to Do if an Attendee Tests Positive for Covid-19

Northstar Meetings Group — Early detection and transparent communication are essential… Read More

Survey: Most Planners Look to the Second Half of 2021 to Resume In-Person Events

Business Travel News — In its final weekly Planner Confidence Index survey for 2020, i-Meet reports that 69 percent of 259 planner respondents have a future face-to-face meeting or event contracted… Read More

9 Event Trends to Watch in 2021

Successful Meetings — In a time of upheaval, expect these meetings industry movements to pick up steam in the coming year. 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: