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July 28, 2020

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: Direct Travel awards 100 healthcare workers with flights, preparing for a return to travel, the US and Canada border closure extended to August 20, Alaska Airlines joins Oneworld, Airlines and airports requiring masks, JetBlue and American announce a strategic partnership, Qantas cancels flights until March 2021, updates on airline policies, Global Entry ban lifted for New Yorkers, Hotels require masks in US and Canada, protocols for meetings and more!

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Traveler Report: What Your Next Trip Could Look Like

With a COVID-19 vaccine not expected until 2021 and the list of reopening countries continuing to grow, the inevitably of resuming travel during a still-fluctuating pandemic is slowly becoming a reality for many road warriors. Whether attending a key event or returning to a top market, business travelers have joined the surge of summer vacationers whose confidence in travel safety remains largely unchanged. Read More

Unpacking Insights from the Back to Business Travel Workbook

It’s the question most top of mind for many travel managers, corporate leadership teams, and Travel Management Companies (TMCs)—all of whom are trying to map out the best path forward for getting business travelers back on the road. While the question is simple on its face, the answer requires a much more nuanced and customized approach. Read More

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Direct Travel Awards 100 Healthcare Heroes with Flights

Global Newswire — After a month-long online nomination process, Direct Travel, Inc. has announced the winners of its Flights for Heroes initiative, awarding 100 healthcare professionals with tickets for roundtrip airfare. Read More

How Travel Managers Are Getting Ready for a Return to the Road

Northstar Meetings Group — Beth West of the BTN Group details the current and future realities of business travel. Read More

Canadian, Mexican Borders to Stay Closed Until Aug. 20

USA Today — The U.S-Canadian border closure is being extended a fourth time as COVID-19 rates surge in several American states. Read More

56% Travel Buyers Have Revised Their Travel Policy in Light of COVID-19

GBTA Blog — As recovery continues companies look to safeguard employee health and safety…Read More

EU Extends Travel Ban on Americans Amid Spike in US Coronavirus Cases

USA Today — The European Union extended its travel ban on Americans, as coronavirus infections continued to rise across the United States. Read More

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It's Official: Alaska Airlines is Invited to be the Next Oneworld Alliance Member

The Points Guy — The Seattle- based carrier is officially a “Oneworld member-elect” and on its way to becoming the alliance’s 14th member airline. Read More

Delta Asks Maskless Fliers to “Reconsider Travel” or Undergo Health Screening

Afar — For fliers who can't wear face coverings due to health restrictions, new screening procedures have been put in place. Read More

United Airlines Now Requiring Face Masks in Airports

Travel Market Report — Those who refuse to comply with the carrier’s mask requirement “may be refused travel and banned from flying United at least while the mask requirement is in place.” Read More

Airlines Call for COVID-19 Testing to Restore Transatlantic Travel

Afar — If the U.S. and EU governments agree to a joint COVID-19 testing program, a trip to Europe might be possible sooner than later. Read More

JetBlue and American Partner

Prevue Meetings — JetBlue and American Airlines have announced a strategic partnership that will create seamless connectivity for travelers in the Northeast. Read More

United Ramps Up Air Filtration During Boarding, Deplaning

Business Travel News — United Airlines on July 27 will begin maximizing airflow volumes through its filtration systems during boarding and deplaning on all mainline aircraft. Read More

For Those Claiming Health Issues, Delta to Require Pre-flight Evaluation for Exceptions to Mask Policy

USA Today — Starting Monday, anyone who books a Delta flight who requests an exemption from the mask requirement must undergo a medical evaluation at the airport before boarding. Read More

Qantas is Effectively Canceling All International Flights Until March 2021

Condé Nast Traveler — Only a handful of flights into New Zealand remain…Read More

United Introduces Touchless Check-In at Heathrow

Business Travel News Europe — United Airlines has introduced touchless check-in technology at London Heathrow airport, allowing passengers to check in for their flights without touching kiosks, even if they are checking luggage. Read More

American Airlines Introduces New Touchless Check-In, In-Flight Wi-Fi Portal

Travel Pulse — American Airlines is rolling out new technology designed to enhance the customer experience while keeping passengers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

United Airlines Unveils Upgrade to App with Upgrade Notification Feature

Frequent Business Traveler — United Airlines adding several new app features including a notification feature that lets travelers know when a seat has been assigned or an upgrade has been processed. Read More

American Airlines Relaunches Service to Key Caribbean Destinations

Travel Pulse — Travelers booking flights to St Vincent and the Grenadines and other Caribbean destinations will be required to fill out a pre-arrival Travel Form and show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Read More

Alaska Airlines Adds 10 Nonstop Routes from West Coast

USA Today — Alaska Airlines is adding several flights from Los Angeles and San Diego this fall in a bid to win more passengers in the crowded Southern California market…Read More

American Airlines and JetBlue Announce Codeshare Agreement

Travel Market Report — The agreement will see both airlines be able to book passengers on select flights from the other, primarily in the Northeast market. Read More

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian: ‘We Are Enforcing Masks’

Travel Market Report — Also this week, the airline announced another extension to its change fee waiver for new flights purchased through July 31. Read More

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The Global Entry Ban Has Been Lifted for New Yorkers

Afar — After the Department of Homeland Security suspended Global Entry enrollment for New Yorkers in February, the ban has been lifted. Read More

How to Renew Your U.S. Passport

Afar — Here’s everything you need to know to renew it, from the right forms to how much it will cost based on your situation. Read More

What You Should Know About Biometrics and Delta — Delta committed to investing in technology that enhances the customer travel experience...Read More

Touchless: How the World's Busiest Airport Envisions Post-COVID Travel

Reuters — Dallas airport moving toward self-service systems…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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Hyatt, IHG to Require Face Masks at U.S. and Canadian Hotels

Business Travel News — Both Hyatt Hotels Corp. and InterContinental Hotels Group will require guests to wear face coverings within indoor public areas of its U.S. and Canadian hotels beginning July 27. Read More

Checking into a US Hotel? Industry Says Wear Your Face Mask

CNN — As they try to safely open back up in the Covid-19 pandemic, major hotel chains are the latest in a growing list of places in the US travel industry that will soon require a face mask. Read More

Marriott to Require Masks in All Indoor Hotel Public Spaces

Business Travel News — Marriott International beginning July 27 will require facial masks in all public areas of its hotels, the company announced Monday via a video message from its president and CEO, Arne Sorenson. Read More

Stressing Flexibility Amid Uncertainty, Wyndham Readies Live Meeting Plans

Business Travel News — Wyndham Hotels & Resorts recently expanded its Count on Us cleanliness initiative, introduced in early May, to its meetings and events business. Read More

New Policies That Protect Clients Who Get Sick With COVID-19 While on Vacation

Travel Age West — Eager to court visitors, some hotels are providing an answer: included medical insurance for coronavirus-related incidents during their stay. Read More

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How to Assess if an Airport is High-risk for COVID-19

Forbes — Here are three questions to ask to help assess whether it’s a good idea to travel through a specific airport right now. Read More

Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Will Require Travelers to Wear Masks

Minneapolis Star Tribune — Also included will be shuttles, trams, parking…Read More

A Guide to Traveling With a Face Mask

Travel Pulse — In addition to frequent hand washing and social distancing, you'll need a face mask to help protect yourself and others from the virus. Read More

U.S. Travel Assn Emphasizes Need for Healthy Travel Practices, Wearing Masks

Wheels Up Network — With the right practices in place, travel can resume safely…Read More

California Travel Update: All Indoor Activities Ordered to Close, Hotels Remain Open

Forbes — Shopping malls, gyms, nail salons, indoor dining, wineries, theaters, zoos, museums, bars, places of worship, and other entertainment centers are forbidden from conducting business indoors. Read More

How to Fly Safely When Incentive Travel Returns

Northstar Meetings Group — The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how business travel is done. Read More

In Countries that Require a COVID-19 Test, Who is Responsible for the Cost?

Travel Market Report — In order to restart travel but maintain a level of safety, many countries are requiring incoming visitors to have a negative COVID-19 test - either in their home country prior or at the airport upon their arrival. In most cases, passengers will be responsible. Read More

Hawaii Extends Visitor Quarantine Until Sept. 1

USA Today — Hawaii delayed its plan to allow out-of-state visitors to return to the vacation hot spot by a month because of an increase in coronavirus cases in the state and on the U.S. mainland. Read More

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Is Your Business Surviving or Thriving?

Creative Group — Businesses are Facing a myriad of challenges due to COVID-19. Creative Group identifies five of the most common obstacles clients are seeing with proven solutions to help you shift from surviving to thriving. Read More

Conferences, Business Events to Resume in England in October

Business Travel News Europe — U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson has announced that conferences and other business events will be allowed to resume from October, subject to “the successful outcome of pilots," providing some clarity for the industry after weeks of promises from the government to give guidance on the reopening of services. Read More

How to Get the Most Out of Virtual Events

Travel Pulse — With face-to-face meetings on hold, make the most of online events. Read More

Hotel Companies Begin Extending New Cleanliness Protocols to Meetings

Northstar Meetings Group — Hilton introduced its EventReady with CleanStay program to reassure meeting participants and assist planners in getting back to work. 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: