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June 30, 2020

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: updates on traveler quarantine, COVID-19 travel map, Caribbean reopening tracker, airline updates and safety protocol, alcohol ban on planes, TSA improving technology, LAX uses thermal cameras, Amtrak policy changes and sale, Marriott tightens cancel policy, Home2 Suites launch in China, the new “safe travels” stamp, proposed travel tax credit, and more!

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How to Resume Your Business Travel and Go Green in the Process

Note: This article was originally published on LinkedIn by Joel Ostrov, President of Direct Travel’s Canada’s East Region. We’ve republished these thoughts below as part of Direct Travel’s ‘Whatever It Takes’ series.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we have heard various reports about the way the environment has changed, from decreased air pollution in major cities to stories of popular tourist hubs emptied of crowds. In fact, as a result of the reduced travel, the International Energy Agency predicts that greenhouse gas emissions will fall by more than 8 percent this year alone. Read More

Now is the Right Time to Centralize Your Meetings Management

Domestically and abroad, the expert advice for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 is now a part of daily life. Guidelines like frequently washing your hands, staying six feet apart, and wearing a mask are even mandated in most public spaces.

While this adjustment has not been without its challenges for industries across the board, how do these strict new standards impact meetings and events—a world which has traditionally been initiated with a handshake and is predicated on hundreds of individuals from different locations meeting together in an indoor space? To explore this topic, we’ve tapped into the insights of Sarahbeth Roberts—Direct Travel’s Senior Director of Meetings & Events, East Region—revealing the need for a strategic, centralized approach to your meetings program. Read More

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NY, NJ, CT Order Out-of-state Travelers to Quarantine

USA Today — After containing coronavirus infection rates, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut require visitors from new hot spots to quarantine. Read More

Is COVID Threatening the Future of International First Class?

The Points Guy — Long-haul international first class had been falling out of favor well before the coronavirus pandemic began. Some airlines, like Asiana, discontinued first class entirely, while Korean Air significantly reduced the number of routes on which it offers first class. Read More

Some European Countries Making Special Arrangements for Business Travelers

Business Travel News — If you're a travel manager hoping for special treatment from European governments to get business travel moving again, keep hoping. Read More

IATA's COVID-19 Travel Map

Prevue Meetings — IATA has created a free online interactive COVID-19 travel map with the latest entry regulations for countries around the world. Read More

Europe’s Country-by-country Travel Restrictions Explained

Politico — This guide shows a the current travel policies across Europe. Read More

US Extends Canada, Mexico Border Closures into July

USA Today — Travelers looking to make a trip to Canada or Mexico will have to wait at least another month after the Department of Homeland Security extended border closures with both countries due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read More

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Delta to Resume Flights Between U.S. and China June 25 — Delta Air Lines will resume twice-weekly service between Seattle and Shanghai-Pudong via Seoul-Incheon following a temporary suspension in February due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read More

American Airlines Requires Travelers to Wear Face Masks

Wheels Up Network — American Airlines announced a stronger policy for customer face coverings as part of its commitment to the safety and well-being of customers and team members. Read More

More Flights, Service Return in July as Delta Continues Industry-leading Safety Measures — Delta will add almost 1,000 flights system-wide in July, boosting service and nonstop connectivity to popular summer destinations and major business markets. Read More

Mask On, or Else: United Creates Internal 'Restriction List'

USA Today — United Airlines is doubling down on its mandatory mask policy with an "internal travel restriction list" for passengers who don't comply. Read More

Air France to Resume Majority of Network by End of Summer

Business Travel News — Air France has announced plans to resume operations to nearly 150 destinations by the end of August, representing 80 percent of its route network, though capacity will remain low. Read More

Airlines Are Cracking Down on Passengers Not Wearing Masks

Travel Pulse — Carriers will be vigorously enforcing face covering policies, putting rigor around rules requiring passengers and customer-facing employees to wear facial coverings over their nose and mouth. Read More

Boeing Launches Cleanliness Initiative

Travel Weekly  — The airplane manufacturer is working with entities throughout the air travel ecosystem to set procedural standards starting with the departure airport and continuing through the flight and to arrival. Read More

Airlines Ban Alcohol on Planes in Response to COVID-19

CNN — The move is part of a widespread revision of the industry's food-and-drinks service to minimize interaction between crew and passengers, and to ensure a safer journey for all… Read More

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FAA Won't Require Face Masks, Even as Airlines Increase Enforcement

Travel Market Report — As major airlines have been enforcing stricter policies regarding the use of face masks for employees and passengers, Stephen Dickson, chief administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration said they won’t require the wearing of face masks on commercial planes, instead leaving it to the discretion of individual airlines. Read More

TSA's Plan to Address Evolving Threats to Travelers Relies on Innovative Technology

Next Gov — The Transportation Security Administration is eager to keep abreast of the ever-changing threats facing American travelers, which will include improving the agency’s technology—procurement, development and delivery. Read More

LAX to Become First Airport to Use Thermal Cameras to Detect COVID-19 Symptoms

Travel Market Report — Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), one of the world’s busiest airports, launched a thermal camera technology program on Tuesday, becoming the first airport to use the devices to screen both arriving and departing passengers for COVID-19 symptoms. Read More

COVID-19’s Impact on Passports, Global Entry, TSA PreCheck

Travel Pulse — Here’s a look at the current status of a few processing operations. 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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Amtrak Updates Operating Schedule and Reboots Acela Service with Sale

Insider Travel Report — Amtrak promises to deliver a new standard of travel with enhanced safety and cleaning measures, along with waiving change fees on all bookings through August 31. Read More

Amtrak Continues to Make Policy Changes as it Deals with COVID-19

Insider Travel Report — With American opting to vacation closer to home, it is good to know Amtrak continues to improve its services, starting with health and safety protocols as previously reported, but also improvements to its current procedures. Read More

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Hotel NH Collection New York Madison Avenue — NH Collection New York Madison Avenue to take a bite out of the Big Apple… Read More

Marriott to Tighten Cancellation Policy July 6

Business Travel News — Marriott International will update its cancellation policy on July 6, according to a company spokesperson. Under the new policy, guests will be able to cancel new bookings for stays between July 6 and Sept. 30, 2020, up to 24 hours before the day of arrival without incurring a penalty. Read More

Hilton Introducing Home2 Suites Brand to China

Travel Mole — Hospitality giant Hilton and Funyard Hotel Investment (Asia) have signed a strategic agreement to develop up to 1,000 Home2 Suites by Hilton across China. Read More

Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Introduces Reopening Tracker

Travel Pulse — No surprises. That’s what the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association want to make sure you avoid if you are traveling to any of the island nations in the region. Read More

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Airlines Will Refund Travelers Denied Boarding After Temperature Check

Travel Mole — Travelers who have an elevated temperature reading will get a refund, trade group Airlines for America said. Read More

What You Need to Know About the New “Safe Travels” Stamp

Afar — The World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels Stamp helps identify destinations and tourism businesses that have adopted a new set of global safety and hygiene protocols. Read More

Proposed Travel Tax Credit Gets Support from ASTA

Travel Market Report — The bill would provide a $4,000 travel credit for individuals who spend money on lodging, entertainment, and other expenses related to travel in the United States and its territories. Read More

Air Travel During the Pandemic: What Should I Know – and How Safe Is It?

The Guardian — As many countries begin to ease travel restrictions, we spoke to three experts for their views on the risks of traveling by plane. Read More

SpotHero Adds Touchless Parking Filtered Search

Business Travel News — Parking reservation service SpotHero announced a touchless parking feature to its website. Read More

A Practical Guide to Buying Travel Insurance

Afar — If you get stuck in a costly situation—an unforeseen medical cost; a canceled trip due to a pandemic; a stolen camera—travel insurance can is a totally worthwhile investment that saves, not costs, you money. Read More

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Client Roundtables on How Hotels are Reopening

Creative Group — As hotels across America begin the phased stages of reopening their doors, guests will naturally have concerns about their safety and well-being. Meeting and event planners must feel informed and comfortable with a venue that will make their attendees feel the same while maintaining the excitement of the event itself. Read More

Refine Your Rewards for Post-Pandemic Recovery

Creative Group — As we enter into the recovery phases of COVID-19, think of your reward program as a vital tool for crisis recovery. We merged the findings of two recent Incentive Research Foundation studies to provide you with five clear action items to support your success as we emerge from quarantine. Read More

Study: Seven in 10 U.S. Attendees Prefer In-Person Over Virtual Conferences

Business Travel News — About 72 percent of more than 1,000 respondents to a survey conducted April 9 by CensusWide for promotional products company PromoLeaf prefer to attend in-person conferences as opposed to virtual ones. Read More

How to Prepare for a New World of Food and Beverage at Events

Northstar Meetings Group — Here's a host of questions to ask — and what to require — when planning your next menus, room sets and more. 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: