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March 23, 2021

In this edition of the Travel News Brief… BTN releases its 2021 Corporate Travel Index, new airline flight service, Delta contactless payment options onboard, airlines push to standardize health papers, UA and AA vaccinate staff, FAA extends “zero-tolerance” policy against unruly passengers, updated New York quarantine restrictions, traveler tips for spring travel, pre-meeting safety protocols, 5 states ease gathering restrictions and more!

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Why First-Mover Advantage Matters to Your Travel Program

It’s been one year since COVID-19 restrictions first pumped the brakes on the booming world of business travel and the industry now has real reason for optimism: COVID-19 case counts have fallen, testing is widespread, and the pace of vaccinations has increased significantly. Now the question is not when will travel resume, but which businesses will make it back to market first... Read More

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BTN's 2021 Corporate Travel Index

Business Travel News — BTN’s has released its annual presentation of business travel per diems for 100 U.S. cities and 100 non-U.S. cities, detailing hotel, meal and car rental costs, along with risk scores. Plus, analysis of cost fluctuations in the United States, the Americas, the Asia/Pacific region and Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the highest per diems in each category and region, along with region-specific analysis. Read More

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Delta Just Added Tons of Alaska Flights From Across the U.S.

Afar Magazine — The carrier has announced a massive expansion of its service to Alaska this summer, including new weekend service to Anchorage from Detroit, Los Angeles, and New York, starting on May 28. Read More

American Airlines Announces More Nonstop Routes From Austin

Travel Pulse — The Lone Star state’s largest carrier, American Airlines, is bringing 10 new, seasonal and returning routes to Austin, connecting the Texas capital city to more of the world. Read More

The Latest on Every US Airline Change, Cancellation Policy

Travel Pulse — The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic helped eliminate some charges for good, but the flexibility won't last forever. Read More

Delta Air Lines Adding Onboard Contactless Payment Options

Travel Pulse — As part of Delta Air Lines’ efforts to make travel safer during the age of COVID-19, the carrier announced it would soon offer contactless payment for onboard purchases. Read More

British Airways Extends Executive Club Tier Status

Travel Mole — Members get a second year of status protection…Read More

United Airlines on the Environment and Being Recovery Ready

PhocusWire — CEO Scott Kirby claims the airline managed to get ahead of most airlines when the COVID-19 crisis hit and that its measures will stand it in good stead coming out the other side. Read More

Alaska Airlines to Add New Routes From Boise

Business Travel News — Alaska Airlines in June will launch new daily service between Boise, Idaho, and both Austin, Texas, and Chicago O'Hare. Read More

Airline Industry Pushes U.S. to Standardize Health Papers

Meetings & Conventions — Carriers fear that a smattering of regional credentials will cause confusion and none will be widely accepted. Read More

United and American Airlines To Vaccinate Employees Against COVID-19

Travel Pulse — Two major U.S. airlines will begin vaccinating their respective workforces against COVID-19 using the freshly-approved, single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Read More

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FAA Extending 'Zero-tolerance' Policy Against Unruly Passengers

Travel Mole — Nearly 500 incidents are being looked at…Read More

TSA Records Highest Passenger Volume Since March 2020

Travel Market Report — Friday also marked the second of four straight days that the TSA screened more than a million passengers in a single day. 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 Is Adding Private Rooms to Overnight Northeast Regional Trains

Afar Magazine — Take the edge off a red-eye and skip the coach seat. Read More

Amtrak to Restore Daily Service on 12 Long-Distance Routes

Business Travel News — Amtrak in May 2021 will begin to restore daily service for 12 long-distance routes suspended last year in during the pandemic. The routes will be restored in three phases from late May to early June, according to Amtrak. Read More

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Digital Tipping May Become the Norm at Hotels and Resorts

Travel Weekly — With everything from digital check-in to online ordering going mainstream amid the pandemic, hospitality's next big move into the contactless technology arena could very well be tipping. Read More

New York to Lift Quarantine Requirements for Domestic Travel

Business Travel News — New York's quarantine requirements for domestic travelers will end on April 1, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. Read More

9 Essential Tips to Help You Get Better Sleep on a Plane

Afar Magazine — As a traveler, getting some rest on the flight out can improve your whole trip. Here are some expert-approved tips to help you doze off—no matter where you’re sitting on the plane. Read More

These Countries Are Allowing Vaccinated Travelers to Visit

Afar Magazine — Several destinations have started welcoming visitors who have received their COVID-19 vaccines, without quarantine or testing requirements. Read More

Allianz Adds 'Epidemic' Coverage to its Travel Insurance Policies

Travel Market Report — The move formalizes a lot of changes Allianz made during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

Tips for Traveling Safely and Conveniently This Spring

Travel Pulse — Traveling for spring break is doable in 2021. Read More

COVID-19 US Travel Restrictions: State-by-State Guide for March 2021

Travel Pulse — Slowly, signs of pandemic improvement (hopeful signs) are beginning to emerge with COVID-19 vaccine distribution continuing to ramp up across the U.S. and the world. Read More

Hoping to Cash In That Pandemic Flight Credit? Check the Fine Print

USA Today — Airlines gave travelers who canceled flights during the pandemic extra time to rebook, but some expiration dates loom to the dismay of travelers. Read More

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Pre-Meeting Safety Protocols

PreVue Meetings — Consider these safety protocols you can take before the meeting even starts…Read More

5 States Ease Gathering Restrictions

Northstar Meetings Group — Also in this week’s roundup of state updates on pandemic limits, Arizona and New Jersey have increased dining capacities...Read More

How to Get (and Keep) Attendee Eyes on Screens for Virtual Events

Successful Meetings — Engaging remote participants requires a tightly scheduled agenda and a sprinkling of fun. Read More

Fully Vaccinated People Can Gather Without Masks, CDC Says

Afar Magazine — “With more and more people vaccinated each day, we are starting to turn a corner.” Read More

PULSE Survey Finds Uptick in Optimism, New Meetings Business

Northstar Meetings Group — Group-booking activity has nearly doubled, with associations leading the way. 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: