Direct Travel News Brief Header
May 5, 2020

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: face mask requirement on flights, Delta adds Caribbean routes, airlines enhance cleaning and implement social distancing requirements, Air Canada suspends U.S. flights, American increases transatlantic bag fees, TSA updates, how Amtrak is handling the crisis, hotels announce cleanliness standards, state-to-state travel quarantine requirements, and more!

Navigator Header

Key Takeaways from BTN’s ‘Managing Travel During a Crisis’ Webinar

In today’s rapidly changing environment, accurate and relevant coronavirus information is at a premium for companies and their employees. With the goal of helping meet this need, Direct Travel recently sponsored BTN’s latest thought leadership webinar—Managing Travel During a Crisis—now available on demand here. To supplement this webinar, we’ve distilled a few key takeaways below for you to share with your team. Read More

Planting the Seed of Sustainable Corporate Travel this Earth Day

Picture this: Towering trees sway in the wind, filtering air and removing harmful pollutants, while a nearby stream winds through the forest and provides a clean water source for dozens of connected cities and their residents.

It’s a pictorial setting worth preserving, particularly in the face of a worldwide pandemic that has challenged the availability of resources and encouraged companies big and small to rethink their priorities for the future. While April 22 marks the official observation of Earth Day, the events of 2020 further underscore the positive change that can be realized once businesses move beyond the one-day-a-year mindset and transition to a year-long sustainability approach. Read More

Travel Management News Header

As States Ease Social Distancing Orders, What Does that Mean for Domestic Travel?

USA Today — Though there is no federal travel ban, many states require or recommend travelers from other states to self-quarantine for two weeks, effectively discouraging interstate travel. Read More

U.S., Mexico, Canada Extend Coronavirus Travel Restrictions for Another Month

Fox News — The United States, Mexico and Canada are extending restrictions on nonessential travel for an additional 30 days due to the coronavirus crisis. Read More

GBTA Survey: Little Business Travel, But Industry Anticipates Domestic Return

Business Travel News — The vast majority of organizations have maintained restrictions on business travel, according to the Global Business Travel Association's most recent member survey, but many members believe at least domestic travel levels will return at a significant level in 2020. About 88 percent of respondents expect employees will be willing to travel once restrictions are lifted. Read More

Airline Updates Header

Delta Adds Two New Caribbean Routes

Travel Pulse — Is this a positive sign that things are starting to open up, however snail-like that might be? Delta Air Lines is adding two new routes to its Caribbean flight schedule for the month of May…Read More

Most US Airlines Will Require Passengers to Wear Face Masks

USA Today — Beginning Monday, Delta, United and JetBlue will require passengers to wear face coverings. Southwest and Alaska will do so beginning May 11. Read More

American Airlines Announces Enhanced Cleaning Procedures and New Personal Protective Equipment for Customers — American Airlines is updating and enhancing its cleaning procedures on board and will begin offering personal protective equipment to customers as it continues to prioritize customer and team member well-being in its response to coronavirus (COVID-19). Read More

Delta to Begin Some International Routes with Added Health and Safety Measures

Travel Market Report — Delta Air Lines this week announced that it is planning on restarting some international routes in May as the airline continues to deal with the impact of COVID-19. Read More

United Adds Social Distancing to Flights

Business Traveller — United Airlines is joining a growing list of airlines to implement social distancing on its flights, in an effort to minimize contact between passengers and cabin crew amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read More

Delta Waives SkyBonus Requirements for 2020

Business Travel News — Delta Air Lines is waiving 2020 minimums for its SkyBonus accounts, the carrier announced. Read More

Delta Extends Change-fee Waivers, Onboard Social Distancing, Free Travel for Medical Volunteers — Delta is extending a number of recently announced policies and practices. Read More

Lufthansa Allowing Rebooking Free of Charge on New Reservations

Travel Market Report — All passengers making new bookings between April 20 and May 15, 2020 will be able to rebook their ticket free of charge. Read More

Emirates Airlines Updates Health and Safety Measures

Travel Market Report — Emirates Airlines is enhancing its precautionary measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, to better protect travelers and employees. Read More

New Airplane Seat Design Could Keep Passengers Safe from Viruses

Travel Pulse — Safety is the new name of the game in the airline industry. Read More

Delta CEO Says Recovery Could Take Two to Three Years

Travel Pulse — Delta Air Lines CEO, Ed Bastian, told CNBC in an interview that the carrier is flying only about five percent of its usual passenger loads, with air-travel demand being nearly wiped out, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and government-imposed measures (e.g., stay-at-home orders and severe travel restrictions) put in place to slow the spread of the virus. Read More

American Airlines Increases Transatlantic Bag Fees

Travel Mole — Fee has increased to USD75 each. Read More

Air Canada to Suspend All Service to U.S.

Business Travel News — Air Canada will suspend all service to the United States after April 26, following an agreement between the U.S. and Canadian governments to extend border restrictions by 30 days. Read More

New Air Travel Health Regulations Will Likely Stick Around Post-coronavirus

Conde Nast Traveler — Airlines are blocking middle seats, altering in-flight food and beverage services, and sanitizing their planes more deeply than ever before, while fliers are having their temperatures checked multiple times in some airports. Read More

Safety and Security Header

Changes at TSA: Travelers Can Wear Face Masks While Waiting in Line for Security Screening

The Points Guy — Major changes are coming to TSA — including face masks and lots of sanitizer. Read More

TSA Screening Updates: What To Expect During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Forbes — Domestic travel has been reduced to an essential trickle but some people may find that they still have to fly while the country is in the throes of the COVID-19 epidemic. Read More

Government Travel Warnings & Alerts

U.S. Department of State — Information on current government issued travel warnings and alerts. Read More

Ground Transportation Header

Uber, Lyft Will Keep Operating at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport: What it Means for Travelers

USA Today — Despite past threats they would leave the market if an increase in trip fees moved forward, ride-hailing companies Lyft and Uber will both continue operating at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Read More

How is Amtrak Handling the COVID-19 Crisis?

Insider Travel Report — According to Amtrak, various states are undertaking specific safety precautions at stations for customers arriving from out of state. Read More

Hotel News Header

Hyatt Announces Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment

Insider Travel Report — Are we at the point where no matter how hard we keep ourselves and our homes clean and virus free, we will never be safer than in a hotel? Read More

Hotel Leaders: Industry Has to Come Together to Overcome COVID-19

Travel Market Report — Top executives from the biggest hotel companies in the world will have to come together to restore consumer confidence and help restore a level of normalcy to the travel industry. Read More

Hilton Unveils New Cleaning Program, Partnerships

Business Travel News — Hilton Worldwide on Monday announced a collaboration with Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of Lysol and Dettol cleaning products, on a new hotel sanitization program for its global properties. Read More

MGM Resorts CEO Says Properties Will Operate 'Differently' Upon Reopening

Travel Pulse — MGM Resorts International Acting CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle recently updated employees and future guests about the company's latest coronavirus (COVID-19) relief efforts and hinted at operational changes to come once properties eventually reopen. Read More

Marriott Looks to Get Even Cleaner in the Age of COVID-19

Insider Travel Report — How will life at hotels change in the COVID-19 world? Marriott International is rolling out a multi-pronged platform to elevate its cleanliness standards and hospitality norms and behaviors at its hotels to meet the new health and safety challenges presented by the current pandemic. Read More

Best Western Introduces Enhanced Cleaning Protocols

Business Travel News — Best Western Hotels & Resorts previously rolled out enhanced cleaning protocols and breakfast standards in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but on Thursday announced a new, more stringent program. Read More

Traveler Tips Header

How Will You Know When It’s Safe to Travel Again?

Smarter Travel — From temperature tests to "immunity passports," here’s what might need to happen for you to be able to travel again. Read More

How To Plan For Travel’s Expensive New Normal

Forbes — Recent surveys from sources like the Global Business Travel Association and a new BVK survey focusing on US traveler’s recovery preferences show that travel’s “new normal” won’t look like anything we’ve seen before. Read More

San Diego Airport’s Terminal 1 Expansion Plans Still On, Despite Pandemic

San Diego Community Newspaper Group — San Diego International Airport's $3 billion terminal expansion project will go ahead as planned, with construction due to start in 2021. The project will add 11 new gates, as well as expanded security and retail space. Read More

What Travelers Need to Know About Wearing Masks During Coronavirus

Afar Magazine — The CDC has issued new guidelines for wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic, and some governments, airlines, and businesses are now requiring them. Read More

Q&A: Reducing COVID-19 Risks at Airports

Travel Weekly — When stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions begin to lift, concerns about social distancing are likely to continue for a period… Read More

If You're Traveling Between States, Here's Where You'll Have To Self-Quarantine

USA Today — Nearly 30 states are discouraging interstate travel by announcing quarantine requirements or recommendations for travelers or people who live there traveling home from other states. Read More