Direct Travel News Brief Header
November 3, 2020

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: COVID updates, testing, and travel guidelines, new flight services, Delta to install antimicrobial LED lighting in its lavatories, Delta-WestJet alliance, travel gadgets, Amtrak’s energy efficient train, high-speed train service between Amsterdam and London, Enterprise opens in Aruba, and Panama, National and Hilton extend benefits, Radisson Individuals to launch, IHG expansion, traveler tips, preparing for a virtual event and more!

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Integrating COVID-19 Testing into Your Corporate Travel Program

Returning to the road for today’s travelers is contingent on a combination of three factors: mandatory quarantine, COVID-19 testing, and satisfying essential worker qualifications. Depending on where an individual is traveling, they may have to meet one or all three of these requirements. Read More

Creating Winning Results Through Hotel Partnerships

For most C-suite executives and travel managers, the pandemic has revealed the importance behind the systems and partnerships that keep their corporate travel program running. From unused ticket tracking to the speed and personalization of agent responses, the strengths and weaknesses of many organizations’ travel management company (TMC) partnerships have been tested. Read More

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U.S.-Canada Border to Stay Closed Until Further Notice

Travel Market Report — The previous border order was set to expire Oct. 21, but will now continue indefinitely. Read More

European Countries Agree on New COVID-19 Travel Guidelines

Afar Magazine — A color-coded map system will indicate where coronavirus cases are surging and how countries should respond. Read More

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United Airlines Will Kick-off Free COVID-19 Testing on Select Routes Next Month

Travel Market Report — 'We believe the ability to provide fast, same-day COVID-19 testing will play a vital role in safely reopening travel.' Read More

Delta to Install Antimicrobial Lighting

Business Travel News — Delta Air Lines next month will begin installing antimicrobial LED lighting in its lavatories. Read More

United Extends Florida Point-to-point Schedule Through April 5, 2021

FOX6 News Milwaukee — United Airlines is extending its point-to-point service between Florida and Boston, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York City/LaGuardia, and Pittsburgh to now operate until April 2021. Read More

The U.S. DOT Approves Delta-WestJet Alliance Agreement

Travel Market Report — The deal moves ahead, though conditions remain…Read More

WestJet Says It Will Now Provide Refunds for All Flights Canceled Due to COVID-19

Travel Market Report — The move comes after months of pushback from consumers and travel advisors. Read More

United Airlines Testing Global Health App on UK-U.S. Flight in Effort to Reopen Borders

Reuters — United Airlines is set to test a digital health pass under a global pilot program seeking to establish a common international standard for COVID-19 test results and eventually vaccine records that could help reopen borders. Read More

Singapore Airlines to Start Nonstop Service to New York in November

Business Travel News — Singapore Airlines is starting nonstop service between Singapore and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport next month, the carrier announced. Read More

American Airlines Releases Plan to Return Boeing 737 Max to Service

Fox Business — 'We remain in contact with the FAA and Boeing on the certification process and we’ll continue to update our plans based on when the aircraft is certified,' the airline said. Read More

United Announces 8 New Routes and Increases Flights to 19 Destinations

Wheels Up Network — United announced a significant expansion of its winter international schedule…Read More

Delta Air Lines Will Stop Blocking Middle Seats in First Half of Next Year

Travel Market Report — On Delta Air Lines’ third quarter earnings call on Tuesday, CEO Ed Bastian said that Delta is anticipating ending its policy of blocking the middle seat on flights in the first half of 2021. Read More

U.S. Authorities Exploring Use of Testing to Ease Air Travel Restrictions Between NYC and London

CNN — After months of stringent international travel restrictions, efforts are underway to open travel between London and New York City. Read More

Reno-Tahoe International Airport Adding Flights to Los Angeles and Atlanta

KOLO-8 TV Reno — Delta Air Lines will offer non-stop service to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) three times daily starting on November 20. Read More

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New Gadget Aims to Make Airport Checkpoints Simpler and Safer, TSA Says

KXAS-TV Dallas — Device allows passengers to scan their own identification cards…Read More

Pre-Departure Covid Testing Launched at Heathrow

BTN Europe — Departing passengers traveling through Heathrow Airport’s terminals 2 and 5 can from Tuesday make use of the first pre-departure Covid tests from a major U.K. airport. Read More

Study Finds Risk of Covid-19 Transmission Very Low on Aircraft

Business Travel News — The risk of exposure to Covid-19 on aircraft is very low for masked passengers, according to a study by the U.S. Transportation Command, which is part of the Department of Defense. Read More

TSA Hits Highest Airport Checkpoint Volume Since April

Travel Market Report — The improvement in numbers is also showing up in consumer sentiment. 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’s New High-Speed Trains Will Use 40 Percent Less Energy per Passenger

Afar Magazine — When the new Acela Express Fleet launches in 2021, trains will be an even more sustainable option between Boston and Washington, D.C. Read More

There’s Now a Direct High-Speed Train From Amsterdam to London

Afar Magazine — Eurostar has launched a new 4-hour rail service between the Netherlands and the United Kingdom—and it's just $50 each way. Read More

Enterprise Opens in Aruba, Panama, Expands in Brazil

PR Newswire — Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand has opened its first locations in Aruba and Panama, as well as 25 additional branches in Brazil, the company announced. Read More


Travel Pulse — In newly issued guidance for passengers using public transportation such as planes, trains, buses, rideshares and taxis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised all passengers wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read More

National Car Rental Extends Loyalty Benefits Through 2021

Travel Pulse — National Car Rental has announced it is extending its loyalty benefits by a full year, meaning that Emerald Club Program Free Days won't expire until December 31, 2021. Read More

Hertz Earns Top Spot on J.D. Power Survey for Second Year

Business Travel News — Even as it restructures under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Hertz this year has maintained its position atop the J.D. Power North America Car Rental Satisfaction Study. Read More

Hertz to Get $1.65 Billion Bankruptcy Funding

Travel Mole — Loan is subject to federal bankruptcy court approval…Read More

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Hilton Extends Loyalty Program Status Through 2021

Business Travel News — Hilton Hotels Corp. has made several adjustments to its Hilton Honors loyalty program, including point extensions and lowered status milestones. Read More

IHG Furthers Expansion in Tentative Third Quarter

Business Travel News — InterContinental Hotels Group reported third-quarter performance that was relatively better than its ruinous second quarter but, like competitor Accor reported Thursday, far below levels from the pre-pandemic Q3 of 2019, according to the company's earnings release. Read More

Nashville Airport Authority Approves First On-site Hotel, Releases Design Images

Today — A 14-story Hilton will be the first on-site hotel at Nashville International Airport in about three years…Read More

Radisson Hotel Group Launching New Independent Brand

Travel Mole — Radisson Individuals will feature independent properties and small chains…Read More

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York’s LaGuardia Airport Now Offers COVID Testing — and It’s Free

The Points Guy — The Port Authority along with NYC Health and Hospitals and the New York Tracing Corps inaugurated a new testing facility at LGA on Oct. 28. Read More

How to Use Covid-19 Testing and Quarantining to Travel Safely for the Holidays

Meetings Conventions — There are two types of tests available to see if you have traces of the virus in your body, and these are the ones to use when trying to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Read More

How 2020 and COVID-19 Changed Travel Forever – and What That Means For You

USA Today — This is the year that changed travel forever…Read More

7 Tips for Flying During COVID-19

Smarter Travel — If you have to fly during the pandemic, following these tips can help you stay safe. Read More

Travel Insurance Will See Lasting Changes After Covid

Travel Weekly — Policies that are “more pandemic-friendly” are emerging and “cancel for any reason” add-ons are more widely available. For a price, of course. Read More

A Guide to Carry-On Luggage Size Restrictions

Afar Magazine — Even if you have the task of how to pack a suitcase down to a science, you’ve probably had at least one run-in with bulging carry-on luggage that won’t fit into the overhead bin as a flight attendant glares at you…Read More

CDC Issues Universal Guidance on Use of Face Masks in Transportation

Insider Travel Report — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has finally issued an official interim guidance that face masks should be worn while on public conveyances and at stations, ports, and similar transportation hubs. Read More

Getting Through Today’s Air Travel Experience Step-by-Step

Business Traveler — Skyscanner’s how-to guide on flying in the time of coronavirus takes fliers from check-in to arrival. Read More

Tourists Return to Hawaii Amid New Pandemic Rules

Afar Magazine — Visitors who test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their arrival no longer have to quarantine. Read More

IATA Research Reveals Low Risk for COVID-19 Transmission Inflight

Recommend Magazine — Since the start of 2020 there have been 44 cases of COVID-19 reported in which transmission is thought to have been associated with a flight journey, says IATA. Read More

Experiment Shows Risks of Air Travel While Masked

Good Morning America — A landmark study from the Department of Defense and United Airlines conducted 300 tests in over six months with dummies in-flight to examine the possible spread of droplets. Read More

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How to Prepare Attendees for a Virtual Event

Creative Group — As businesses evolve to virtual and hybrid experiences, preparing audiences for what to expect during is critical. While meeting face-to-face allows for signage and personal greeters, different tactics must be utilized in a virtual environment. Read More

10 Pillars for Safe Meetings

Prevue Meetings — Prevue turned to the experts to lay out a 10-point plan for safe meetings and travel in the COVID-19 era. Read More

On-Site Covid Testing Is Among Hotels' Latest Safety Protocols

Northstar Meetings Group — Wynn Resorts is working with the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada to build an on-site, rapid-testing lab for the Wynn Las Vegas. 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: