Direct Travel News Brief Header
October 5, 2021

In this edition of the Direct Travel News Brief… Real ID deadline extended, US to reopen to fully vaccinated air travelers from 33 countries in November, Delta cut its Best Fare Guarantee program, United Airlines integrates with Apple Health, airlines restart services, complications in travel through Newark, TSA PreCheck reduces online renewal fee, TSA Cares program for travelers who need extra support, hotel news, CDC-approved COVID home tests for international travel, many traveler tips, and much more!

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Don't Panic! The Real ID Deadline Isn't Until 2023

USA Today — If you somehow missed the latest deadline delay in the deluge of information about the pandemic and don't have a travel-compliant form of identification yet, know you now have until May 2023 to get a Real ID. Read More

The U.S. Reopens in November to Fully Vaccinated Travelers

Recommend Magazine — The United States will reopen in November to fully vaccinated air travelers from 33 countries, including most of Europe, as announced by White House Coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients. Read More

New U.S. Entry Rules for Unvaccinated Americans

Afar Magazine — It’s about to get a bit tougher for unvaccinated U.S. travelers to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad. Read More

Travel in Canada is Open for the Vaccinated and Vigilant

Meetings + Conventions Magazine — Canada doesn't mess around with Covid-19 — and isn't suffering from it like many parts of the U.S. are now. Read More

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Qantas Pushes Up Restart Date for London and Los Angeles Flights

Travel Market Report — Qantas will now restart mid-November. Read More

Delta Quietly Cuts Its Best Fare Guarantee Program

The Points Guy — Over the weekend, the Atlanta-based carrier discreetly cut its Best Fare Guarantee program, which was originally introduced more than 13 years ago in March 2008. Read More

United Integrates with Apple Health for Vaccine Verification

Business Travel News — United Airlines has integrated with Apple Health to enable travelers to upload Covid-19 vaccination records to the carrier's Travel Ready Center. Read More

Delta Proposes National No-Fly List to Combat Surge in “Air Rage”

Afar Magazine — As incidents of passengers refusing to wear masks and harassing flight crews persist, Delta Air Lines suggests that carriers unite to ban passengers from flying. Read More

FAA Is Deploying Technology to Reduce Airline Taxi Times

Travel Weekly — The new software system will be used to decrease delays while making the national airspace system more efficient...Read More

Emirates to Restart Gatwick Flights

BTN Europe — Emirates has announced it will restart flights to London Gatwick airport from Dec. 10 as international travel restrictions ease. Read More

American, IndiGo Announce Codeshare Plans

Business Travel News — American Airlines will codeshare with Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo when it begins new routes to India later this year, the carrier announced. Read More

Europe Airfares Are at Historic Lows—but Not for Long

Afar Magazine — With the lifting of U.S. entry restrictions for vaccinated arrivals, suddenly travelers on both sides of the pond are chasing the same airline seats. Read More

Singapore to Resume JFK, San Francisco Flights in November

Business Travel News — Singapore Airlines will restart two routes to the U.S. in November, which will bring its U.S. route network to just under two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels. Read More

Air Canada to Offer Perks to Lure American Tourists

Travel Pulse — The plan is to match frequent flyer incentives…Read More

Air Canada Restarts Nonstop Delhi Service

Business Travel News — Air Canada has resumed nonstop service to India after the Canadian government loosened restrictions on flights from the country. Read More

Terminal Closure at Newark Airport is About to Disrupt Travel Through NYC

Wheels Up Network — Flying through Newark Airport is about to get even more complicated…Read More

South Africa Airways Resumes Regional and Domestic Service

Travel Market Report — It's been about a year since the carrier last welcomed guests. Read More

Latam Airlines Sees U.S. Bookings Jump 350 Percent as Demand Surges

Airline Weekly — British Airways, Latam Airlines Group, Lufthansa, Swiss and Virgin Atlantic are among the growing number of carriers seeing a surge in U.S. bookings since the Biden administration said it would ease entry restrictions for vaccinated travelers from November. Read More

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TSA PreCheck® Online Renewal Fee Will Decrease to $70

Transportation Security Administration — Fee to go down by almost 20%. Read More

TSA to Accept Digital Driver’s Licenses

Smarter Travel — Residents of eight states will soon be able to board a plane using only their phone or Apple Watch. Read More

Need Help Through Airport Security? Call TSA Cares

AZ Central — The Transportation Security Administration launched TSA Cares in 2012 for people who might need extra support through security, whether due to a disability, medical condition or other circumstance. Read More

TSA Introduces Spanish-Language @AskTSA Automated Virtual Assistant — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) launched a Spanish-language automated virtual assistant to answer routine traveler questions via social media. 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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U.S. Travel: Pandemic Business Travel Loss to Cost Hundreds of Billions

Business Travel News — The business travel and group meeting sector of the U.S. economy in 2020 missed out on $211 billion in revenue because of the pandemic and will miss out on plenty more in the coming years, according to a new U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics projection. Read More

Choice Unveils New Cambria Prototype

Business Travel News — Choice Hotels International on Thursday announced a smaller prototype of its upscale Cambria brand, designed to launch the brand in secondary locations, according to the company. Read More

MGM Resorts Set to Acquire The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for $1.625 Billion

Insider Travel Report — MGM Resorts International said it has entered into a definitive agreement with investment firm Blackstone to acquire the operations of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for cash consideration of $1.625 billion, subject to customary working capital adjustments. Read More

IHG Hotels & Resorts Plans 5 New Hotel Openings in Coastal France

Travel Market Report — Situated on France’s coastline, the collection of new properties bring three of IHG Hotels & Resorts’ brands to the region first time. Read More

Two Midtown NYC Hotels Opt to Reopen Days After Severance Bill Passes

The Real Deal — New York Hilton Midtown, Grand Hyatt will bring back staff by Oct. 11, thus exempting themselves from new law. Read More

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Canada Has Reopened to U.S. Travelers—Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Visiting

Afar Magazine — A reporter based in Toronto breaks down the situation on the ground and what travelers who want to go should know. Read More

5 Types of Face Masks That Are Banned From Planes

Smarter Travel — Did you know that cloth masks aren’t allowed on some airlines? Better know what types of masks aren’t accepted before you try to board. Read More

These Are the Airlines Most and Least Likely to Lose Your Luggage

Travel + Leisure — The chance of an airline losing a suitcase — at least for a little while — is around 0.4 percent, according to LuggageHero. That's about one in every 250 bags…Read More

8 Things to Pack if You Want to Sleep on the Plane

Smarter Travel — From an under-$20 inflatable footrest to a pricey pair of earbuds designed specifically for sleep, these items might just be the thing that actually lets you get some shut-eye on your next flight. Read More

We Reviewed the CDC-Approved COVID Home Tests for International Travel—Here’s What to Know

Afar Magazine — The BINAXNow and Ellume COVID-19 home tests are among the options at travelers’ disposal. We road tested them to see how they actually fare while traveling. Read More

Will You Need a Booster Shot to Travel Internationally

Smarter Travel — Check your passport’s expiration date and your vaccination date before your next trip. Two countries have announced that COVID-19 vaccinations will be considered “expired” and not valid for entry after a certain amount of time. Read More

Top U.S. Airports for Traveler Satisfaction in 2021

Travel Pulse — J.D. Power has released its 2021 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, revealing that overall traveler satisfaction with North American airports reached a record high in the early part of the year (July 2020 to January 2021). Read More

The Hack That Will Solve All Your Overpacking Woes

Afar Magazine — Create your own travel capsule wardrobe with this easy formula from wardrobe expert Wendy Mak. Read More

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Direct Travel’s Creative Group Named to the 2021 MeetingsNet CMI 25 List of Top Companies

PR Web — For the 15th consecutive year, Creative Group named to the MeetingsNet CMI 25 list of Largest U.S. Meeting and Incentive Travel Companies. Read More

Surprising Benefits of Holding a Virtual Tradeshow

Creative Group — YES, you can wear slippers to your next trade show! There are many surprising benefits to holding a trade show virtually. Here are just a few. Read More

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