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October 6, 2020

In this edition of the Travel News Brief: Europe’s new COVID-19 rules, Canada extends US border closure, Virgin Islands reopen, airlines offering COVID-19 tests, ticket rule changes, new flight services/routes, TSA program expansion, more about REAL-ID, hotel news, airports offering TSA appointments, CDC issues holiday travel advice, traveler tips, meetings are still needed, an introduction to hybrid events, Las Vegas meetings updates and more!

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Hitting Reset with the Right Travel Partner

The COVID-19 pandemic may have grounded business travel at a time of rapid growth, but it has presented the opportunity to hit the reset button and rebuild your travel program using a more effective and efficient framework.

From travel policy trends and procurement strategy to trip approval automation and risk management, the Direct Travel team can help you address gaps in your travel program and problem solve out-of-the box solutions to keep your travelers safe while driving ROI in the process. Read More

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Europe’s New COVID-19 Travel Rules, Explained

Afar — The European Commission’s proposal: fewer quarantines, more tests. Read More

Canada Extends U.S. Border Restrictions to Oct. 21

Associated Press — Canada is extending the agreement to keep the U.S. border closed to non-essential travel to Oct. 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. Read More

The U.S. Virgin Islands Are Open Once Again to International Travel

Afar — After closing for a month to control a spike in COVID-19 cases, St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas started to welcome back visitors on September 19. Read More

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American to Begin Preflight COVID-19 Testing on International Routes

Insider Travel Report — American Airlines is collaborating with several foreign governments to begin offering preflight COVID-19 testing for customers traveling to international destinations, starting with Jamaica and the Bahamas. American plans to expand the program to additional markets in the weeks and months ahead. Read More

Alaska Airlines to Offer Passengers Covid-19 Testing

Business Travel News — Alaska Airlines later this month will offer Covid-19 testing for passengers in a pop-up clinic in downtown Seattle via a partnership with health care provider Carbon Health. Read More

United to Offer Pre-Flight Covid-19 Testing for Hawaii Travel Next Month

Business Travel News — United Airlines on Oct. 15 will begin a Covid-19 testing program for passengers traveling to Hawaii from San Francisco, allowing passengers with negative results exemption from Hawaii's 14-day quarantine requirement. Fees for the testing will be the passenger's responsibility. Read More

Delta Extends Benefits and Adds Reward Ticket Flexibility

Business Travel News — Delta Air Lines has extended some loyalty program benefits and is eliminating fees around reward travel rebooking, the carrier announced. Read More

Lufthansa to Give Frequent, Premium Travelers Priority for Rapid Covid-19 Testing

Business Travel News — As Lufthansa looks to expand Covid-19 testing for passengers, the carrier plans to make faster testing options a "premium service," according to a Lufthansa executive. Lufthansa has been working with Centogene to provide airport testing in Frankfurt and Hamburg and on Wednesday expanded to Düsseldorf. Read More

Boeing to Introduce Ultraviolet Wand to Combat COVID-19

Travel Pulse — Boeing has teamed up with Florida-based Healthe Inc. to develop a new ultraviolet (UV) wand as part of its Confident Travel Initiative (CTI) to support the health and safety of passengers and crew amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

Delta Adds 5 New Routes from LAX, Atlanta as Rivals Expand in the West

The Points Guy — The battle for outdoors-bound travelers is heating up. Delta Air Lines has joined the fray, adding five new routes to western cities that are seeing a flurry of new air service during the coronavirus pandemic. Read More

Palm Springs Is Seeing An Explosion Of Scheduled Air Service

Simple Flying — Palm Springs is turning into a hotspot for new scheduled air services. US airlines are trying to find as many sources of revenue as possible, and leisure sun destinations have proven to be incredibly lucrative. Read More

Brazil Regulators Approve Delta-Latam Joint Venture

Business Travel News — Delta Air Lines and Latam Airlines Group's proposed joint venture has cleared its first major regulatory hurdle, with Brazil's competition authority approving the deal. Read More

Air Canada Introduces COVID-19 Cover Following WestJet

Simple Flying — Continuing a widespread industry trend, Air Canada today announced that it is including complimentary COVID-19 insurance for eligible customers. This move by Canada’s largest airline follows carriers such as WestJet, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, and more in offering COVID coverage to its passengers. Read More

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12 Months Remaining Until Full REAL ID Enforcement Deadline

Department of Homeland Security — The Department of Homeland Security is reminding Americans that only 12 months remain until the October 1, 2021, REAL ID enforcement goes into effect. On October 1, 2021, individuals seeking to enter federal facilities, nuclear power plants, or commercial airplanes at federally regulated airports will be required to have a REAL ID-compliant license or acceptable alternative identification, such as a U.S. passport or passport card, to gain entry. Read More

TSA PreClearance Will Be Expanded to Foreign Airports

Travel Market Report — Those enrolled in the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) PreClearance program will soon be able to use it at foreign airports. Read More

Everything You Need to Know About the New Real ID Deadline

USA Today — If you still don't have the travel-compliant Real ID, you can move that item down your to-do list. The countdown clock has reset because of the coronavirus pandemic, giving you another year to get yourself a compliant ID before the new deadline of Oct. 1, 2021. Read More

Coronavirus-Sniffing Dogs Are Being Deployed at These Airports

Afar Magazine — While researchers in several countries, including Australia, France, Germany, and the United States, are also studying canines as coronavirus detectors, the Finnish trial is among the largest so far. 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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Hotel Guests Want Supplies Over Contactless Tech, Are Willing to Pay COVID Surcharges

Phocus Wire — According to a recent survey from HotelsByDay, hotel guests prioritize hand sanitation stations and masks over contactless check-in and checkout – and they’re willing to help hotels cover the cost. Read More

What It's Like to Stay at a Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt Hotel During the COVID-19 Pandemic

USA Today — What is it like to stay at a hotel during the coronavirus pandemic? We stayed at a Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt. Read More

Wyndham Rolling Out New Hybrid Meeting Concept at Dolce Hotels in Europe

Travel Mole — Services include on-site broadcast studios and live streaming…Read More

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Sensitive to Scents? Here's How to Protect Yourself While Traveling During COVID-19

USA Today — As an asthmatic, Sara Voorhees is always careful when she's on the road. A whiff of cologne or detergent can trigger an attack for a scent-sensitive traveler like her. Read More

Airports Offering TSA Appointments, COVID-19 Testing

USA Today — In addition to their sanitation efforts, U.S. airports are trying new strategies to boost traveler confidence, like appointments to go through TSA. Read More

What It’s Like to Take an International Flight During COVID-19

Afar Magazine — One writer shares her international flight experience from the U.S. to East Africa. Read More

CDC Issues Coronavirus Holiday Travel Advice

Afar Magazine — Should we be gathering around the table with friends and family during a pandemic or carrying out holiday traditions via Zoom? Read More

Coronavirus Tips If You Still Have to Travel Domestically

Smarter Travel — Essential travel feels scary right now, especially for those who can’t drive to their destination, but there are ways to make the journey as safe as possible for yourself and others. Read More

7 Things You Should Never Pack in a Carry-on Bag

Smarter Travel — Save yourself some hassle at airport security. Read More

Is It Safe to Fly Yet?

Prevue Meetings + Incentives — We have about a 1/4300 chance of getting COVID-19 on a full two-hour flight—that is, about 1 in 4,300 passengers will pick up the virus, on average. The odds of getting the virus are about half that, 1/7,700, if airlines leave the middle seat empty. Read More

A Guide to the Caribbean Islands Reopening

Conde Nast Traveler — The latest updates from Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, and more. Read More

How to Navigate COVID Travel Restrictions

The Wall Street Journal — These 3 online tools promise to help untangle all the new and ever-changing rules and restrictions in the U.S. and abroad. Read More

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Face-to-face Meetings Still Needed, Despite Pandemic Concerns

Business Traveler — Global survey finds most business travelers still rely on in-person get-togethers to make deals and decisions happen. Read More

5 Ways to Communicate in Virtual Events for the Biggest Impact

Creative Group — Wondering how to engage your event attendees meeting in a virtual environment? Here are five tips for communicating in a virtual event for the biggest impact. Read More

An Introduction to Hybrid Events

Creative Group — A recent study shows that almost three-fourths of event professionals are planning a hybrid event before the end of 2020. Have you wondered what types of hybrid events exist and what goes into planning one? This whitepaper outlines the best routes to go when planning a hybrid event, along with key considerations for having one. Read More

Where Can You Hold Events? Here's the State-by-State Reopening Status

Northstar Meetings Group — Nevada has increased attendee limits to 250 or 50 percent capacity per room, whichever is less, with allowances for groups up to 1,000 in larger facilities. Read More

What To Do If An Attendee Gets COVID-19

Prevue Meetings + Incentives — It is important to have protocols in place to follow if an attendee gets COVID-19 while at one of your meetings or events. Read More

MGM Resorts Unveils Health & Safety Plan for Meetings & Conventions

Insider Travel Report — MGM Resorts International announced a comprehensive plan designed to facilitate the safe return of meetings and convention at the company's properties in Las Vegas and throughout the United States, subject to local regulations and restrictions. Read More

How Las Vegas and Other Top Meetings Destinations Are Preparing for Recovery

Northstar Meetings Group — Venues have established antivirus protocols, installed new infrastructure and developed new programs to welcome groups back to town. 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: