Direct Travel News Brief Header
September 21, 2021

In this edition of the Direct Travel News Brief… updates on country travel restrictions, Delta Air Lines changes boarding process, Southwest continues oboard alcohol ban, flight service updates, COVID sniffing dogs, an increase in mask mandate fines, TSA to accept digital ID in 8 states, hotel news and updates, and more!

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4 Key Risk Management Tools for Keeping Travelers Safe

With a new COVID-19 variant threatening to disrupt business once again, successful companies have managed to mitigate the disruption by staying one-step ahead of the curve. Examples of this include businesses that have welcomed back their teams to the office through flexible policy changes and companies that have armed their road warriors with real-time travel intelligence...Read More

Why It's Time for the U.S. to Reopen to International Travel

It’s been nearly 18 months since the COVID-19 pandemic first upended the world and changed the way we travel. In that time, significant advancements have been made to reconnect communities and restart business around the world, including the record development of multiple, highly effective vaccines and the implementation of wide-scale testing...Read More

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U.S. to Lift COVID Travel Ban, Allowing Entry for Vaccinated Europeans and Others

Washington Post — White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients announced Monday morning that the new travel policy will go into effect in November. Read More

E.U. Confirms Removal of United States from Safe Travel List

Travel Market Report — The recommendation means that the E.U. is advising all of the countries in its 27-nation bloc to reinstate restrictions against Americans. Read More

Europe’s Entry Rules Just Got More Confusing

Afar Magazine — European countries have been updating their entry requirements since the United States was removed from the EU safe travel list—and the policies are anything but uniform. Read More

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Delta Air Lines Is Ditching Its Pandemic-era Boarding Process — Here's What Will Change

Travel + Leisure — This update drives efficiency in the boarding process, making it faster and easier for both customers and employees as we continue to listen and respond to feedback. Read More

United Airlines to Fly First-Ever Nonstop Between D.C. and Lagos

Travel Market Report — The new service will kick off later this fall. Read More

Southwest to Continue Alcohol Ban Until 2022

Travel Pulse — The airline said its decision was tied to the timing of the federal mask mandate…Read More

Qantas to Bar Unvaccinated Travelers from International Flights

Afar Magazine — The move would make the Australian carrier one of the first major airlines to mandate vaccinations for passengers. Read More

British Airways Adds New Routes

BTN Europe — British Airways plans to launch services between Belfast and Birmingham from Oct. 31. The flights will be operated by its CityFlyer subsidiary using Embraer 190 aircraft. Read More

United Plans New Central America, Caribbean Routes for December

Business Travel News — United Airlines plans to start on Dec. 18 three new routes to Central America and the Caribbean: from Chicago to Guatemala City; from Denver to Roatan, Honduras; and from Cleveland to Nassau, Bahamas. Read More

Delta Air Lines Study Highlights Benefits of Covid-19 Testing Requirements

Business Travel News — Covid-19 testing within 72 hours of departure cuts exposure risk on a flight to less than 0.1 percent, according to a study conducted by Delta Air Lines, the Mayo Clinic and the Georgia Department of Health. Read More

British Airways Reopens First-Class Concorde Rooms

BTN Europe — British Airways has reopened its Concorde Rooms at London Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK airport in the latest phase of its lounge reopening program. Read More

Air Canada Resumes Rouge Service

Business Travel News — Air Canada low-cost carrier subsidiary Rouge has resumed operations for the first time since pausing operations in February, the carrier announced. Read More

United Airlines Adds Lounge Access at New York JFK — Alaska Lounge JFK now open to United business passengers…Read More

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Miami International Becomes First U.S. Airport to Use COVID Sniffing Dogs

Travel Market Report — The travel industry continues to get creative with the way it is dealing with the virus. Read More

TSA Bumps Mask Fines to Up to $3,000

Travel Market Report — It’s getting more expensive to disobey face mask mandates in the air. Read More

TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and Clear: What’s the Difference?

Afar Magazine — Not sure how these trusted traveler programs differ? You’re not alone. Read More

TSA to Accept Digital Driver’s Licenses

SmarterTravel — Residents of eight states will soon be able to board a plane using only their phone or Apple Watch. 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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Hilton Updates Loyalty Program Benefits, Status

Business Travel News — Hilton Hotels Corp. has extended some point expiration dates in its Hilton Honors loyalty program while tightening some status requirements. Read More

Wyndham Set to Open 20 Microtel Hotels in China

Business Travel News — Wyndham Hotels & Resorts plans to open 20 new midscale Microtel by Wyndham hotels in Greater China by the end of 2022. Read More

Hilton Plans Major Expansion in the Americas

Travel Market Report — As strong leisure demand and upticks in business travel both domestically and abroad drive the recovery of the hospitality industry, Hilton has continued to expand its global footprint, achieving net unit growth of 7% in the second quarter. Read More

Radisson Hotel Group Gets Ready for Major Expansion Throughout the World

Insider Travel Report — Radisson Hotel Group (RHG) CEO Federico Gonzalez presented a comprehensive update on the group’s growth plan based on the continued investment in assets, brands and systems, as well as its ambitious development plan in EMEA, APAC and China. Read More

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6 Stay-Calm Strategies for Dealing With Anxiety Before a Trip

Afar Magazine — Have a calmer trip to the airport with these relaxation techniques vetted by psychologists and designed to help when you’re feeling anxious. Read More

L.A. to Require Vaccination Proof at Indoor Bars, Lounges and Nightclubs

Northstar Meetings Group — The nation’s second-largest city will also require vaccination or a recent negative Covid test at outdoor mega-events and theme parks…Read More

Americans Can Now Drive to Canada -- But Canadians Can't Do the Reverse

CNN — As of August 9, Canada has allowed its southern neighbors to come to the Great White North by land (instead of only via air). Read More

Will You Need to Be Vaccinated to Attend Events Soon?

Smarter Travel — If you are planning on attending a concert or two for the end of summer and into the fall, you may need to be vaccinated. Read More