Corporate Travel Management News and Tips

Coronavirus Updates

September 1, 2020 | For Travel Managers, For Travelers

Please click here for information on the Coronavirus and travel bans.

Please click here for information on current airline operations

Please click here for North American mask policies (updated 8.5.20)

Please click here for “Know before you go – Preparing to travel again (updated 6.11.20)

 

TSA’s “Know before you go” Checkpoint Procedures infographic and video.

 

What you need to know: COVID-19: Airline seat capacity policy

What you need to know: Rail Cleanliness in North America

Week of August 31, 2020

Tuesday, September 1

Airlines drop most change fees permanently

Delta and American follow United in dropping some change fees.  Read the full story: The New York Times

 

Monday, August 31

Delta to install hand sanitizer stations inside airplane cabins

The airline has added up to five sanitizer stations on each flight in addition to sanitizer stations near boarding doors at airports.  Read the full story: USA TODAY

 

Week of August 24, 2020

Thursday, August 27

AA uses virus-killing coating to keep planes clean

American Airlines has become using a newly-approved surface coating that kills viruses for up to seven days.  Read the full story: Lonely Planet

 

Week of July 27, 2020

Monday, July 27

Marriott requires guests to wear face masks

Effective Monday, July 27, Marriott is requiring that guests wear face coverings in public areas.  Read the full story: Hospitality Net

Emirates will cover medical expenses if passengers catch Covid-19

The airline has offered to pay medical expenses and quarantine costs if passengers are diagnosed with Covid-19 during their trip.  Read the full story: CNN

 

Week of July 20, 2020

Friday, July 24

U.S. states have placed restrictions on visitors

Nearly half of the U.S. states have restrictions in place for travelers including mandatory testing and quarantine.  Read the full story: The New York Times

 

Week of July 13, 2020

Monday, July 13

UK lifts some travel restrictions, US travelers must still self quarantine

On Friday, the British government lifted travel restrictions on travelers from 75 countries, but travelers from the US are still required to self quarantine for 14 days after arrival.  Read the full story: The Washington Post

 
 
Hilton launches new meetings cleanliness program

The hotel chain has expanded its Hilton Cleanstay program to include specific to group gatherings such as sealed meeting rooms and extra sanitization stations.  Read the full story: Business Travel News

 

Week of June 29, 2020

Wednesday, July 1

UA to restore 25,000 flights in August

United Airlines announced it would restore about half of its domestic schedule, as well as some international routes.  Read the full story: BTN Travel Management

 

Monday, June 29

AA to lift capacity caps

Beginning July 1, American Airlines will begin booking flights to capacity.  Read the full story: Business Travel News

 

Week of June 22, 2020

Wednesday, June 24

NY, NJ and CT require travelers from states with high coronavirus rates to quarantine for two weeks

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut issued a travel advisory Wednesday that requires people arriving from states with high coronavirus rates to quarantine for 14 days.  Read the full story: CNN

 

Tuesday, June 23

Hotels Add New Meetings Sanitization Protocols

Along with new sanitization standards, several hotel companies are implementing new procedures and safety protocols around their meetings and events.  Read the full story: Business Travel News

 

Week of June 15, 2020

Tuesday, June 16

UA creates travel restriction list for travelers who refuse to wear masks

United Airlines is following new guidelines and preparing to take serious steps, if necessary, to ensure the safety of its passengers and crew.  Read the full story: USA Today

 

Airlines Step Up Enforcement of Mask Requirement

Major U.S. carriers are setting more restrictive policies regarding facial coverings, which include consequences for noncompliance.  Read the full story: Business Travel News

 

Week of June 8, 2020

Wednesday, June 10

United Airlines introduces “Ready-to-Fly” health self-assessment

United is the first major U.S. carrier to implement a health assessment as part of the check-in process.  The “Ready-to-Fly” checklist asks customers to confirm they have not experienced COVID-19-related symptoms in the 14 days prior to flying.  Read more here: United Airlines 

 

Tuesday, June 9
UA deploys touchless baggage check at additional airports

Effective today, following a successful month-long trial, United has expanded the touchless technology to a total of 220 airports.  Read the full story: Travel Weekly

 
AA increases service and reopens some lounges

As travel demand increases, American is increasing service to both international and domestic destinations and reopening Admirals Club lounges at 10 airports.  Read the full story: USA Today

 
Monday, June 8
BCD Survey: airport and airplane cabin disinfection top list of business traveler concerns

Business travelers weighed in on those items they deem most critical to their safety while traveling. Read the full story: Business Travel News

 
U.K. quarantine rules begin today

Those entering the U.K. must enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine.  Read on for a full explanation of the new quarantine rules: Simple Flying

 
Global Entry Enrollments Suspended Until July 6

To help limit their employee’s exposure to COVID-19, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the extension of closures at public access enrollment centers.  Read the full story: Conde Nast Traveler

 

Week of June 1, 2020

Friday, June 5
Countries continue with reopening plans

Several countries are lifting more restrictions and moving forward with their phased re-openings.  Read the full story: Northstar Meetings Group

 
Thursday, June 4
Delta extends seating capacity and restrictions through summer

Delta will continue to limit capacity and block middle seats through September 30.  Read the full story: Business Travel News

 
Wednesday, June 3
UA prepares to bring back international flights in July

Due to increases in demand, United will restore service to cities in Asia, Europe and South America.  Read the full story: The Points Guy 

 
Monday, June 1
TSA explores passenger self-screening at airports

The Transportation Security Administration is pursuing the development of technology that would allow passengers to screen themselves and avoid contact with TSA agents, similar to self-checkout at the grocery store.  Read the full story: Bloomberg Government

 

 

Week of May 25, 2020

Thursday, May 28
Airports are exploring ways to make their environments safer

Touchless technology, facial recognition, iris scanning, expanded mobile phone usage and luggage sanitizing may become standards for airports of the future.  Read the full story: CNBC

 
Wednesday, May 27
Delta to provide travelers with safety essentials

Beginning June 5, Delta Air Lines will offer complimentary care kits to travelers upon request.  Read the full story: Delta News Hub

 

Week of May 18, 2020

Thursday, May 21
TSA prepared for summer travelers with updated security procedures

In response to COVID-19, procedure changes rolling out nationwide by mid-June.  Read the press release: TSA.gov

 

Monday, May 18
U.S. travel industry releases “Travel in the New Normal” guidelines

The U.S. Travel Association submitted a detailed document to the White House and state governors detailing guidance for travel businesses to keep customers and employees safe.  Read the full story: U.S. Travel Association

Click here to read the entire “Travel in the New Normal document.

 

Week of May 11, 2020

Friday, May 15
AA offering free name changes to Business Extra accounts

Companies with active Business Extra accounts get one free name change on tickets purchased on or before May 31.  Read the full story: Business Travel News

 
Wednesday, May 13
United updates rebooking policy for full flights

To avoid placing passengers in middle seats, United will allow customers on flights that are expected to be close to full capacity to choose to rebook on a different flight or receive a travel credit. Read the full story: The Points Guy

 

Week of May 4, 2020

GBTA’s advice to postpone hotel RFP process sparks debate

Following a statement by the Global Business Travel Association endorsing postponement of the hotel RFP process until 2021, many spoke out about the flaw in this thinking and offered other perspectives. 
Read the full story: Business Travel News

 

Hotel Industry Issues Safe Stay Guidelines

On Monday, the American Hotel & Lodging Association unveiled guidelines in anticipation of a future surge in travel.  Read the full story: USA TODAY

 

U.S. Travel Association Issues Guidelines for Reopening Travel

As restrictions are beginning to ease around the country, the USTA issues guidelines to assist businesses on how to operate safely in the “new normal.”  Read the full story: Northstar Meetings Group

 

Week of April 27, 2020

 
Airlines under pressure to require passengers to wear masks

The House transportation committee is urging airlines to require all passengers and crew to adopt mask requirements.  Read the full story: Travel Weekly

 
Jet Blue institutes face mask requirement 

Beginning May 4, the airline will require all passengers to wear face masks during travel.  Read the full story: Travel Weekly

 
TSA Response to COVID-19

TSA makes adjustments at security screening checkpoints in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read the update: TSA.gov

 

Southwest implements electrostatic cleaning and disinfecting across its fleet

Read the full story: Southwest

 

 

Airbnb launches new protocols for hosts

Following the lead of major hotel chains, Airbnb introduces new cleaning protocols and waiting periods between guest visits.  Read the full story: Business Travel News

 

Week of April 20, 2020

 

Air Canada is suspending service to the U.S. after their last scheduled flight on April 26 following an extension of border restrictions between the U.S. and Canadian governments.  The airline plans to resume flights on May 22 barring another extension of government restrictions.  Air Canada was already operating on a significantly reduced schedule with service to only 11 cities in the U.S.  Change fees for affected customers will be waived.  

 

SafeDistance technology is being introduced at multiple airports to measure the average distance between people in security lines.  Read the full story: PhocusWire

 

Marriott International plans to use electrostatic sprayers to sanitize guestrooms and public areas.  Read the full story: Travel Weekly

 

Many hotel companies are temporarily relaxing loyalty policies and extending expiration dates for use of points.  Read full story: Business Travel News

 

Week of April 13, 2020

A state-by-state list of travel restrictions

The New York Times has provided a list of the various travel rules in place in all 50 states including updates and restrictions on driving, hotels and restaurants.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/10/travel/coronavirus-us-travel-driving-restrictions.html

 

Week of April 6, 2020

In-person passport services available only for qualified emergencies

The State Department has advised they are only offering in-person service at passport agencies or centers for those with a qualified life-and-death emergency and need to travel within 72 hours. 

While some acceptance facilities are still accepting new applications, many such as libraries and some post offices are not, so it is best to call ahead.  Passport renewals can still be done by mail.  In all cases, the State Department recommends waiting until they resume normal operations as there are currently significant delays with processing passports. 

Check the State Department website for information on what qualifies as an emergency. 

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html

 

Week of March 30, 2020

March 31st:

LinkedIn post – https://lnkd.in/eJ3cN2q

 

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the new deadline for #REALID enforcement is October 1, 2021.

 

For now, adults boarding any federally regulated aircraft can continue to use their current driver’s licenses as usual for domestic travel and wait until 2021 to obtain a Real ID-compliant license. 

 

For more information by state, including where to obtain a REAL ID, visit www.dhs.gov/real-id

 

 

Week of March 23, 2020

March 24th:

Real ID deadline postponed

To further assist in social distancing efforts, President Trump has delayed the deadline for U.S. citizens to obtain a Real ID.  Travelers were initially required to have a Real ID-compliant form of identification by October 1, 2020, in order to board flights in the U.S.  A new date has not been announced.

Sources:

https://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Government/Real-ID-rollout-postponed-coronavirus

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2020/03/23/real-id-deadline-pushed-back-trump-says-coronavirus/2905323001/

 

The CDC raises travel alert level for several new countries

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has raised the travel alert level to Warning Level 3 for several countries including Thailand, South Africa and India, urging Americans to avoid non-essential travel to these destinations due to the spread of the coronavirus.  This is the CDC’s highest warning level.  Travel notices can be found on the CDC’s website. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices

 

Florida Governor issues self-quarantine executive order for those arriving from NY area

To limit the spread of COVID-19, Florida governor Ron DeSantis has issued an executive order requiring all travelers arriving from the New York tri-state area to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. 

Source:

https://miami.cbslocal.com/2020/03/23/florida-governor-ron-desantis-to-sign-order-requiring-ny-area-travelers-to-self-quarantine/

 

More states issue lockdown orders

Several states have now followed in the footsteps of California, Illinois and New York and have placed various shelter-in-place restrictions on their residents.  However, the length and scope and vary by state, though all have ordered the closing of non-essential businesses and restricted the number of individuals allowed to gather in one place.

The Wall Street Journal has published a complete list of these states and their restrictions.

Source

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-state-by-state-guide-to-coronavirus-lockdowns-11584749351

 

The Points Guy Breaks Down Airline Flight Waivers

Due to the severe decrease in demand, airlines continue to cancel flights and significantly reduce schedules.  Click here for a list of current U.S. airlines waivers. 

 

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