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On the Go – December 3, 2020

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December 3, 2020

Industry News – Click on the title to read the full article. Many of the sources below require a free registration to gain access to the article. If a paid registration is required, the individual source will be noted.

* * For the latest COVID-19 travel industry information, please click on this link:


Delta Launches Contact Tracing Program With CDC (Source: USA Today)
Delta Air Lines announced a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control to launch a contact tracing program for international travelers starting Dec. 15. Passengers returning to or visiting the US will be asked to voluntarily provide information, including name, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers, which will be submitted to the CDC via Customs and Border Protection.

American To Surprise AAdvantage Members With Bonuses (Source: Frequent Business Traveler)
American Airlines’ AAdvantage members will be surprised with a bonus gift as part of a promotion known as “Our Greatest Gift is You.” Gifts can include items such as additional award miles or access to its Admirals Club lounge.

American to Fly Employees On 737 Max Flights (Source: FlightGlobal)
Effective immediately, American will eliminate change fees for First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Main Cabin (except Basic Economy) tickets for all long-haul international flying when travel originates in North or South America. This new policy matches American’s previous announcement to remove change fees on most domestic and short-haul international flying.

American Flies First Public Boeing 737 Max Flight Since Its 2019 Grounding (Source: The Points Guy)
American Airlines put its Boeing 737 MAX back in sky today, a symbolic first push for the carrier as it tries to restore confidence in its 24-and-counting fleet of the troubled aircraft. The Fort Worth-based carrier will operate test flight with media and employees from its mega-hub in Dallas to its maintenance facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and back – a public show of faith in the jet that was grounded nearly two years ago by the Federal Aviation Administration following the second of two fatal crashes that took a combined 346 lives.

Airlines Prepare For Crucial Vaccine Distribution Role (Source: FreightWaves/American Shipper)
As US airlines prepare for their critical role in transporting, storing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines, adjustments to federal restrictions on transporting dry ice were key to ensuring the safe transportation of vaccines that require ultra-cold storage. Although the transportation of pharmaceuticals is not new for airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United have been preparing COVID-19 vaccine distribution logistics for months, including trial flights with pharmaceutical partners and adding temperature-sensitive air cargo containers. Alaska Airlines also noted its unique position for “providing a key lifeline to ensure sensitive medical items make it to some of the most remote regions in our country.”

3M Lands Deal to Make Flying Safer (Source: Twin Cities Business)
In the wake of the pandemic’s effects on air travel, Maplewood-based 3M Co. has teamed up with California-based Safran Cabin to design and create safer and cleaner aircraft interiors. Safran Cabin produces jet cabin interiors with components including overhead bins, lavatories, galleys, and more.

Delta to Offer Quarantine-Free Flights to Rome (Source: The Associated Press)
Delta Air Lines is partnering with Italy’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport to allow passengers from New York, Atlanta and Newark, N.J., who test negative for COVID-19 to avoid a 14-day quarantine in Rome. The program, which only applies to essential travel, is set to launch Dec. 19.

General Interest

FCC Formally Rejects Bid To Allow Phones On Planes (Source: Reuters)
The Federal Communications Commission has stopped considering a proposal to allow airline passengers to use mobile phones above 10,000 feet. The “record is insufficient to determine any reasonable solution that would strike an appropriate balance of competing interests,” the FCC said based on opposition from pilots and flight attendants.

No More Emotional Support Animals On Planes (Source: The Points Guy)
The U.S. Department of Transportation just announced a major revision to its Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) with specific updates to the Traveling by Air with Service Animals section. In it, the agency makes a final ruling on emotional support animals. When the final ruling goes into effect, 30 days after the publication date in the Federal Register, emotional support animals will no longer be considered service animals.


1.18M Travelers Screened Sunday, Down 60% From Last Year (Source: CNN)
The Transportation Security Administration screened more than a million passengers at airport checkpoints on Nov. 29, a single-day high since March. However, that is 60% fewer travelers than 2019, when the TSA reported a record-breaking 2.88 million screenings on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. US airlines continue to utilize enhanced cleaning protocols, along with strict face mask requirements and advanced air filtration and ventilation systems that create hospital-grade air quality onboard.

Delta Installs Improved Security Tech in Atlanta (Source: Delta News Hub)
Delta Air Lines has equipped a domestic security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with computed tomography-automated screening lane systems, which allow travelers to keep electronics and approved liquids in their carry-on bags and reduced wait times by 20% in tests. “Our partnership with TSA and the Atlanta airport allows us to improve the security experience by making it faster and more seamless, which is something we know is important to our customers,” said Senior Vice President Eric Phillips.


Pandemic Prompts Hyatt To Smooth Rewards Path (Source: Frequent Business Traveler)
Hyatt Hotels Corp. has made several alterations to its World of Hyatt loyalty program designed to expedite benefits and attract business lost to the pandemic. Requirements for attaining elite levels are being cut in half for 2021 and some current offers are being extended into the new year.

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