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On the Go – May 27, 2021

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May 27, 2021

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.


United, Delta Make Elite Status Easier to Obtain (Source: Business Insider)
United and Delta have made it notably easier to qualify for elite frequent flyer status this year. The airlines are requiring less spending and fewer miles flown.

United Airlines Considers Designating Cabins For Vaccinated Passengers (Source: Travel Daily)
United Airlines chief executive Scott Kirby says the airline actively considered introducing a separate cabin on its planes where only vaccinated passengers would be allowed to sit. Kirby told the Washington Post that designating special areas for vaccinated and non-vaccinated passengers onboard its planes was a “great idea” but that federal regulation prevented them from following through with the idea.

American Airlines’ VeriFLY App Can Confirm Vaccine Status (Source: TravelPulse)
American Airlines passengers can now use the VeriFLY app to upload and display vaccination status and test results when traveling to 14 countries. The app can be used on international flights to the US and flights from US airports to Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Jamaica, Spain and the UK.

General Interest

Airport Processing Times to Rise without Automation (Source: Business Travel News)
Based on an analysis, the International Air Transport Association said travelers could expect to spend as many as eight hours of airport processing time per trip, once air travel returns to normal levels, if health credential screening is not automated. IATA data found that processing time has already increased from an average of 90 minutes to three hours with much lower travel volume, and the association recommends the global standardization of digital tickets for COVID-19 test results and vaccination records.


UK Prison Dating to 1779 Reborn as Upscale Hotel (Source: Robb Report)
The UK’s new Bodmin Jail luxury hotel is true to its name and heir to a long history, having been fashioned from a prison built in 1779. The latest of a series of prison conversions to hotels around the world, this four-story, 70-room property took six years and about $71 million to restore from ruin.

These Hotel Chains Say ‘You Won’t Have to Wear a Mask During Your Next Stay if You’re Fully Vaccinated’ (Source: The Points Guy)
If you’re vaccinated, you can now go without a mask at many hotels in the United States, including Kimpton, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, W Hotels, Sheraton, Westin, Springhill Suites, Days Inn, Hyatt, Crowne Plaza and others. On May 17, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) — an organization that collectively represents 80% of all franchise hotels — handed down the decision to its members, stating that its new stance is in line with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Hotel Tax Lifted For NYC’s Summer Tourist Season (Source: Frequent Business Traveler)
New York City will attempt to revive its devastated tourism trade by suspending its hotel tax for three months as of June 1. “By eliminating the hotel room occupancy tax for this summer, we’re accelerating our economic recovery, saving jobs and providing relief for one of our hardest-hit industries,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said of the assessment, which adds $19.62 per night to a room that costs $300 per night.


New $1.7B Los Angeles Airport Concourse Opens (Source: Travel Weekly)
A massive new $1.73 billion concourse with 15 gates opened Monday at Los Angeles International Airport. Known as West Gates, it will serve both international and domestic flights. “This is a big day in a big city that’s building out a big new infrastructure,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said during an opening ceremony.

Seattle Airport Prepares to Open Renovated Gates (Source: KING-TV)
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will open the renovated North Satellite building by the end of June, with 12 improved gates. “For many years, North Satellite was a place people didn’t really want to be, but now with higher ceilings, better lighting and all the new artwork from really renowned local artists, people are going to want to fly out of here,” said Perry Cooper, the airport’s media relations manager.

Funds Approved For San Antonio Airport Design Work (Source: KSAT-TV)
The San Antonio City Council has agreed to allow officials to kickstart $1.35 million in design work on upgrades to Terminal A, baggage handling and a law enforcement building at San Antonio International Airport. The request comes as passenger activity ramps up amid increased vaccinations.

LGA Just Opened a Brand-New Taxiway That Will End Long Wait Times (Source: The Points Guy)
Flyers passing through New York’s LaGuardia airport have one more reason to celebrate. On Thursday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, along with terminal developer LaGuardia Gateway Partners, inaugurated the latest enhancement in the airport’s multi-billion-dollar modernization project: a new aircraft taxiway.

Leisure Travel

White House Will Sign Alaska Tourism Bill, Giving Green-Light to Summer Cruises (Source: Travel Market Report)
After passing in both the House of Representatives and the Senate last week, the bill to save Alaska’s 2021 cruise season will be signed by President Joe Biden today, giving cruise lines the green light to sail later this summer.

Disneyland Paris Sets Reopening, Hotel Debut (Source: ABC News)
Disneyland Paris, including its Newport Bay Club Hotel, will reopen June 17 after the pandemic brought on two lockdowns that shuttered the complex through the bulk of the previous 14 months. In announcing the move, the company added that the long-anticipated Disney’s Hotel New York — The Art of Marvel will make its debut June 21.

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