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On the Go – October 22, 2020

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October 22, 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:


American Airlines Add Mobile ID, Electronic Wallet (Source: TravelPulse)
American Airlines has added to its technological arsenal a mobile ID, virtual assistant and an electronic wallet that makes it easier to track flight credits and change reservations. Passengers at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Reagan Washington National Airport can test out the mobile ID, which uses a passengers smartphone to verify identity when they drop off bags.

Delta Discusses Enhanced Safety Protocols (Source: The Points Guy)
Bill Lentsch, chief customer experience officer at Delta Air Lines, emphasized how the airline is prioritizing the health and well being of passengers and crew through social distancing protocols, enhanced cleaning procedures and strict mask requirements during a conversation on Facebook Live. He was joined by Carlos Del Rio, Emory University School of Medicine’s professor of epidemiology and global health, as well as representatives from Lysol, Mayo Clinic and Purell.

Airline Execs Discuss Road to Recovery (Source: Business Insider)
Airlines have implemented multiple layers of protection for passengers throughout the travel journey, but executives agree that industry recovery efforts are reliant on vaccine development and eased quarantine requirements that would mean passengers have places to go. Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta, said that, “Timing [of a recovery] has more to do with the state of the virus and the medical containment of it than it does any specific a strategy that we could deploy to make certain everybody stays safe.”

American Makes Another Change to Partner Elite Seating Perks (Source: The Points Guy)
American Airlines has been busy making policy adjustments throughout the pandemic. Just last week, the Fort Worth-based carrier was first to announce elite status changes for 2021. AA has also permanently eliminated most change fees, improved the basic economy experience and more.

United Airlines Begins Testing Health Passport (Source: Reuters)
United Airlines begins today to test Commonpass, a digital health passport that aims to set a global standard for COVID-19 test results that could help reopen international travel. The test will involve volunteer passengers on flights from London Heathrow to Newark Liberty International in New Jersey.

DOT: Average Airfare For Domestic Flights Drops (Source: Business Insider)
US domestic airline fares dropped an average of 26% in the second quarter of 2020 despite dramatically slashed airline schedules, according to a report based on data from the US Department of Transportation. That drop in fares eclipses the previous record decline of 14% following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

American “Streamlines” Kiosk Check-In Menu (Source: Frequent Business Traveler)
American Airlines has altered the menu at its self-service kiosks with the aim of minimizing the number of questions a passenger has to answer and maximizing the number of successful transactions. Instead of starting with the option of swiping a credit card or passport, the initial menu now prompts travelers to scan a boarding pass or enter a record number or frequent flyer number.


TSA Sees 1M-Plus Passengers, A First Since March (Source: The Hill)
The Transportation Security Administration passed 1,031,505 travelers through airport checkpoints on Oct. 18, the highest number since March 17. Passenger throughput remains down 60% compared to the same day last year, when 2.6 million passengers were screened, despite the uptick.

General Interest

Overwhelming Call For Rapid Testing Pre-Departure (Source: GBTA Daily News Brief)
76% of respondents believe that rapid testing prior to departure, and waiving quarantining requirements for those who test negative, to be the best way to open up international travel. Among European members specifically, this number rises to 86%.

Pandemic Boosts Touchless Travel Technology (Source: CNN)
Automated check-in is likely to be followed by toilets, sinks and soap dispensers that operate without being touched as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates interest in hands-off technology for airports and aircraft. “Touchless travel promises peace of mind,” said Daniel Baron, operator of an aircraft design studio, adding that it enables “the state of not having to even think about ‘clean,’ made possible by technologies and processes to mitigate angst along the journey.”

The Best Ways To Get From Heathrow Airport To London (Source: The Points Guy)
London is a destination for many points enthusiasts since there are often great redemptions available for hotels and flights. But after landing at the largest London airport, Heathrow, how should you get into the city — or return to the airport after your trip? The best method depends on the time of day, group size, luggage, budget and personal preference.

How To Get A Global Entry Appointment Faster (Source: Johnny Jet)
Without a doubt, Global Entry has been the best thing to happen to international travelers since, I don’t know … sliced bread? “Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports.” All applicants undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment.


Arizona Airport Launches $300M Infrastructure Project (Source: Arizona Daily Star)
Tucson International Airport has broken ground on a $300 million construction project that includes building a new runway and emergency landing system as well as taxiways. “The airport is safe today, but just like you put a median on a freeway, you want to enhance it as much as you can,” said Mark McClardy, Western-Pacific regional director for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Design Unveiled For Portland, OR, Airport Terminal (Source: KPTV-TV)
Earthquake resilience and interiors with touches of nature are among features unveiled for a redesign of the terminal at Portland International Airport in Oregon. The ZGF design also focuses on travelers’ health and safety, and the Port of Portland expects the project to cost $1.5 billion and be finished in 2025.


Report: Slow Hotel Recovery From Business Travel Plunge (Source: Business Insider)
Business trips, source of half the hotel industry’s $170 billion annual income, could bring a loss between $8 billion and $23 billion this year, a Bank of America study finds. Industry revenues won’t rebound fully until 2023 or 2024, though resumption of corporate travel could resume early next year, the analysts predict.

Leisure Travel

6 Reasons to Visit Florence, Italy (Source: The Points Guy)
The Italian city of Florence is a picturesque spot that’s hailed as being the birthplace of the Renaissance. With an entire historic city center deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site — not to mention a metropolis filled with quaint and romantic hidden spots just waiting to be discovered — this Tuscan paradise is a prime travel destination.

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Author SteveN

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