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On the Go – September 9, 2021

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September 9, 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.


Delta Air Lines Study Highlights Benefits of Covid-19 Testing Requirements (Source: 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. The study used customer data on Delta’s Covid-test flights to Rome, which began in late 2020.

Alitalia to Close, ITA to Take Over as Italy’s Flag Carrier (Source: Business Travel News)
Alitalia is shuttering operations and will no longer sell tickets for flights taking place after Oct. 15. All previously scheduled flights after that date have been canceled, and ticketholders will be given the option of receiving a full refunded or rebooking to the same destination for an earlier date, the company said.

United to Resume Food Purchases in Main Cabin September 15 (Source: The Points Guy)
United Airlines’ main cabin passengers will be able to buy food on board starting Sept. 15 and can order in advance starting Oct. 1. Travelers must have a credit card stored in their MileagePlus frequent flyer accounts to complete meal purchases.

General Interest

IRS Updates Business Travel Per Diem Rates (Source: Journal of Accountancy)
Allowances for determining deductions for lodging, meals and incidental costs are slightly higher than before. The IRS issued its annual update Friday of special per-diem rates for substantiating ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while traveling away from home (Notice 2021-52). The new rates are in effect from Oct. 1, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2022. Specifically, they are the special per-diem rates, including the transportation industry meal and incidental expenses rates; the rate for the incidental-expenses-only deduction; and the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method.

Report: US Considering Opening to Vaccinated International Travelers (Source: TravelMarket Report)
The White House said Wednesday it was continuing to examine a policy that would allow vaccinated international travelers into the United States. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the new rules were not finalized and the restrictions remain in place, despite the damage they are causing to US-European relations, according to CNN.


TSA Invests in Upgraded Scanning Technology (Source: TravelPulse)
The Transportation Security Administration is spending $198 million to buy more than 300 mid-sized X-ray systems from Computed Tomography, which are expected to start deploying in early 2022. Upgrading scanners “provides our dedicated frontline officers with one of the best tools available to screen passenger carry-on items and also improves the passenger experience by allowing passengers to keep more items in their carry-on bags during the screening process,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske.


Hilton Plans Major Expansion In The Americas (Source: TravelMarket 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. More than half of Hilton’s total global pipeline is in the Americas, with nearly 1,500 properties in development in addition to more than 5,600 open properties.


Miami Airport Deploys Dogs to Detect COVID-19 Cases (Source: CBS News)
Miami International Airport is showing off what it claims is the first team of dogs deployed to sniff out COVID-19 cases at an airport. The dogs are trained to detect infected travelers and notify their handlers, who say the dogs get it right 97% of the time.

Vermont Airport Begins $16.6M Terminal Expansion Project (Source: VTDigger)
Burlington International Airport has begun work on a $16.6 million terminal renovation project. The Vermont airport will add 33,440 square-feet of space, expanding the second floor of its passenger terminal, and consolidating security checkpoints.

Grant Awarded For Duluth, MN Airport Work (Source: Duluth News Tribune)
A $7.3 million federal grant is advancing planned reconstruction of taxiways at Duluth International Airport in Minnesota. The money from the Airport Improvement Program will go toward a projected total of $60 million to $70 million worth of work over five to 10 years.

LAX Introduces Semi-Autonomous Food Delivery Robot (Source: Future Travel Experience)
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has launched a robotic ambassador for its online food and beverage ordering service. The pilot has been launched in partnership with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) and will see the two-wheeled semi-autonomous robot, called NomNom, assist with the LAX Order Now delivery service. NomNom is a cargo robot that is able to carry up to 40 pounds of food at a time as it follows behind delivery staff from AtYourGate, which delivers food ordered via LAX Order Now.

Leisure Travel

Best Small US Cities And Towns For Travelers Who Love The Fall (Source: The Points Guy)
Calling all lovers of colorful leaves, oversized sweaters and chilly weather: Fall isn’t officially here yet, but it’s not too early to start planning your autumn travel. I’ve polled TPG’s team of writers and editors to see which small towns they most enjoy visiting when the air turns crisp. So, grab yourself a flannel shirt and a pumpkin spice latte, and check out our recommendations.

10 Beautiful Cities in Europe to Admire Fall Foliage (Source: The Points Guy)
Fall is finally on its way, and if you’d like to admire the changing colors of the leaves in an idyllic, magical setting, Europe is the place to be. The land of castles, scenic canals, ancient forests and truly beautiful city parks, these European capitals are great places to spend a week exploring and taking in the stunning sights of the season.

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