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Ovation's weekly client e-newsletter, the Informed Traveler, keeps readers updated on travel industry news and trends.
Following is a recap of April's Top 5 (most clicked by Ovation clients) e-newsletter stories.
1. US ANNOUNCES EXTENDED TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS WITH CANADA AND MEXICO
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the extension of restrictions on all non-essential travel across US, Canadian and Mexican borders for an additional 30 days amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. AIRLINES ANNOUNCE MEASURES TO REDUCE SPREAD OF COVID-19 ON FLIGHTS AS RESTRICTIONS EASE
Airlines are beginning to roll out new policies aimed at protecting travelers and crew from coronavirus transmission and increasing traveler confidence in air travel safety, reports CNN. Carriers such as American, Delta, JetBlue and United are all requiring employees and flight attendants to wear masks or face coverings, while maintaining the six-foot social distancing rule whenever possible. American and United will also begin handing out masks to travelers in May, while Delta is encouraging all travelers to wear masks at all times. Additionally, JetBlue has become the first US carrier to require that all passengers wear masks, effective May 4th.
3. CLEAR IS OFFERING 3-MONTH EXTENSION FOR MEMBERSHIP
CLEAR, the Trusted Traveler program that provides accelerated screening in the security lanes that check IDs and boarding passes, is offering a three-month extension for current members, as well as for any family members who are on the primary member’s family plan. However, the membership extension isn’t automatic; members will have log in to submit the request via chat or email, or contact CLEAR via phone and request the extension. According to CLEAR, the most efficient way of requesting an extension is through my.clearme.com.
4. UNITED MOVES TO MORE EFFICIENT AIRCRAFT, IMPLEMENTS CHANGES TO SEAT ASSIGNMENTS
United Airlines has announced that it will begin operating all of its transcontinental flights between the Northeast and West Coast with more fuel-efficient Boeing 737 aircraft starting in May amid a decline in demand due to COVID-19, reports Travel Pulse. "Due to the significant drop in premium demand, beginning May 4, we will operate more efficient Boeing 737 aircraft on transcontinental routes between New York/Newark and Los Angeles and San Francisco and between San Francisco and Boston which were previously operated with Boeing 757 aircraft. We will continue monitoring and reviewing demand and adjust our schedule as necessary," the airline confirmed. The change means that travelers won't have access to United's lie-flat business-class seats; instead, first-class flyers will have the option for the 737's recliner seats.
5. MARRIOTT LAUNCHES GLOBAL CLEANLINESS COUNCIL TO PROMOTE HIGHER STANDARDS OF CLEANLINESS IN THE AGE OF COVID-19
Marriott International has announced that it will be rolling out a multi-pronged platform to elevate its cleanliness standards and hospitality norms and behaviors to meet the new health and safety challenges presented by the current pandemic environment. Marriott is deploying enhanced technologies including electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize surfaces throughout the hotel. The sprayers rapidly clean and disinfect entire areas and can be used to clean and disinfect guest rooms, lobbies, gyms and other public areas. In addition, the company is testing ultraviolet light technology for sanitizing keys for guests and devices shared by associates.