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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 June's Top 5 (most clicked by Ovation clients) e-newsletter stories.
The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced today that travelers from states with high coronavirus infection rates must self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival, reports CNBC. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said travelers coming from states with a high infection rate will be subject to the quarantine. The infection rate is based on the number of infections per 100,000 residents on a seven-day rolling average. People who don’t voluntarily quarantine for 14 days will be subject to fines and a mandatory quarantine. He said the fines will be $2,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the second and up to $10,000 if they cause harm. “As of today, the states that are above that level are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah, Texas,” he said. “That’s as of today. The states themselves can change as the infection rate changes and we will update daily what states are above that infection rate.”
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released an interactive map created by detailing information about travel restrictions around the world put in place amid COVID-19. IATA says the information is only provided during COVID-19 pandemic as a service to the industry, and the information is correct to the best of its knowledge at the time of publication. It is being reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis by IATA staff, given the rapidly evolving nature of the international response to COVID-19.
Two US airlines are adding another health safety measure by including pre-flight health questionnaires to their check-in process, reports USA Today. United Airlines and Alaska Airlines said this week that they will require travelers to fill out a pre-flight health checklist during check-in. United's policy took effect June 16th, while Alaska's will begin June 30th. Alaska's questionnaire says travelers must verify they haven't had any COVID-19 symptoms in the past 72 hours or come into contact with someone who is symptomatic. United's "Ready to Fly'' checklist asks travelers to confirm, among other things, that they have not had COVID-19-related symptoms in the past 14 days; been diagnosed with the virus in the past 21 days or had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Travelers who don't meet the requirement can reschedule their flight.
US airlines are boosting their flight schedules in preparation for the summer after experiencing an increase in traveler demand, reports NPR. Of the three major US carriers, American and United have both announced they are increasing flights over the next month. American Airlines said it is planning to fly more than 55% of its July 2019 domestic schedule next month after average daily passenger numbers increased from about 32,000 in April to more than 110,000 in late May. United Airlines will reinstate flights at over 150 of its North American destinations next month, the company said in an email to NPR. The flights will boost the airline's domestic capacity to 30% year over year. And, while Delta announced last week that it will suspend operations to 11 US markets beginning July 8, the airline also announced earlier this month that it is adding more flights to its June schedule in comparison to May, primarily in Atlanta, New York and between hubs. In addition, Frontier Airlines is adding 18 new routes to its summer schedule.
With some air travel demand expected to return this summer, airlines are establishing new protocols that they hope not only will minimize COVID-19 spread but also assure travelers that it is safe to return to the skies. To achieve the latter, Delta Air Lines chief customer experience officer Bill Lentsch believes airlines might at times have to go beyond the recommendations of the science and medical communities, reports Business Travel News. In an interview with BTN transportation editor Michael B. Baker, Lentsch detailed what the flying experience will be for travelers returning to the skies and why many of the policies and procedures now in place will likely endure at the carrier for a long time.