Ovation's weekly client e-newsletter, the Informed Traveler, keeps readers updated on travel industry news and trends.
Following is a recap of October's Top 5 (most clicked by Ovation clients) e-newsletter stories.
Global Entry, the trusted traveler program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States, includes other perks that many travelers may be unaware of. The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has entered into arrangements with 13 partner countries to facilitate international travel. This means that travelers entering certain international airports can use Global Entry to quickly pass through customs upon entering the country. Additionally, Global Entry members can also apply for several countries' trusted traveler programs upon entering their airports. These countries are as follows: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan. Click below for more information on the existing arrangements the US has with these countries.
Beginning October 2020, US travelers will need to have a REAL ID compliant driver's license, or another form of acceptable identification, to get through domestic airport security checkpoints, reports USA Today. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), only 27% of Americans have been issued a REAL ID. REAL IDs are currently available in all but three states: Oregon, Oklahoma and New Jersey. As there is no universal application process, air travelers looking to attain a REAL ID should check with their state government's motor vehicle agency to find out where they can obtain the new license, as well as details regarding the state-specific application process.
JFK International Air Terminal (JFK) has introduced biometric boarding capabilities at multiple gates of Terminal 4, reports Airport Technology. The introduction of biometric boarding is part of the operator’s initiative to offer safer and efficient means of travel to around 21 million passengers who access the terminal annually. Starting this week, biometric boarding will be available at 27 international gates in the terminal. The facial recognition technology will replace manual identification, with an aim to accelerate boarding and flight clearance and enhance the traveler experience.
As of October 29th, travelers leaving Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) are no longer able to use Uber, Lyft or Taxi services for curbside pickup directly outside the terminal, reports The Los Angeles Times. Travelers leaving LAX via rideshare or taxi will now be required to board a shuttle or walk to the newly designated "LAX-it" centralized area (located east of Terminal 1) for these pickups. Shuttles will pick up travelers on the arrivals level at designated areas and take them to the pickup lot. The pickup lot has a series of queues where up to 93 Uber and Lyft cars can load passengers simultaneously. An area nearby has space for 40 taxis. The changes were announced earlier this month as part of LAX's effort to manage congestion in the terminal area. Curbside drop-offs will still be permitted.
Delta Air Lines has introduced SkyMiles Select, a new subscription service offering benefits for SkyMiles Members. SkyMiles Members who purchase SkyMiles Select, a $59 annual subscription, will have access to Delta's Group 1 boarding for one year, eight drink vouchers to redeem on flights and a limited-edition bag tag. The priority boarding also applies to up to 8 travel companions on the same reservation. To become a SkyMiles Member, travelers only need to fill out a free application through Delta's website. Once a member, travelers can opt into the SkyMiles Select program.