JUNE 23, 2021

At Ovation, we remain committed to providing excellent service to our valued clients throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic. Click the link below to view our travel resources guide which includes traveler health & safety information, interactive risk maps, client communications, travel management best practices, webinar recordings, and more regarding COVID-19.

Major US airlines are racing to add new trans-Atlantic service now that Europe is reopening for US leisure and other non-essential travelers, reports CNBC. American, Delta, and United have all begun offering flights to tourist-reliant countries like Croatia, Greece, Iceland, and Italy, as well as beefing up schedules to Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands as those countries open up, too. Even as airlines add more service to Europe, demand and service are still well below 2019 levels. International travel volume might take longer to reach pre-pandemic levels as airlines have been waiting for green lights from governments to lift travel restrictions to help rebuild international networks.

With the European Union now moving to ease border restrictions and US airlines quickly adding service to Europe, calls for the UK to follow suit have grown increasingly urgent, reports Bloomberg. Boris Johnson’s government is preparing to allow Britons who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel to more than 150 countries without the need to quarantine on their return to England later this summer. Officials expect the new policy to be signed off by government in the next few days, paving the way for the reopening of international journeys to popular destinations in Europe and the US on Britain’s so-called amber list of medium-risk countries. Last week, industry groups organized a protest to underscore demands that include targeted aid, amid warnings that up to 218,000 jobs are at risk from the ongoing restrictions. About 800 people -- including travel agents, pilots, and baggage handlers gathered outside Parliament to demand a travel restart to save jobs. The British government is due to give an update on rule changes, including exemptions for people who have been fully vaccinated, and this could also come as early as Thursday, June 24, or on June 28, officials said.

Air travel has come roaring back and so have the long lines and wait times as travel agencies, airlines, airports, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) work to hire staff and accommodate the influx of travelers, reports The Wall Street Journal. Airline and airport executives say they anticipated that vaccines and easing restrictions would stoke renewed appetite for travel, but the speed and magnitude of the resurgence has exceeded their expectations. "Trying to predict the timing and the speed of travel’s recovery was all but impossible," said Mookie Patel, chief business and finance officer at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Carriers are adding capacity faster than they have in the past, but demand has quickly absorbed those extra seats. Last year, airlines offered steep discounts and deals. Now airfare is on the rise as leisure fares are on track to meet or exceed 2019 levels this summer. The rapid increase has caused some growing pains. Airlines and airports are advising travelers to arrive early at some understaffed airports to avoid long lines at security checkpoints. TSA screeners are working overtime and the agency is deploying them to airports around the country with the greatest need, a spokesman said.

United Airlines has loosened restrictions in its MileagePlus program, a move the carrier hopes will help stimulate business travel demand later in the year, reports Travel Weekly. Recent changes have included eliminating blackout dates for all members and cutting award prices on certain routes. According to United, one-way economy fares on some routes to Europe, including Lisbon, Madrid, and Reykjavik, have been cut to 22,500 miles, and some domestic routes are available for as little as 5,000 miles. Additionally, the carrier has increased premium cabin availability for upgrade rewards and discounted the co-pay for upgrade requests to Europe. United has also temporarily cut the cost in PlusPoints for skipping the premium upgrade waitlist and made the option available across more of its network.
Located in the heart of DC’s newest business district, the Conrad is perfectly situated between the White House and the US Capitol. As part of CityCenterDC, the Conrad sits adjacent to the city’s most exciting neighborhood, featuring luxury retail shopping, and award-winning dining options. The hotel offers 360 beautifully appointed guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and exquisite, naturally lit meeting space. A plethora of delicious on-property dining options include the exclusive Sakura Club high up on the 10th floor, which features freshly made breakfast and dinner, as well as access to the private club space with sprawling views of Downtown DC. The hotel has also reopened Summit, the hotel’s rooftop bar and lounge. Set in the heart of Downtown DC, the venue features 360-degree views of the city, including unobstructed views of the US Capitol, which is stunningly lit up at night. Summit offers an array of delicious cocktails, wine and beer that are perfect for sipping in the warm spring and summer evenings. All of these unique advantages make Conrad the perfect choice for business travelers - from associates in need of extended stay accommodations, to executives in town for a board meeting.
As the only AAA Four Diamond hotel directly connected to Logan Airport, yet just two miles from downtown, Hilton Boston Logan Airport keeps guests connected to it all. Now, experience the ultimate in travel convenience with their new line of guest rooms – Premier Business Class and Business Class. Dressed in tranquil blue tones, each guest room and suite are well-appointed with the modern business traveler in-mind.

Find “simply the best” views of the city from the top floors of the hotel, including the Boston Harbor or the aeronautical excitement at Logan Airport, while enjoying the best amenities:
  • Triple-paned, soundproofed windows
  • Large desk space with ergonomic chair and ample power sources
  • Additional soft seating in the cozy wing-back chair, ottoman, and laptop-sized side table offers a great place to relax and unwind
  • 55” HDTV; blue-tooth enabled clock-radio and high-speed Wi-Fi
  • Each bathroom has natural-white LED vanity lighting, plush robes, and slippers
Gorgeously renovated and prepared to welcome guests with enhanced safety and cleanliness protocols, now more than ever Kimpton EPIC Hotel is an exquisite base camp for exploring Miami. EPIC artfully blends urbane sophistication with a playful lifestyle spirit offering the best of today’s modern-day resorts with the convenience of being close to the extraordinary attributes of Miami. Escape, Indulge, and Relax.
Located in the heart of Midtown in Nashville, Loews Vanderbilt Hotel provides genuine Southern charm paired with personalized service that makes guests feel welcomed like family. Minutes from the vibrant downtown scene, explore the city’s iconic attractions and find respite at Loews. Guests can experience the new luxury designer suites and indulge in soulfully inspired dishes while sipping on craft cocktails. Ovation travelers enjoy an exclusive preferred rate, which includes a complimentary room upgrade and late check-out for more time in Music City.
Millennium Times Square New York is a sleek, modern hotel that was built in 1990 and soars 52 stories above Manhattan. This upscale, full-service hotel is located on West 44th Street in the center of Times Square excitement, walking distance to famous 42nd Street, Restaurant Row, Fifth Avenue shopping, Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, and hundreds of Fortune-500 offices. Well-known for its “hallway" lobby and additional entrance on West 45th Street, the hotel offers 626 contemporary guestrooms (some with views of the Hudson River or New York City skyline), over 52,000 square feet of event space, including a dedicated conference center.
From New Year's Eve 1920 to today, The Drake Hotel, a Hilton hotel, has been a purveyor of hospitality excellence. This AAA 4-Diamond hotel in the Gold Coast neighborhood at the start of the Magnificent Mile is just footsteps from Oak Street Beach and Lake Michigan. Iconic dining venues, elegant guest rooms and modern recreation, relaxation, and business facilities offer everything travelers need for a remarkable stay in Chicago. Guests can also enjoy a memorable traditional afternoon tea at the famed Palm Court which is open from Wednesday to Sunday.
The birthplace of the original martini and host to early 20th Century icons like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Enrico Caruso, The Knickerbocker is the original purveyor of the luxury lifestyle experience in New York City.

Nestled within the hotel’s 16-story Beaux-Art façade, accommodations boast a sleek and contemporary style, with customized floorplans, soaring 12-foot ceilings, and 6-foot windows creating an indulgent sense of space. Bespoke furnishings, oak wood finishes, richly textured fabrics, and intelligent lighting add to the sublime ambiance.

Guests staying in The Knickerbocker’s New York City suites will find all the comforts of home at their fingertips, from state-of-the-art technologies to exclusive dyptique bath amenities.
Viceroy L'Ermitage Beverly Hills is an all-suite luxury hotel renowned for its legendary elegance, exceptional service, and unquestioned privacy for travelers that value both exclusivity and accessibility. Peacefully situated on a tree-lined residential street, yet a short stroll from the bustle of Rodeo Drive, the 117-suite boutique hotel boasts a stunning rooftop pool and lounge and destination-worthy dining at Avec Nous. Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills has been internationally recognized as Ultratravel Collection’s 2020 Hotel of the Year, Forbes Five-Star property for the 19th consecutive year, Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards, Travel + Leisure’s coveted World’s Best Awards list, US News and World Report’s 2020 Best Hotels in the USA and CEOWorld Magazine’s #1 Best Hotel in Los Angeles for Business Travelers for 2020. Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills is a home-away-from-home for Hollywood elite, international dignitaries, discerning executives, and jet-setting luxury travelers alike.
Ovation Travel Group is wholly owned by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). GBT is a joint venture that is not wholly owned by American Express Company or any of its subsidiaries (American Express). “American Express Global Business Travel”, “American Express", and the American Express logo are trademarks of American Express and are used under limited license. “American Express Meetings & Events” is a division of GBT.