APRIL 6, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has downgraded its travel warning for Canada and 24 other countries this week, reports Travel Market Report. Dropping from Level 4 to Level 3 were Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Iran, Libya, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Lucia and Suriname. The Level 3 warning advises travelers to “make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to these destinations”; the Level 4 warning advises travelers to “avoid travel to these destinations.” The levels are determined by COVID-19 levels in those destinations—Level 4 destinations include those with more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days; Level 3 includes those with between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. In addition to the downgrades from Level 4 to Level 3, Botswana, Eswatini, Iraq, South Africa, and the Dominican Republic were all downgraded to Level 2, while Ghana, Jamaica, Malawi, Morocco, Nepal, and Pakistan were dropped to Level 1.

As the demand for travel continues to increase in 2022, travelers should check their passport status to make sure they are still valid. Most countries require passports to have at least 6 months of validity after the return date of travel, as well as available pages for visa and country entry/exit stamps. Processing time for renewals can take up to 4-6 weeks and is subject to change as COVID-19 has placed unprecedented demands on the US Passport Office. CIBTvisas offers various renewal options and can fulfill US passport requests in as little as one to five days, subject to availability. In addition, CIBTvisas also provides a full line of passport services including first time passports, child’s passports, and passport name change services for US passport holders. For assistance with the passport process or to schedule an appointment, travelers can contact their Ovation travel consultants or call CIBTvisas at 877-304-8071. Click "Read More" for more information from CIBTvisas website.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has partnered with Apple to roll out technology that allows some travelers to upload their state-issued ID to their Apple Wallet app and then use their iPhone or Apple Watch to swipe through security, reports Condé Nast Traveler. The new technology first went live on March 23, at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX). For now, the TSA says the digital ID service is only available for TSA PreCheck travelers at PHX, but the agency plans to quickly expand the technology to other travelers and at airports throughout the country. To participate, eligible travelers can scan the front and back of their state-issued driver's license or state ID into the Apple Wallet app. Users will then be asked to verify their identity by uploading a selfie. “As an additional fraud prevention step, users will also be prompted to complete a series of facial and head movements during the setup process,” Apple says. Once the traveler reaches the security checkpoint, they will tap their iPhone or Apple Watch at the TSA’s Credential Authentication Technology reader. Once scanned, the app will inform travelers “which information is requested by the TSA, and [they] can consent to provide it with Face ID or Touch ID, without having to unlock their iPhone or show their ID card,” according to Apple. The TSA also added that eligible travelers who intend to use the ID program at PHX should still continue to carry their physical IDs in case the TSA officer needs to see that version.

Delta Air Lines has announced that it has removed a per-flight earnings cap in its SkyMiles loyalty program and will allow the accrual of loyalty points on award flights. As of March 31, the ability to earn toward Medallion Status on Delta-marketed Award Travel is a permanent feature of the program. Previously, this was a temporary COVID-era policy set to expire at the end of the year. The carrier is also removing the 75,000 mileage earn cap, retroactive starting January 1, 2022. "Travel should always be seamless and rewarding, and we want to make sure our SkyMiles Members get the most out of every trip," said Dwight James, S.V.P. of Customer Engagement & Loyalty and CEO of Delta Vacations. "These adjustments to our program continue to set Delta apart as we focus on listening to our customers and rewarding our loyal members. As we look to the future, we're committed to ensuring a consistent travel experience at every step." Under the SkyMiles program, members without status earn five points for every dollar spent on a ticket. Silver Medallion members earn seven points per dollar, Gold Medallion members get eight points per dollar, Platinum Medallion members earn nine points per dollar, and Diamond Medallion members get eleven points per dollar.

Singapore Airlines plans to fully resume its US schedule this summer after service was substantially impacted due to COVID-19, reports Travel Weekly. After resuming daily Newark-Singapore service on March 28, Singapore is now flying 90% of the US frequencies that it offered in 2019, even as the carrier's systemwide capacity is just 57% of its pre-pandemic level. The airline plans to increase frequencies on its nonstop service to San Francisco by June, while also splitting its Seattle-Vancouver-Singapore route into distinct nonstops from those Pacific Coast cities. As summer begins, it expects to be flying 62 weekly North American frequencies, including 59 from the US. That's up from the 57 weekly North American frequencies that Singapore was flying prior to the pandemic. In addition, the carrier has already returned to all seven of the US airports it was operating in pre-COVID.

Along with plans to increase summer service, Singapore has debuted its most luxurious plane, the Airbus A380, in the US. The Airbus A380 features six ultra-spacious first-class suites, each of which offer separate recliner seats and beds as well as a sliding door for privacy. In addition, travelers flying together can book adjoining suites and combine them, turning their single twin beds into a shared double. The suites measure 50 square feet or 100 square feet when conjoined, double the size of the 12 first-class spaces the airline offered on the A380 it flew on the route prior to COVID-19.

Amtrak and its supplier, Alstom, have unveiled the interiors of the new Acela trainsets that will better serve Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor travelers. The new interiors are part of Amtrak's development plan to upgrade its traveler experience and set the stage for the next generation of train travel in America and on the Northeast Corridor. The new Acela offers enhancements in comfort, technology, innovation, and safety on Amtrak’s most environmentally sustainable fleet of trains to date. “Between the sleek design of their interiors, state-of-the-art technology, and sustainable amenities, and innovative safety features, our new Acela trains will help revolutionize American train travel,” said Amtrak President & CEO Stephen Gardner. “Thanks to Senator Schumer’s strong leadership and commitment to improving high-speed rail and Amtrak service in the New York and throughout the nation, and the hard work of Alstom, Amtrak employees and our other partners, travelers will experience improved, modern, and smoother service on the Northeast Corridor and provide this country with the type of modern train travel we deserve when these trains are ready for service next year.” Click "Read More" for photos of the enhanced interiors on the Acela trainsets.
CAPITAL HILTON
1001 16TH STREET NW
WASHINGTON, DC
This Cherry Blossom season, guests at Capital Hilton can enjoy many hotel-wide activities including festive decorations inspired by the Cherry Blossom and special Cherry Blossom-themed cocktail and drinks at the Statler Lounge. The Cherry Blossom Package is also available to book which includes complimentary parking or breakfast with a kite for the kids, spring flower seeds to plant and a special Petal Peepers Treasure Map to experience beautiful blossoms throughout DC.
FAIRMONT AUSTIN
101 RED RIVER STREET
AUSTIN
Fairmont Austin is a landmark hotel situated in the heart of the vibrant downtown area. The 37-story luxury property features 1,048 richly appointed guest rooms and suites, plus the exclusive Fairmont Gold “hotel within a hotel.” Named by the 2021 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards as the No. 1 Hotel in Texas, Fairmont Austin offers unrivaled service and unparalleled views. Its array of amenities features stellar dining, including the acclaimed Garrison, an expansive rooftop pool, the luxe Fairmont Spa Austin, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
FAIRMONT CENTURY PLAZA
2025 AVENUE OF THE STARS
LOS ANGELES
Since opening its doors in 1966, the Century Plaza has been where business meets Hollywood in the heart of Century City. Revel in the 14,000 square-foot breathtaking Fairmont Spa, fully equipped Technogym, and rooftop pool with unparalleled views of the cityscape. The hotel is home to Californian brasserie, Lumière, The Bar hosting local musical talent almost daily and retracting window walls bringing the outside, in. Completely reimagined spacious guest rooms and suites, all with private terraces, bring guests the best the city has to offer. The 24-hour fitness center is equipped with a full line of Technogym and Peloton equipment. There are a variety of cycling, stretching, yoga and strength training classes in the studio or straight from guests’ rooms via the app for a completely customizable experience that’s fits any schedule. Guests can also take in a complete 360° view of Los Angeles from the rooftop pool.

For stays through 5/32/22, Fairmont Century Plaza is pleased to offer Ovation clients a complimentary room upgrade, subject to availability.
LOEWS REGENCY HOTEL
540 PARK AVENUE AT 61ST STREET
NEW YORK CITY
Experience the allure of Park Avenue at the iconic Loews Regency New York. As a guest, know that some luxuries come standard, even in the spacious Luxury and Avenue rooms, which feature iconic views of Manhattan’s Park Avenue. In every room, guests will enjoy soft linens, an oversized workspace with ergonomic desk chair, and high-speed Internet that keeps guests in touch with work or home. All that, plus the award-winning service and amenities that make a stay memorable. The hotel’s state-of-the-art technology includes smart televisions, personalized temperature control, electronic window shades and plenty of built-in power outlets. Even the bathrooms have flat-screen TVs built into the mirrors. When it comes to hotels on Park Avenue, Loews Regency New York has the most welcoming, forward-looking guest spaces around.
PAN PACIFIC LONDON
6 STONE HOUSE COURT
LONDON
Welcome to a haven in the city. Pan Pacific London takes innovation and understated luxury to new heights. In the heart of the City of London, the hotel is the city’s new landmark tower just across from Liverpool Street Station.

With a seamless blend of Asian hospitality and contemporary British elegance, the 237-bedroom hotel will house a signature restaurant, two destination bars, a lounge serving afternoon tea, a patisserie, two private dining rooms and a dedicated wellbeing floor and 18.5m infinity pool.

Starting from 398 square feet, all accommodations have floor-to-ceiling windows with views across The City. Diptyque amenities, Dyson hairdryers, Nespresso coffee machines, a hot and cold minibar are just a few of the touches which ensure guests’ comfort. For ultimate wellbeing, an innovative ChiliSleep™ Ooler Sleep Cooling System to aid better sleep via temperature regulation is available upon request, and rooms come complete with yoga mats and on demand virtual yoga sessions, as well as health-benefitting botanical planting.
THE PALMER HOUSE HILTON
17 EAST MONROE STREET
CHICAGO
An icon of downtown Chicago for over 150 years, the Palmer House sits at the heart of the Theater District. The hotel is located two blocks from the Art Institute of Chicago and Millennium Park. State Street shops are just outside the door. Sip a cocktail in the famed lobby and bite into a brownie at the hotel where it was invented. Enjoy the fitness center featuring Peloton Bikes, spa, and renovated pool. All of the rooms feature just the right touches to make guests feel at home and be able to rest easy with the added assurance of Hilton CleanStay.

Ovation clients will receive 3,000 Hilton Honors Bonus points for each stay until 8/31/22.
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.