MARCH 31, 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.

As COVID-19 vaccinations increase and travelers begin to feel more confident about flying again, industry groups and governments are developing measures to safely bring back travel to pre-pandemic levels. One solution to ensure safety and compliance for travel is the use of a digital vaccine passport. A digital vaccine passport is digital documentation proving that travelers have met proper COVID-19 requirements before they travel. Digital vaccine passports may include verification that a traveler has recovered from COVID-19, tested negative or is vaccinated, and would streamline the process for travelers to provide such proof should governments require documentation. The passports would be used as standardized validation at airports, country borders and other access points where rules and restrictions are in place.

While a digital vaccine passport could be essential to restarting the travel industry, there are several challenges to overcome. At the moment, there are a handful of different passport technologies currently in development. These versions are being worked on by airlines, industry groups, nonprofits and technology companies. While all of these passports aim to provide some sort of verification for travelers, no unified standards have yet been set in place. Collaboration between all parties working on digital documentation will be key to the success of a digital vaccine passport. Several governments have also been involved in efforts to provide guidance for digital vaccine passports. President Biden issued an executive order directing agencies to assess the feasibility of linking COVID-19 vaccinations to vaccine cards, also known as "international certificates of vaccination or prophylaxis," and producing a digital version. Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) recently proposed a "Digital Green Certificate to facilitate the safe free movement of citizens within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic," according to US News & World Report.

Additionally, concerns about security and equity will need to be addressed. It is critical that personal information is safe, secure, reliable and accessible. At the same time, many travelers around the world may not have easy access to digital passports. Should a digital vaccine passport be put into place for international travel, it would put countries that have less access to vaccines at a disadvantage. There will need to be standardization and availability of additional forms of verification when a digital passport might not be accessible.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made travel more complex, but a digital vaccine passport could be a key resource for businesses and individual travelers to safely return to travel. Click "Read More" below for more information about digital vaccine passports published by US News & World Report.

Delta Air Lines has announced that it is making more seats available beginning May 1, as the carrier plans on lifting its block on the purchase of middle seats. “During the past year, we transformed our service to ensure [travelers'] health, safety, convenience and comfort during their travels. Now, with vaccinations becoming more widespread and confidence in travel rising, we’re ready to help customers reclaim their lives,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “While Delta’s decision to block middle seats has given many customers a reason to choose Delta over the past year, the signature hospitality of our employees and the experiences they deliver to customers every day have also deepened their trust in our airline... The relationships we’ve built, together with the knowledge that nearly 65 percent of those who flew Delta in 2019 anticipate having at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by May 1, are what’s giving us the assurance to offer customers the ability to choose any seat on our aircraft, while also introducing new services, products and rewards to support the journey.”

Additionally, Delta is extending the validity of all tickets expiring in 2021 and all tickets purchased in 2021 to expire December 31, 2022. The carrier is also extending its existing change fee waiver for all Basic Economy tickets purchased through April 30, 2021, as well as all tickets that originate outside of North America. Delta has already made changes to permanently remove change fees for premium and Main Cabin tickets for travel originating in North America.

United Airlines has announced that it is returning to John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) following a five-year hiatus, operating direct service to the airline's West Coast hubs at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) from New York City. The airline will use its Boeing 767-300ER aircraft which features 46 business class all-aisle-access seating, and 22 United Premium Plus® seats. United is currently flying one round-trip flight, five days a week to each West Coast airport, with plans to double the number of flights as demand grows. "United's return to JFK reflects not only our strong commitment to the New York City area, but also to increasing service to and from the places our customers want to fly," said Ankit Gupta, Vice President of Domestic Network Planning and Scheduling. "With the addition of JFK, United now offers unmatched service, greater convenience, more choice and a best-in-class product for travelers throughout the New York City region as they return to the skies."

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced Tuesday that it had surpassed one million screened travelers for 20 days in a row, reports Travel Pulse. According to the TSA’s official website, 1,059,759 travelers passed through security checkpoints at airports across the US on Tuesday, up from the just 146,348 travelers screened on the same day in 2020. Tuesday’s total is still down from 2,026,256 people passing through TSA checkpoints on the same day in 2019. TSA officials said the milestone is “easily the most prolonged travel rebound during the pandemic.” TSA officials previously revealed they had screened 1,543,136 travelers on Monday, 1,373,259 on Sunday and 1,477,841 on Saturday.
Downtown Miami is in the midst of an urban renaissance, with Hyatt Regency Miami located at its core. With 615 guestrooms, the Hyatt Regency Miami offers elegant accommodations with convenient amenities and service in a dynamic setting. The hotel offers unparalleled convenience, next to the heart of Brickell, one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Miami. Hyatt Regency Miami puts guests steps from the Miami Riverwalk and less than two miles from the Port of Miami. Guests can walk to the Metro mover station connected to the hotel and ride to destinations like Coral Gables or the Wynwood Arts District. Guests can shop at the Brickell City Centre, less than a mile away, they can visit Little Havana for authentic Latin flavors or explore the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. There is something for everyone at this landmark Hotel in the heart of it all.
Located across the street from the California State Capitol, this contemporary hotel in downtown Sacramento offers passionate hospitality and inviting spaces where everyone gets the VIP treatment. The hotel features spacious rooms and suites, a fitness center, full-service spa and resort-style pool with a hot tub and cabanas.

What Makes A Seamless Stay?
  • Eclectic food and beverage experiences: Fresh, seasonal cuisine at wonderful restaurants and bars and delicious cocktails on the outdoor café patio
  • Tech-savvy enhancements: 26 EV Charging Stations, self-automated Business Center, complimentary guestroom Wi-Fi and integrated PC/video outlet dock in every room
  • Prime location: Conveniently located near city’s best shopping, restaurants and theaters and within walking distance to the Golden One Center
  • Recreational facilities: Relaxation in the heated outdoor pool
The Crawford Hotel is truly like nothing Colorado has seen before. Located inside Denver’s most iconic landmark, Denver Union Station, The Crawford provides the most modern experience within a historic setting. Travel to The Crawford is effortless with direct, high-speed rail to and from Denver International Airport.

The Crawford’s 112 guest rooms and suites include amenities travelers would expect:
  • Courtesy transportation in the hotel’s Tesla Model X
  • High-speed Wi-Fi
  • 24-hour business center
  • 24-hour fitness center
  • 2 in-room bottled waters
  • In-room Nespresso maker

Travelers should see for themselves why The Crawford Hotel was named the #1 hotel on TripAdvisor on their next trip to Denver.
This heritage building sits six blocks from the Washington Convention Center and less than a mile from the White House, Smithsonian Museums and the National Mall. Farragut North and West metro stations are within three blocks. The hotel offers a complimentary modern fitness center with state-of-the-art Life Fitness equipment for guests as well as grab-and-go lunch options and Starbucks® coffee in the Marketplace.
Located in McLean, one of Northern Virginia's most desirable neighborhoods, this luxury hotel is connected to high-end shopping at Tysons Galleria and is a short distance from the iconic landmarks of downtown Washington, DC. From the artwork of Virginia artists on the walls to regionally sourced ingredients at each restaurant, local influence is weaved throughout the hotel interiors.
Legendary laid-back luxury and iconic Waldorf service come together at last in Southern California.

Guests can experience a new era of elegance as the Monarch Beach Resort makes its debut as the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club. Sand, sea and service await with a private beach club, oceanfront golf, a luxury spa, sparkling pools and inspired cuisine. Safety standards are enhanced through the Hilton CleanStay program.
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