MAY 11, 2022

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have announced that face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in airports and on flights in Europe starting on May 16, 2022, reports Travel Market Report. While the agencies said that wearing a mask “is still one of the best protections against the transmission of COVID-19,” it will no longer push for the practice to be a requirement during travel. “From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky. Rules for wearing masks are expected to vary after the mandatory requirement is lifted, with airlines told to encourage travelers to use masks on flights to or from destinations where wearing a mask on public transport is still required. The move by the EU matches the recent change by the US last month when its requirement to wear masks in airports and on flights was dropped after a ruling from a federal judge. However, in other countries, such as Canada, masking is still required for the entire duration of a flight arriving at or leaving from a local airport.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that it is preparing for a busy summer travel season, with anticipated traveler volumes that will match and may occasionally exceed those of 2019 for the first time since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. The agency also said that the continued recovery from low travel volumes during COVID-19 may require more patience and planning than was necessary before the pandemic. To prepare, checkpoint environments and procedures have changed to enhance screening operations, ensure the safety and well-being of the traveling public, and to minimize the spread of COVID-19. “Daily passenger volumes at TSA checkpoints show that people are traveling again, and TSA is ready for their return. Our airport security checkpoints include 47,500 highly-trained security professionals and new technologies that enhance security and reduce physical contact,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “We continue to recruit, retain, train and equip a highly-skilled workforce, and we work continuously with our airport and airline partners to anticipate and prepare for higher traffic patterns.” The summer travel season, which begins in late May and extends beyond Labor Day weekend, covers three full months and four major holidays.

A recent report from metasearch engine Skyscanner found that travelers are planning to spend more on travel this year than they did during pre-pandemic times, reports Skift. The trends report, which surveyed over 4,000 participants, revealed changes in booking demand and behavior amongst global travelers could help forge the recovery of international travel and aviation in 2022. The report also stated that even while “faced with a rising cost of living, travelers are planning to spend more this year — their budgets are higher, they’re booking longer trips, and spending more on accommodation.” Eighty-six percent of survey respondents said that they plan to spend at least the same or even more on international travel than they did in 2019, with half of that number planning to spend more. Respondents from the US alone echo that ratio — 76 percent of travelers said that they plan to spend the same or more on international travel than they did three years ago, and 43 percent said they are planning to spend more.

Amtrak has announced its summer schedule featuring the most Acela frequencies since the onset of the pandemic and total Northeast Regional departures that near 80 percent of pre-pandemic service levels. The new summer schedule also includes the restoration of four long distance trains to daily service. Effective immediately, the Northeast Regional service will now include thirteen weekday roundtrips between Washington, DC and New York City, nine roundtrips on Saturdays, and fourteen roundtrips on Sundays. Between Boston and New York City, service includes eight daily roundtrips Monday through Saturday and nine roundtrips on Sundays. Beginning May 23, Acela service between Washington, DC and New York City will include ten weekday roundtrips, four Saturday roundtrips, and six Sunday roundtrips. Between Boston and New York City, Acela service will operate nine weekday roundtrips, three Saturday roundtrips, and four Sunday roundtrips.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General Willie Walsh stated that the travel industry could return to full pre-pandemic traffic levels in 2023, a year earlier than his previous prediction of 2024, reports Travel Pulse. For the past two months, airline traffic in the US has consistently been running at 90 percent – if not more – of what the capacity was for the same time period in 2019. Pent-up demand for travel, the elimination of the federal transportation mask mandate in the US, and the loosening of entry requirements and restrictions by countries around the world have added to the optimism. Walsh also said that high oil prices and travel disruptions caused by labor shortages had so far not deterred travelers. "I don't think we should be distracted from the fact that we are seeing a strong recovery and I think that recovery will gather momentum as we go through the rest of this year into 2023."
From world-class dining to cultural attractions, embark on a long weekend or weekday getaway with more time to discover all Boston has to offer. Guests are invited to stay this summer and capture all the amenities Boston Harbor has to offer.

Lawyers Travel clients can enjoy a Welcome Amenity with their stay at Boston Harbor Hotel through September 30th, 2022. Bookings must be made by September 28th, 2022.
A revered Miami Beach landmark for more than half a century, Fontainebleau’s iconic design is a spectacular blend of Miami’s glamorous golden era and stylish modern luxury.

Guestrooms offer luxurious comfort, elegant amenities, and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. An expansive poolscape features 11 pools and luxurious cabanas. Indulge in 12 restaurants, bars and lounges including signature restaurants StripSteak by Michael Mina, AAA Four Diamond award winning Hakkasan and Scarpetta by Scott Conant, as well as the high-energy nightclub, LIV. Relax and explore the 40,000 square foot Lapis Spa, The Shops at Fontainebleau, and miles of pristine beach.
The Omni Berkshire Place invites guests for evening cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres at Berk’s Bar. Offering a lively atmosphere and a spacious 23-seat bar overlooking 52nd Street, Berk’s Bar plays homage to Manhattan’s gloried past with both classic libations and savory bites. Whether looking for a great bar to meet up with friends after work, or a welcoming place to watch a game, Berk’s Bar will not disappoint.
The Royal Sonesta Washington DC captures a sensational DC boutique hotel vibe and is centrally located in Dupont Circle which pulses with creative, current, and urban energy. The hotel has contemporary art inspired guestroom designs, while chic function and public spaces give a stylish edge. Guests will enjoy a complimentary beverage hour, complimentary Wi-Fi, fitness center access, and complimentary bikes to ride around the many attractions in the local area. This is truly the place to be in Washington, DC.
Guests can enjoy a “magnifique” visit at the spacious and elegant rooms designed to maximize functionality with thoughtfully appointed amenities. This five-star hotel offers a wealth of relaxation through its signature Sofitel Spa and Sofitel Fitness, the ideal space to revitalize and recharge in Mexico City, plus the wholesome culinary journey that each of the on-site restaurants and bars offer.

It also features the perfect spot for business travelers, the outstanding Club Millésime, an exclusive lounge with a unique offer of executive facilities and personalized attention.

Lawyers Travel clients will enjoy a room Upgrade + 15% OFF at Balta Restaurant and In Room Dining + 10% in Sofitel Spa and one Welcome amenity during the stay.
At the newly renovated The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel in San Francisco, guests are welcomed by sophisticated and modern changes signifying a reawakening of the hotel’s original craftsmanship fused with modern day San Francisco. Designed for beauty, adaptability and convenience, The Clift is a place that reveals the past and embraces the accelerating pace of the future. With a nod to its iconic past, the hotel’s updates include dramatically updated guest rooms, an all-new modern lobby experience, Fredericks, a new eatery and café, and the famous Redwood Room - all one block from Union Square and minutes from the Financial District.

Lawyers Travel clients will receive a complimentary upgrade to a Junior Suite, triple Travel Pass points and Elite Status.

*Upgrade will be assigned at check-in. Points and status redemption require enrolling in Sonesta Travel Pass.
Seek out this stylish retreat in the Gold Coast, on the site of a 120-year-old landmark building, representing one of the finest hotels near Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. As guests relax and reconnect in a neighborhood brimming with historic homes, they’ll get a feel for the city’s rich heritage. Guestrooms open up to views of Lake Michigan and are just a short walk to Michigan Avenue, spectacular restaurants, and the shopping at Magnificent Mile that made Chicago legendary. Experience a stay at this exquisite hotel, near Michigan Avenue, and enjoy the best of Chicago.