JULY 20, 2022

There are many reasons why this summer travel season is chaotic, with flights getting delayed and cancelled while luggage is lost, reports Business Insider. While factors such as weather and the war in Ukraine are outside the control of airports and airlines, much of the disruption stems from pandemic-era measures. In a response to reduced travel demand, many airlines offered the option for employees to retire early, resulting in current understaffing. “I don't look back with any regret at all about those decisions,” Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian recently stated. But the pilots who left were at senior levels, and that “causes churn at a much higher level.” Baggage handlers are also among the worker shortage; this week Delta chartered an Airbus A330 from London to Detroit to deliver 1,000 delayed bags to travelers. Training for these positions is often expensive and requires an extensive security clearance process. Further, flight attendants are experiencing heavy workloads and there is a shortage of operational support when airline crews call in. Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants, stated “In some cases, crews are waiting online one, two, three, four hours to get in touch with someone […] And for every one person that's added, you're gonna have an additional support to about 500 people who are out in the field trying to staff your flight.”

Germany’s Frankfurt Airport has announced its intention to reduce the number of take-off and landings to 88 movements per hour, reports Business Travel News. The move comes a week after Heathrow Airport announced similar restrictions; both airports made the decision in order to better control service disruptions. Lufthansa Airlines CEO Jens Ritter favored the decision, noting that although the airport had increased the capacities of ground handling services, there were still an insufficient number of employees even after flight cancellations that were intended to relieve the overall system. “This has disappointed many thousand customers, caused enormous additional work for our employees and additional costs in the millions,” Ritter stated. “Other airlines flying to and from Frankfurt will now also contribute to an even reduction and stabilization with flight cancellations.” Frankfurt Airport reported that June was its busiest month since the pandemic began, with roughly 5 million travelers passing through the German hub, a 181 percent increase year over year.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced it is furthering its efforts to become more gender inclusive by offering a new gender option for its PreCheck program, reports Travel + Leisure. Individuals applying for the program will now be able to select "another gender" in addition to "male" and "female" options. Since April, the TSA has allowed applicants to self-attest to their gender, regardless of the sex assigned to them at birth, although applicants must apply with their legal name. TSA Administrator David Pekoske stated, "This new TSA PreCheck enrollment feature reaffirms our commitment to equality and inclusion for all people, including the LGBTQI community." Earlier this year, the TSA shifted to more gender-neutral screening standards, including reducing pat-downs and rolling out Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units, which are more accurate and will replace the current gender-based AIT system.

Alaska Airlines has announced plans for a new electronic bag tag program, an initiative that would make the carrier the first US airline to have such a program, reports Travel Pulse. The program, expected to launch later this year, will allow guests to skip the step of printing traditional bag tags upon arrival at the airport. Instead, they will be able to activate the devices via the Alaska Airlines mobile app from any location up to 24 hours before their flight. The activation is done by touching the phone used for check-in to the electronic bag tag, which has an antenna that powers and reads the information transmitted. The e-paper bag tag's screen will then display the guest’s flight information. Alaska Airlines spokesperson Charu Jain stated, “This technology allows our guests to tag their own bags in just seconds and makes the entire check-in process almost all off-airport.” Jain further noted the carrier’s electronic bag tag would reduce the time spent dropping off checked luggage by 40%.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its “high” risk category for travel with five places, reports CNN. Colombia, Iraq, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Paraguay are now designated within the CDC’s Level 3 “high” risk category, which applies to places that have had more than 100 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. Level 2 and Level 1 countries are considered to be of “moderate” and “low” risk. Level 3 is now at the top in terms of COVID-19 risk level for travelers, following the CDC’s overhaul of its ratings system in April. Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is no longer in regular use; it is now reserved only for special circumstances, such as extremely high case counts or a health care infrastructure collapse. Under the new system, no destinations have been designated at Level 4.
Ideally located on 5th Avenue and Marion Street, Lotte Seattle has become a destination-worthy fixture of Seattle’s downtown business district, close to the Seattle Courthouse, Columbia Center, and the city’s major attractions. As the only hotel in Seattle offering five-star luxury service and South Korean hospitality, Lotte Seattle was recently named “Top 10 Hotels in the Pacific Northwest” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards. The new hotel features 189 modern and spacious guestrooms designed by Philippe Starck, a signature restaurant located on the highest floor of the hotel boasting a spectacular view of the Pacific Northwest, cocktail lounge, 15 unique meeting and event spaces, an award-winning spa, steam room, sauna, fitness studio, and a business center. The hotel also houses The Sanctuary, the nation’s oldest Beaux-Art style architectural building founded in 1908, beautifully restored and repurposed into one of the largest and most unique venues in Seattle.
Located in the heart of Manhattan lies the headquarters of Fortune 500 companies and the best shopping, theater, and historical attractions in the city. With luxury accommodations, Omni Berkshire Place also offers a fully equipped fitness center, Berk’s Bar (a cocktail bar overlooking 52nd Street), unparalleled concierge service, parking services, and daily housekeeping that will make a visit unforgettable.
The Omni Los Angeles at California Plaza is happy to announce the return of the Executive Club Lounge. Travelers will experience the upgraded rooms and full benefits of the Club Lounge. When staying two nights or more, guests will receive the following amenities:

  • Daily Robust Continental Breakfast
  • Evening cocktails (full bar), appetizers and deserts
  • Access to the Club Lounge and all amenities, with dramatic view of the DTLA skyline

*This offer is valid for all 2 nights stay from July 1- August 30 and is exclusive to Lawyers Travel clients and is based on room availability. Valid for reservations booked under the negotiated rate only. Does not apply to groups, conventions, black-out dates, or packages and cannot be combined with other discounts.
Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, a luxurious hotel with modern décor, sits in a superb location off Reforma Avenue, the city’s thriving financial district, featuring the most exclusive views, from the Angel of Independence to Chapultepec Castle. 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.
Guests can relax and retreat from the comfort of their own desk. Work from The Ameswell in their fully equipped wellness rooms.

Enjoy a dedicated workspace, high-speed and complimentary Wi-Fi, in-room work out equipment, complimentary water & coffee, and Mirror by Lululemon. After a hard day’s work, wrap up the night and head over to Roger, the in-house bar, and restaurant.

Train mentally and physically throughout the day – stay refreshed and inspired from The Ameswell.
The Madison Washington D.C., a Hilton Hotel, is a refined heritage hotel in the heart of Washington DC, only steps away from the White House, the National Mall, and the Smithsonian Museums. Boutique in feel, The Madison draws visitors, families, and locals alike for meals and meetings, overnights, and nightcaps, providing the perfect place to help guests experience DC, whether they’re seeing the city or governing the country. Take sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the district in the sophisticated guestrooms and suites with extra space to spread out. Select luxurious penthouse suites feature wall-to-wall terraces with sweeping views of the skyline. The Madison’s distinguished and personalized amenities are designed with travelers in mind to offer a one-of-a-kind stay with all of the comforts of home.
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.