MAY 4, 2022

Travelers now have one year to comply with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) REAL ID deadline of May 3, 2023, reports Travel Pulse. Last year, the DHS announced the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic impacted the ability for states to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards. As a result, the agency extended the enforcement date by 19 months to May 3, 2023. Starting next year, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID card, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another Transportation Security Administration (TSA)-accepted form of identification at airport security checkpoints for domestic air travel. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four of five US territories covered by the REAL ID Act and related regulations are now compliant with security standards and are issuing the approved driver’s licenses and identification cards.

Meanwhile, the US Travel Association is pushing for another extension to the REAL ID deadline, stating that it should be pushed back a year in order to account for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on widespread adoption of the rollout. “US Travel supports the US Department of Homeland Security’s push to educate individuals on the need to acquire a REAL ID, but we also recognize that the pandemic created a significant hurdle to the widespread adoption of REAL ID. As we look ahead to next year’s deadline, it is clear that Americans will not be ready for full implementation,” US Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes said. “We are calling on DHS to delay implementation or develop an alternative screening process for travelers with a legacy ID to ensure that air travelers and the industry’s recovery are not impeded. The delay should last until measures are in place to prevent a scenario in which travelers are turned away at airport security checkpoints."

US health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have restated their recommendation that US travelers wear masks on planes, trains, and buses, despite the recent court ruling that struck down the national mask mandate on public transportation, reports Travel Weekly. According to the CDC's recommendation, all travelers age 2 and older should wear well-fitting masks while on public transportation, including in airports and train stations. The recommendation comes after dozens of public transit agencies in the US and five major airlines dropped their mask mandates for travelers and staff. The CDC said it based its recommendation on the current spread of COVID-19 and projections of future COVID-19 trends this summer.

New Zealand officially reopened its borders earlier this week, welcoming thousands of travelers from around 60 nations, including the United States, for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Skift. New Zealand had some of the toughest restrictions in the world during the pandemic and only recently started to ease measures. Borders were opened to New Zealanders and Australians in February and March; now travelers from around 60 visa-waiver countries can enter as long as they are vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19. There are no requirements for isolation. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told attendees at the US Business Summit in Auckland that overseas travelers will really “bring back a piece that has been missing from New Zealand and New Zealanders.” On Monday, approximately 43 international flights arrived or departed from Auckland International Airport carrying around 9,000 travelers. Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty said demand had exceeded expectations with many of the services filling up. “This is welcome news for the New Zealand tourism industry who has weathered a difficult storm,” she said.

United Airlines has announced the return of its nonstop service between San Francisco and Melbourne, Australia, beginning with three weekly flights this June. The restart of this route complements United's existing service between Sydney and San Francisco and Los Angeles. United is now the only US airline to offer nonstop flights from the US to Melbourne. United has worked closely with the Victorian government on the resumption of this service, as well as on broader plans for the market as demand continues to grow. "We're backing more direct international flights to Melbourne because we know the critical role they play in supporting Victorian businesses and creating jobs," said Martin Pakula, Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery. "Having more direct flights from the US means it is even easier for visitors to come to Victoria and enjoy everything we are famous for – whether that's our major sporting events, food scene or cultural institutions." United began offering direct service to Melbourne from Los Angeles in 2014 and launched nonstop flights between San Francisco and Melbourne in October of 2019, prior to the onset of the pandemic.

Americans’ comfort with domestic air travel has hit its highest point in over a year, reports Forbes. According to a recent survey from business intelligence company Morning Consult, there has been a slight increase in Americans' comfort level with flying even after a federal judge struck down the mask mandate for planes and other public transportation. The weekly tracking poll, conducted among 2,200 US adults, found 52% of Americans now feel comfortable flying domestically, up from 50% the week before. That’s the highest share since Morning Consult started polling the question in January 2021, up from a previous high of 51% on March 21. The poll found 51% of Americans are comfortable with air travel overall, up from 50% last week and tied with March 6 for the highest level of the pandemic. Americans’ comfort with bus and train travel has also risen slightly over last week, despite many companies dropping their mask mandates: 53% are comfortable on trains and 47% on buses, which are both one point higher than last week. A significant 73% majority said they’re comfortable going on vacation, which is up from 69% last week and tied with April 3 for the highest share recorded since polling started in April 2020.
The Conrad’s signature restaurant, Estuary, has reopened with a brand-new culinary team. Helmed by DC chef Ria Montes who has been making waves throughout some of DC’s most acclaimed restaurants, Estuary presents the flavors of the entire Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Partnering with local farmers, fishers and ranchers who practice sustainable harvesting methods, the menu focuses on a hyper-seasonal approach, delivering incredibly fresh dishes that allow in-season ingredients to shine.
Welcome to the stage New York City’s newest and brightest star, Hard Rock Hotel New York. Located between the Theatre District and Radio City Music Hall, this legendary lineup includes extraordinary entertainment venues, 446 guestrooms and suites across 36 floors, and innovative dining. Turn up the volume on the world’s most iconic skyline from RT60 rooftop bar and lounge. The Hard Rock Hotel New York is a backstage pass to the best of Midtown Manhattan with Broadway, Rockefeller Center, and Fifth Avenue shopping steps away.
For the soulful sojourner, for the inquisitive local. For those who seek the new over the known, while wandering through the past. From their perch in historic downtown Charleston, welcome to Emeline. Enjoy onsite dining, curated retail, and complimentary Mini Coopers or beach cruisers.

Lawyers Travel clients receive a complimentary upgrade upon arrival (if available) and complimentary welcome cocktail.
America’s favorite pastime is back in season and Loews Atlanta Hotel is the ideal home base to watch. Located in the heart of Midtown, Loews is a ball’s throw from Truist Park and steps from attractions like the Atlanta Botanical Garden and The High Museum. Fuel up for the big game or a day spent exploring Midtown at Saltwood Bar, serving hand-crafted, signature cocktails and seasonally inspired cuisine. Relax and renew at Exhale Spa, offering a full menu of therapies and award-winning fitness classes. With 414 guestrooms and 44 luxury suites, all featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, the hotel’s premier service and amenities make a visit to Atlanta a truly memorable experience.

Lawyers Travel clients can enhance their Loews Atlanta Hotel stay with exclusive perks including a complimentary upgrade and late check-out (based on availability).
One Aldwych is one of the very few hotels in London (or indeed the world) that can say it is truly independent. Housed in a singular beautiful building, at the center of London’s most exciting neighborhood – Covent Garden, stepping into the lobby is to step into a moment in history, dressed up in style.

Built in 1905 as the home of the Morning Post newspaper, today, the luxuries and stylish flair of the contemporary suites and bedrooms sit easily with the stories of heritage, fashioned as modern residences embellished with Art Nouveau flourishes.

Guests are invited for lunch or dinner in Indigo a restaurant celebrating independent producers, or Eneko with its modern Basque flavors. Come teatime there’s a choice between the magical world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or an elegant afternoon tea in Indigo. Cocktails are at the heart of the Lobby Bar or for moments of utter relaxation, guests can be cocooned in the health club.

Exquisite, expressive, original - there is only one One Aldwych.
The Fairmont Dallas hotel is ideally located in the heart of the downtown Dallas Arts District & Central Business District. Surrounded by a wide array of Dallas fine dining restaurants, shopping, arts, and entertainment makes Fairmont Dallas a great base to explore the city. Combining hospitality and elegance with that special Texas flair, the hotel is located near Uptown and West Village, offering trendy upscale boutiques, art galleries, inviting eateries, and exciting nightlife. The Fairmont Dallas is less than one mile from the American Airlines Center.