APRIL 22, 2020

At Ovation, we remain committed to providing excellent service to our valued clients throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic. Click the “Read More” link below to view our travel resources with travel information regarding COVID-19 including: Passport Delays, Airline and Hotel Refund Policies, Loyalty Program Extensions, Real ID Extensions and Amtrak Reduction and Acela Suspension.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the extension of restrictions on all non-essential travel across US, Canadian and Mexican borders for an additional 30 days amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delta Air Lines is transforming expectations for cleanliness across airports and on aircraft to deliver a new standard of clean for customers with a new program called Delta Clean. “The highest levels of clean should not be reserved for times of crisis – customers deserve to feel confident and safe whenever they decide to travel,” said Bill Lentsch, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer. “That’s why we are extending our overall safety focus to include our new standard of clean.” Click the video below to see how Delta is expanding their safety practices to create a higher standard of clean.

Marriott International has announced that it will be rolling out a multi-pronged platform to elevate its cleanliness standards and hospitality norms and behaviors to meet the new health and safety challenges presented by the current pandemic environment. Marriott is deploying enhanced technologies including electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize surfaces throughout the hotel. The sprayers rapidly clean and disinfect entire areas and can be used to clean and disinfect guest rooms, lobbies, gyms and other public areas. In addition, the company is testing ultraviolet light technology for sanitizing keys for guests and devices shared by associates.

Treasury Department officials have begun sending billions of dollars in payments to airlines as part of an effort to keep carriers afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports The Washington Post. The funds are part of the Cares Act, a $2 trillion economic stimulus package designed to offset the impact of the novel-coronavirus. The measure, signed by the president last month, allotted $50 billion for airlines in the form of grants and loans. Officials announced Monday that they had reached final agreements with six carriers — Allegiant, American, Delta, Southwest, Spirit and United — on grant money to fund the Payroll Support Program. The money is to be used to pay front line workers, including pilots, flight attendants and mechanics. Treasury officials also said they are working to finalize agreements with five other major carriers: Alaska, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue and SkyWest Airlines, all of which have indicated that they plan to participate in the program.

More airlines are beginning to block off the middle seat in order to improve social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Bloomberg. United Airlines is the latest carrier to banish the middle seat, and has also changed its boarding process to give travelers more space as they walk onto a plane, as well as process all seating upgrades at the airport to better control crowding. The new procedures will apply through May 30th. United follows peers in revamping routine practices in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 and reassure travelers they can travel safely. Earlier this month, Delta Air Lines began blocking middle seats in its aircraft cabins, except in first class, with the changes extending through June 30th. Delta also now boards passengers by their seat row starting from the aircraft’s rear. Additionally, gate agents at American Airlines may reassign seats to create more space, and flight attendants are letting travelers move to other seats when possible.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO), in accordance with the recent order issued by the San Mateo County Public Health Office, is requiring all members of the public to wear face coverings, reports Airport-Technology. The order is aimed at protecting travelers and employees and helping to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. SFO has placed signage around the airport notifying travelers that they are required to wear face coverings. The coverings must fully cover the nose and mouth and fit securely, SFO noted. Homemade masks such as a bandana, scarf, towel or other piece of cloth or fabric that covers the nose and mouth will be allowed at the airport.
Apart from wearing masks, travelers are required to maintain social distancing by keeping at least six feet of separation from others.