JANUARY 20, 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.

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines all are waiving fare differentials for international flight changes following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) newly announced requirement of negative COVID-19 test results for all travelers 2 years of age and older on inbound flights to the United States, reports Business Travel News. Delta and American both have announced similar policies, with travelers able to exchange tickets for international travel to the United States starting February 9th or earlier. Travelers can rebook those tickets for a new travel date on or before January 25th without paying the fare difference for travel in the same class of service. United has announced the same policy, except it is extending the waiver to cover travel through February 15th. All three carriers last year already eliminated most change fees on international flights.

American Airlines has announced that it is expanding the availability of its mobile health passport app, VeriFLY, to cover all international travel, becoming the first US airline to do so. The VeriFLY app, a mobile health passport that helps customers understand and verify their travel requirements, will be available for travelers starting Saturday, January 23rd, for travel from all international destinations. American is expanding access to the app in support of the US government’s requirement that all travelers 2 years of age and older traveling to the United States from any international location test negative for COVID-19 within three calendar days of departure. “We’re expanding our work with VeriFLY to quickly evolve our usage of the app and make international travel easier for our customers,” said Julie Rath, Vice President of Customer Experience at American. “We support the implementation of a global program to require COVID-19 testing for travelers to the United States, and we want to do everything we can to make travel a seamless experience for customers. We’ve received positive feedback about the app so far and look forward to more customers having the opportunity to use it.”

The United Kingdom has suspended all travel corridors, which previously allowed travelers from certain countries to enter England without the need to quarantine, reports Travel + Leisure. Now, all travelers arriving in England from outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man will be required to either self-isolate for 10 days or test out of quarantine after five days, according to the government. The travel corridor, which was suspended on January 18th, had included several countries around the globe like Australia, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea. The suspension of the program will be in effect until at least February 15th. All travelers to the UK will also be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of a traveler's departure in order to enter the country. Those who arrive without that proof could face a fine of £500 (or about $680). The decision to end the travel corridor program comes after the UK entered another national lockdown amid rising coronavirus cases.

Incoming President Joe Biden has indicated that he will overturn a recent executive order to lift travel restrictions from Europe and Brazil issued by former President Trump, reports Business Travel News. Trump's order, issued on Monday, ends entry restrictions for the 26 countries in Europe's Schengen Area as well as the United Kingdom, Ireland and Brazil, effective January 26th. In a pair of tweets on Monday; however, Jen Psaki, who Biden has said will serve as White House press secretary, said the Biden administration has no plans to lift any COVID-related travel restrictions on January 26th. "With the pandemic worsening and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel," Psaki said in her tweets. "In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19." Biden is, however, expected to sign an executive order overturning a travel and immigration ban targeting mostly citizens from majority-Muslim countries that Trump enacted early in his term. Multiple media outlets over the weekend cited a memo by incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain, saying that overturning the ban would be part of a slate of actions Biden will take on his first day in office.

United Airlines has announced that it was recognized by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and SimpliFlying for providing a hospital-grade standard of cleanliness and safety during the travel journey. United is the first airline among the four largest US carriers to receive the highest possible certification, Diamond, in the new APEX Health Safety audit powered by SimpliFlying. This new scientifically-based certification is designed to create a recognized, global standard for health and safety across the aviation industry. To achieve this certification, United submitted detailed responses for audit against a 58-point checklist covering ten categories, including things like COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, on-the-ground procedures, in-flight measures and strategic partnerships. United's certification as a Diamond airline means that the company's initiatives were at least 200 points above the gold-standard baseline APEX and SimpliFlying established as the minimum required to ensure traveler safety and well-being.
The cherished downtown Boston landmark hotel has been fully restored and reimagined through a $100 million renovation. The most treasured of the Back Bay Boston hotels, the property is a destination itself. Located in the heart of the city just steps away from local offices, parks and restaurants, Boston Park Plaza is dedicated to travelers’ wellbeing during their stay. Guests’ wellbeing is a top priority and ensuring a safe, clean and inviting environment is the core of the commitment to providing the highest level of hospitality.
The Claremont Club and Spa, a Fairmont Hotel, has been a Bay Area icon, providing rich history and elegance since 1915. Each of the 276 classically contemporary guest rooms and suites provide the perfect setting to make the most of the resort's exceptional location. Many showcase unrivaled views of the San Francisco Bay and skyline. Claremont Club and Spa allows guests to experience luxuries and wellness at their award-winning resort, combined with the renowned, exceptional service the Fairmont is recognized for. All valued guests and colleagues will always be looked after with the highest degree of safety, care and comfort.
The Fairmont Copley Plaza, the "Grande Dame of Boston," has charmed guests for over a century. In the heart of the city's famed Back Bay neighborhood, this historic landmark hotel connects travelers to the quintessential Boston experience. Nearby travelers will find many of the city's finest sights and activities, from the historic Freedom Trail to the fashionable boutiques of Newbury Street. A luxury four-diamond property, the hotel offers 383 lavish guest rooms, including 17 elegant suites, daily in-room dining service, as well as a complimentary on-site 3,000 square-foot rooftop health club overlooking Back Bay. Combining Renaissance details with contemporary accommodations and sincere, anticipative service, The Fairmont Copley Plaza promises to make each trip to Boston unforgettable.
Capturing the spirit of the vibrant Center City neighborhood, Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia invites travelers to experience a refined urban retreat. Here, the high-energy hustle and bustle is a bit more mellow at the moment, inviting travelers to witness a serene side of the city. As guests settle in, connect and unwind in the stylish, Art Deco-inspired boutique hotel. The ambience is sophisticated with a mix of sleek textures and contemporary design details that can be found alongside interesting artistic flourishes. As soon as guests step inside the doors, they’ll discover these clever contrasts together with spacious guest rooms, exceptional amenities, personalized service and their Kimpton Clean Promise which make for an unforgettable and safe stay. Whatever the reason for a visit, guests be welcomed home with Kimpton panache that’s equally as irresistible as the City of Brotherly Love.