APRIL 21, 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.

The US State Department has said it is raising the travel alert level for a significant number of countries this week as it factors the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) COVID-19 data more heavily into its rating system, reports USA Today. The agency said about 80% of countries will now be listed as Level 4: Do Not Travel. The State Department said the pandemic continues to pose "unprecedented risks'' to travelers and strongly recommends US citizens "reconsider all travel abroad.'' The increased alert level comes as the number of vaccinated Americans is increasing and COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted in many states and in some countries. Croatia, Greece, Iceland, and Israel are among the countries welcoming or about to welcome vaccinated Americans.

American Airlines has announced that it is reintroducing full beverage service on domestic flights starting next month. According to the carrier, the rollout will happen in phases, starting with the reintroduction of full complimentary beverage service, including alcohol, canned drinks, juice, and water in all domestic premium cabins on May 1. Complimentary beverage service in all domestic main cabins will be reintroduced beginning June 1, and will include canned drinks, juice, and water. American plans to return full service, including alcoholic beverage options and the buy-on-board food program, to its main cabins later this summer. Feedback from flight attendants and passengers will be closely considered as more food and beverage service is introduced incrementally.

Delta Air Lines reported a "slow but steady" recovery in corporate travel, with a stronger rebound projected in the fall, reports Business Travel News. The carrier's most recent survey of its corporate customers showed that about a third planned to increase travel volumes in the second quarter, and the majority plan for employees to return to offices in the second half of the year. "We anticipate the significant increases [in corporate travel] will occur after Labor Day as we enter the more traditional business travel season," Delta president Glen Hauenstein said. "That will happen as vaccinations become even more widespread and offices continue to reopen." Domestic leisure bookings, meanwhile, have recovered to 85 percent of their 2019 levels, and the carrier expects leisure demand to continue to build in the coming months.

United Airlines has announced that it is adding three new flights to its international network, as more countries begin loosening restrictions for vaccinated travelers. Starting in July, United will offer new direct flights from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Dubrovnik, Croatia; from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Athens, Greece; and from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Reykjavik, Iceland, all subject to government approval. "As countries around the world begin the process of reopening, leisure travelers are eager to take a long-awaited getaway to new international destinations," said Patrick Quayle, vice president of international network and alliances. "These three new routes unlock the natural beauty of the outdoors for our guests. They are also the latest example of how United is remaining nimble in rebuilding our network."

Industry experts are concerned that the recent rental car shortage may impact travel plans as travel demand continues to increase over the next several months, reports The Wall Street Journal. At the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic, major rental-car companies sold a huge chunk of their fleets—hundreds of thousands of vehicles—to save money and survive the financial hardship. Now that demand for rental cars is increasing, many companies are having trouble keeping up with supply. Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz, the three big US rental car companies all said that they expect shortages to continue. They say they’ve run into delays because of the auto-manufacturing slowdown. Longtime industry analyst Neil Abrams, president of Abrams Consulting Group, thinks it will be the second half of next year before major car rental companies have supply back in balance with demand. “We’re going to see shortages and high prices for a while when you’ve got more customers than cars,” he says. He also thinks travelers need to get used to paying more for car rentals, even when the imbalance eases.

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has announced that Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) added a new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to its COVID-19 testing options, reports Airport Technology. Developed by Visby, the new PCR test provides the results in less than an hour. LAWA CEO Justin Erbacci said, “We continue to see strong demand for fast and accurate COVID-19 testing at LAX, which is helping passengers travel safely and opening up more destinations to them. By adding a one-hour rapid PCR test, LAX once again is leading the way in airport innovation and guest service, and providing travelers with access to dependable and accurate rapid testing solutions that meet their timing needs.” LAWA also stated that Hawaii and a number of international destinations, which are required to have negative COVID-19 test results to travel, accept the new rapid PCR test.
Located in the heart of DC, this historic hotel is less than two blocks from the White House. There are many restaurants and shops, as well as Metro stations, steps from the hotel. All Ovation guests receive complimentary Wi-Fi and access to the onsite fitness center with their stay.
Offering convenient access to New York City and New Jersey attractions, this hotel features accommodations, complete with state-of-the-art amenities. The Embassy Suites Secaucus-Meadowlands is directly across the street from the New Jersey Transit System, offering instant access to downtown New York City. Harmon Meadow Plaza, filled with shops, restaurants and entertainment options is also only moments away.

Guests at the Secaucus-Meadowlands can have restful nights of sleep in guestrooms furnished with signature Sweet Dreams beds. The hotel also features a modern business center as well as fitness facilities.
Introducing the newly opened Grand Hyatt Nashville, voted the #1 Best New Hotel in the US by USA Today. The 591 guestroom and 53 suite hotel is redefining what it means to be a downtown urban resort. Featuring seven culinary experiences including The Nashville Grange, a Tennessee to table restaurant offering locally sourced dishes as well as Lou/Na, Nashville's highest hotel rooftop bar, and The Continental, a soon-to-open restaurant led by a James Beard award-winning chef. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of all the hotel's amenities which include a fifth-floor pool deck, the world-class spa of R+R Wellness, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The hotel offers more than 77,000 square feet of state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor event space. Located off of famed Broadway, within walking distance to all of the best that Music City has to offer, and only 15 minutes from the Nashville International Airport.
Colorado is a place of exceptional warmth, and guests will feel this spirit through all elements of their Kimpton Hotel Born stay. Easy sophistication is the name of the game when it comes to modern alpine interiors, with spaces designed for conversation and relaxation. Clean lines, rich textiles and natural palettes are blended with state-of-the-art conveniences to form a meticulously handcrafted experience.
Enjoy rich history, intuitive service, and beautiful accommodations at Loews Boston Hotel, conveniently located near Copley Square. Take in the culture and excitement of one of America’s oldest cities with an exclusive Ovation preferred rate, complimentary room upgrade, and 3pm late check-out as the hotel celebrates the 95th birthday of its historic building, that was once the Boston Police Headquarters.
When convenience, comfort, and safety are top of mind, the Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza is the logical choice. Located just blocks from Grand Central, this is the perfect choice to accommodate business travelers. The hotel offers amazing views of the East River and Midtown, Hilton CleanStay, complimentary Wi-Fi, early/late check-in and check-out, and flexibility with reservations.
In Washington, DC, over 22% of the city is reserved for parks. Plan a trip to the nation’s capital and enjoy exploring the many outdoor wonders this world-class city has to offer.

Stay at the historic Willard InterContinental, located in the heart of Washington, DC, two blocks from The White House, and enjoy easy access to the National Mall comprising of over 309 acres of green space and featuring some of the city’s most iconic monuments, memorials, and museums. Guests can also explore the newly unveiled national World War One memorial located directly across the street from The Willard.
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