MARCH 24, 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 Travel Association (USTA), alongside 26 organizations from the tourism and aviation side, including the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the US Tour Operators Association, has urged the Biden administration to implement “a risk-based, data-driven roadmap” to lift all remaining international entry bans into the US, reports Skift. Citing recent public health progress, including rapidly advancing US vaccinations and drops in case numbers and hospitalizations, US travel groups requested a full tourism reopening for inbound international visitors by July 4. This would allow visitors from Brazil, China, Europe’s Schengen area, Iran, Ireland, South Africa and the UK to enter the US either with COVID-19 test results or vaccination. According to the USTA, international travel to the US dropped by 81 percent in 2020, amounting to a $146 billion loss for the US economy, plus 1.1 million jobs that could be lost if travel isn’t fully reopened. By allowing inbound travel by July 4, 2021, the tourism group said to the White House that the US would be looking at a $30 billion recovery, as well as 225,000 jobs restored. Based on this data, the travel groups support exempting vaccinated travelers from testing requirements, doing away with quarantines for tested travelers — including an update to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to reflect this change — and developing “uniform Federal principles for COVID-19 health credentials” to verify COVID-19 test results and vaccinations.

The Biden administration is considering the middle of May to relax restrictions on travel across the borders with Mexico and Canada as well as on inbound international travel from Brazil, Europe, and the UK, reports CNBC. While there has not been a policy memo or formal codification of that time frame, the discussion has focused on trying to limit the spread of variants domestically as localities make their own decisions on how quickly to reopen. In the meantime, officials have suggested President Joe Biden and his COVID task force need more time to feel comfortable with reopening borders and increasing the level of air traffic from overseas.

Delta Air Lines has announced that it will introduce nine brand-new routes and add flights to more than 20 top leisure destinations this summer as it prepares for an anticipated recovery in leisure travel. The carrier is boosting service to many major national parks in the West, including four routes to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) from hubs in Detroit (DTW), Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK), and Seattle (SEA). The carrier also is adding flights to Glacier, Grand Teton and Yosemite national parks. On the East Coast, Delta is adding new service from Boston (BOS) to Hilton Head (HHH) and Myrtle Beach (MYR), both of which will operate on the weekends beginning May 8. Other East Coast additions include flights to Wilmington, North Carolina (ILM), Norfolk, Virginia (ORF), Savannah, Georgia (SAV), and Asheville, North Carolina (AVL). Additionally, the carrier is restarting travel to the Caribbean, including routes to Grand Cayman (GCM) and St. Kitts (SKB) from both Atlanta and JFK beginning June 5. It’ll also serve Bonaire (BON) and Roatan Island (RTB) with twice-weekly flights from Atlanta. The announcement of these new summer routes follows Delta's announcement last week of five new routes to Alaska the summer.

Amtrak has announced its new Northeast Getaway Sale, allowing travelers to buy discounted tickets in the northeast until March 26, 2021. The sale is valid for travel from March 30 to September 30, 2021, and is valid for trains operating on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) from Baltimore, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Virginia, Washington, DC, and other intermediate cities. Travelers can ride on Acela in Business for as low as $39 one way, or in Coach for as low as $19 one way on trains such as the Northeast Regional, Vermonter, Silver Star, Crescent, and more. Travelers will be able to bring on two carry-on bags and two personal items, as well as have access to free Wi-Fi. Travelers can also bring small pets with them on many trains.

Six of the ten primary US airlines are slated to resume at least some change fees for flights booked on April 1 and later, with Delta resuming the charges for flights booked beginning March 31, reports Travel Weekly. The fees will apply to basic economy bookings on American, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, and United. In addition, Frontier and Spirit will reimplement change fees on most bookings. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, US carriers have suspended change fees for all booking classes, removing any direct penalty for travelers who alter their plans due to COVID-19 symptoms or a case of the virus. In addition, full-service carriers decided during the pandemic to do away with change fees long-term, except on basic economy bookings. Not all carriers have said how much the new change fees will be. Prior to the pandemic, American, Delta, Hawaiian, and United charged $200 for an itinerary change, in addition to any price differential.
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 rooms 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 that Fairmont is recognized for. Valued guests, colleagues and members will always be looked after with the highest degree of safety, care and comfort.
The Hyatt Regency Houston recently unveiled a brand-new hotel experience with the completion of a $43 million renovation to its rooms, meeting venues, restaurants and public spaces. Under the direction of John Schafer, the previous Managing Director of Grand Hyatt New York, the transformed hotel serves as a one-stop destination for today’s business travelers offering superior hospitality in a sophisticated and upscale environment. The hotel reflects its vibrant downtown location with stunning city views from its 955 well-appointed guestrooms and rooftop pool deck.
Guests can explore San Francisco’s vibrant culture and natural beauty from this waterfront hotel featuring balcony bay view rooms. The hotel is located close to the city’s most celebrated hot spots and steps away from the iconic Embarcadero, the Ferry Building and Union Square.

Guests can enjoy sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay or the Embarcadero district from many of the 821 rooms—including 45 suites. Water View rooms offer premium views of the waterfront and historic Ferry Building, in addition to such perks as voice-activated controls. For plenty of private workspaces, ideal for remote work and school, guests should opt for a Balcony Suite.

Travelers can start from the hotel’s waterfront location to explore the bustling Embarcadero, Union Square and dozens of other destinations just minutes from Hyatt Regency San Francisco. Attractions include the ferry, walking tours, Segway tours and the ease of getting to and from Oracle Park, Alcatraz Island, the Exploratorium and much more.
Travelers can experience the invigorating charm and rich history of Rittenhouse Square, one of Philadelphia’s most beloved destinations. The Rittenhouse Hotel is a standout among luxury hotels in Philadelphia’s Center City, offering visitors a Forbes Four-Star experience with well-appointed rooms and suites, world-class service and the most desirable location in town. This Rittenhouse Square luxury hotel offers personalized experiences and provides the perfect balance of sophistication and relaxation. Welcome to The Rittenhouse Hotel, a true gem among Center City, Philadelphia hotels.

Travelers will receive a $100 hotel credit for each stay through April 4, 2021. This credit can be used in The Rittenhouse Spa & Salon, in-room dining and valet parking, just to name a few.
The recently renovated Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile provides 4-star downtown Chicago hotel accommodations minutes from Lake Michigan, Navy Pier, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Millennium Park, the John Hancock Center, the Chicago Water Tower and upscale boutiques. Designed by French architect Jean-Paul Viguier, this downtown Chicago hotel is a 32-floor prism of glass, boasting 415 rooms, including 33 luxurious suites. Modern design and a refined European approach to hospitality takes center stage. The accent is on comfort within this sleek Chicago luxury hotel. Four hundred and fifteen luxury hotel suites and rooms exemplify "art de vivre" with designer furnishings, spacious marble bathrooms and views of downtown and the John Hancock Observatory.
Ovation Travel Group is wholly owned by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). GBT is a joint venture that is not wholly owned by American Express Company or any of its subsidiaries (American Express). “American Express Global Business Travel”, “American Express", and the American Express logo are trademarks of American Express and are used under limited license. “American Express Meetings & Events” is a division of GBT.