NOVEMBER 3, 2021

Following its October 15 announcement that foreign visitors who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to travel to the US starting November 8, the US State Department has added further guidance on and "very limited exceptions" to the new policy, including both passenger and airline requirements:

Passenger requirements:
  • Fully vaccinated air travelers will continue to be required to show documentation of a pre-departure negative viral test from a sample taken within three days of travel to the US before boarding. That includes all travelers – U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and foreign nationals
  • Unvaccinated travelers – whether U.S. citizens, LPRs, or the small number of excepted unvaccinated foreign nationals – will now need to show documentation of a negative viral test from a sample taken within one day of travel to the US
  • Passengers will need to provide proof of their vaccination status, either via a paper record, a photo of their paper record, or a digital app
Airline requirements:
  • Airlines must match the name and date of birth to confirm the passenger is the same person reflected on the proof of vaccination
  • Airlines must determine that the record was issued by an official source in the country where the vaccine was given (e.g., public health agency, government agency)
  • Airlines must review the essential information for determining if the passenger meets CDC's definition of “fully vaccinated,” such as vaccine product, number of vaccine doses received, date(s) of administration, and site of vaccination (e.g., vaccination clinic, healthcare facility)
  • Airlines must collect contact information for all international inbound travelers to the US, including full name, phone number, email, and address at which they can be reached while staying in the US
  • Airlines will have to keep this information on hand and promptly turn it over to the CDC when requested

Click "Read More" for additional information about the new policy.

The US has issued its first passport with an "X" designation, and expects to be able to offer the option to nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people early next year, the State Department said last week. USA Today reports the announcement comes following a six-year legal battle involving a former member of the US Navy who was denied a passport due to a refusal to choose "female" or "male" on the application. In addition to adding "X" as an option, the US State Department has also declared that applicants may now self-select their gender as male or female, regardless of what may be listed on documents such as birth certificates, previous passports, or state ID. "Today, the US finally catches up with other countries around the world that have already seen gender-neutral passports in use for years...Intersex, nonbinary, and transgender people need identity documents that accurately reflect who we are, and having mismatched documents can create problems with safety and visibility," says Rapid Response Manager Mary Emily O'Hara of the LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD.

Delta Air Lines has announced the rollout of their new Delta-TSA PreCheck express lobby and bag drop, starting this month at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). Travelers who have both the Fly Delta app and a TSA PreCheck membership will be able to check their baggage, pass through security checkpoints, and board their plane at the gate "using only their 'digital identity' (made up of a customer's SkyMiles Member number, passport number, and Known Traveler Number)" and facial recognition scans. In addition to cutting wait times by an average of more than two minutes, the system allows for a fully self-serviced, "hands- and device-free" experience. Delta is the first and only airline to build a dedicated bag drop space for TSA PreCheck customers, with the city of Detroit next in line to implement the new processes.

London's Gatwick Airport (LGW) in the UK has become the fourth airport to partner with technology firm Veovo to deploy their Passenger Predictability solution, reports Airport Technology. Veovo's program relies on artificial intelligence (AI) which grants airports the ability to "learn from the past, predict the future, and make more informed decisions" regarding the overall passenger-airport experience. The system enables existing security devices (i.e., cameras) to integrate with new Internet of things (IoT) sensors and data sources, providing airport staff access to metrics like wait times, occupancy, and passenger throughput - ultimately yielding "smoother journeys" for all travelers. Gatwick joins Manchester (MAN), Newark (EWR), and Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) in the adoption of Veovo's technology solution.

On November 2, American Express GBT successfully completed the acquisition of Egencia, the leading digital travel management platform. As part of the transaction, Expedia Group has become a shareholder in GBT. Similar to the Ovation acquisition, Egencia will retain its brand and continue to be managed by its current leadership team. It's an exciting time to be part of the GBT family and we look forward to leading the travel industry into a new era of sustainable travel that is a force for good. Click "Read More" to learn further details about the acquisition.
Completely reinvented, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth offers a renewed hotel experience. Conveniently overlooking the downtown core, making the most of its spectacular views and reflecting the city’s joie de vivre. It reasserts itself as an urban social hub where local and international clienteles can connect.

Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth brings modern hospitality to new heights with completely redesigned public spaces including a Wellness Center with indoor pool and Jacuzzi and Moment Spa: a most inviting and welcoming downtown spa. The hotel offers innovative food and beverage outlets: Nacarat: a signature cocktail bar; Kréma: a cozy coffee lounge; Rosélys: a lively bistro; and Marché Artisan: a unique urban market.

The hotel offers well-appointed rooms and suites, three floors of luxurious Fairmont Gold guest rooms, and executive suites with access to a vast lounge with private check-in and dedicated concierge service to offer the most personalized experience.
Centrally located just blocks from the U.S. Capitol, Union Station and walkable to the National Mall, the entirety of DC is at the hotel’s doorstop. Experience the only Capitol Hill hotel offering expansive views of the U.S. Capitol, 20,000 sq. ft. of renovated meeting space, three on-site dining offerings and upscale amenities.
An iconic establishment on Park Avenue, Loews Regency New York is ideally located on Manhattan’s famed Upper East Side and the only luxury hotel on Park Avenue north of 42nd Street. Featuring 321 spacious guestrooms and 58 suites, Loews Regency New York is the ideal place to stay in New York. No matter which style room they choose, guests will come to enjoy special luxuries that come standard with Loews including exclusively soft linens, an oversized workspace with ergonomic desk chair, and high-speed Internet that keeps guests in touch with work or home. The hotel’s state-of-the-art technology includes smart televisions, personalized temperature control, electronic window shades and plenty of built-in power outlets. Even the bathrooms have flat-screen TVs built into the mirrors. When it comes to hotels on Park Avenue, Loews Regency New York has the most welcoming, forward-looking guest spaces around.
Ideally located on 5th Avenue and Marion Street, Lotte Seattle has become a destination-worthy fixture of Seattle’s downtown business district, close to the Seattle Courthouse, Columbia Center, and the city’s major attractions. As the only hotel in Seattle offering five-star luxury service and South Korean hospitality, Lotte Seattle was recently named “Top 10 Hotels in the Pacific Northwest” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards. The new hotel features 189 modern and spacious guestrooms designed by Philippe Starck, a signature restaurant located on the highest floor of the hotel boasting a spectacular view of the Pacific Northwest, cocktail lounge, 15 unique meeting and event spaces, an award-winning spa, steam room, sauna, fitness studio, and a business center. The hotel also houses The Sanctuary, the nation’s oldest Beaux-Art style architectural building founded in 1908, beautifully restored and repurposed into one of the largest and most unique venues in Seattle.
Mosaic Hotel’s coveted locale in the heart of Beverly Hills offers an array of attractions just steps from the front door. Once inside, the quaint setting and welcoming ambiance will make guests feel at home. Mosaic Hotel Beverly Hills presents luxuriously designed rooms and suites that are furnished with the utmost attention to detail.

From popular destinations to world-class upscale shopping, Beverly Hills, California, is at the hotel's doorstep when staying at Mosaic Hotel. Only steps from the shops of Rodeo Drive, Beverly Gardens Park, and Century City, Mosaic Hotel is easily accessible from the area’s top attractions. Mosaic Hotel is located in the heart of Beverly Hills and only a short car ride away from Hollywood, Universal Studios, Venice Beach, and the Santa Monica Pier.

Enjoy the convenience of staying at a hotel near UCLA, the city of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles International Airport and so much more. At Mosaic, guests get high quality accommodations at the best value in Beverly Hills, California. The staff will help personalize each trip and help guests get to where they need to go.
Shaped by the local culture and rebellious, independent spirit fueling Boston since its founding, Revere Hotel Boston Common is the downtown hotel for the adventurous and authentic business traveler. Stay in boutique-style rooms with balconies overlooking the city skyline and the Back Bay neighborhood. Guests find themselves a home away from home where every experience is meticulously crafted, yet never scripted.
The hotel with French soul and a New York City edge. An address of distinction, Sofitel New York is perfectly situated in midtown Manhattan, just off 5th Avenue’s luxury shops, the beautiful Bryant Park, Broadway theaters, stunning Rockefeller Center, and energetic Times Square area. Enjoy luxurious, spacious accommodations with extra-large bathrooms, ample closet space, floor-to-ceiling windows that open for fresh air, French Lanvin bath products, plush towels, robes, and more. Often called ‘a quiet oasis’, Sofitel New York provides a magnifique respite with all the wonderful energy of the city just outside the doors.
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, Fairmont Dallas is 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.
The Marquette Hotel, a Curio Collection by Hilton, features an unparalleled location inside Minneapolis’ 1.8-million-square-foot IDS Center mixed-use development and is connected to the acclaimed Crystal Court urban park. Just steps from the city’s 12-block pedestrian thoroughfare of retail, entertainment and office space, guests of the hotel enjoy convenient access to nearby restaurants, theaters, and stadiums, as well as direct access to the Minneapolis Skyway. The recently renovated luxury property features the city’s largest rooms and suites outfitted with custom herringbone hardwood floors and lux in-room furnishings, upscale finishes, expansive windows, and spectacular city views.

One of the city’s premier corporate and group hotels, The Marquette Hotel features 35,000 square feet of stylishly appointed, high-tech event space across 19 rooms including Windows on Minnesota, a breathtaking special event venue situated on IDS Center’s 50th floor. Additional amenities include two signature dining outlets - The Jolliet House Social Club and The Marquette Lounge.
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.