If you’re a business traveler or in the business travel industry, you pretty much know what you need to do when it comes to traveling for work. Or at least we used to. COVID-19 changed all that.
Now as we return to safe and responsible business travel, it can require a lot more time, effort, planning and stress. Where can I go, where can’t I go, what do I need to know, what do I need to bring, and what do I need to do to get there. Domestic travel can be challenging, and crossing borders and oceans adds a whole other dimension.
That’s why today I am excited to share that GBTA and American Airlines are making it easier, thanks to a new partnership that will make the airline’s travel planning tool powered by Sherpa available directly from the GBTA website.
American Airlines introduced this travel tool in September 2020 to help travelers confidently understand the travel guidelines related to COVID-19 and make informed decisions by keeping them updated with real-time COVID 19 information. The tool’s interactive map supports both US and international destinations and allows the user to review guidelines based on itinerary. With one click you can view quarantine, document or testing requirements for any specific location. If a COVID-19 test is required, you will see nearby locations where testing is offered and the types of tests the location provides, making for easier planning. And as guidelines have evolved, so has the tool which is now available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, French Canadian and Dutch.
I have already used the tool for my own travels and have been sharing it with anyone who needs to stay on top of ongoing and new developments (and I encourage you to do the same). In the business travel industry, we pride ourselves on knowing how to navigate the world. And now we have Sherpa to help us get back on the road to business travel and doing business.
News to Know
International Travel Restrictions Remain a Moving Target
Earlier this spring and summer, with COVID infection rates decreasing and vaccination rates rising, there was hope on the horizon for the restart of travel. Now, several countries around the world are considering reinstating restrictions, as “the COVID situation has deteriorated.”
Seven destinations added to CDC’s “Avoid Travel” List
Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control added France, Israel and Iceland – among others – to its “Level 4: COVID-19 Very High” list and also advised against all international travel until fully vaccinated.
Two U.S. Based Airlines Announce Employee Vaccination Requirement
The CEOs of both United Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines announced last week that U.S. employees of each company must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within the next few months. United is the first major U.S. carrier to issue a vaccine requirement for all employees.
Heathrow Airport Sees Bounce in the Right Direction
Last month, London’s largest airport handled 74% more passengers than in July 2020 – the highest monthly passenger numbers since March 2020. While Heathrow’s chief operating officer noted, “finally, some blue skies are on the horizon,” passenger numbers are still down over 80% compared to July 2019, as barriers to travel remain.
Canada to Adopt Vaccine Passport for International Travel
The document will include a person’s COVID-19 vaccination history and will be available to all citizens, permanent residents and temporary residents living in Canada who are fully vaccinated. It’s expected the passport will be ready for implementation this fall.
GBTA News & Reminders
WINiTIn45: August Session Recording Now Available
During the August WINiTIn45 webinar session, held last week and titled “WINiT at Work + Home,” WINiT Strategic Advisory Board members Patti Huska, Chief People Officer at Amex GBT and Mary Ellen Hess, Executive Vice President of Business Development for CTM, shared valuable tips and advice on how to progress in your career while also thriving at home. Click here to view the recording. Join the September WINiTIn45 session, “WINiT with Influence”; registration is now open.
Ready. Safe. Travel. Self-Paced Training Program
It’s not too late to become a Ready. Safe. Travel. Specialist! The widely attended program from Spring 2021 is now available to do on your own time. Click here to learn more and register.
Call for Applications: Chair of GBTA Europe Advisory Board
With current Chair Mark Cuschieri taking on the new role of GBTA Vice President, there is now a vacancy in the Chair position. Interested in taking a leadership role and driving the strategic direction of GBTA in Europe? Click here to view the description, responsibilities and application.