Insider Report 12/20/2021

Biden signs executive order allowing online passport renewal (The Points Guy)

     If you got a new passport or renewed an old one in the past year, you know how difficult that has become.  Many prospective travelers waited several weeks, or even months, to get their passport back in the mail.  In 2022, passport processing will become significantly less stressful.
     On December 13th, President Biden signed an executive order directing the State Department to design and deliver a new online passport renewal system that does not required any physical documents to be mailed.  As of now, there is no official date for this system to go into effect.

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“Facial mismatch” catches unvaccinated traveler at Canada border (National Post)

     A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) found a ‘facial mismatch’ while processing passengers using a facial scanning technology.  The traveler, who hoped to cross the border at the Pacific Highway Port of Entry in Blaine, WA, admitted to using her sister’s U.S. passport and COVID-19 vaccination card to enter the country, because she, herself, had not been vaccinated. 
    According to U.S. CBP, the Simplified Arrival facial scanning technology automates document checks with 98 percent accuracy.

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MGM to sell famous Mirage Hotel (USA Today)

     The Mirage, known as the Las Vegas Strip’s first megaresort, will be sold to Hard Rock International for nearly $1.1 billion, 32 years after the property’s opening on November 22, 1989.
      Hard Rock has big plans for the iconic location including the construction of a 1,000-room guitar-shaped hotel, although it is unclear if they plan to demolish the Mirage or add on to the existing structures.
      The sale is scheduled to be completed sometime in the second half of 2022.

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American, JetBlue add destinations from northeast (BTN)
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Lufthansa adds A350-900 service to San Diego from Munich (Live and Lets Fly)
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American Airlines, British Airways to add transatlantic service (BTN)
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Connecting customers to the Middle East and beyond, American Airlines announces service to Doha, Qatar (Wheels Up Network)
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Travel Alerts
The CDC moves 3 countries to Level 4 COVID-19 Health Advisory
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Travel Restrictions
  • St. Kitts & Nevis reduces restrictions for international air travelers and cruise passengers – Click here to read more

Don’t forget to call us at least three days before your trip to request your iFLYSmart Travel Kit!



Editor: Kelsey Morgan, Lead International Gold Star Agent and Public Relations Liaison


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