This week, we bring you the top resources for traveling in times of COVID, news about IATA's upcoming Travel Pass, our top 5 airline stories and more! We have our office open 24/7 so if there are any questions or thoughts we can help with feel free to give us a call

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COVID Resources to Check Before You Travel

 

     In these uncertain times, it can be difficult for travelers to navigate the ever-changing travel restrictions and requirements.  At National Travel, we take your peace of mind and safety seriously when you book with us.  National Travel is committed to empowering our clients with the information and resources you need to feel confident while traveling.  Before your next trip, check out our top resources for safe travel in the times of COVID.

 

  1. Safe Travel Barometer 

Safe Travel Barometer is a comprehensive and user-friendly tool for navigating COVID-19 health and safety protocols.  The website uses a COVID-19 rating system to determine a “Safe Travel Score” for a wide variety of travel destinations, airlines, airports and more!  A “Safe Travel Score” is determined through an independent audit of traveler health and safety measures, traveler convenience initiatives, service excellence and overall traveler experience.
 

  1. CDC COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination

The U.S. Center for Disease Control provides a map on their website where travelers can search by destination to view risk-assessment levels specific to every country.  You can also view health safety recommendations for before, during and after your travel to a specific country.
 

  1. CDC Requirement on Testing for International Travel into the United States

If you are planning on traveling outside of the U.S., you will need to obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to reentry into the the United States.  As of January 12, 2021, this requirement has been in effect for all travelers arriving in the U.S. from a foreign country.  The CDC’s website provides additional information on the testing requirements and exemptions.
 

  1. U.S. Department of State COVID-19 Country Specific Information

The U.S. Department of State Website provides country-specific COVID-19 Information for U.S. travelers.  Travelers can view requirements and restrictions for travel to and from any specific country.  Other information regarding traveler safety is also available on the website including details on a country’s movement restrictions, transportation options and consular operations.  
 

  1. WHO COVID Travel Advice

The World Health Organization’s website is an excellent and helpful tool for safe trip planning.  On this website, travelers can find a variety of information and articles related to the COVID-19 Pandemic and traveling during this time.  The WHO tracks and reports on a range of topics including travel advice for the public, weekly case counts around the world, myth-busters about the virus and more.
 

  1. Test For Travel

Depending on your current location, it can be difficult to find the testing you need for your trip.  Test For Travel offers a search tool for travelers to find a variety of testing options closest to their location.  Testing options include PCR, Antigen, Rapid Molecular and more.  This is a great resource if you need to find a test with results returning in 72 hours or less for your next trip!
 

  1. Your NTS Agent!

We know all of this information can be overwhelming.  We all want to get back to travel, but want to do it safely and confidently.  At National Travel, our experts have these resources and more available at the click of their mouse or a stroke of a key.  National Travel is closely monitoring travel restrictions and requirements all over the globe.

  If you have any concerns or questions about your health or safety while traveling, your travel agent can provide you with the information and resources you need to feel confident about your next trip.

Travel Pass Ready “Within Weeks”

 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says their digital COVID travel pass will be ready “within weeks” and is planned to launch in March of this year.  The app, which will be offered for free on iOS and Android platforms, will be used to verify COVID-19 tests and/or vaccines, and will also confirm if they have been administered by an approved authority.  IATA first ran trials with Singapore Airlines in December and also rolled the trail program out to other airlines including Ethiad, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Air New Zealand.  


 

“The key issue is one of confidence. Passengers need to be confident that the testing they’ve taken is accurate and will allow them to enter the country.”

-Vinoop Goel, IATA’s regional director of airports and external relations
 

Click here to read more from BBC

Airline Updates

Check out our weekly ‘Top 5 Airline Updates’ below!

Amazon Air “Growth Spurt”

 


Amazon’s cargo fleet is on track to double in size between May of 2020 and June of 2021 and could eventually resemble a commercial airline.

 

Image Source: Jetblue

American and JetBlue Launch Partnership

 Starting today, Jetblue and American have begun to launch their new codeshare partnership opening up more routes to customers of both airlines.  American Airlines customers will have access to 49 Jetblue routes via codeshare and Jetblue customers will have access to 25 American Airlines routes.  The airlines plan to add more markets in the Northeast “throughout the first half of this year,” as well upcoming international routes.  

     Loyalty integration will allow customers on codeshare flights to earn miles through the carrier on which they purchased their ticket.  Reciprocal mileage earning benefits will also be introduced in the spring, which will allow customers to choose which carrier on which they credit their mileage.
 

“Safety is not an accident”

     Over the weekend, United Airlines flight 328 made headlines when a catastrophic engine issue caused the plane to turn around for an emergency landing.  The flight, carrying 231 passengers and 10 crew members, experienced an engine failure leading to the engine becoming fully engulfed in flames shortly after take off.  Large metal pieces of debris fell from the aircraft, damaging some property on the ground.  No injuries were reported in the aircraft or on the ground.  

     The extremely rare incident led to the airline grounding dozens of older Boeing 777s that were equipped with the same Pratt and Whitney engines.  United Airlines is the only airline in the U.S. that operates this type of aircraft and has halted operations on the 24 planes with the specific engines that currently were in operation within their fleet.  

     Many have called into question the safety of the Boeing 777s, but the NTSB has found nothing in the airframe to be responsible for the engine failure.  Boeing has made more than 1,600 777s since the 90’s and less than 150 of them were equipped with the Pratt and Whitney engines.  Currently, all of the 777s with the specific engines that were in operation in the U.S. have been grounded.  Japan Airlines, who also operates the aircraft, has grounded their fleet as well, pending the investigation. 

     While the appearance of a flaming engine is certainly an unsettling sight, according to John Cox, an aviation safety expert and retired pilot who runs aviation safety consulting firm, Safety Operating System, says rarely do such incidents result in loss of life. 
     The last fatality on a U.S. airline occurred in 2018, when debris from an engine failure struck the window of the plane, breaking it, and resulting in the loss of life of one passenger.  Since then,  the FAA ordered airlines to step up the inspection procedures of fan blades on certain engines.  

     Miraculously, no injuries were reported related to the incident on flight 328 and much praise is owed to the pilots who safely landed the plane.  The two pilots had a combined experience of  60 years and nearly 40,000 hours of flight time between the two of them, according to their union.
 


Safety is not an accident.  We achieved that because of the experience of two well-trained pilots at the controls.”

– Todd Insler, chairman of the United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association


 

     Ultimately, the safety systems in place onboard the aircraft performed as designed and the flight crew did as they were trained for an emergency, resulting in the best possible outcome for such a frightening event.  
 

Click here to read more from ABC News

Airlines Provide Data for Contact Tracing

In an effort to assist public health officials in contact tracing efforts, the U.S. airline industry has pledged to expand the practice of asking passengers to provide information to be turned over to the CDC.  

Click here to read more from USA Today

Image Source: The Points Guy

 

America’s Newest Airline Paints Jet

 

Take a sneak peek at the new start-up airline from former Allegiant and United Airlines Executive, Andrew Levy!

Now Open in Travel

Safest Destinations in the Caribbean

Spring break is almost here!

With so many travel restrictions changing daily, you may be wondering where you can travel safely. 
Need to find a testing center before your next trip?

National Travel is closely monitoring the ever-changing testing requirements and restrictions for destinations all over the world.  We are pleased to assist our clients in finding their closest testing site and staying up to date on the latest travel requirements for their next trip.  Currently, testing is only required for international travel, but for our travelers’ safety and convenience, we are able to provide information on the closest testing facilities for a number of different tests, including Rapid Molecular, PCR, and Antigen testing.

Your safety and peace of mind while traveling is so important to us.  National Travel will continue to empower our clients with information and resources to help you feel as safe as possible when you travel with us.
Click here to find testing near you!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more travel news and information as well as updates on life here at the National Travel Office!  

We also have an Instagram page where you can see some amazing travel photography from all around the world! 

Reminder!!

Don’t forget to give us a call at least three days prior to your trip and request your complimentary Smart Travel Kit!

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