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Travel Blog

Coronavirus-Protection

05 Jun Flying During the Pandemic

What You Need to Know Before Flying During the Pandemic

Travelers are returning to the airways. TSA reported it screened nearly twice as many passengers over the last weekend in May versus the first weekend of the same month. Some airlines are planning to increase capacity for their June schedule. That’s the good news according to a recent analysis of the airline industry.

If you’re planning to travel by air then it’s time to double-check your awareness of, and preparation for, the latest air travel changes and challenges implemented to minimize exposure to coronavirus.

My colleagues and I travel hundreds of thousands of air miles every year. It’s an essential part of our work in the travel risk management and crisis response industry. The following are a few tips and tricks you should know before you lift off on your next flight.

Air: Some travelers wonder if the air on a jet makes it easier, or harder, for COVID-19 to spread. The CDC reports most viruses are not easily spread on flights because of how airplanes circulate and filter the air. Air is circulated up to 6 times per hour and processed through HEPA filters which remove 99.97 percent of particles passing through them.

Jet Hygiene: Airlines are increasing their hygiene protocols to ensure onboard transmissions remain low. Some airlines are using UVC lights to clean surfaces. As an added precaution, you’ll want to bring your own supply of disinfecting wipes to wipe down tray tables, seat arms, windows and walls.

Queues: The greater risk of COVID-19 exposure comes from passing time in ticket lines, security queues, departure gates, jetways, and passenger seats—each of which potentially put you in close proximity with other people and frequently touched surfaces. Streamline your queue time by having all the necessary documents and information at the ready.

Onboard Seating: Physical distancing is tough in a confined space like an airplane. Most airlines have made the middle seat unavailable to help maintain social distancing.

Mask On: Keeping your face properly masked and covered at all times, except when TSA agents need to confirm you identify, is the safest option. Most major U.S. airlines require passengers to wear a face mask or face covering during their flight. It is strictly enforced at boarding and passengers are reminded and encouraged to wear them during the flight.

Double Check: Travelers need to call ahead to get the most up-to-date information, and check for updates regularly. Changes in flight schedules, travel restrictions, airline recommendations and rules—and how they are being enforced—can occur frequently. Your entire trip could be ruined by relying on old and incorrect details, and you may not be allowed to board the plane if you aren’t able to comply with the rules.

Testing: Currently, Dubai-based airline Emirates is conducting on-site rapid tests of passengers for the virus and Austria’s Vienna International Airport has started offering the tests for arriving passengers as well as other customers who want one. Experts suggest this could be the new normal for airlines going forward.

Track and Trace: You may be asked a few questions while making a reservation or during check-in, including: Have you traveled out of the country in the last 14 days? Have you been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus? Have you had any of the following symptoms: fever, dry cough, or difficulty breathing?

Signage: Most airports have placed markers in areas where line-ups occur to reinforce physical distancing as travelers wait in line. Passengers are also scanning their boarding passes—both paper and electronic—rather than exchanging them with TSA officers.

Wash Your Hands: Travelers should wash their hands regularly or use a minimum 60 percent alcohol-based (70 percent isopropyl alcohol) disinfectant before and after using the check-in kiosk, completing the security screening process, and showing your ticket at the gate.

Now, more than ever travelers need to plan for, and be prepared for, contingencies that affect travel. It is important to consider medical and security evacuation services and really understand what they will, and will not, provide. Make sure your health insurance is valid where you will be traveling. It is essential to have timely travel intelligence updates from a professional service. All of this preparation and forethought will enhance your awareness making it easier to avoid inconveniences or pitfalls. You’ll enjoy a better trip.

Courtesy of Harding Bush

OneandOnly-Resort-Mexico

01 Feb New One & Only Resort Coming to Riviera Nayarit Mexico

One & Only Resorts is opening the long-awaited One & Only Mandarina in this pristine destination. The resort will welcome guests this summer beginning June 1, 2020, and the resort is now taking reservations.

This property invites guests to reconnect with themselves, their loved ones and the world surrounding them, which is easy to do during a vacation in paradise like this one.

Guests staying at this property are not only treated to a lovely beach but also one of Riviera Nayarit’s last tropical beachfront jungles and a blend of clifftop villas, chic tree house seclusion and a vibrant atmosphere.

The One & Only Mandarina will offer 145 villas, delicious dining with a view, access to a spa and several nearby activities. Stylish tree houses and clifftop villas with dramatic views, a stone’s throw from palm-fringed sands, swimmable shores and an energetic environment crafted for re-connection and chic, laid-back living.

Close to Punta Mita, One&Only Mandarina nestles within an intimate new community set upon a rare undeveloped coastline along the Riviera Nayarit. Careful consideration has been executed throughout the development through low-density planning and intelligent, sustainable design and architecture. As one of Mexico’s last remaining tropical, beachfront jungles this fascinating destination boasts a swimmable white-sand beach, twin mountain peaks, lush flatlands and estuary. Learn more about One&Only Resorts.

Japan-Airlines

14 Jan Japan Airlines Is Giving Free Roundtrip Tickets

For travelers who find themselves in Japan this summer—say, for the Tokyo Olympics that run from July 24th through August 9th—Japan Airlines just announced that it is giving away 50,000 free round-trip tickets from the cities of Tokyo and Osaka to four mystery destinations. The catch: You don’t get to pick where you’re going.

The contest is being held on conjunction with Your Japan 2020, a project that aims to promote affordable travel throughout Japan during the Games. After all, some 600,000 people are expected to visit Tokyo alone this summer. This campaign is hoping to showcase lesser-visited parts of the country.

The trips will be good for travel between July 1st and September 30th, meaning lucky winners will be able to do some traveling before the Olympics kick off or tack time onto a trip after watching some of the events. Or: You could skip the Olympics altogether and—as long as you get yourself to Tokyo or Osaka—take advantage of free airfare to a part of the country you may have otherwise skipped.

The campaign is set to launch in late February (the exact date is TBD), at which time interested travelers can apply via the airline’s website.

While we’re sure you’d like to know where exactly these free tickets could take you if you win, when asked to confirm the four destinations, a Japan Airlines media representative told AFAR that “the destination cities will be available upon application.” Here’s hoping they include cities such as underrated Fukuoka, home to sacred shrines and awe-inspiring architecture, or the Alps in Nagano.

When you apply, either by yourself or as a group of up to four people, you’ll be shown a list of four possible destinations within Japan that you could potentially jet off to (again: you don’t get to choose the destination). You’ll be able to select potential departure and arrival time slots that work for your trip. Then, within three days of applying, you’ll be notified if you were chosen as well where you’ll be traveling.

In order to apply, you have to reside outside of Japan, have a passport issued by a country other than Japan, and be a member of Japan Airlines’ loyalty program Mileage Bank (you can sign up for that here).

Courtesy of Cassie Shortsleeve of AFAR