|Travel industry pushing for governments to move from quarantine to testing using a new digital health passport to open up travel – Some of the travel industry heavyweights are pushing a new testing program called CommonPass that they hope governments will use in place of what is a 14-day quarantine requirement today. Testing using CommonPass allows travelers to take a Covid-19 test at a certified lab and upload the results to their mobile phones. They then complete any additional health screening questionnaires required by the destination country. Once the test results and the country questionnaire are complete, CommonPass confirms a traveler’s compliance with the destination country entry requirements and generates a QR code. This can be scanned by airline staff and border officials. CLICK HERE to read more.
Recent airline cuts in staff may cause you to wait hours on-hold waiting to talk to someone. Why wait on hold for 2 hours calling an airline when you can talk to us in 9 seconds? – Recently, a friend told me he tried calling an airline, and after pushing what seemed like 100 buttons to try to talk to an agent, he had to wait over 2 hours before he was able to talk to an agent. Can you imagine what this will be like in the future as the airlines have laid off tens of thousands of staff this month? Our team at Executive Travel has made a commitment to be the “Fastest and easiest travel management company to do business with.” Every week we measure how fast we pick up the phone. We average between 7 and 9 seconds every week. We also make sure that you do not have to press any buttons to talk to a live agent. One more reason to use your friendly folks at Executive Travel.
Steve’s travel tip #97 – Here is how to get your frequent flyer miles put back into your account when an airline says no – Last year, I was supposed to fly for an international business meeting. I used my Aeroplan (Air Canada flying on Star Alliance airlines) miles to book a ticket using 135,000 miles. A few weeks before traveling, I decided not to go and called the airline to see what I could do to cancel the trip and put those miles back into my account. They said that I could not put my miles back into my account because my trip was under 22 days prior to departure. However, they would allow me to change the date of my trip sometime in the future. So here is what I did to save those 135,000 miles. I first changed my flight to a date six months into the future. This cost me a $90 change fee. I then called back a few days later and said I would like to refund those 135,000 miles back into my account as the new flight is more than 22 days in advance. This cost me another $90 fee. The bottom line is I spent $180 in change fees but was able to save 135,000 miles for future travel. That is a pretty good return on investment.
Here is one easy time-lapse graph to see how the travel industry fell from COVID –If you watch this weekly time-lapse graph, it will outline the travel in all the major countries and how much they were affected by the pandemic on a week by week basis since the start of the year. It also shows you how each country is slowly rebounding, and unfortunately, how far away we are from returning to normal. CLICK HERE to see the graph.
There goes my free annual supply of shampoo as hotels replace plastic bottles with wall dispensers – The hotel industry is moving to replace those small plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles in your hotel bathroom with wall dispensers. I have to confess for the last 40- years, I have taken the liberty of bringing home hundreds if not thousands of bottles of hotel shampoo and conditioner to use at home and to give away to homeless shelters and people in need. While COVID has slowed the replacement process, you can expect next year that the major hotel chains will be eliminating offering plastic bottles of shampoo and replace them with wall-mounted pump dispensers. The hotels are making this major change saying it will have a positive environmental impact. But we also know that it is cheaper to buy shampoo in a 55-gallon drum than putting it in small bottles, and only half is used, and the other half is thrown away. When I first learned of the change, I was disappointed, but now I think it is better for everyone and is a small way to help our fragile environment.
My good friend Ted Child says traveling to London is a blast – He writes: I am writing to you from cloudy London. Steve, it is very unfortunate that you do not have a passport…..now is the time to travel. (Other than getting COVID and croaking). We flew MIA to LHR…..35 people on the plane. Could not have felt safer in the parking garage, the terminal, the lounge, and on the plane. Very creepy, however, walking around an empty plane, in the dark, in the middle of the night. (Ted is visiting his son and unfortunately has to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival).