DEALS

Get a Companion Pass and 30k points
Enough for a roundtrip! with this major limited-time offer.

JetBlue: The Just Book It Sale
Travel between 3/1–6/17/21 (Excl. Fri & Sun travel).
Blackout dates: 3/25–4/24. Lowest available fare (Blue Basic, otherwise Blue) only on sale.
Fares include government taxes and fees. Book by 2/11 (the earlier of 11:59pm ET or local time).
Different or additional day of week restrictions, travel windows, and blackout dates may apply and vary by route.
Certain routes may not operate daily or may commence service later in sale window.
Select a fare for details. Fares are displayed based on your location. Select the pencil icon, then select “View All Deals” to see all fares. (JetBlue)

Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways announces companion fares from $710 in coach and business class with complete flexibility if your plans change. Book by Feb. 15th, ticket flexibility through the end of April. If you need to cancel your trip, you can request a full refund or exchange your ticket for a travel voucher that comes with a 10% bonus. Exotic destinations include Sri Lanka and Zanzibar.” (Rudy Maxa)

Amtrak Offers Buy One Get One Free with the Amtrak Loves You Sale
“At Amtrak, we want to show customers how much we love them by offering a Valentine’s Day Buy One Get One Free Sale.. Thursday, February 11, through Tuesday, February 16, customers can purchase one ticket and bring a companion along for free for nationwide travel between February 22 and August 27, Customers can receive discounted tickets by using the code C214 at checkout or at amtrak.com/vdaysale.”

 

AIRLINE AND AIRPORT NEWS:

TSA Checkpoint Numbers
TSA screened 735,009 people at airport security checkpoints yesterday, Wednesday, Feb. 10. Coming up is the Presidents’ Day Holiday Weekend. Holiday weekends typically see an increase in travel starting Thursdays. Will that happen? Lisa Farbstein TSA PR

Delta will block middle seats through April as competitors continue to fill planes
Delta Air Lines will continue blocking middle seats through the end of April, the airline announced on Monday, longer than any major US airline. Alaska Airlines was the last airline to block middle seats as it ended the policy in January. Delta’s main rival in the Pacific Northwest opted instead to fill its planes while offering a new cabin called “premium class” that offers rows without middle seats. msn.com

Delta CEO blasts Biden proposal to require Covid tests for domestic travelers
“It will not keep domestic flyers safer,” he said. Planes have hospital quality air filters on board and exchange fresh air into the cabin every few minutes, reducing the chance of transmission. “In fact [there are] very, very few documented cases globally, not just domestically,” Bastain said of air-travel related infections. He added that the domestic testing requirement would take “about 10%” of the resources the country needs “to test sick people away from those people.” CNN

The new busiest international air route and it’s not where you’d expect
Last month, Dubai-London Heathrow was the highest-capacity international route, with more than 190,000 seats scheduled in January. Dubai’s popularity as a quarantine-free winter sun destination for British travelers ended when the UAE was added to the UK’s “red list” of countries hit by new travel bans. With Dubai-London out of the top 10, the route heading the leaderboard is now Orlando-San Juan, with 135,244 seats scheduled for February. The three-hour journey from Florida’s Orlando International Airport to San Juan, capital of the American territory of Puerto Rico, is classed by OAG as international, although US citizens don’t need a passport to take the trip. (CNN)

BA plans transatlantic flights partially fuelled by recycled waste in 2022
British Airways says it will operate transatlantic flights partially powered by sustainable fuels as early as next year. BA will invest in a new US plant to be built in Georgia by LanzaJet producing commercial-scale volumes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), made from ethanol derived from agricultural and other waste. The airline said the fuel would create 70% less carbon emissions than conventional jet fuel. The Guardian

Southwest Cuts O’Hare
CrankyFlier reports: “In an odd turn of events, Southwest has cut 1x daily frequency from each of its O’Hare markets before the service even started. There are a lot of potential theories here, but it’s most definitely not normal to see Southwest do something like this. So… speculate away. Southwest also loaded its MAX schedules with flights beginning March 11. There will be 10 aircraft routings per day criss-crossing the country.”

Wheelchair users can Fly Safe Today
All Wheels Up is giving away CARES Special Needs harnesses and ADAPTS slings to travelers with disabilities. The CARES harness is a supplemental double shoulder strap that can help position and accommodate people with disabilities in airplane seats. The ADAPTS sling is an evacuation device for emergency situations on a plane, and passengers with special needs can also use it for transfers. To apply for this program, travelers can send an email to [email protected] and include their name, email, home address, phone number, and age. They should tell All Wheels Up how and why this equipment will help them Fly Safe Today.


DOMESTIC NEWS

New York aims to reopen Broadway, large venues, with extensive Covid testing, Gov. Cuomo says
Cuomo said there is hope that New York could allow Broadway, alongside other entertainment venues, to reopen with some limitations, though he wasn’t immediately able to provide a timeline for their return. The state would likely impose a cap on audience sizes, require every person to provide a negative Covid-19 test before entering and require proper air ventilation systems in theaters, the governor said. “Would I go see a play and sit in a playhouse with 150 people? If the 150 people were tested, and they were all negative, yes, I would do that,” Cuomo said during a press briefing. “I think reopening with testing is going to be the key.” CNBC

1 person spread COVID to 50,000 during New Orleans Mardi Gras 2020
A new study that sought to pinpoint how the virus spread through the city has found that 2020 Carnival revelry was responsible for tens of thousands of coronavirus cases, after a single person likely brought it to New Orleans in the weeks before Mardi Gras. al.com

Calif. positivity rate drops to 5%, lowest since before holidays
California Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered a promising message Monday at his weekly press briefing, noting the state’s 7-day average positivity rate has dropped to 5%. The rate hasn’t been this low since mid-November, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday when many experts believe gatherings and travel sparked a surge that pushed into December and January and is finally subsiding. SF Gate

Florida tourism fears as Biden mulls domestic travel ban
The Biden administration is weighing up domestic travel restrictions, with Florida possibly singled out for an interstate travel ban. Officials are trying to stamp out the spread of new more contagious variants which now make up about 15% of all new cases. The UK variant, known as B.1.1.7, is especially rampant in the Sunshine State. More than one third of all US cases of the variant are in Florida. Travel Mole

Tampa Bay Bucs Boat Parade
Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Bucs had a boat parade as their Super Bowl victory parade. I gotta tell you this was a brilliant idea and they should probably do it even when the pandemic is over because it’s so much better. I remember when the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl and I just happened to be in town and the streets were lined with fans waiting for the trucks to come by. It was freezing (27F) and after a twenty minutes of waiting I said forget this and watched from my hotel room.  WFLA

  • New York aims to reopen Broadway, large venues, with extensive Covid testing, Gov. Cuomo says’
  • ‘People should be alarmed’: air pollution in US subway systems stuns researchers
  • Actor Don Cheadle Shares Why He and His Family Chose to Temporarily Relocate to Hawaii
  • NBC Plans Break in Olympics Tradition With A.M. Broadcast of Opening Ceremonies
  • See all the domestic travel news that’s got people talking this week…

INTERNATIONAL

Thailand rejects calls for ‘vaccine passport’
Vaccine passports have been touted as a way to allow travellers to enter Thailand  if they are vaccinated and skip mandatory quarantine. Thailand’s Department of Disease Control Director General Opas Karnkawinpong says that is unlikely as there is still no conclusive evidence that vaccinated people do not transmit the virus Travel Mole

U.K. residents may not be allowed to travel abroad until all adults are vaccinated.
Vacationing abroad may not be possible for residents of Britain until all adults in the country have been vaccinated, a government official said on Wednesday, raising questions about how the tourism industry might cope with such restrictions and dashing hopes of many who hoped that a relatively successful vaccine rollout in Britain could let them enjoy trips abroad this summer. NY Times

Germany set to extend lockdown on concerns over new coronavirus variants
-A draft document emerged early on Wednesday outlining plans between Chancellor Angela Merkel and state officials to maintain the lockdown.
-The re-opening of schools is a priority for the German leadership, although the country’s federal system means that individual states are expected to be able to decide how to do this.
-The reopening of shops and hotels could begin next month in areas where the infection rate is low too. CNBC

Air Canada suspends US, international routes and lays off 1,500
Air Canada announced Tuesday the suspension of 17 US and international routes until the end of April and layoffs of 1,500 workers, citing a drop in demand for travel after a tightening of public health restrictions to slow the spread of new Covid-19 variants. AFP

COVID-19 NEWS

Do I still need to quarantine after potential exposure if I’ve been vaccinated?
“If you’re in the United States, then the answer is no, as long as you’ve been fully vaccinated — which at the moment means two doses of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna shot — and two weeks have passed since your last dose, according to new guidelines from the CDC. But there’s a caveat. It’s still not known how long protection lasts, so the CDC advises people who had their last shot three months ago or more to quarantine if they are exposed or show Covid-19 symptoms. And you should still follow other guidance, including mask-wearing and social distancing. Read here for more.” (CNN)

Expect to get COVID-19 shots for years to come, Johnson & Johnson CEO says
Expect to get annual coronavirus shots for years to come, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said Tuesday. In an interview with CNBC, Gorsky said mutations of the coronavirus will necessitate regular changes to vaccines. MarketWatch

Want to travel after getting vaccinated? Precautions are still needed, experts say.
Because we don’t know the full scale of the spread of new coronavirus variants and still have unanswered questions about vaccines, Jessica Malaty Rivera, an epidemiologist with the COVID Tracking Project, said even vaccinated Americans need to remain vigilant about their public health mitigation efforts. To that end, she recommends that travel still be limited to essential trips. For vaccinated people who do choose to travel, Rivera urges that they choose trips wisely and use mitigation strategies to protect themselves and others. While renting an RV and driving to the mountains might be safe, for example, she recommends avoiding high-risk activities such as flying, traveling to crowded places, and gathering with anyone outside of one’s household. The Washington Post

CRUISE NEWS

Alaska Officials Pledge to Find Solution for Cruises Following Canada Ban Extension
“Upon hearing the announcement, we immediately reached out to Canadian and American agencies to try to understand the rationale behind this decision—particularly the duration of the ban,” Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young in a joint statement. “We are exploring all potential avenues, including changing existing laws, to ensure the cruise industry in Alaska resumes operations as soon as it is safe. We will fight to find a path forward.” Travel+Leisure

This small cruise line is the first to cancel all its sailings for 2021
Adventure Canada, a one-ship company based in Mississauga, Ontario that’s famous for its expedition cruises in the Canadian Arctic, has canceled all its sailings for the rest of the year. The company suggested Canada‘s just-announced extended ban on cruise vessels operating in Canadian waters (including the Canadian Arctic) left it no choice. msn.com

  • Princess Cruises Becomes 1st Line to Allow Sports Betting at Sea
  • Two US-Based River Cruise Lines to Require COVID-19 Vaccination
  • Why I’m not sure a ‘coronavirus-safe’ cruise sounds like a fun time
  • Alaska Officials Pledge to Find Solution for Cruises Following Canada Ban Extension
  • See all the cruise news that’s got people talking this week…

 

CREDIT CARD NEWS

Get a Companion Pass and 30k points
Enough for a roundtrip! with this major limited-time offer.

Can you earn bitcoin rewards with a credit card? Here’s what to look for
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity among individuals and well-known investors. As people look for unique ways to make money and get credit card rewards, it’s worth knowing if you can earn credit card rewards while also earning Bitcoin. Is it possible to earn Bitcoin with a credit card? Johnny Jet

 

MISCELLANEOUS TRAVEL NEWS:

What’s It Like To Live & Travel Around Vietnam During COVID-19?
When I read that Vietnam was ranked second in the world (after New Zealand) at keeping COVID-19 at bay, and then multiple readers asked me for Vietnam-related travel advice, I decided to interview a friend and travel writer who lives there. It’s really quite remarkable how the government has kept COVID-19 from spreading and how inexpensive it is to live there. According to James, you can rent a really nice one-bedroom apartment for just $500 a month. Listen to the 15-minute interview on my podcast or watch on YouTube.

39 Travel Questions: Richard Bangs
Richard Bangs has often been called the Father of Modern Adventure Travel. Here’s the post with links to our conversation on YouTube and via my podcast.

HOTEL AND LODGING TRAVEL NEWS:

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