Greetings from Los Angeles! If you get my Daily Travel Tip Newsletter, then some of the stories in this week’s newsletter may be familiar but not all. Some of the highlights, besides what’s listed below, include stories about a California town that will pay you to visit and the first country to rule “no vaccine, no entry”. Can you guess what it is? One thing’s for sure: They won’t be the only one.

This month marks a full year since I’ve been on a plane. A whole year – wow! Prior to the pandemic, the most I had gone without stepping foot on a plane in my adult life was three to four weeks. As you can tell, I’ve been playing it very safe. My wife, son, daughter and I have only spent two nights away from home since March and that was in a villa at the Lido House in Newport Beach back in September.

A New Mobile Hotel That’s Perfect During COVID-19
However, I just learned about a new mobile hotel company that sounds pretty darn good and I would definitely be checking them out if I was traveling without kids. But these days, I don’t travel without them so I’m not writing about this from experience. However, I thought it was a great idea to share. This offers people who are eager to travel a way to do so safely, starting with a touchless check-in experience and making social distancing easy.  Read the story here.

The Better Business Bureau Warns People Not To Do This
The Better Business Bureau has a new warning for people about what not to do after you’ve been vaccinated. People are excited to be able to travel, see friends and family and resume normal activities but there’s one thing you should avoid doing. Read the story here.

Should You Be Double-Masking?
We’ve been writing a lot about masks lately – it’s a hot topic, these days. Recently, experts have started recommending doubling up on your masks. So, should you do it? Here’s the story.

New Mask Mandate
The CDC order (you can read all 11-pages here) which went into effect on Monday, February 1, 2021. The only thing this CDC order changes is that it makes refusal to wear a mask a violation of federal law. So, instead of violators just being kicked off or banned from an airline (over 2,000 people have already been), they will now be arrested and charged with a federal crime, which will really crush someone’s record. Not to mention, the whole thing will cost them a good amount of cash and time. Here’s everything you need to know.

2021 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Travelers
Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Show your favorite globetrotter some love and get them excited about the idea of traveling again soon with these gift ideas that are perfect for the travel-lover in your life. Here’s our guide!

NEW: My Podcast/YouTube: What’s It Like To Live in Vietnam During COVID-19
James Clark is an Australian travel blogger at nomadicnotes.com, and writes about transport and infrastructure in Southeast Asia at livinginasia.co. He is currently based in Ho Chi Minh City and sits down with Johnny to talk about what it’s like to live in Vietnam and how affordable it is to live. (Johnny Jet’s Podcast / YouTube)

The First Country To Rule “No vaccine, no entry” is …
Armenia is now among of the first countries in the world to rule “no vaccine, no entry” for passengers — on this occasion, applicable to passengers flying from Georgia. (@AlexInAir)

American Airlines said 13,000 employees could be furloughed, blaming slow vaccine rollout and travel restrictions
American Airlines said on Wednesday that 13,000 employees were at risk of furlough when a US aid package for airline workers expires on April 1, blaming slow vaccine rollouts and new international travel restrictions for dampening demand. (BI)

Good Alaska Cruise News
Some potentially positive news, as @HALcruises and @PrincessCruises commit to running their land-based lodges in Alaska this year and continuing dialog with authorities to avoid cancellation of entire 2021 Alaska season. ~ Aaron Saunders

Bad Alaska Cruise News
Government of Canada announces one-year ban for pleasure craft and cruise vessels. “Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced two new Interim Orders, which prohibit pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022. This means: Adventure-seeking pleasure craft are still prohibited from entering Arctic waters. Passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people are still prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, and the Labrador Coast. Cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people are still prohibited from operating in Canadian waters. Pleasure craft used by local Arctic residents will not be affected by these measures.”

Delta Has Now Banned Nearly 1,000 Passengers for Not Wearing Masks
Delta Air Lines has been pretty serious about enforcing masks among its passengers. In fact, the airline has banned nearly 1,000 passengers for violating Delta’s face mask policy, according to an internal memo from Delta CEO Ed Bastian. (Self

Air Travel’s 2021 Rebound Threatened by Virus Flares, IATA Says
Forecasts for a significant recovery in air travel this year could be wide of the mark as new coronavirus strains extend travel restrictions, according to the airline industry’s trade body. (Bloomberg)

Record-breaking roller coaster will travel more than 155 miles per hour
A roller coaster now under development in the Middle East is set to smash existing records for speed, height and track length. Called “Falcon’s Flight,” the ride will be the main attraction of Six Flags Qiddiya, due to open in Saudi Arabia outside of capital Riyadh in 2023. According to a press release issued by the Qiddiya Investment Company, which has partnered with US-headquartered Six Flags to build the park, the coaster will travel across four kilometers (about 2.5 miles) of track. (CNN)

California Road Crews Work to Repair 150-Foot Collapsed Section of Scenic Highway 1
He said the washout will impact some businesses and residents and force those traveling from Southern California to take a detour that will add about two hours to their trip. But he said the bulk of Big Sur’s businesses and residents won’t be largely affected because about 60% of visitors travel to the coastal communities known for luxury spas, posh hotels and scenic retreats from Northern California. (USA Today)

Airline to Confiscate Cabin Crew’s Passports After Second Flight Attendant Goes Missing
An airline has said it will confiscate cabin crew passports during layovers after the second flight attendant in six months went missing. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) issued the directive after a member of crew failed to turn up for the return leg of a round-trip from Lahore to Toronto over the weekend. (Independent)

US Cruise Lines Require Covid Vaccinations For Guests
American Queen Steamboat Co. and Victory Cruise Lines will make Covid vaccination compulsory for all guests. They are the first US cruise lines to mandate inoculations for passengers. It is for all sailings starting from July 2021 on all American Queen and Victory ships. Guests must provide proof of vaccination at least 14 days prior to the cruise. (TravelMole)

France closes Caribbean, French Polynesian Islands
In a bid to cut off the spread of Covid, France announced several islands will close down to all but essential travel. In the Caribbean it includes St. Barts, St. Martin, Martinique and Guadeloupe. The indefinite border closures take effect on 3 February. It has not gone down well with the St Barts tourism industry. (Travelmole)

Canadians Support Travel Restrictions
A vast majority of Canadians support the tighter restrictions on international travel imposed by the federal government, a new poll suggests. Almost nine out of 10 respondents to the online survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies supported new the measures introduced last week, and virtually the same amount (87 percent) said the government should go further. (Travel Industry Today)

US Carriers Still Offer Canadians Routes to Sun
Travellers willing to subject themselves to hotel quarantine at their own expense upon return to Canada can still find a way to holiday in the sun, despite Canada’s airlines suspending flights to Mexico and the Caribbean through April 30 due to federally imposed restrictions. US carriers, including Delta Air Lines and American Airlines say they have no plans to stop offering service to sun destinations, raising questions about both the business fallout for domestic airlines and the measure’s effectiveness for slowing the spread of COVID-19. (Travel Industry Today) 

Passenger kicked off Ryanair flight after headbutting crew and downing vodka
A Ryanair flight passenger downed a bottle of vodka before launching into a drunken tirade at cabin crew. Daniel Hendry, 24, abused staff and refused to wear a face mask on the flight to to Manchester Airport from Tenerife during England’s lockdown. (Mirror)

Where You Can Go if You’re Vaccinated
TPG has a detailed story on where you can go once you’ve been vaccinated and avoid the quarantine. They include: Cyprus, Iceland, Lebanon, Poland, Romania, Seychelles and Thailand. (TPG)

Europol Warns Travelers Over Fake Covid-19 Vaccine Certificates
The EU’s police agency on Monday warned travelers to watch for organised crime gangs selling fake Covid-negative certificates at airports, sometimes for as much as 300 euros each. (France 24)

Olympics-Games will go ahead regardless of pandemic situation: Tokyo 2020 president
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said on Tuesday that Japan would hold the Summer Olympics regardless of the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and was working closely with the International Olympic Committee to make them happen. “We will hold the Olympics, regardless of how the coronavirus (situation) looks,” Mori said, adding that the discussion should focus on how, not whether, the Olympics will happen. (Reuters)

MLB Statement on ’21 Spring Training, Season
Major League Baseball issued the following statement last night: “On the advice of medical experts, we proposed a one-month delay to the start of Spring Training and the regular season to better protect the health and safety of players and support staff. A delay of the season would allow for the level of COVID-19 infection rates to decrease and additional time for the distribution of vaccinations, as well as minimizing potential disruptions to the 2021 season that currently face all sports. “The offer included starting the regular season on April 29th and playing a 154-game schedule that would pay players in full as if playing 162 games. We also proposed two changes from the 2020 season that were overwhelmingly popular with our fans – for this season only, featuring a modified expanded Postseason (seven teams per League) and the universal designated hitter rule. (MLB)

SpaceX Will Fly Four Civilians into Space Later This Year
Later this year, SpaceX will put four private individuals into space aboard one of its Crew Dragon craft. The company is calling the upcoming mission, dubbed, Inspiration4, “the world’s first all-civilian mission,” and it’s currently scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in the final quarter of the year. (Yahoo)

Want to Witness the Yosemite Firefall? Reservations Go on Sale Monday: Here’s How to Get One.
At the end of each February, thousands of photographers and spectators alike congregate to the park to witness the Yosemite firefall, a natural phenomenon that briefly occurs when the setting sun hits Horsetail Falls. If the circumstances are just right, the reflection gives way to a magnificent illusion of a light show, seemingly causing the tumbling cascades of water to morph into liquid flames spilling over the cliff. (SF Gate)

This California Town Will Pay You to Visit
Santa Maria, known for its barbecue and wineries, is offering a $100 Visa gift card for use toward a minimum two-night qualifying hotel stay. You can also use the credit in neighboring Orcutt. (SF Gate)

Experts Say Flu ‘Almost Completely Wiped Out’
The number of individuals experiencing influenza has reportedly dropped to record lows. Simon de Lusignan, a professor of primary care at the University of Oxford and director of the Royal College of GPs research and surveillance centre, told the Sunday Times that the flu has dropped by 95%, which is the lowest average in more than 130 years. The study reports just 1.1 individuals among 100,000 were reported to be experiencing flu-like symptoms during the second week of January, which is typically the peak of flu season. “I cannot think of a year this has happened,” de Lusignan told the Times. (KFI)

DOT Revises Passenger Compensation For Involuntary Bumps and Baggage Liability
This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (or the Department’s) oversales rule by clarifying that the maximum amount of Denied Boarding Compensation (DBC) that a carrier may provide to a passenger denied boarding involuntarily is not limited, and by prohibiting airlines from involuntarily denying boarding to a passenger after the passenger’s boarding pass has been collected or scanned and the passenger has boarded, subject to safety and security exceptions. Further, pursuant to existing regulations, this final rule raises the liability limits for denied boarding compensation that U.S. and foreign air carriers may impose from the current figures of $675 and $1,350 to $775 and $1,550. Also, in accordance with existing regulations, this final rule raises the liability limit U.S. carriers may impose for mishandled baggage in domestic air transportation, adjusting the limit of liability from the current amount of $3,500 to $3,800. DATES: This rule is effective on April 13, 2021. (H/T TPG)

Single Covid Case in Western Australia Leads to 5-Day Lockdown for 2 Million
Parts of Western Australia went into a five-day lockdown Sunday, after a hotel security guard tested positive for coronavirus. The Perth metropolitan area and the Peel and South West regions of the Australian state are now under “full lockdown,” Premier Mark McGowan announced Sunday, with residents only able to leave their homes for essential shopping, medical needs, exercise, and for jobs that cannot be done at home or remotely. Schools, most businesses, entertainment venues and places of worship are all closed, and restaurants restricted to takeaway only. (CNN)

British Airways to Use VeriFly Mobile Health Passport for Flights From London to the U.S.
British Airways will start using health passports on flights from London to the United States this week, joining several other carriers around the world that have implemented a digital verification system even as international travel remains severely limited. Starting Feb. 4, British Airways customers will be able to upload their COVID-19 test results and any required travel documentation to the VeriFLY mobile app before arriving at the airport, according to the carrier. Travelers who use the app will then be “fast-tracked” and directed to designated check-in desks. (Travel + Leisure)

The New JetBlue Mint Business-Class Suite Is Like a Studio Apartment in the Sky
The new JetBlue Mint cabin with 24 suites will roll out later this year on the airline’s much-anticipated flights to London from New York and Boston, which are set to launch this summer. A smaller version with 16 suites will also be added on select routes between New York and Los Angeles later in 2021. (Conde Nast Traveler)

Ryanair is ‘Essentially’ Writing Off its Business Until Europe Can Improve its COVID Vaccine Rollout
Ryanair Holdings Plc. is counting on a rapid rollout of coronavirus vaccines to deliver a late-summer travel surge and help the low-cost carrier recover from an annual loss that could reach 950 million euros ($1.1 billion). (Fortune)

United Warns of 14,000 Furloughs
United Airlines said Friday it notified around 14,000 employees they may be furloughed in April once the second round of federal aid expires as the coronavirus pandemic continues to decimate travel demand worldwide. (Cleveland.com)

CrankyFlier.com’s Skeds of Airlines. Here Are Some of Them …

  • Air China has extended its US pandemic schedule through May.
  • ANA won’t fly Narita to Honolulu or JFK until April.
  • Cayman Airways will fly Denver – Grand Cayman from May.
  • Eastern looks to be getting rid of most plans to fly to the Dominican Republic. It will, however, start Boston – Mexico City in May.
  • JAL has pushed most of its Hawai’i flying back another month to April.
  • Silver continues expanding throughout the Southeast with Savannah to Fort Lauderdale and Tampa coming online in April.
  • Sun Country loaded its new summer and fall route schedules detailed here.

Darley Vacations Launch with Virtuoso Travel Agency
PBS TV host Darley Newman is using her expert knowledge of destinations and travel to launch Darley Vacations in partnership with a leading Virtuoso Travel Agency. The new Darley Vacations offers intimate travel itineraries across the USA and around the world, featuring authentic food, culture and adventure experiences with locals as the guides, a hallmark of Darley’s storytelling. Trips include domestic options like California’s Central Coast, Santa Fe, New York’s Adirondacks and international excursions including South Korea, Dubai, France and Martinique.

Exploring New York City on Foot During COVID-19
Even when the rest of Manhattan is crowded with visitors, the Lower East Side remains off the beaten path and is perfect for a history-steeped, socially-distanced walking tour.

Watch Giant Pandas and Other Zoo Animals Frolic in the Snow | At the Smithsonian
A new video released by the National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute shows giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian sliding and rolling around in their habitat, which received about 2.5 inches of snow by Sunday evening in Washington, D.C. Most of the Capitol City and surrounding areas saw around 2 to 3 inches of snow over the weekend. (Smithsonian Magazine)

Travel Credit Card of The Week
Exciting news! These hotel credit cards (some with no annual fee) all have bonuses of at least 100,000 points, enough for 20 free nights: http://bit.ly/366jLPZ

Airline and Airport News:

Cruise News:

Domestic News:

  • Hawaii allows quarantine-free travel for South Koreans
  • NYC restaurants can resume offering indoor dining starting on Valentine’s Day
  • Section of Highway 1 near Big Sur collapses in winter storm
  • Plan? Postpone? What experts say about travel now. LA Times asked five epidemiologists when it’s safe to book a trip.
  • See all the domestic travel news that’s got people talking this week…

International Travel News:

  • Canada Federal government, airlines agree to halt flights to Caribbean, Mexico; mandatory hotel quarantines coming within weeks
  • Thailand to warmly welcome inoculated travelers
  • UK imposes hotel quarantine for travelers from Covid hotspots
  • Iceland Will Allow Residents to Skip Its Quarantine, Testing Requirements If They Show Proof of a COVID-19 Vaccine
  • See all the international travel news that’s got people talking this week…

Hotel and Lodging Travel News:

Miscellaneous Travel News:

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