12 Things in Travel You Need to Know Today:

Tuesday, April 13

Yesterday’s TSA Checkpoint Numbers
TSA officers screened 1,468,972 people at airport checkpoints yesterday, Monday, April 12. One year ago on the same day, 102,184 people were screened. Two years ago on the same day, 2,484,580. (TSA)

Tahiti to reopen for international travelers on 1 May
The Islands of Tahiti will start welcoming foreign tourists again from next month. It will reopen on 1 May after the President of French Polynesia, Edouard Fritch travelled in Paris to discuss progress with members of the French government and President Emmanuel Macron. Fritch updated officials with news that the Covid-19 situation in French Polynesia has improved and is under control. (TravelMole)

Bermuda issues stay-at-home order after Covid cases climb
Bermuda has ordered a Stay At Home order from 5 a.m Tuesday April 13 to April 20 due to a surge in Covid-19 cases, primarily due to the U.K. variant, according to Premier David Burt. Essential businesses, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and Covid testing and vaccine centers, will remain open. Guests at Bermuda hotels and resorts will not be permitted to leave the properties but can move about the premises. Masks and social distancing are required. Golf courses will suspend play during the order, according to a spokesperson for the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club, a Fairmont-managed hotel. (Travel Weekly)

Malta Will Pay Tourists to Visit This Summer
In order to jumpstart its tourism economy, Malta announced a scheme on Friday to encourage independent travelers to stay in its hotels starting in June. According to the official release, the Malta Tourism Authority will pay each visitor who books a three-night stay directly with select three- to five-star hotels on a scaled basis. Those who stay at a five-star property will get €100 (about $119) per person on every booking, while guests at four-star hotels will earn €75 (about $89) and visitors at three-star hotels will score €50 (about $60). (T+L)

Qantas sticks to international travel plan despite COVID vaccine delay

Despite the majority of Australians unlikely to be vaccinated against COVID-19 until next year, Qantas is holding firm on their plan to fly overseas by October 31. (News.com.au)

Another cruise line will require vaccines; DeSantis says no
SilverSea Cruises became the second major cruise line to announce it will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all passengers when it resumes global itineraries on June 5. The decision could set up a confrontation with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis when the luxury cruise line is scheduled to sail from Port Everglades in December. (The Sun Sentinel)

TSA lines stretching into parking garage at Sea-Tac
The last time we saw lines into the Sea-Tac parking garage was 2019, during another TSA staffing crisis. One reason they’re longer this time is the empty space between lines to encourage distancing. What airport officials can’t control is how close people actually stand when they’re in the lines. “People were not spaced out, not at all, there was no six-foot distancing,” Jacobson said. (KIRO)

Porter Airlines Pushes Restart Date Again
Porter Airlines is once more pushing back its tentative date for resuming flights. The airline, which has delayed its restart date several times during the pandemic, now plans to resume flying on June 21. (Travel Industry Today)

Camper dies, woman rescued in Death Valley National Park
An Arizona tourist has died and his girlfriend has been rescued after their vehicle got two flat tires and they went missing in Death Valley National Park in California. Authorities searched hotels and major tourist attractions along a highway and checked Lofgren’s back-country itinerary. On Wednesday, park staff found the couple’s missing Subaru. According to the Sheriff’s Office, a note in the car stated: “Two flat tires, headed to Mormon Point, have three days’ worth of water.” That proved to be “a crucial tip in directing search efforts,” the Sheriff’s Office said. (ABC News)

Disneyland ticket prices, tiers: What you need to know to book your next adventure
How much will Disneyland tickets cost in 2021? Mostly the same as they did early last year. Disneyland Resort released details Friday about its ticket prices on how ticketing and reservations will work when its parks’ gates open later this month. The California parks have been shuttered for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic and California’s stringent reopening rules. (USA Today)

Are herd immunity, California coronavirus variant preventing West Coast spring surge?
Coronavirus cases have risen in the Midwest, New England and the New York area, and there’s concern that Los Angeles County could be — as it has been in the past — only a few weeks behind trends coming out of New York. In the last week, average daily coronavirus cases nationally are up 3% over the previous week and daily COVID-19 hospital admissions are up 7%. But so far, California remains in good shape, relatively speaking. California had one of the lowest average daily coronavirus case rates in the nation over the most recent seven-day period, while Michigan’s case rate — the worst in the nation — was 12 times higher than California’s, placing growing strain on hospitals there. (LA Times)

French lawmakers approve a ban on short domestic flights

French lawmakers voted late on Saturday to abolish domestic flights on routes than can be covered by train in under two-and-a-half hours, as the government seeks to lower carbon emissions even as the air travel industry reels from the global pandemic. (Reuters)

Monday, April 12

Yesterday’s TSA Checkpoint Numbers
TSA officers screened 1,561,495 people at airport checkpoints yesterday, Sunday, April 11. One year ago on the same day, 90,510 people were screened. Please remember to continue to socially distance and wear a mask when traveling. (TSA)

Southwest’s 50Th Birthday Sale
Southwest Airlines has “big 50th birthday with itty bitty sale fares.” 21-day advance purchase required. Purchase from April 12 through May 3, 2021, 11:59 p.m. Central Time.

The French May Face Another Summer at Home
The idea that travelers in France will not be able to travel to the rest of Europe for holiday this summer must be unthinkable among French citizens. Tepid vaccine rollouts across the continent is one reason for the frustrations. (Skift)

Thailand’s coronavirus surge threatens to derail tourism reopening

A growing outbreak in Thailand, where local Covid-19 cases hit a new daily record on Sunday, threatens to undermine the nation’s plan to welcome back tourists. The country saw daily infections surge to 967, bringing its total tally to over 32,600 cases and 97 deaths, according to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration. (South China Morning Post)

Mass flight cancellations at MIA leave passengers stranded
Thousands of desperate passengers were left stranded at Miami International Airport Sunday after their flights were canceled because of stormy weather, airport officials say. The mass cancellations on a stormy Sunday led to scores of furious fliers having no access to hotel rooms or rental cars, with some flights unavailable for days, passengers said. They noted that social distancing at the airport is “impossible.” (Miami Herald)

Norwegian Cruise Lines’ CEO Pay Doubled in 2020
At Norwegian Cruise Lines Holding, which recorded a $4 billion loss and saw revenues plummet 80% last year as sailings halted amid covid, the CEO Frank Del Rio’s pay doubled to $36.4 million. (WSJ)

Armed barricade, lockdown of guests and staff at Kahala resort ends after nearly 10 hours
An armed man barricaded in his fourth floor room at the Kahala Hotel & Resort fired through the door at security staff, police say, triggering an hours-long lockdown Saturday night and a huge police response as authorities scrambled to keep guests and staff safe. The first shot was fired about 6 p.m. and the lockdown ended nearly 10 hours later, when SWAT officers made entry into the room and found the suspect dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Hawaii News Now)

Marriott is testing contactless check-in via kiosk as travel begins to return – see how to works
Marriott is testing contactless check-in and check-out kiosks and a “grab-and-go marketplace.” The hotel giant is looking to “blend” contactless amenities with face-to-face interactions. The demand for contactless solutions has been on the rise throughout COVID-19. (Business Insider)

United debuted new tools during a devastating winter storm that it says have already saved thousands of flyers from cancellations

United Airlines is being more proactive when winter weather and other travel hazards arise. A February storm in Denver threatened flight cancellations but United was able to proactively rebook as many as 15,000 flyers. The program is the latest in a new passenger-focused trend that aims to reduce trip interruptions. (Business Insider)

Why your next rental car might cost more than a plane ticket
“Essentially this is really just kind of an extreme example of supply and demand,” said Chris Woronka, a leisure analyst at Deutsche Bank who follows rental car companies. It is an unusual starring role for rental cars, which typically don’t command that much of a traveler’s attention — or budget. “People would book their airfare and they would book their hotel and then they’d book their car rental whenever they got around to it,” said Jonathan Weinberg, founder and CEO of car rental site AutoSlash. The problem has been especially prevalent this spring in warm-weather destinations including Florida, Texas, California, Arizona, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, experts say. Social media posts reveal fruitless searches, exorbitant prices and photos of long lines of people waiting for vehicles. (Washington Post)

How a shocking environmental disaster was uncovered off the California coast after 70 years
Just 10 miles off the coast of Los Angeles lurks an environmental disaster over 70 years in the making, which few have ever heard about. That is, until now, thanks to the research of a University of California marine scientist named David Valentine. Working with little more than rumors and a hunch, curiosity guided him 3,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. A few hours of research time and an autonomous robotic submersible unearthed what had been hidden since the 1940s: countless barrels of toxic waste, laced with DDT, littering the ocean floor in between Long Beach and Catalina Island. (CBS News)

Prince Harry arrives back in the UK on BA Flight from LAX
Harry was reportedly seen at London Heathrow Airport on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. local time. He is believed to have taken an early British Airways flight from Los Angeles to London, which lasts 10 hours. It is thought he will be quarantining at Kensington Palace. Harry will be allowed to leave this quarantine early on compassionate grounds. Under current regulations, it would have normally lasted for 10 days, which would have meant the duke would have missed his grandfather’s funeral. But he must still comply with other COVID-19 restrictions, such as completing a passenger locator form. (HELLO! UK)

The caddie for Masters champ Matsuyama bows in respect
The caddie for Masters champ Hideki Matsuyama bowed in respect to Augusta National moments after winning Hideki Matsuyama won the Masters, becoming the first Japanese player to win the green jacket. After the round, Matsuyama’s caddie Shota Hayafuji removed his hat and bowed to Augusta National. The moment appeared to be a display of the respect that Matsuyama and Hayafuji have for the course. (Insider) 

Sunday, April 11

Yesterday’s TSA Checkpoint Numbers
TSA screened 1,378,237 individuals at airport checkpoints yesterday, Saturday, April 10.  (TSA)

Americans are flocking to Hawaii, but locals don’t want tourists visiting now – and some wish they’d stop altogether
Hawaii is experiencing a surge in travel as visitors flock to the state’s popular islands. Many locals shared the message: “Don’t come here in a pandemic.” Some Native Hawaiians hope tourists will permanently remove Hawaii from their bucket lists. (Insider)

Plane forced to land early after a drunk passenger issued a fake bomb threat and tried to strip naked
An AirAsia flight had to make an early landing after a drunken passenger became unruly. He repeatedly told the cabin crew he was wearing a bomb and then tried to remove all of his clothes. An inquiry is underway to determine whether he should be placed on a no-fly list. (Insider)

Will a US/UK travel corridor be a reality this summer?
For many British travelers, a vacation in America is a dream come true, a culmination of years of consuming US cinema and culture. But it’s been a dream that’s been essentially off the table for over a year. In March 2020, as Covid-19 spread across the world and borders closed, the US banned all non-essential travelers from the UK. This rule remains in place, and while there’s no reverse ban on US travelers entering the UK, ongoing British quarantine and lockdown restrictions mean few Americans are vacationing in Britain right now. (CNN)

10 countries where vaccinated Americans are allowed to travel and over-the-counter
Many other countries, such as Ecuador and Nepal, have opted for a different approach to vaccinated travelers. Rather than requiring they be vaccinated, people who are inoculated can instead bypass requirements that they be tested for COVID-19 in advance of their trip. So border patrols will instead request proof of vaccination rather than the results of a COVID-19 test upon entry into the country. (MarketWatch)

MGM CEO on how company plans to bring meetings and conventions back to Vegas
MGM Resorts International CEO Bill Hornbuckle sit down with CNBC’s Contessa Brewer to discuss MGM’s safety campaign for reopening as the rest of the country rebounds. (CNBC)

Where in the World Can Americans Go Right Now?
Our list is made up of countries that are open without requiring quarantine—after all, Americans don’t have much vacation time. Nearly all do have testing requirements before you fly, and some after. We left out countries where it’s considered extremely dangerous to visit in normal times, ones where it wasn’t entirely clear what the situation would be in terms of COVID requirements, ones where it’s exceptionally complicated (Chile), and ones tourists don’t typically visit even in non-pandemic times. We also have not included countries like Iceland and Greece, which have announced future openings. (Note, we haven’t included additional info like visa requirements.) (Daily Beast)

Americans Who Traveled To Europe Are Sharing The Biggest “WTF” Moments Of Their Trips
“How to party like a German: pre-party on Friday at 11 p.m., get into club at 2 a.m., leave club on Sunday at 6 a.m. Germans are nuts, in a good way.” (BuzzFeed)

South African variant can ‘break through’ Pfizer vaccine, Israeli study says
The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can “break through” Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is low and the research has not been peer reviewed. (Reuters)

How Epidemiologists Are Planning to Vacation With Their Unvaccinated Kids
Families are facing a dilemma this year: They’re itching to take a summer vacation, but their kids aren’t vaccinated. What to do? The mental gymnastics involved in answering this question are exhausting. Our decision-making is clouded by unanswered questions about immunity, virus mutations and what case numbers will look like in the summer. The most conservative approach would be to wait awhile longer and see how things shake out. But people are burned out from lockdowns, and vacation venues are selling out. At this point, all we really want to know is: What can we do this summer? (NY Times)

These airports are so beautiful you won’t want to leave
I’ve been to all but four! If the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has you yearning for not just the world’s most beautiful places (and underground spaces), but the ports in between, well, we understand. Many modern airports aren’t merely transportation hubs; they’re also design feats, full of fine dining, designer shops, cultural nods, exciting attractions, iconic ceilings and standalone works of art. From the peaks of Denver to a gem at a southern tip of the world, curb your urge to travel by “visiting” 26 of the world’s most beautiful airports. (MSN)

Saturday, April 10

After 30 Years, Delta Is Making a Big Change to Its SkyMiles Program and It’s Something No Airline Has Ever Done
Starting April 1, Delta says it will give travelers up to 75 percent more of what it calls Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs). Those are the miles–separate from those you redeem for travel–that you earn towards the various status levels in Delta’s frequent flyer program, SkyMiles. That’s remarkable on its own, but the company didn’t stop there. It’s also awarding those MQMs even on flights you fly on award tickets. That means when you cash in frequent flyer miles for a ticket, you’ll still earn credit towards elite status. Delta claims it’s a “first-ever for the industry.” (Inc.)

Yesterday’s TSA Checkpoint Numbers
TSA screened 1,549,181 individuals at airport checkpoints yesterday, Friday, April 9.  (TSA)

Cruise ships race to evacuate residents from Caribbean island of St. Vincent as volcano threatens to erupt  
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said in a press conference that people have to be vaccinated if they go aboard a cruise ship or are granted temporary refuge in another island. He said two Royal Caribbean cruise ships are expected to arrive by Friday and a third one in the coming days, as well as two Carnival cruise ships by Friday. Islands that have said they would accept evacuees include St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados and Antigua. (CBC)

Waltzing Matilda to launch new airline, Connect Airlines, to serve Toronto Billy Bishop City Airport
Waltzing Matilda Aviation (WMA) will be launching Connect Airlines, a new airline starting operations in October 2021, connecting Toronto Billy Bishop City Airport with airports in the Northeast and Midwest United States. (PR Newswire)

Princess Cruises Wants Remote Workers On Its Ships
Upon its return to sailing, every ship in the Princess Cruises fleet will feature land-like connectivity as part of its MedallionNet wifi service. MedallionNet’s seamless integration will ensure that passengers can work from their deck chairs as efficiently as in their office back home, with access to their cloud-based applications such as storage, videoconferencing, and email. (Cruise Radio)

Six Senses Ibiza opening in July
Located on the peaceful northern tip of the island, the village-like resort is set over 20-acres, with sea views and direct access to the bay of Cala Xarraca. Six Senses Ibiza will become the first sustainable BREEAM certified resort and residential community in the Balearics. (TravelMole)

Yosemite National Park will require reservations for all day visitors from May 21 to Sept. 30
Yosemite National Park will require advanced reservations for day visitors during the peak summer season to limit the number of visitors and allow social distancing amid the pandemic. Under the new rules, advance reservations will be required for day use visitors who enter Yosemite from May 21 to Sept. 30, the park’s website said. (USA Today)

Iconic Highway 1 Into Big Sur To Reopen 2 Months Ahead Of Schedule
Road trips up the California coast could happen sooner rather than later because a washed-out section of Highway 1 is expected to reopen by the end of this month. Work on the Highway 1 at Rat Creek, south of Big Sur, is two months ahead of schedule thanks to favorable weather and soil conditions, according to Caltrans District 5. (CBS LA)

CDC just released guidelines for airlines to verify a traveler’s negative COVID-19 results
The guidelines state that travelers who present a negative COVID-19 test to comply with the CDC’s order are subject to meeting five requirements: The test must be a viral test, such as a nucleic acid amplification (NAAT) or antigen. The test must be negative. The test must also include where the test was performed and the name and contact information for the lab or healthcare provider who performed the test. The test must be collected three days or less before flight departure to the U.S. The test must include information that identifies the person and must have the person’s name and at least one additional identifier such as date of birth, age, and passport number. (TPG)

Maui Travelers Will Need to Take an Additional COVID-19 Test or Quarantine for 10 Days
It’s about to get a little more complicated to escape the U.S. mainland for Maui. Later this month, Maui officials plan to add a step to the island’s entry requirements for travelers on trans-Pacific routes, including from the mainland. Visitors can expect to take a second COVID-19 test on arrival at Maui’s Kahului Airport or face a mandatory 10-day quarantine. The government plans to cover the costs of the COVID-19 tests taken by travelers arriving on Maui. “The county is willing to cover the cost to make sure returning visitors and residents are tested and safe,” Maui Mayor Michael Victorino told Maui Now. (T+L)

Prince Philip: 99 years, 143 countries and one very famous wife
Accompanying the globetrotting Queen on Commonwealth tours and state visits, he visited 143 countries in an official capacity, making use of his fluent French and German. The countries included Vanuatu, a South Pacific island nation, where he is revered by one rainforest community as the reincarnation of an ancient warrior. (BBC)

American Airlines flight grounded after crew member tests positive for coronavirus
An American Airlines flight bound for Los Angeles from Australia was canceled Friday following reports of a positive COVID-19 test from a crew member. American Airlines confirmed to The Hill that American Flight 72, which was initially scheduled to leave Sydney at 9 a.m. local time on Friday, was canceled “as a result of a possible positive COVID-19 test result by a crew member prior to departure.” (The Hill)

New York Debuts Nation’s First Vaccine Passport—Here’s What You Need to Know
Consider it a fast pass of sorts: A safe and efficient way to return to Broadway theaters, concert halls, sporting arenas, and other big group settings by simply presenting a QR code as proof of either full COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test. That’s the idea behind New York’s Excelsior Pass, which launched last Friday, making it the first state to debut a COVID-19 vaccine passport. (CN Traveler)

How lockdowns, quarantines and COVID testing will change summer travel in 2021
“Even in destinations where vaccination is relatively widespread, mask-wearing, social distancing, and frequent sanitizing will continue to be the norm,” says Dunlap, a tourism expert and associate professor at Middle Tennessee State University. (USA Today)

You’ve been vaccinated. So do you need a vaccine card?
The first thing experts recommend once you’ve been vaccinated is taking a digital photograph of both sides of your personal record card. You can also scan the card and save the file on a laptop or desktop, said Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at Rhode Island Hospital and an associate professor at Brown University. (CBS)

Friday, April 9

BREAKING: Boeing 737 Max Has A New Issue and 16 Airlines Are Grounding It
This is terrible news for Boeing and will probably cause disruption to thousands of travelers as a lot of flights will be canceled. (Johnny Jet)

BREAKING: La Soufrière volcano on island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean erupts, shooting ash miles into the sky.
An explosive eruption rocked La Soufrière volcano in St. Vincent less than a day after volcanologists warned of the potential of such a disaster and as island officials rushed to evacuate the thousands of people most at risk. The eruption shot a plume of ash 6 miles into the sky. Ashfall had already reached the country’s airport on the opposite end of the island nation, the country’s disaster risk management agency said. (Weather Channel)

The CDC Is Warning You to Avoid This One Place, Even If You’re Vaccinated
According to an update posted to the CDC’S travel notices page on April 2, the agency has listed Canada as a Level 4 health risk due to the infection high rate of more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days. The advisory warns: “Because of the current situation in Canada, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Canada.” (Best Life)

Yesterday’s TSA Checkpoint Numbers
TSA screened 1,510,829 individuals at airport checkpoints yesterday, Thursday, April 8. What does that mean if you’re traveling? It means you should continue to socially distance and wear a mask when you travel.  (TSA)

People in England told they can ‘start to think’ about summer holidays
People in England can “start to think” about booking summer holidays, the transport secretary has said, pledging that government would work to drive down the cost of tests needed for international travel. Grant Shapps was speaking after the government confirmed that from 17 May countries would be placed in a traffic light system with green, amber and red lists that would set out whether, and where, travelers must isolate on returning to England. “I’m not telling people that they shouldn’t book summer holidays now, it’s the first time that I’ve been able to say that for many months,” he told Sky News. (The Guardian)

Disney World Just Made a Major Update to Its Outdoor Mask Rules
Guests at Disney World will now be able to capture mask-free memories during the pandemic thanks to updated COVID-19 policies. As of April 8, Disney’s mask rules permit people to temporarily remove their masks while taking outdoor photos. (Self)

Virgin Voyages Is Launching Mini UK Cruises This Summer
The cruise line, founded by Sir Richard Branson, will spend this summer cruising around the UK, over a year after Virgin Voyages was slated to make its grand debut. “After more than a year of waiting and a major emphasis on a safe return, we’re ecstatic to announce these new sailings and bring Sailors onboard to experience what it’s like to set sail the Virgin Way,” CEO and President of Virgin Voyages, Tom McAlpin, said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure on Thursday. “We look at our UK summer voyages as a homecoming to pay homage to our British roots, and what an excellent way to kick-off our sailing season before heading back to PortMiami.” (T+L)

Viking Announces Vaccination, Testing Requirements for Passengers Along With New Cruises to Bermuda, Iceland, UK
The cruise line will open up summer sailings to Bermuda and Iceland in June, requiring guests to be both inoculated as well as undergo saliva PCR tests at embarkation and “frequent” testing throughout the journey. Additionally, Viking will add more sailings to its “England’s Scenic Shores” cruises in the United Kingdom, which it started offering in May for British citizens. (T+L)

2 new airlines await Americans looking to fly somewhere
“There are too few seats in the United States being offered by low-cost carriers. That’s why we think the opportunity is huge,” said Avelo Chairman and CEO Andrew Levy. “Customers want a really inexpensive way to get from Point A to Point B.” Waiting in the wings is Breeze Airways, the latest creation of David Neeleman, who helped start Canada’s WestJet before founding JetBlue Airways and the Brazilian airline Azul. (AP)

Has the Era of Overzealous Cleaning Finally Come to an End?
But the era of “hygiene theater” may have come to an unofficial end this week, when the C.D.C. updated its surface cleaning guidelines and noted that the risk of contracting the virus from touching a contaminated surface was less than 1 in 10,000. “People can be affected with the virus that causes Covid-19 through contact with contaminated surfaces and objects,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the C.D.C., said at a White House briefing on Monday. “However, evidence has demonstrated that the risk by this route of infection of transmission is actually low.” The admission is long overdue, scientists say. (NY Times)

The French Open will be delayed
The Grand Slam tennis tournament will begin a week later on May 30, after France’s lockdown lifts, in the hope that spectators can attend in a safe way despite a third wave of coronavirus infections. (NY Times)

Another Cruise Line To Require Passengers Vaccinated
Silversea to Require All Crew and Guests to Be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 As Cruise Line Announces New Sailings.

Coronavirus spread on flight, in hotel corridor, New Zealand study finds
The coronavirus spread on an international flight, in a hotel corridor and then to household contacts despite efforts to isolate and quarantine patients, New Zealand researchers reported Thursday. (CNN)

Qatar Airways Operates First-ever Fully-vaccinated Flight
The flight, which took off on a Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1000 from Doha’s Hamad International Airport at about 11 a.m. local time and returned to the city at 2 p.m., was a glimpse into a possible future. Every passenger and crew member was fully vaccinated along with the staff at check-in, according to the airline. (T+L)

Virgin Voyages gives up on summer launch for Scarlet Lady
It extended cancellations from 4 July through 17 September 2021, which further extends its long awaited launch of first ship Scarlet Lady. The new suspension dashes any hopes of a summer cruise out of Miami, Florida this summer. (TravelMole)

Thursday, April 8

Yesterday’s TSA Checkpoint Numbers
TSA screened 1,230,939 individuals at airport checkpoints yesterday, Wednesday, April 7. One year earlier, on the same day, only 94,931 people came through checkpoints. In 2019 (pre-pandemic), 2,229,276 people were screened at airport checkpoints on the same day. (TSA)

Why Canada is losing the race between vaccines and variants as the 3rd wave worsens
More than 15,000 cases of the more transmissible and potentially more deadly variants have been reported across Canada to date, with more than 90 per cent of those being the B117 variant first identified in the United Kingdom. But the P1 variant first discovered in Brazil is also on the rise in Canada, with cases doubling in the past week to close to 1,000 — mostly in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta. And the B1351 variant first found in South Africa is also picking up steam, with over 150 cases identified in Quebec, more than 70 in Ontario and over 50 in B.C as of Tuesday. But experts say Canada’s slow vaccine roll out has failed to keep up with the exponential rise in variants in the third wave and the premature loosening of restrictions has led to an increase in hospitalizations and deaths — even in younger Canadians. (CBC)

This new airline launches from Burbank with an initial bevy of 11 routes from April 28
Andrew Levy sure sounds undaunted about the prospect of launching an airline in the teeth of the worst crisis for the industry in its century-long history. Is the former Allegiant and United executive crazy, or will time show the brilliance of his bold move? Levy’s latest project, Avelo Airlines, will launch its first flights on April 28 from Southern California’s Burbank Hollywood International Airport. operating short-haul, leisure-focused routes to 11 cities west of the Rocky Mountains. The airline has raised $125 million in private-equity funding. Levy, who is the airline’s chief executive, did not disclose the investors. (Airline Weekly)

Why Students Are Logging In to Class From 7,000 Miles Away
Students are joining remote classes from outside the country. In one New Jersey school district, computers were traced to 24 countries on a day last month. (The New York Times)

Vaccine Passports Will Be Like EZ Pass
“It’s going to be like an EZ Pass where you can either go through the fast lane or if you still like to pay the toll booth because you think the police are tracking you, then you can stop and stand in line,” Scott Gottlieb says. He discusses the prospect of vaccine passports. (CNBC)

10 countries where vaccinated Americans are allowed to travel — but it won’t come cheap
Among the regions that seems most primed to loosening the rules for vaccinated people is the Caribbean, Staab said. “The Caribbean seems to be the region that’s the most open to tourists currently, and that’s likely to continue, whether it’s by opening to all tourists or only fully vaccinated ones,” he noted. Multiple cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, have announced their plans to resume sailings out of Caribbean ports with only fully-vaccinated people allowed onboard the ships. (MarketWatch)

Cruise ships will be the ‘safest place on earth’ when they relaunch, Norwegian Cruise Line CEO says
Frank Del Rio, Norwegian Cruise Line parent CEO, told CNBC that cruises will become “the safest place on earth.” On Monday, Norwegian sent a letter to the CDC detailing its plans to resume cruising from the US by July. This includes mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for both guests and crew. (Business Insider)

Disney Cancels All Cruise Lines Through June, Says It’s ‘Working Towards Resuming Operations’
On Tuesday, the cruise line announced in an updated travel alert that all sailings have been canceled through June. The extension came following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new guidelines on how cruise lines can resume sailing. The guidelines include a requirement for test cruises, having COVID-19 testing centers on board and implementing enhanced health and safety measures. (People)

Vaccine passports are spreading across the world. Here’s how they could work in the US
Vaccine passports are set to become a part of daily life across much of the world. Restaurants, gyms, sports stadiums, and other venues could require digital documents as proof a person has been vaccinated. Israel has already rolled out a vaccine passport scheme and other countries are close behind. Here’s how the schemes work. (Business Insider)

Celebrity zookeeper Jack Hanna retires after being diagnosed with dementia
Celebrity zookeeper and animal TV show host Jack Hanna has been diagnosed with dementia and will retire from public life, his family said. In a news release Wednesday, his family added that it’s believed he now has Alzheimer’s disease that has quickly progressed in the last few months. The 74-year-old Hanna was director of the Columbus Zoo from 1978 to 1992 and still serves as its director emeritus. (AP)

Children now playing ‘huge role’ in spread of COVID-19 variant, expert says
Osterholm previously supported sending children back to school. He said the virus was not a major threat to children. Now, the situation has changed. “Please understand, this B.1.1.7 variant is a brand new ball game,” Osterholm said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “It infects kids very readily. Unlike previous strains of the virus, we didn’t see children under 8th grade get infected often or they were not frequently very ill, they didn’t transmit to the rest of the community.” (ABC 7)

Duke researchers find Moderna vaccine is effective against 2 variants
“This California variant is unlikely to be a problem for the vaccines. The UK variant- same thing. And those are the two most prevalent variants in the United States other than the common variant. So, the picture looks really, really, good,” said Dr. David Montefiori a virologist at Duke. Montefiori said the South African variant is the biggest concern right now. Only 29 cases of the variant have been found in North Carolina but few samples are actually analyzed for mutations so the number may be much larger. (My FOX 8)

As Americans start traveling again, airlines revive pilot hiring plans
Several major U.S. carriers are resuming hiring plans as demand grows. United and JetBlue Airways have reached out to pilot candidates whose hiring was derailed by the pandemic last year. Domestic travel demand rebounded as coronavirus cases fell. (CNBC)

First Class Passenger’s ‘Shocking’ American Airlines Experience Exposes Broader Industry Problem
First-class is supposed to be bouncy castle of luxurious fantasies, not a desert of spiteful neglect, right? Wrong. At least – not on American Airlines, if a recent open letter by James Asquith, the Guinness World Record holder for being the youngest male to visit all 196 countries, Holiday Swap CEO and a very frequent flyer is anything to go by. Taking to Instagram earlier this week, James posted the following open letter to his followers, which he sent to American Airlines, after a highly unsatisfactory journey. The letter outlines his experience and encourages the carrier to dig into its coffers to provide a better experience for customers and staff, as well as donating to charity in penance for his shocking experience. (Dmarge)


Wednesday, April 7

Yesterday’s TSA Checkpoint Numbers
TSA screened 1,195,306 people yesterday. That’s a big drop from the previous few days but it was a Tuesday after spring break. A year ago on the same day TSA screened just 97,130. For context on the same day in 2019 2,091,056 were screened. (TSA)

Qatar Airways CEO says Covid vaccines likely to be required for travel: ‘This will be the trend’
“The world needs to open, people need to have confidence in air travel,” Qatar Airways Group CEO tells CNBC as the airline launches the world’s first fully vaccinated flight. (CNBC

Carnival Cruise Line threatens to remove its ships from US home ports to sail elsewhere
Carnival Cruise Line threatened to move its ships out of U.S. waters Tuesday after canceling additional all cruises departing from U.S. ports through June 30. “While we have not made plans to move Carnival Cruise Line ships outside of our U.S. homeports, we may have no choice but to do so in order to resume our operations which have been on ‘pause’ for over a year,” Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement provided by spokesperson Vance Gulliksen. (USA Today)

United rolls out ambitious new plan to train at least 2,500 women and people of color as pilots by 2030
United Airlines is announcing a new plan to train 5,000 pilots by 2030, CBS News’ Errol Barnett reports. The airline, which is the only major one in the U.S. to own a flight school, says at least half of those trainees will be women or people of color. Across the American airline industry, less than 6% of all pilots and flight engineers are women. Only about 10% of them are Black, Asian, Hispanic or Latino Americans. Just 7% of United Airlines’ pilots are women, which it says is one of the highest percentages in the industry. People of color make up only 13% of their pilots. According to United CEO Scott Kirby, “they simply don’t have the access or the opportunity.” (CBS)

Disneyland, Disney California Adventure reopening: Tickets sales to resume April 15 with new reservation system
With the announced reopening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure less than a month away, officials on Tuesday released details about the theme parks’ new reservation system and ticketing. When the Anaheim parks reopen with limited capacity on April 30, guests will be required to make reservations for entry online and in advance, according to a post on the official Disney Parks Blog. Guests must have a valid ticket to make a reservation. (ABC 7 NY)

Deal: Buy a Roomette, Bring a Companion Free on Amtrak
Great deals are now available for summer travel on Amtrak with someone special. For a limited time, a customer booking a private Roomette for travel this summer can bring a companion for free. Roomettes offer meals included in the price of the ticket, scenic views by day, and comfortable beds at night. Available at amtrak.com/privateroomsale, this sale is valid between Apr. 6-16, 2021, for travel between June 1 and Sept. 30, 2021.

64-year-old retiree who left the U.S. for Mexico: 7 downsides of living in a beach town for $1,200 per month
More than a decade has passed since I moved to Mazatlán, Mexico from California and retired. It all started during a vacation there in 2005; I’d felt a deep happiness I couldn’t ignore. This radical decision changed my somewhat ordinary life a million degrees for the better and I have absolutely no regrets. I wanted an adventure, and boy, am I having one! But there are challenges. While white sand beaches, palm trees and endless margaritas all sounded good, air pollution, loneliness and noise were not what I expected when I moved to what I thought would be paradise. Once the honeymoon period is over, here are some downsides of leaving the U.S. for a beach town in Mexico: (CNBC)

Tavern on the Green Announces Official Reopening for Thursday, April 29
Beloved Central Park Outpost Returns with Spacious Outdoor Dining. To-Go Window Offers Alfresco Menu for Park Goers and At-Home Diners. Indoor Dining Invites New Yorkers to Dine Safely in Iconic Setting. (Tavern on the Green)

Seattle-Area Airport Warns Travel Volume Increasing to Pre-Pandemic Levels
“You need to get here early,” said Perry Cooper, a spokesperson at Sea-Tac Airport, in a statement obtained by Seattle-based news station KOMO News. Acknowledging the continued increase in airport traffic since the start of 2021, especially in light of record volumes reported in the days surrounding Easter Sunday, Cooper underscored the importance of COVID-19 mitigation. (Newsweek)

Passengers surprised by reservation date changes, airline cites pandemic demand
“Never had the date change,” Maloney said, referring to flight reservations. “Like I’ve had the time change maybe an hour or two hours, but I’ve never had where they’ve changed a whole date.” The group received an email from the airline, noting their flight return date had been extended by a day. (WSBTV)

Doormen fired for failing to intervene in anti-Asian attack
Two New York City apartment building workers have been fired for failing to help an Asian American woman as she was being violently attacked on the sidewalk outside, the building’s management company said Tuesday. Surveillance video of the March 29 attack near Times Square showed that the doormen didn’t step outside and approach the woman until more than a minute after the violence stopped and the assailant walked away. (AP)

Covid-19 Vaccine Side Effects: Your Questions Answered
Every day nearly four million people in the United States are getting the Covid-19 vaccine. And every new jab prompts new questions about what to expect after vaccination. Last week the NY Times asked readers to send them their questions about vaccinations. Here are some answers. (The New York Times)

Johnny Jet

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11 Comments On "12 Things in Travel You Need to Know Today"
  1. Mavis Sawtell|

    Hi, I came across this blog very helpful I am happy to know that we have such great community. I also have passion of drawing, sketching and painting. You may also share my artwork on your own blog here you will see my art work too in the link. Many thanks so much please lets support eachother.

  2. William Walker Jr|

    I have searched your site but can find nothing on the refund policy at Air France which recently sent out a letter to customers announcing an extension of the policy until 30 September 2021.
    How good is this promise by Air France? Is there fine print travelers should know about?

  3. B Manoogian|

    I received an email this morning from a friend who knows that I have stopped reading your news letter due to you “political comments”. He informed me that several others must have felt as I do and wrote to you stating their positions regarding your “Political Comments” regarding the attack on the Capital. We use to live in a country that allowed and encouraged open debate and discussion. Unfortunately, today we live an America where this is not allowed. Your comments on the Capital were the result of either your closed mine or your inability to receive the facts due to the major news sources blocking and presenting only one side of the issue. I know you do not like President Trump – this is something I should not know about you, but it does not allow you to provide only one side of a story as the “Truth”. I hope you will give this and the other comments you have received on this subject full consideration as you continue to publish your newsletter. I am willing to give you a second chance – Good Luck. Don’t blow it.

  4. SMC|

    He doesn’t need your validation nor your threat to not read the blog. Just don’t do it if you don’t want to . And it’s closed “mind” not mine.

    The evidence of truth for the January 6 riots is in all the footage especially the sound. That’s all one needs to hear and see.

  5. Carolyn Lancaster|

    Where is the Map App Every Traveler should have? I’ve looked through your site and not seen it. Thanks.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Hi! Sorry. I forgot to highlight it. It was under Friday’s tip but the direct link is

      1. John J|

        No android version? Boooooo!

        1. Johnny Jet|

          Looks like there is. From a reader
          On Android:

          • Press and hold the power and volume down buttons at the same time.
          • Screenshot (full screen) will be saved to the “Screenshots” folder

          The process may vary if you have a more ‘skinned Android phone (Samsung, etc.).

  6. james wilson|

    I have read the whole thing looking for the map and never found it. This has happened before. When you put a clickbait headline on your email please let us find it when we click through.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Hi! Sorry. I forgot to highlight it. It was under Friday’s tip but the direct link is

  7. Stefan|

    Thanks for sharing your tips with us.

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