I hope you had a peaceful and meaningful celebration of the holy days with your family, even if only virtually. If you're wondering how my photo selection is related to my topic - it isn't, except that it's somewhere that we're NOT right now, and it's still my job to inspire you to keep your travel dreams alive.
There is quite a bit going on in the industry, so let's talk about updates that might be affecting you:
AIRLINES and your MONEY The 3 main US carriers under pressure from the Dept. of Transportation (DOT), have this week updated their ever-changing terms and conditions in various ways. Delta and United have extended elite status for another full year with no requirements. American, however, remains silent on that topic, but have extended their waiver of change fees for all existing bookings now through September 30th. United has made the same change for existing bookings through December 31st. Delta have not moved their date past the end of May yet, but I would expect that to change shortly. Flight credits are now good for up to 2 years from date of issue with Delta and United, and up to December 31st 2021 with American.
Refunds are a different story, and flights have to be actually cancelled or have a serious schedule change before a refund claim is warranted. Even then it's a very long process, especially with United which seems to be playing chicken with the DOT's order/request to make refunds compulsory. Stay tuned for more on this; as with everything COVID19-related, industry changes have been at times hourly. CRUISE LINES Just this week, The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) announced the extension of a No Sail Order for all cruise ships. This order ceases operations of cruise ships in waters in which the United States may exert jurisdiction. This Order shall continue in operation until the earliest of three situations. First, the expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency. Second, the CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations. Or third, 100 days from the date of publication of the Order in the Federal Register. This does not govern foreign-based cruise lines not entering Waters of the U.S.; however, even foreign cruise lines have suspended their operations well into May. REAL ID
Remember I wrote about the Real ID Act here? Well, with all the shenanigans going on, the deadline is now extended to October of 2021. Yes, an additional year has been added to the deadline for you to get your REAL ID-compliant driver's license or other identification. As savvy as you are, I bet you already have yours. OTHER GREAT STUFF On to some other topics. Have you invested in a UV sanitizer? In my house, we have UV pens for sterilizing untreated water while camping/hunting/playing caveman, and I've long wanted one that will sterilize surfaces for when there are unknowns like hotel rooms, or our vacation rental property which we use frequently - you know situations where cooties might lurk. So now that we are at the pinnacle of the reign of the cooties, I finally got one. Love it. Here are some examples. From Travel+Leisure, here are 12 famous museums offering virtual tours you can take from your couch. Relax on your virtual sailboat in the azure Caribbean - the Star Clipper. Live-cams galore! Wildlife, (brown bears, bald eagles, African animals, pets) the aurora borealis, five cameras at Yosemite National Park...how much fun is this?? Those tidbits will keep you until next week. So much is going on in the travel world related to actually traveling, that I've already started the next two issues of my newsletter. Although we're mired in physical isolation mode, it's our brains that need stimulation and inspiration more than our bodies (which I hope you're moving as much as possible...and I don't mean just in the direction of the fridge). 'til next week.