Airlines Pitch Frequent-Flier Mile Deals to Travelers Wary of Covid

Besides wearing a mask on an airplane, there’s one other thing you should definitely do if you are traveling this fall or over the holidays: Use your miles.

A survey of pandemic award prices finds airlines are making award seats available at very cheap prices in miles or points. First-class seats, which give you a bit more social distance on board, are a particularly good value.

In its 10 busiest markets, United’s award seats for various travel dates in November averaged only 12,833 miles round trip, about half the cost of what traditionally has been a standard domestic coach ticket of 25,000 miles.

JetBlue

averaged only 15,167 points round trip. For first class, American was only 42,500 miles round-trip, Delta only 49,100 miles.

“The answer is a resounding yes—it is a good time to

Read More

EU seeks to bring order to COVID travel confusion

Ready-to-Publish Audio

Posted

[AUDIO ONLY] The European Union adopted on Tuesday a “traffic light” system to guide member states whether to require COVID-19 testing or quarantines for non-essential EU travellers such as tourists.

Ready-to-Publish Audio

Read More

After travel and Covid, now buy car and bike insurance on Walmart’s PhonePe with these benefits



text, whiteboard: PhonePe entered into financial services space back in 2017 with the launch of its digital gold allowing users to buy 24-karat gold on its platform.


© Provided by The Financial Express
PhonePe entered into financial services space back in 2017 with the launch of its digital gold allowing users to buy 24-karat gold on its platform.

Digital payments platform PhonePe has further strengthened its insurance portfolio. The company has now expanded into car and bike insurance segment in tie-up with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance. PhonePe had forayed into insurance vertical beginning with travel insurance back in January this year followed by Coronavirus insurance in April with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance. Walmart-owned Flipkart had also entered into car and two-wheeler insurance market in May this year after offering life and Covid-19 health insurances. Later in July, Amazon’s payment arm Amazon Pay followed suit by offering two and four-wheeler insurance policies in partnership with car and bike insurance startup Acko General Insurance.

PhonePe, which claimed of over 230 million registered users, said that car and bike insurance

Read More

Chicago COVID emergency travel order adds Indiana

“Wisconsin has a very poorly controlled outbreak. Indiana has a poorly controlled outbreak,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady told reporters today. Iowa, Missouri and parts of downstate Illinois are under less COVID control than Chicago, Arwady said. 

Illinois’ statewide positivity rate has climbed a full percentage point in the past week alone, from 3.5 percent on Oct. 7 to 4.5 percent today. See the latest city and state COVID figures in the charts below.

Chicago is still below its target rate of 5 percent; it’s at 4.4 percent this week, a slight increase from last week’s 4.3. The average daily case count rose 10 percent in the city, up to 364 from 332 last week.

“I expect this number to continue to increase, and in fact, I expect that this number will cross the 400 mark, likely this week,” Arwady said. “That certainly is cause for

Read More

Chicago adds Indiana to travel quarantine list; city health commissioner says neighbor ‘is a state that is wishing that COVID were over, and it’s not’

Chicago made it official Tuesday, adding neighboring Indiana to its emergency travel order that requires travelers returning to the city from there to stay inside for two weeks because of high COVID-19 case counts.



a person posing for the camera: In this file photo, Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady answers questions during a news conference at the Greater Western Community Development Project in Chicago, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.


© Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
In this file photo, Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady answers questions during a news conference at the Greater Western Community Development Project in Chicago, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020.

The Hoosier state’s inclusion on Chicago’s self-quarantine list was expected.

The city last week “strongly advised” Chicago residents against traveling to Indiana, pointing to the fact the state had already passed the bench mark of more than 15 new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period that warrants getting added.

“I am very concerned that Indiana is a state that is wishing that COVID were over, and it’s not,” city Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said

Read More

Marriott, Hyatt or Holiday Inn Express: Comparing hotels’ covid protocols

Until last week, the last time I stayed at a hotel was back in March. Since the pandemic began, I spent months locked down alone in my D.C. apartment, then with family in Upstate New York. I took bike trips and road trips to go camping, but I avoided hotels completely.

In the meantime, hotels, like the rest of the travel industry, were suffering. According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, hotels are facing a debt crisis and a historic wave of foreclosures as the pandemic’s economic impact on the industry is estimated to be nine times greater than that of 9/11. As a result, they’ve been doing everything they can to attract business.

For some, that means promoting packages for remote workers or encouraging families to take remote-school vacations. For most, it means amplifying their new coronavirus precautions so that customers feel safe booking (and staying at) hotels

Read More

Kearney Cruise Nite still a go despite COVID numbers



a car parked in a parking lot: The annual Kearney Cruise Nite, usually held on the third weekend of July was postponed due to the pandemic and will go on as planned Oct. 13-18.


© Provided by Lincoln & Hastings-Krny KSNB
The annual Kearney Cruise Nite, usually held on the third weekend of July was postponed due to the pandemic and will go on as planned Oct. 13-18.

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) – The annual Kearney Cruise Nite, usually held on the third weekend of July was postponed due to the pandemic.

Instead, organizers moved the popular five-day automobile festival until October. And while COVID-19 cases have been increasing in the district, the event has been given the green light for October 13-18.

Two Rivers Public Health approved the event plan for Kearney Cruise Nite Week. Two Rivers said while the activities do take place outside, there are still some safety recommendations they would like to pass along to those who plan on attending.

A press release from Two Rivers last week indicated that the Kearney area has been identified as a local hot

Read More

Austrian ski resort made ‘momentous miscalculations’ which helped speed spread of Covid, report finds

“Momentous miscalculations” were made at an Austrian ski resort which helped speed up the spread of coronavirus earlier this year, an independent commission has found.



a man riding skis down a snow covered mountain


© Provided by The Independent


Having investigated how the resort of Ischgl in the Tirol region responded to the virus in March, the commission identified individual failings that helped contribute to thousands of holidaymakers catching Covid while staying there.

The report concluded that authorities should have shut down apres-ski bars, restaurants, ski lifts and all non-essential bus services on 9 March, the day after they had been informed that a local barman had tested positive for Covid-19.

Eleven of his colleagues had also experienced flu-like symptoms the previous week – but had continued to work and serve tourists.

However, the decision was not made to shut bars and restaurants until 10 March, and authorities waited a further two days before proclaiming the ski season was

Read More

‘Momentous’ errors in ski resort Covid outbreak



a group of people skiing down a snow covered slope: An outbreak in the Ischgl ski village was linked to cases in 45 different countries


© Getty Images
An outbreak in the Ischgl ski village was linked to cases in 45 different countries

One of Europe’s first coronavirus outbreaks could have been contained by the Austrian authorities, an official investigation has found.

Outbreaks at two popular ski resorts in March led to thousands of new cases and were worsened by “momentous miscalculations”, the report said.

One resort, Ischgl, was linked to cases in 45 countries after skiers brought the virus home with them.

Authorities have said they acted based on what was known at the time.

“There were errors of judgement that had consequences,” Ronald Rohrer, the head of the commission that led the investigation, told a press conference on Monday.

“They reacted too late,” he added.

What did the report find?

Investigators said authorities were too slow to close the resorts in Ischgl and nearby St Anton when the outbreaks became clear.

A group

Read More

Covid set to boost demand for travel insurance in India

MUMBAI: India’s nascent, yet growing, travel insurance market is set to get a major pandemic push.

Thousands of Indian students, executives and tourists who have deferred their foreign trips due to Covid-19 will likely have to buy compulsory travel insurance policies when countries open their borders for unrestricted travel, said sector experts. Insurance companies are anticipating a massive surge in demand for such products.

Insurance cover for travellers so far had not been compulsory in most countries — those where it was mandatory included the US, Russia, Qatar, Cuba and the Central European countries. But now many countries with high ceilings on social security are making that mandatory for foreign nationals planning extended visits. Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries are reportedly mulling on making this compulsory.

“Up till now, apart from Schengen countries and the US, travel insurance was not mandatory for foreign travels,” said Tarun Mathur, a cofounder

Read More