October 2023 E-Publication Recap

Amex GBT Ovation’s (Ovation™) weekly shopper e-newsletter, the Knowledgeable Traveler, retains readers up to date on journey business information and traits.

Following is a recap of October’s prime 5 (most clicked by Ovation purchasers) e-newsletter tales.

1. US STATE DEPARTMENT ISSUES WORLDWIDE TRAVEL ADVISORY

The US State Division has issued a worldwide warning for People touring abroad, encouraging vacationers to take warning, stories Journey Pulse. “As a result of elevated tensions in varied places world wide, the potential for terrorist assaults, demonstrations or violent actions towards US residents and pursuits, the Division of State advises US residents abroad to train elevated warning,” officers acknowledged. The division is advising US vacationers overseas to remain alert in places frequented by vacationers and comply with the division’s info and alerts on social media or by means of its Good Traveler Enrollment Program. The worldwide warning comes on the heels of latest journey advisories for Israel, Gaza, the West Financial institution, and Lebanon, the place battle and stress continues to rise. The worldwide warning is the primary issued by the State Division since August 2022.

2. US PASSPORT RENEWAL WAIT TIME DROPS; NOW 8 TO 11 WEEKS

The US State Division has introduced that the wait time for the standard passport renewal is now 8 to 11 weeks and expedited purposes is 5 to 7 weeks. The brand new timeline is down from 10 to 13 weeks earlier within the 12 months, but nonetheless longer than the 4 to six weeks the division was estimating in 2019. Moreover, the State Division stated it has issued greater than 24 million passport books and playing cards between October 2022 and September 2023, essentially the most ever for a single fiscal 12 months. “Our devoted employees have labored numerous hours to cut back passport processing instances. We’re constantly reassessing our operations to maximise efficiencies and are introducing improvements to our customer support and processing fashions,” State Division officers stated. “We’re investing in supporting and modernizing our know-how, elevated staffing ranges by ten p.c, and have a whole lot of extra employees within the hiring pipeline. We stay targeted on reducing processing instances, and this discount is a crucial first step.” To make sure on-time supply of passports, the State Division encourages vacationers examine their passport expiration date earlier than planning for worldwide journey and renew their passport effectively upfront of worldwide journey (not less than 6-9 months).

3. CBP LAUNCHES NEW GLOBAL ENTRY MOBILE APP

US Customs and Border Safety (CBP) has launched a brand new World Entry cellular app designed to boost the journey expertise for World Entry members, stories Journey Pulse. The brand new app is at the moment accessible for World Entry members to finish their arrival processing as an alternative of ready in line to make use of a portal. With the brand new app, vacationers take a photograph of their face, which will probably be in comparison with a photograph gallery to confirm their id by means of facial biometrics. After submitting their picture, customers will obtain a receipt on the app. The cellular receipt can then be used to bypass the World Entry Portals upon arrival on the major inspection space. For now, the app is on the market to be used at seven airports together with Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Los Angeles Worldwide Airport (LAX), Miami Worldwide Airport (MIA), Orlando Worldwide Airport (MCO), Pittsburgh Worldwide Airport (PIT), Seattle Tacoma Worldwide Airport (SEA), and Washington Dulles Worldwide Airport (IAD). CBP stated it plans to guage and broaden using the app at airports the place World Entry processing happens sooner or later. The brand new app is free and accessible for obtain from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

4. DELTA SHARES MODIFICATIONS, NEW BENEFITS TO SKYMILES LOYALTY PROGRAM

Delta Air Strains has introduced its modifications to the adjustments to its SkyMiles Loyalty Program introduced in September, whereas including a number of new advantages as effectively. Delta will alter the variety of Medallion Qualification {Dollars} (MQDs) required to realize 2025 Medallion Standing, additional improve the Million Miler program, replace Delta Sky Membership entry insurance policies for eligible Card Members, and improve choices for Rollover Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs). The adjustments come weeks after September’s announcement drew detrimental reactions from SkyMiles members. “Over the previous few weeks, a lot of you’ve gotten shared suggestions concerning the adjustments we introduced to Delta’s SkyMiles Program,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian stated. “It’s been a problem to steadiness the expansion of our membership with our have to ship premium service experiences. We made some tough program selections to deal with this difficulty…. However your response made clear that the adjustments didn’t totally mirror the loyalty you’ve gotten demonstrated to Delta. Primarily based in your suggestions, we’re making program changes and including new advantages to start incomes in 2024 towards your 2025 Standing.”

5. UNITED WILL CHANGE ITS BOARDING PROCESS THIS MONTH

United Airways is updating its boarding course of this month, permitting vacationers in window and center seats to board earlier in an effort to hurry up the method, stories Journey + Leisure. The brand new process – known as “WILMA” for window, center, and aisle – will go into impact on October 26. The process saves as much as two minutes of boarding time, based on the airline. The boarding process was used previous to 2017 when United launched its carry-on restricted primary financial system fare. Technical developments have now allowed United to carry it again. Just like the present process, the boarding course of will begin with pre-boarding vacationers with disabilities, unaccompanied minors, active-duty navy, international service members, households touring with younger youngsters 2 and underneath, and United Premier 1K members. Vacationers in United Polaris enterprise class, United top quality, and different premium cabins in addition to standing holders will then have the ability to board. The airline will then board vacationers sitting in window seats or exit rows. New this month, the airline will subsequent board vacationers in center seats, adopted by these sitting in aisle seats. Lastly, United will board vacationers sitting in primary financial system, in addition to vacationers who don’t have a boarding group listed on their boarding go.