September 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 September’s prime 5 (most clicked by Ovation purchasers) e-newsletter tales.

1. DELTA TO TRANSFORM ITS SKYMILES LOYALTY PROGRAM

Delta Air Strains has introduced that it’s streamlining its SkyMiles Program whereas additionally providing new and enhanced methods for members to earn towards Standing. Starting January 1, 2024, Medallion Qualification {Dollars} (MQD) will function the one qualifier for Medallion Standing. SkyMiles Members will now not want to trace Medallion Qualification Miles or Medallion Qualification Segments. The provider mentioned that members can earn MQDs on flights with Delta and the provider’s companions, on purchases utilizing Delta’s co-branded bank cards, by way of Delta Holidays, and thru different merchandise, equivalent to automotive leases and lodge stays. The change is much like one American Airways made in early 2022 for its AAdvantage program. Standing for 2025 will probably be decided by a single quantity of MQD thresholds: $6,000 for Silver, $12,000 for Gold, $18,000 for Platinum, and $35,000 for Diamond.

As well as, Delta introduced new tips for entry to its Delta Sky Golf equipment. Starting January 1, 2024, Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Platinum Enterprise American Categorical card members will now not have entry to Delta Sky Golf equipment, in addition to all American Categorical card members touring on a Primary Economic system ticket or an equal ticket with a accomplice airline. Starting in 2025, Delta SkyMiles Reserve and Reserve Enterprise American Categorical card members will obtain 10 membership visits per program 12 months, and American Categorical Platinum and Platinum Enterprise card members will obtain six membership visits per program 12 months. Members of these playing cards can earn limitless membership entry after spending $75,000 on their eligible card in a calendar 12 months and could have limitless Sky Membership entry for each the rest of that 12 months by way of January 31 of the subsequent 12 months. 

2. EU TO DELAY LAUNCH OF ETIAS UNTIL 2025

The European Union (EU) has as soon as once more postponed the launch date of the European Journey Data and Authorization System (ETIAS), experiences Schengen Space-specialist web site SchengenVisaInfo.com. An EU official advised the web site that the go-live date for ETIAS has now been delayed to Might 2025 on the earliest due to points launching the Entry/Exit System (EES) that will monitor guests into Europe. The EES is one other EU border safety system, an automatic IT system that, sooner or later, will register vacationers from international locations every time they cross an EU exterior border. The system has been repeatedly postponed alongside the ETIAS. “We had initially hoped for the EES to turn into operational by the top of this 12 months or, on the newest, the start of the subsequent 12 months. On account of unexpected delays, it has turn into evident that this timeline is unattainable. Because of this, the implementation of the ETIAS has been rescheduled to Might 2025, with the potential for additional postponement.” Whereas the European Fee has but to formally affirm this newest delay to the implementation of ETIAS, the postponement has been confirmed by the French Ministry of International Affairs, the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration, and the EU Fee’s Directorate-Basic for Migration and House Affairs. “The date of the entry into operation of ETIAS just isn’t but identified. It’s anticipated to be introduced on the finish of 2023,” mentioned the fee.

3. UK ETA ROLLOUT TO BEGIN IN NOVEMBER; WORLDWIDE EXPANSION SET FOR 2024

The UK Authorities will start rolling out its Digital Journey Authorization (ETA) entry scheme in phases, beginning in November, as a part of their digitization of the UK border. This alteration will imply that some international nationals that at the moment don’t want a visa to enter the UK will now be required to finish a pre-registration entry type earlier than getting into or transiting the UK. Nationals from Qatar will probably be first impacted, with an ETA required for journey to the UK on or after November 15, 2023. Vacationers from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates will comply with, with their rollout starting for journey to the UK on or after February 2024. Worldwide growth is ready for later in 2024. 

Inbound vacationers to the UK will have the ability to apply for an ETA on-line, and the applying type ought to take only some minutes to fill out. People might want to present legitimate passport knowledge, some private data, journey plans, and a debit or bank card. Purposes will probably be processed mechanically, and most of the people are anticipated to obtain authorization inside 48-72 hours. The price of the ETA entry allow will probably be £10 (~$12.50), per applicant.

4. BRAZIL TO REINSTATE VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR US TRAVELERS IN 2024

Brazil will reinstate visa necessities on vacationers coming from the US, Canada, and Australia starting January 10, 2024, experiences Condé Nast Traveler. The choice was first introduced earlier this 12 months, with an efficient date of October 1. At the moment, the international ministry mentioned that the choice to grant visa exemptions marked “a break with the sample of Brazilian migration coverage, traditionally primarily based on the ideas of reciprocity and equal therapy,” and left the choice open for affected international locations, such because the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan, to barter reciprocal visa waivers. Solely Japan reached an settlement. Due to this fact, starting January 10, 2024, People who plan on touring to Brazil might want to get hold of a Go to Visas, or ‘Vistos de Visita’ (VIVIS). The visa will allow vacationers to stay in Brazil for as much as 90 days for the needs of tourism, enterprise, transit, research, volunteer work, and so on. The method for acquiring a visa ought to be fast, though it’s unknown presently if functions and issuances will probably be dealt with fully electronically. Procedures are nonetheless being finalized by the Brazilian Ministry of International Affairs, which is able to present extra particulars when obtainable.

5. POTENTIAL US GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN COULD AFFECT AMERICANS’ FALL TRAVEL PLANS

A possible authorities shutdown in October may disrupt People’ fall journey plans, experiences CBS Information. Though Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) workers, together with air site visitors controllers and Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) brokers, are thought-about important and would due to this fact be required to work within the occasion of a shutdown, they’d have to take action with out instant pay, in response to the White Home. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre warned that this might trigger “important” delays for vacationers. The pressure on the US journey system would result in extra flight delays, longer screening strains, and holdups in air journey modernization. A shutdown would additionally halt the FAA’s efforts to rent and practice 2,600 new workers and would additionally coincide with a scarcity of roughly 3,000 air site visitors controllers. Through the 2018-2019 shutdown, an uptick in unscheduled air site visitors controller absences led to flight cancellations and journey disruptions at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and main airports in Atlanta, Newark, and Philadelphia. Moreover, a possible shutdown could trigger passport delays as some passport companies are housed in authorities buildings that will shut within the occasion of a shutdown, resulting in fewer obtainable appointments for renewals and new functions in addition to processing delays.