US reopens Nov. 8, United makes long-haul push and Delta’s A330 upgrades
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Every weekend, we round up the top miles, points and travel news that you might have missed on TPG this week. Here’s what you need to know:
Nov. 8 is the official reopening date for fully vaccinated travelers to visit the U.S. The new White House travel policy will allow vaccinated foreign nationals to arrive both by land and air. Travelers must show proof of vaccination in addition to a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of arrival. Details are still to come regarding acceptable proof of vaccinations. However, The White House has indicated that all FDA-approved and authorized vaccines, as well as those in the Emergency Use Listing (EUL) from the WHO are acceptable for air travelers. That would include vaccinations from AstraZeneca.
United Airlines has announced a major expansion of its long-haul flights for the summer of 2022. Eight new routes to primarily European destinations are designed to attract leisure travelers eager to plan exciting summer adventures. Additionally, the line has boosting service on to existing European destinations and is adding seven previously-announced international flights put on pause by the pandemic.
Planning family travel with a toddler and a preschooler can be hectic under the best of circumstances. The pandemic has only multiplied concerns, if not squelched most plans altogether. With the vaccine rollout this past spring, one TPG writer felt optimistic that she could book travel again. Hawaii for the New Year was in her sights, but it was not to be. See where she decided to travel with her family instead.
Delta has embarked on a two-year-long retrofit program for its 42 Airbus A330-200 and -300s. Upgrades include an innovative new premium economy cabin, as well as refreshes in the business and coach cabins (espresso machines, charging ports and mood lighting, to name a few new perks). The program won’t be completed until mid-2022, but TPG snagged a sneak peek.
Southwest Airlines canceled close to 2,000 flights last weekend, leaving thousands stranded across the U.S., Central America and the Caribbean. The resulting chaos was a public relations nightmare for the carrier, which blamed an array of factors for the meltdown. Rumors swirled, however, that pilot walkouts (in reaction to vaccine mandates) were in fact behind the operational crisis. In TPG’s exclusive interview, Southwest’s incoming CEO, Bob Jordan, said those rumors had no basis in fact.
Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy
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