Tools to Track Travel
For hapless travelers tired of dealing with “openings” that are not really open, there are some new information sources to turn to
September 29, 2020
With the well-ordered world of travel totally disrupted by COVID-19 travel restrictions, new solutions have quickly developed to track what’s open, what’s not, and what travelers must do to thread the needle from Point A to Point B.
The need to keep up with all the well-intentioned but constantly changing – and frequently confusing – restrictions, quarantines, testing protocols and individual requirements is putting a premium on accurate travel information, prompting more travel organizations to offer easy ways for travelers to stay up to date. Here are just a few of them.
The International Air Transport Association is providing a free online interactive world map showing the latest COVID-19 entry regulations by country. The map uses the organization’s Timatic database to show information on documentation needed for international travel. The system updates more than 200 times a day showing accurate travel restrictions to specific areas based on citizenship and country of residence.
The link can be viewed at go.updates.iata.org
American Airlines has launched a new online solution that allows customers to see the current coronavirus travel guidelines and restrictions for the airline’s domestic and international destinations. The travel guide can be accessed at aa.com on the travel updates page, under the Travel Restrictions section. When a destination is entered, results will show up-to-date guideline information, as well as travel requirements such as face coverings, health documentation and quarantine rules.
United Airlines has introduced a new interactive map tool both on united.com and the United mobile app that allows customers to filter and view COVID-19 related travel restrictions for destinations in the airline’s network. The Destination Travel Guide provides an interactive, color-coded map to highlight if a destination is closed, partially open or fully open for travel, and will also note if any tests or self-quarantining is required.
Airports Council International World has an app which provides passengers with information about the health measures in place at individual airports. Currently available for Apple devices, the Check and Fly app is “a way for airports to communicate to passengers directly as to what to expect when they plan to travel,” according to an ACI statement. Also under development is a web portal. Once completed, airports will be able to feed up-to-date information directly into the service.
Amtrak customers can now see how full their reserved train will be on the rail line’s website and mobile app. Since bookings are limited on most trains to allow for physical distancing, the number indicates how full the train is as a percentage based on the reduced number of seats available. The results are displayed in real time when customers search for their train.
Travelport, a global travel technology provider, has launched the Travelport Airline Health & Safety Tracker. The tool is free and available to both Travelport customers and the wider industry, and reports what measures are being taken by more than 80 of the world’s largest airlines, broken out by region. In addition, the tool also highlights information from global hotel chains and car providers.
It’s available to the general traveling public at travelport.com/covid-19-recovery-safety-measures, and to both online and offline travel agencies through the Travelport COVID-19 Smartpoint Plugin.
American Express Global Business Travel has launched Travel Vitals, a travel briefing platform that allows users to search travel guidelines by destination, airline, airport, hotel chain, train operator and ground transportation provider. The journey assistant is free and available to all travel managers, travel management companies and travelers at travelvitals.amexgbt.com.
Dinova, the business dining platform with a network of over 20,000 restaurants, has a free mobile app and guide aimed at helping diners make safe decisions when dining out during the pandemic. The new Business Dining 2.0, focuses on four factors: restaurant responsibility, such as safe food handling and complying with government rules; diner responsibility for planning ahead and complying with restaurant rules; shared responsibility of hand hygiene and social distancing; and diner screening.
InsureMyTrip, a travel insurance comparison site, launched a COVID-19 Recommendation Tool to guide travelers searching for coverage for certain COVID-19 related issues. Popular coverage includes benefits like Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason), Quarantine Coverage, Emergency Medical Coverage or Financial Default Coverage. Travelers can review the expanding list of highlighted plans after completing a quote.