Tag: Passports

Winter spring fare deals, Hawaii, COVID passports + more travel news

In this week’s TravelSkills on SFGATE newsletter…

With airlines desperate for cash, this year’s round of Cyber Monday fare deals, good through Thursday, are definitely worth a look, even if you are uneasy about traveling in the current pandemic-plagued environment. Why? Because deals like this won’t be around once a vaccination rolls out, quarantine restrictions dissolve, travelers release pent up demand and fares increase. Read: Fare deals flourish for winter trips to LA, Hawaii, NYC

Joshua Colby Council, 44, was boarding Delta flight 1362 to San Francisco from SLC at about 11 p.m. when he disregarded the gate agent’s order to put on a mask before he got on the aircraft, police said. Salt Lake County sheriff’s records identify him as a resident of San Francisco. Once he took his seat, other crew members, including the captain as well and a Delta manager, insisted that he wear a mask, which he consistently refused to do “for unknown reasons,” according to the police booking report. Read: San Francisco man arrested for refusing to wear a mask on Delta flight

In this week’s route news roundup, Kauai opts out of Hawaii’s pre-testing program, San Francisco International has a new “touchless” option for its parking garages, and also introduces COVID testing for Cathay Pacific; Hawaiian Airlines adds more mainland testing sites; CDC has new testing guidelines for international travel and warns against trips to Mexico; Delta finds a way around Italy’s mandatory quarantine; Air India will add a new San Francisco route; Alaska Airlines bets on the 737 Max for fleet renewal; JetBlue will still fly to London but not to Heathrow; the Delta/WestJet joint venture is scrapped; American Express reopens its Phoenix Centurion Lounge; and United gets some new gates at Denver International. Read: Routes: Kauai shuts down, New route to India, COVID updates, Mexico warning, more

As more governments turn to mandatory COVID-19 testing for travelers in place of mandatory 14-day quarantines after arrival, the world’s airlines are developing a digital health passport that will collect and standardize coronavirus-related passenger data for border crossings and could jump-start international travel once it is widely used. Eventually, the current proof of negative test results prior to travel could be supplanted by proof of vaccination. Read: Airlines’ new ‘health passport’ could revive international travel

Last week, on-airport COVID-19 facilities at both Oakland and San Francisco International Airports were sold out. There were no advance reservation slots until later in December nor was walk-up, day-of-travel testing available for the busiest week for air travel since the pandemic began in March. If you are planning on using the on-airport testing options, be sure to plan ahead and not rely on getting a walk-in appointment. Read: COVID-19 testing at SFO, Oakland airport is sold out


For the first time in more than two centuries, the people were gone. Hanauma Bay, a stunning body of water that formed within a volcanic crater, is approximately 15 minutes from Waikiki. Its natural glory makes it one of Hawaii’s top tourist

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COVID passports emerge as key to restarting international travel

Global airline lobby IATA is working on a mobile app that will help travelers demonstrate their coronavirus-free status, joining a push to introduce so-called COVID passports as vaccines for the disease near approval.

The Travel Pass will display test results together with proof of inoculation, as well as listing national entry rules and details on the nearest labs, the International Air Transport Association said Monday. The app will also link to an electronic copy of the holder’s passport to prove their identity.

A test program will begin with British Airways parent IAG SA this year before arriving on Apple devices in the first quarter and Android in April, IATA said. Travelers will be able to share their status with border authorities or present a QR code for scanning.

Qantas Airways said Monday a COVID-19 vaccination will be a necessity for its international passengers. Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce told Channel 9 in Australia he has discussed the idea with other airlines, and it’s likely to become a preboarding requirement around the world.

“It’s going to be a common theme across the board,” Joyce said.

While international travel remains in the doldrums amid a patchwork of local restrictions and lockdowns, countries are beginning to embrace testing to shorten or do away with quarantines for arriving passengers. The first vaccines are meanwhile expected to become available in coming months. That’s prompted a spate of technology-led moves to devise mechanisms to monitor travelers’ COVID credentials and combat false claims from people desperate to fly.

IATA’s head of passenger and security products, Alan Murray Hayden, said in a briefing that the group’s aim is to get people into the air again and that it would be happy to work alongside other providers.

Travel Pass will be free to travelers and governments, with airlines paying a small fee per passenger to use the service. It will be based on the existing IATA Timatic system long used to verify documents. The app will use blockchain technology and won’t store data, Murray Hayden said.

The industry group has had positive discussions with one government around using the software and expects other nations to get on board, he said.

Though IATA’s plan remains in development, the CommonPass app developed by the World Economic Forum and nonprofit Commons Project Foundation has been tested on flights between London and New York, while the AOKpass from travel security firm International SOS is in use between Abu Dhabi and Pakistan.

Both are in the running for the pending travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore, according to the companies.

United Airlines, which is conducting the U.S.-U.K. trials, said Monday it would extend coronavirus testing to flights from Houston to destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Passengers can take a self-collected, mail-in test, allowing them to start their vacation or meetings immediately on arrival.

The race is on to establish a global standard and deploy technology so the travel industry can get back on its feet, International SOS co-founder Arnaud Vaissie said

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Travel Document – Expedited and Same Day Service for Visas and Passports

 
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Maldives
 
 
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Martinique
 
 
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Micronesia, Federated States…
 
 
Moldova
 
 
Monaco
 
 
Mongolia
 
 
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Mozambique
 
 
Myanmar
 
 
Namibia
 
 
Nauru
 
 
Nepal
 
 
Netherlands
 
 
Netherlands Antilles
 
 
New Caledonia
 
 
New Zealand
 
 
Nicaragua
 
 
Niger
 
 
Nigeria
 
 
Norway
 
 
Oman
 
 
Pakistan
 
 
Palau
 
 
Panama
 
 
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Paraguay
 
 
Peru
 
 
Philippines
 
 
Poland
 
 
Portugal
 
 
Puerto Rico
 
 
Qatar
 
 
Romania
 
 
Russia
 
 
Rwanda
 
 
Saint Vincent & The Grenadin…
 
 
Samoa
 
 
Sao Tome and Principe
 
 
Saudi Arabia
 
 
Senegal
 
 
Serbia/Montenegro
 
 
Seychelles
 
 
Sierra Leone
 
 
Singapore
 
 
Slovak Republic
 
 
Slovenia
 
 
Solomon Islands
 
 
Somalia (Somaliland & Puntla…
 
 
South Africa
 
 
South Sudan
 
 
Spain
 
 
Sri Lanka
 
 
St. Kitts and Nevis
 
 
St. Lucia
 
 
St. Vincent and the Grenadin…
 
 
Sudan
 
 
Suriname
 
 
Swaziland
 
 
Sweden
 
 
Switzerland
 
 
Syria
 
 
Taiwan
 
 
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Thailand
 
 
Timor-Leste
 
 
Togo
 
 
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Trinidad and Tobago
 
 
Tunisia
 
 
Turkey
 
 
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United Kingdom
 
 
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Vatican
 
 
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Zimbabwe
 

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