Travel Tidbits: News Bites for the Globetrotter

by  Anne Roderique-Jones | May 1, 2020

From feel-good travel stories to airline updates to cruise news, here are quick travel tidbits to inform and inspire.  

Airlines are now requiring masks

JetBlue was among the first to roll out a mandated mask policy. As of May 4, all JetBlue customers will be required to wear a face mask during check-in, boarding, the entire in-flight, and during deplaning. JetBlue already has a mandate for crew members in place. Additionally, American Airlines has a new requirement for all customers to wear masks during flight beginning May 11, and recently announced requirements for flight attendants. United and Delta have not yet issued a mask mandate, but are providing them (along with sanitizing wipes and gel) when available. 

Related: Is JetBlue Mint Still a Deal?

The Kentucky Derby at home

The first weekend in May is often associated with the Kentucky Derby. And while this year’s celebration has been postponed to September 5, you can still celebrate while social distancing with Saturday’s Kentucky Derby at Home Party. Make a batch of mint juleps and turn into NBC from 3-6 p.m. ET, which will feature the 2015 Kentucky Derby that began American Pharaoh’s historic Triple Crown run. There will be a post-race online charity benefiting APRON, who provides financial relief to professional food and beverage industry workers in Louisville. 

Related: The Secrets of Louisville, Kentucky

Vacation on layaway 

MMGY Global, in partnership with the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), have launched Buy One, Give One, a program called “vacay layaway.” This idea was developed to help jumpstart travel (and generating immediate dollars) for hotels. Customers will be able to buy discounted stays to gift cards to loyalty points, which will be donated to organizations such as American Nurses Association and NewYork-Presbyterian, to distribute to front-line healthcare workers who can use them toward future leisure stays. Just in time for International Nurses Day on May 12, the Buy One, Give One initiative aims to provide rooms to first responders with brands like Marriott and Rosewood Hotels in addition to  Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Affinia Hotels & Suites, and The Langham, Chicago to name a few. 

Cruise Lines Offer Great Incentives on Future Bookings

We can’t wait until it’s time to cruise again. And this best part is that cruise lines are offering amazing incentives and fares on future bookings. Holland America has a Save Now, Cruise Later deal; and you'll also find incentives on Princess and MSC, to name a few. 

Related: Updated Cruise Line Suspension, Credit, and Cancellation Policies 

SXSW Virtual Film Festival launches on Amazon Prime Video 

Originally scheduled for mid-March, and canceled due to public health and safety reasons related to coronavirus, SXSW will now be available on Amazon Prime Video starting April 27 and running until May 6. There will be 39 films, composed of narrative and documentary features, short films, and episodic titles. The virtual film fest is free to anyone in the U.S. with an amazon account. 

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