To help ensure the safety of your phone and other devices while traveling, it's important to keep your operating system current, install anti-virus protection and avoid using unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, travel experts say. They also recommend utilizing a secure password manager and a proxy service or Virtual Private Network to make it more difficult for cybercriminals to access online data.
The World Travel and Tourism Council has been an important advocate for the multiple industries in the travel sphere, but its response to the coronavirus pandemic is evidence that its leadership needs to reexamine its purpose and focus, writes Rosie Spinks, a travel journalist. Its lack of coordination with the United Nations World Tourism Organization during the pandemic resulted in competing protocols and statements that bred confusion, Spinks writes.
Wesley Barnes, an American living in Thailand, could spend two years in a Thai prison for writing critical social media reviews about the Sea View Resort on Koh Chang island. The country has strict anti-defamation laws, and a spokesman for the resort said they filed the complaint against Barnes, who they described as a disagreeable guest, hoping it would act as a deterrent.
Executives from every major US airline discussed the impact of the pandemic and industry recovery efforts, including the need for ongoing government support and a multi-year effort to assure passengers that flying is safe, touting technological advances and research by Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The airline executives also suggested that testing regimes and policies would be positive steps while agreeing on the importance of commitments to sustainability and diversity.
"There's certainly not much time left, but there's enough time," American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation, ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline to extend the Payroll Support Program. Parker expressed hope that Congress will agree on extended payroll aid for airlines as House Democrats confirmed that their newest proposal includes additional relief for airlines. "We are hopeful that this is the start of a negotiation that will help our industry and others in distress," said Airlines for America CEO Nicholas Calio. Without additional federal aid, up to 100,000 airline employees face involuntary furloughs in a few days.
Airlines must continue investing in new technology, such as contactless baggage handling and improved customer service applications, despite the coronavirus crisis, Air Canada CIO Catherine Luelo said at the World Aviation Festival. "When you have no money to spend, sometimes you have the most innovative ideas because you look at the tools that you have at your disposal, and you're maybe a little bit different in terms of how you think about it," she said.
Airlines are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by highlighting Latino employees and partnerships, such as Southwest's work with the Latino Leaders Network, which brings together community leaders. United Airlines hosted a panel discussion about the immigrant experience through UNITE, its business resource group, and American Airlines highlighted its commitment to serving Latin America through various efforts such as donating relief supplies to community hospitals and food banks.
Airports' innovative pandemic-related programs include customer assistance robots handing out masks at San Francisco International Airport as well as high-tech sanitation systems and onsite testing. Denver International Airport's VeriFLY program streamlines health checks, promotes social distancing and allows passengers to make checkpoint reservations.
The American Society of Travel Advisors is asking the government to lift the ban on cruise ships, arguing that airlines and hotels are operating and cruise ships in other countries are allowed to sail. Zane Kerby, ASTA president and CEO, said the industry is willing to establish safety protocols, and surveys indicate the public is willing to sail.
United will be the first US airline to offer pre-flight COVID-19 testing for passengers, including at-home tests and rapid testing at the airport. The airline will test the program on flights from San Francisco to Hawaii starting Oct. 15, when the islands are scheduled to reopen to tourists under rules that require them to submit negative tests.