Business Travel + Payments News for the Week: February 8
As business travel slowly rebounds, it’s clear that there’s a new normal at play. Not only are we prepared with PCR tests and several onboard masks, the way in which we think about business travel is also changing. The opportunity to meet with clients, colleagues, and potential customers has a new sense of possibility and adventure to it that just wasn’t possible back in 2019 when road warriors were booking 30 weeks of travel a year. Businesses are also looking at the ROI of travel with fresh eyes -- aware that the cost of in-person connections is invaluable today.
As you chart a path to return to business travel, the free-to-the-public TripActions Business Travel Recovery™ Tool and the COVID-19 Reports are powerful tools for rebuilding your T&E program. They’ll help you assess the safety of travel, understand any associated government regulations, and use other pertinent real-time data to guide policy decisions. You can also explore the most pressing industry topics on the TripActions Community, which offers valuable insights from travel managers, finance leaders, HR professionals, and others.
Now, here’s what’s happening across the industry today. You can check out past weekly news roundups here.
Skift Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parson makes his prediction for the future of business travel: “By 2025, it turned out employees were happy to give up the office, but they wholeheartedly fought to keep some kind of physical interaction with coworkers.”
Airlines Add New Mask Exemptions Following Federal Mandate [The Points Guy]
As of Feb. 2, 2021, travelers are now required by law to wear a mask when traveling on airplanes, trains, buses, taxis and rideshare services in the United States. Previously, all U.S. airlines mandated face coverings of some sort, and anyone who refused to comply could be met with a temporary or permanent flying ban.
British Airways Is Streamlining Travel With Health Passports [Simple Flying]
Starting in early February, British Airways began accepting digital health passports on flights from the UK to the United States. The passports will allow passengers to complete document verification before arrival at the airport, significant streamlining the travel experience.
Business travel expenditure is expected to increase 21% in 2021, according to a GBTA report released in early February. Despite suggestions that business travel will never return to pre-pandemic levels, a "full recovery" is being forecast by the GBTA within four years.
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