Holiday bookings soar as Britons hope for travel restart

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LONDON (Reuters) – International holiday bookings surged by as much as 600% after Britain laid out plans to gradually relax coronavirus restrictions, giving battered airlines and tour operators hope that a bumper summer could come to their rescue.

EasyJet said flight bookings from Britain jumped over 300% and holiday bookings surged by more than 600% week on week after the government indicated on Monday that travel could restart from mid-May.

Holiday company TUI UK said that its bookings surged 500%, while holiday and budget airline group Jet2 said its bookings were up 600%.

This summer is make-or-break for many airlines

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PM Johnson says no international travel until mid-May at the earliest

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Issued on:

International travel from England will be banned until May 17 at the earliest, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday, as he set out a four-stage easing of England’s latest Covid-19 restrictions. 

In its roadmap for easing restrictions, the UK government announced a review of travel which will report on April 12 with recommendations about how international travel should resume, while managing the risks of new variants of coronavirus.

“The government will determine when international travel should resume, which will be no earlier than 17 May,” the government said in its statement.

Britain is looking

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Couples want ‘sweetheart’ exemption in COVID-19 travel bans

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Ever since the coronavirus pandemic shuttered global travel one year ago, thousands of Americans have pushed for an exception to U.S. restrictions that would allow unmarried couples separated by borders to reunite.

The restrictions first put in place last March have prevented foreign nationals from visiting their American partners and fiancés for nearly a year. But an organized movement – known as ‘Love is Not Tourism’ – is now pushing the Biden administration to consider an exception for these individuals, with no clear end in sight to the pandemic travel bans.

‘Love Is Not Tourism’ made some headway overseas

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UK Outlines Plans To Ease Lockdown, Resume Travel

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Despite the risk of new coronavirus strains, overall there’s a lot of optimism out there. For example, here in the US coronavirus cases are way down, and deaths are also starting to decrease significantly (though with a lag of several weeks, as you’d expect).

On top of that, those most vulnerable are largely being vaccinated, which gives many of us hope that there will be some semblance of normalcy within the next few months.

The UK has been in lockdown since early January

While the US hasn’t had any sort of a national lockdown, other countries have. The UK has

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These felines love to surf, swim and hike

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Meet Leon the adventure cat. He adores kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and long walks on his leash. Above all, though, he is most excited about hiking quiet trails in the woods, but his owner says he is willing to go anywhere in his cat pack.

“Leon always wants to go,” says his owner, Megan Ferney. “His harness hangs by the front door, and he often tries to put it on himself because he knows that means he gets to go outside or in the car.”

Gary, a spunky, domestic long-haired cat, is particularly fond of “meowtaineering” trips and has been known

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Air New Zealand to trial digital vaccine travel pass in April

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Air New Zealand has announced it will trial a digital health travel app for flights between Auckland and Sydney in April.

The app, developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), will allow travellers to create a digital health wallet linked to their e-passport. Once a person is tested or vaccinated for COVID-19, testing labs will be able to share — with the consent of individuals — the results to the app, which is cross-checked with travel requirements before giving travellers the green tick to travel if they meet those requirements.

IATA senior vice president airport and security Nick Careen

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Travel Bug co-owner is hitting the road | Business

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If you have come by the Travel Bug in the last few weeks, you have probably noticed the chaos.

There are holes in walls and book sections being condensed and reshelved. Counters are being resurfaced and machines moved.

The seemingly sudden and intense shift has been brewing for months. And I say brewing because that is the plan: Say hello to the Travel Bug Bookstore and Brewery.

The books and maps aren’t going away, and neither is the coffee. But by summer, if all goes well, you’ll be able to come in and have a pint of Travel Bug-brewed beer.

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Alitalia says my ticket is refundable — so why isn’t it?

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DEAR TRAVEL TROUBLESHOOTER: I booked a flight from Cairo to New York via Rome on Alitalia. When I tried to check in for my flight to Italy, an airline representative denied me boarding, because my visa was rejected. My visa doesn’t allow me to enter Europe en route to the U.S., according to Alitalia.

Christopher Elliott, the Travel Troubleshooter 

Fortunately, my ticket was refundable. I sent an email to Alitalia before the flight departed, requesting a refund. I enclosed the ticket receipt, which shows that the ticket is refundable, as long as I cancel before departure, and is subject to

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United Reportedly Investigating Leak Of Ted Cruz Travel Details

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As most of the world knows, Republican Senator Ted Cruz popped down to Cancun last week while wild weather lashed his home state. Senator Cruz choose to fly United Airlines from its Houston hub down to Cancun. Now, an investigation is underway at the airline to discover who leaked details of the Senator’s travel itinerary. Like the hapless Senator, United Airlines is not amused.

United Airlines wants to know who leaked Senator Cruz’s flight information. Photo: Vincenzo Pace / Simple Flying

“It’s against United’s policies to share personal information about our customers, and we are investigating this incident,” a

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Have the Travel Industry’s Inclusivity Efforts Made a Difference?

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Martinique Lewis, a diversity in travel consultant and president of Black Travel Alliance, also notices this change in attitude within the industry. When Lewis, who is a member of the Condé Nast Traveler advisory board, first started her work in 2018, she offered her help for free in hopes of creating a more diverse and inclusive environment in the travel industry. Even then, many companies and brands were not open to these conversations and even avoided her calls. Although her business picked up steam in 2019, she’s seen an even bigger spike in inquiries since last summer. “Everybody’s

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