United scales back plans to add flight capacity | Southwest eliminates cash payments at ticket counters | Denver airport to test facial recognition tech
July 9, 2020
SmartBrief for The Business Traveler
United Airlines is scaling back its plans to boost flights in August, flying 35% of its previous schedule rather than 40%. The airline cited quarantines and other travel restrictions.
Full Story: USA Today (7/7),  The Points Guy (7/7) 
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Southwest Airlines no longer accepts cash payments for flights, upgrades or extra luggage at US airports as of July 1, as is the trend in the airline industry. Southwest will still accept cash at international ticket counters.
Full Story: The Dallas Morning News (tiered subscription model) (7/7) 
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Denver airport to test facial recognition tech
(Yasin Akgul/Getty Images)
Denver International Airport is testing technology that will enable social distancing and contactless procedures, including the use of mobile apps for reservations and facial recognition. Pilot programs should begin in about a month, according to Denver International Airport COO Chris McLaughlin.
Full Story: WJBK-TV (Detroit) (7/8) 
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Delta Air Lines and South America's Latam are moving ahead with their plans for a joint venture, filing for government approval. The airlines launched their partnership in December with code sharing for flights in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador.
Full Story: Frequent Business Traveler (7/8) 
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The Smarter Traveler
Traveling during the pandemic looks much different, writes Michelle Gross, who recently stayed at a Hyatt, InterContinental Hotel Group and Marriott. Along her trip, Gross found different protocols at each hotel including different valet options, lack of decorative pillows and blankets, contactless check-ins and amenity masks and wipes.
Full Story: Yahoo (7/6) 
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Refuel and Refresh
Hygiene-conscious guests at the Hotel Trio in Healdsburg, Calif., can indulge in the area's famous wines with confidence thanks to a staff member named Rosé the Robot. The high-tech butler delivers the full array of amenities in keeping with the hotel's comprehensive anti-infection plan.
Full Story: Travel + Leisure online (7/5) 
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The Dolce Hanoi Golden Lake Hotel, owned by Hoa Binh Group and managed by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, offers guests a stay in a golden hotel, with gold-plated bath tubs, basins and toilets. The five-star Vietnamese hotel even features a 24-karat gold-tiled rooftop infinity pool.
Full Story: Reuters (7/3) 
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