Travel News: February 20, 2020

Salamander Resort Virginia

AAA Reveals 2020 Five Diamond Awards, Adds New Hotels and Restaurants
Travel Pulse
AAA has unveiled its 2020 Five Diamond awards, and the annual list has added six hotels and five restaurants for this year.
The exclusive group features just 119 hotels and 67 restaurants across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. That’s less than 1% of the 60,000+ plus AAA Diamond establishments.

Lawmakers introduce bill to soften impact of Real ID’s October deadline
Travel Weekly

Citing the potential for “mass confusion, chaos and delays” at U.S. airports starting Oct. 1, members of Congress last week introduced legislation to head off travel disruption caused by the Real ID deadline. 
Travel organizations, which have been sounding the alarm about a potential travel nightmare resulting from the new ID laws, applauded the bill, although with the deadline just eight months out, they wondered if it amounted to too little, too late. 

The coronavirus outbreak will hit the cruising industry where it hurts most — new business
Washington Post
Anne Sagebiel had been pondering what to do for an upcoming birthday later this year, and the notion of taking a cruise for the first time appealed to her. Maybe something in Europe; Norway sounded enticing.
But then she started hearing about “the cruise ship from hell” — the Diamond Princess, which was quarantined off the coast of Japan with thousands aboard on Feb. 5. As of early Tuesday, authorities said 542 of the 2,404 passengers and crew whose test results were known had been infected; more than 1,000 additional people were still awaiting their results. Forty-four Americans onboard have tested positive for coronavirus, according to U.S. health officials.
“I don’t want to be involved in a worst-case scenario,” said Sagebiel, a nature photographer in Colorado. “Cruises are off the table until they figure this out.”
That sentiment is bad news for the growing cruise industry, which has taken a multimillion-dollar financial hit as the situation unfolds. Bookings are down, according to some major players, and the nonstop attention has been damaging.

Proposed rules could let airlines ban emotional-support animals from flights
KTVA
Say goodbye to seeing peacocks in the airport. The government is proposing tightening rules around what kinds of support animals passengers are permitted aboard a plane.

Emotional support animals would no longer be considered service animals under the new airline rules, proposed Wednesday by the Department of Transportation.

The proposed rules would define a service animal as “a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability,” eliminating cats and miniature horses from the category.

By: Matt Long

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