Week in Review: E.U. Delays ETIAS; ASTA Developments

Plenty happened this week that will affect your travel business. To start, a U.S. federal government shutdown is approaching and it could create chaos at airports. Asked to work without pay, air traffic controllers and Transportation Security Administration workers are likely to call out of work, causing longer wait times, as well as flight delays and cancelations.

Compounding issues at airports will be the expiration—on the same day—of the current Federal Aviation Administration authorization bill. U.S. Travel Association research estimates that a federal government shutdown could cost the travel economy $140 million each day; it also found that 60 percent of Americans would cancel or avoid trips by air in such an event.

National Parks and other federal programs would close during a shutdown.

The shutdown could begin Sunday, October 1, if no last-minute deal is reached—but that appears to be a long shot at this point.

A positive development for air travel, however, is that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) debuted a new Global Entry mobile app that will allow travelers to take a “selfie” to verify their identity (through facial biometrics). After the photo has been submitted, the traveler will receive a receipt on the app. They can then bypass the Global Entry portals and go directly to the CBP officers to process their entry into the United States by showing their mobile receipt.

Regarding another digital verification system, the launch of the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) has been pushed back from mid-2024 to roughly May 2025. The postponement is due to a delay in the launch of the European Union’s Entry/Exit System (EES). The EES replaces passport stamping and automates border control procedures, making traveling to European countries using the EES more efficient for the traveler. This system needs to be in place for roughly six months before ETIAS can be implemented.

ASTA Developments

Eben Peck
Eben Peck will be leaving ASTA on October 12. (ASTA)

This week, Eben Peck, the American Society of Travel Advisor's (ASTA) longtime executive vice president, advocacy, announced he will be departing the association to pursue another opportunity within the travel industry, effective October 12. Peck joined ASTA in 2012 as senior vice president, government and public affairs, and subsequently became executive vice president, advocacy, in 2017, making him the de facto number two in the staff structure ever since.

ASTA also announced a partnership with Signature Travel Network to offer its industry training courses as part of Signature Embark, Signature’s new-to-industry training program. This move comes as the trade association has increased its investment in education and its commitment to attracting new advisors to the industry.

Hotel News

Ennismore, a joint venture with Accor, officially launched AllInclusive-Collection.com, a dedicated platform for all-inclusive experiences. ALLinclusive-Collection.com brings together over 30 resorts from such brands as Rixos, SO/ and Swissôtel, with plans to expand to over 50 resorts in the next three years, which will eventually include Hyde, Mondrian, SLS and Fairmont.

Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island Lobby
Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island, part of the new ALL Inclusive Collection. (Photo by Ennismore)

Hyatt Hotels Corporation, on the other hand, sold the entirety of its vacation rental management business to Lowe, a real estate investor, developer and manager, at the same time sharing plans for a new short-term vacation rental platform. Homes & Hideaways by World of Hyatt, which is expected in the coming weeks, will include private homes and remote hideaways in the United States—from beachfront escapes to mountainside ski chalets.

Digging Into the Data

To help alleviate some of the stress when booking air travel, Expedia—in partnership with Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) and OAG—unveiled its “2024 Air Travel Hacks Report.” What do you need to know? Book domestic airfare 28 days before departure and international airfare about 60 days out (and no more than four months prior). Sunday is the cheapest day to book air travel but are the most expensive day for departures; rather, depart on a Thursday for best prices.

To avoid delays, book flights before 3 p.m.

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