News: American Airlines trial preflight COVID-19 testing, Marriott announce opening of first Buenos Aires property since 2013, and Singapore Airlines finally decide to include amenity kits in Business Class.

American Airline B777-200

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American Airlines trial preflight COVID-19 testing for passengers travelling to Jamaica, the Bahamas

American Airlines are collaborating with several foreign governments in a bid to re-start international travel. The first countries to take part will be Jamaica and the Bahamas.

The plan is to begin offering preflight COVID-19 tests for customers, and will be expanding to a range of other destinations in the weeks and months ahead.

Robert Isom, President of American Airlines, said of the plan:

“Our plan for this initial phase of preflight testing reflects the ingenuity and care our team is putting into rebuilding confidence in air travel, and we view this as an important step in our work to accelerate an eventual recovery of demand.”

“The pandemic has changed our business in ways we never could have expected, but all the while, the entire American Airlines team has eagerly tackled the challenge of reimagining the way we deliver a safe, healthy and enjoyable travel experience for our customers,”

The airline has reached an initial agreement with Jamaica, launching it’s testing program at Miami International Airport (MIA) next month.

Initially, only Jamaican residents returning home will be trialled, and if they present a negative COVID-19 test prior to departure, they no longer need to undertake the mandatory 14-day quarantine period once they get home.

If the program is successful, it will be expanded to all passengers travelling to Jamaica, including U.S citizens.

The airline is also in negotiations with government bodies in the Bahamas and CARICOM (a grouping of Caribbean countries) to implement the program there. It is expected to launch next month, also at Miami Airport, which is a major gateway to the Caribbean and Bahamas.

Preflight testing will also soon be available on American Airlines for travel from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Hawaii.

 

Marriott International Announce the Opening of Buenos Aires Marriott Hotel

Buenos Aires Marriott

Located in the heart of the city, the long-awaited opening of the Buenos Aires Marriott Hotel is the first Marriot-branded hotel to operate there since 2013.

It is located on the iconic 9 de Julio Avenue, right near all the major, must-see attractions, including the Obelisk, Palace of Justice and the Teatro Colón.

The property, which previously operated as the Hotel Panamericano Buenos Aires, has undergone significant renovations in order to reach the Marriott standards. It features 238 rooms, two bars, a restaurant, a 24-hour gym and the ‘Nivel 23 Club & Spa’.

“This opening marks the beginning of a new stage for Marriott International in this coveted destination where the European style is deeply intertwined with the Latin American culture”, said Laurent de Kousemaeker, Marriott International Chief Development Officer, in a recent statement.

 

Mixed reactions from frequent flyers as Singapore Airlines finally announce amenity kits for Business Class 

Business Class Penhaligon’s amenity kit.

A recent edition of the Singapore Airlines magazine ‘[email protected]’ has had sharp-eyed readers noting the presence of new Business Class Amenity Kits.

The kits will first be available for purchase through the airlines online store, KrisShop.com, though the airline has confirmed that these will be made available to Business Class passengers in the near future. It is not yet clear if it will be for all flights, or only for certain routes/on certain aircraft.

The issue has been a contentious topic among frequent flyers for years, as currently Singapore Airlines only offer amenities in a basket, as well as in the bathrooms. However, they don’t provide passengers with their own individual kits like most other airlines.

Some passengers prefer the individuality and luxury of the individual kits, with others saying they are wasteful, rarely used and should be removed from flights.  

It is interesting timing for Singapore Airlines to be releasing luxury amenity kits, as other airlines struggle to stay afloat during the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, perhaps Singapore Airlines are foreseeing strict changes to hygiene protocols, with the removal of products that may be used by multiple passengers.

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