27 04, 2022

What You Need to Know About the Airline Mask Mandate Reversal

By |2022-04-27T08:17:13-06:00April 27th, 2022|Blog, News|Comments Off on What You Need to Know About the Airline Mask Mandate Reversal

On April 18, 2022, a federal judge in Florida ruled that U.S. health agencies, like the CDC, do not have the authority to impose a national mask mandate on transportation. Airlines and local public transit authorities swiftly moved to lift their individually imposed mask mandates.

Now, in most cases, passengers traveling through airports and airplanes will not be asked to wear masks. Passengers are still welcomed and encouraged to wear this protective equipment, but you will no longer get in trouble for not adhering to the mandate. All major U.S. airlines, including American, Delta, United, and Southwest, have moved to a mask-optional policy. Tran and bus networks, as well as ridesharing services, have also mostly become mask optional.

Keep in mind that a number of international airlines, including Air France, Lufthansa, Japan Airlines, and South African Airlines, still require passengers to remain masked when not actively eating or drinking.

While the transportation mask mandate is currently not in effect, on April 19, the Department of Justice announced that it plans to appeal the decision. This means the mask mandate may be reinstated.

This doesn’t mean much for passengers traveling with a furry friend. However, passengers should be aware of so-called “danger areas” when flying, whether Fido comes along or stays at home. These spots are locations during a trip when contracting a case of COVID-19 is most likely. According to NPR, this includes security lines, airport cafeterias, while the plane is taxiing or sitting on the runway, and while boarding/unloading the plane.

28 12, 2021

CDC Updates Dog Travel Ban Restrictions to Prevent Rabies Spread

By |2021-12-28T10:03:54-07:00December 28th, 2021|Blog|Comments Off on CDC Updates Dog Travel Ban Restrictions to Prevent Rabies Spread

The United States Centers for Disease Control put a dog travel ban into place in July 2021, affecting dogs traveling from high-risk rabies countries. The ban applies to dogs trying to travel into the United States without proper documentation of an up-to-date rabies vaccine. The CDC has since updated the travel restrictions, and this post covers the updates.


Reason for the Travel Ban 

The CDC imposed the ban to prevent the spread of rabies in the United States. Rabies is harmful to animals and humans, yet there have been no cases of dog rabies since 2007. The CDC identified an increased risk of rabies from certain countries in early 2021 and instated the ban to keep dogs without an adequate vaccination against rabies from traveling into the United States and potentially endangering animals and humans.


How the Ban Works

Under the dog travel ban, dog owners looking to travel into the United States from a high-risk country for rabies need a CDC Dog Import Permit. To be eligible for a permit, the dog must be at least 6 months old, be microchipped, have a valid rabies certification, and have a negative rabies test. The dog owner must submit all this information to apply for the permit. If the CDC approves the application and grants the travel permit, the dog owner and dog must fly into one of the approved airports with a dog quarantine area.

In December 2021, the CDC revisited the ban and revised restrictions to lift the permit requirement if the dog owner and dog meet certain criteria. The dog must still be at least 6 months old, be microchipped, and have a valid U.S.-issued rabies vaccine certificate to travel. They must arrive healthy and to one of the approved ports of entry in the United States.


Implications of the Dog Travel Ban

The dog travel ban and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic have impacted those traveling with dogs. Those traveling internationally have to be concerned with taking COVID-19 tests before and after travel, and those trying to travel with dogs have even more considerations. Traveling with dogs is much more expensive now. Airlines have begun to allow less and less dogs in the cargo holds of the planes, causing an increase in the price for travelers looking to fly their pet into or out of the United States. Moreover, airlines have less flights generally, making it difficult for travelers to coordinate their travel plans with their dogs.

Even if the financial and flight coordination issues are not problematic, dog owners must navigate the dog travel restrictions and ensure they have the right documentation for their dog(s) when traveling. If any of the information is not up-to-date or accurate, they risk the CDC denying their access to the United States. The CDC has not provided any further updates to the dog travel ban, so travelers can expect the ban to remain in the near future. If you are needing to travel to or from a high-risk country with a dog, be sure to review all the requirements to ensure a successful trip with your dog.


9 11, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About COVID-19 Travel this Holiday Season

By |2021-11-09T09:15:43-07:00November 9th, 2021|Blog|Comments Off on Everything You Need to Know About COVID-19 Travel this Holiday Season

Ready or not, many people will see holiday travel trends returning to the pre-COVID normal in the coming weeks. As you prepare for your own holiday celebrations, it makes sense that you take into account how others are behaving. Making yourself aware can help you to stay safe and healthy during the entire holiday season.

People are eager to return to some sense of “normalcy” during the 2021 holiday season. Amex Trendex found that nearly half (47%) of the individuals they surveyed plan to travel at least one time during the holiday season.

That said, everyone should know about the important general requirements for their upcoming travels. If you plan to visit your friends or family, make sure that you know what your airline requires before you leave for the airport. It will make your flight less stressful. The knowledge will also keep you, as well as everyone around you, healthy as we enter the new year.


Airline COVID-19 Policies This Holiday Season

Keep in mind which airlines you purchase tickets from when traveling during the holidays. All of the airlines are meant to enforce a masking policy. However, airlines have different policies as far as their vaccination requirements for passengers and workers. Additionally, they can differ in terms of having you show a vaccine card or having their flight staff vaccinated. Below is the relevant information that you should know about mask and vaccine requirements on different airlines:

American When flying American, you must confirm that you are free of COVID-19 symptoms for the past 10 days. You must wear a visible face covering and upload a negative COVID-19 test result or vaccination record using the VeriFLY app. American has delayed staff-mandated vaccinations until Jan. 4, 2022.

Delta Fully vaccinated travelers must provide proof of vaccination and a negative test result within three days prior to their departure. Travelers who are not fully vaccinated must show a negative COVID-19 test no more than a day before traveling. Delta requires masks during the entire travel process, from the lobby check-in to when you board the aircraft. In October, Delta did not enforce a company vaccine mandate.

Frontier The airline states that all employees and passengers over the age of 2 must wear a face covering throughout the entire travel experience. The regulations apply even to those who are fully vaccinated. Frontier implemented a vaccine policy for all direct employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.

Southwest Southwest requires that all passengers adhere to federal mask regulations. The company has given employees until Nov. 24 to get fully vaccinated or apply for an exemption.

United Travelers with United must wear a face mask or risk paying a fine for a federal offense. United says it will also refuse your transport and you may lose your United travel privileges. The airline has put in place a vaccine mandate for its employees.

Alaska / Virgin America The joint airlines test their unvaccinated employees and continue to enforce masking and social distancing. The company requires that all of its new hires get the COVID-19 vaccination prior to their hiring. Unvaccinated adult travelers must provide paper or digital proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test within one day of departure.

Allegiant Allegiant requires that all passengers and employees wear secure face coverings. The airline does not require domestic customers to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative test prior to travel.

JetBlue JetBlue stated that all employees must get the COVID-19 vaccine under the federal mandate. The company further requires all passengers and customer-facing crewmembers to wear masks.

Spirit The airline requires secure face coverings in compliance with federal regulations. In October, Spirit stated that it was preparing to enforce a forthcoming federal employee vaccine mandate.


What are the Standard Airport Guidelines?

The Transportation Security Administration requires that all travelers wear masks at airport security checkpoints. Travelers must also keep masks on while traveling throughout all U.S. airports when indoors. If the T.S.A. finds you in violation of the federal regulations, you may receive future penalties or fines.

However, T.S.A. employees will ask you to adjust your mask when you go through security so that they can verify your ID. They will also ask for you to remove your mask if it sets off the screening equipment at the security checkpoint.

As for vaccination status, airports have generally maintained lesser restrictions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended delaying travel for those who are not fully vaccinated. Those traveling should generally only do so if it is absolutely essential and they have received a full vaccination dose. Additionally, as of Nov. 8, the White House requires vaccines for international travelers who will enter the United States.

While the aforementioned are federally regulated requirements, the T.S.A. makes other suggestions to travelers. The T.S.A. recommends that all passengers:

  • Stand six feet apart whenever possible at the checkpoint.
  • Remove personal items, such as technology and belts, prior to your arrival at the checkpoint queue. Doing so helps to speed up the process and also helps prevent long-term exposure.
  • Practice good hygiene. Try to wash your hands both immediately before and after the security screening process. Otherwise, use hand sanitizer before and after you reach security.
  • Arrive at the airport early. The coronavirus pandemic has affected airport staffing and operations. These shortages may potentially add time to your pre-flight experience.

You will find when you travel that there are a few other exceptions. For instance, you may lower your mask when eating or drinking. However, experts have encouraged passengers to minimize how often they eat and drink while traveling. These changes may feel disconcerting. However, the T.S.A. implemented them in an effort to reduce COVID-19 transmission.


What are the T.S.A. Guidelines? 

Likewise, the T.S.A. has made certain security adjustments. These changes help make the checkpoint screening process safer. Among the other T.S.A. checkpoint changes include:

Reduced physical contact.

The T.S.A. installed acrylic barriers in phases. They placed these barriers at different points throughout the security checkpoints. They implemented these new barriers where flight passengers and transportation officers must interact.

Personal protective equipment.

Like the passengers, T.S.A. officers must wear a face mask and gloves at all times. They may choose to wear a clear plastic face shield or eye protection. Passengers may request that these officers change their gloves between each pat-down. But the agents do change these gloves on their own accord as well.

Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

T.S.A. officers more frequently disinfect surfaces that passengers and workers frequently touch. Officers will, in particular, clean all of the security screening equipment and the bins. Similarly, the officers change Explosive Trace Detection swabs after they use one.

Medical exemption for hand sanitizer.

The T.S.A. has permitted one oversized liquid hand sanitizer container per passenger in a carry-on bag. These containers can contain up to 12 ounces. You will need to separately screen these containers, which will likely add extra time to your airport security process.


What to Know Before Traveling Internationally

Your travel experience will differ when you take domestic flights versus international flights. When you travel internationally, you must follow certain guidelines. Some of the guidelines include knowing how to prepare for your flight and knowing what you must do once you get home. You should keep the following general tips in mind prior to leaving a country and then entering another one.

Consider your vaccine status.

Avoid traveling internationally until you get fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine. In some cases, countries will not let you enter if you do not provide proof that you are fully vaccinated. Following the CDC recommendation is important in minimizing the transmission of the virus.

Review the facts.

You should check your destination’s COVID-19 situation. Countries will have different travel requirements prior to travel. Governments and health organizations have based many of these requirements on current caseloads and the severity of a national outbreak. The specific requirements can influence your entry and exit responsibilities.

Secure your health documents.

The United States requires travelers to produce a negative COVID-19 test result when you travel into the country by air. Alternatively, you must show the documentation of your recovery from COVID-19 prior to boarding a flight. Your COVID-19 test time frame depends on your age and individual vaccination status.

Know the requirements.

All travelers, unless given specific permission, must wear a mask over their nose and mouth in airports and airplanes. The federal regulation relates to people traveling into, within, or out of the United States.

As you prepare to travel internationally, you must review your vaccine status. People may have differing ideas about what it means to be fully vaccinated. Even so, the CDC has outlined what they consider “fully vaccinated”:

  • Fourteen days (two weeks) after getting a single-dose vaccine.
  • Fourteen days (two weeks) after getting a second dose of a two-dose vaccine.
  • Fourteen days (two weeks) after getting a full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial.
  • Fourteen days (two weeks) after getting a full Novavax or Covavax COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) through a phase 3 clinical trial.
  • Fourteen days (two weeks) after getting two doses of an approved “mix-and-match” COVID-19 vaccine combination. You must get these doses at least 17 days apart. However, the CDC does not recommend getting a “mix-and-match” vaccination.

The CDC makes other recommendations prior to doing any international travel. If you are not fully vaccinated, take a viral test one to three days before you travel. You should also not take any trips if you are waiting for COVID-19 test results. In some cases, depending on individual accessibility, people can bring rapid test kits with them on trips.

Separately, all passengers to the United States must provide airlines with contact information. Provide these details prior to boarding your flight. Doing so will enable airlines to identify and contact people with potential exposure to COVID-19. If you have returned to the United States and may have encountered someone exposed to COVID-19, follow these recommendations:

  • Get tested – You can get a viral test three to five days after you travel. Find these tests by looking for a nearby United States COVID-19 testing location.
  • Self-monitor – If you notice any COVID-19 symptoms, isolate yourself from others. Once you do that, get yourself immediately tested.

If you are unvaccinated, the CDC also recommends self-quarantining at home for seven days (one week) after travel. The time frame is still applicable even if you have tested negative at three to five days. If you do not get tested for COVID-19, self-quarantine at home for 10 days after you travel.

As you may know, humans are not the only ones facing tighter limitations either. In June, the United States banned importing dogs from 113 countries. The government found that other countries were providing falsified rabies records. Along with doing so to protect the health of dogs, the ban protects the general public. Many people and families have adopted puppies during the coronavirus pandemic. These animals have kept many of us company during the tough times of lockdown. Nonetheless, making sure every human and animal is healthy is a matter of public health.


General COVID-19 Guidance

Over the past year, people have gained greater access across the country to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. However, the pandemic has not concluded and it will not disappear overnight. That is why, there are still some considerations you should make prior to traveling domestically or out of the country unless you have no other option. These considerations may include:

Making a copy of your vaccine card.

When you travel abroad, people always recommend that you make a copy of your passport ID. By doing so, if you lose the original, you still have proof of your identity. Make sure to keep a copy of your vaccine card in a separate spot from the original.

Double-masking while on airplanes.

Airports and airlines may require masking, but people do not always accurately follow instructions. You should fly with the same mentality as you drive – that you are the most conscientious person on the flight.

Minimizing eating and drinking in enclosed spaces.

For long flights, the likelihood that you will eat and drink is much greater than short domestic flights. When you do, raise your mask in between bites and sips.

Considering your health history.

Anyone can get the COVID-19 virus. However, older adults and immunocompromised individuals can encounter more severe illness from COVID-19.

Thinking about the health of your loved ones.

Even if you follow health guidelines, you can still get COVID-19 while traveling. Once you return home, you may also spread it to the people who live with you. While you may not have symptoms, it can more severely affect them.

Making a packing list.

You should always pack certain items in your carry-on bag or purse. Generally, you will include medications to avoid losing them if the airline loses your luggage. Other items you should pack include: extra face masks, tissues, a thermometer, disinfectant wipes for surfaces (at least 70% alcohol), and alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol).

The holidays can be a stressful time under the best of circumstances. If you plan on traveling over the next few months, make sure to fully prepare yourself. Knowing what you can expect while flying during the pandemic will only help to improve your safety.


1 11, 2021

What Hilton’s Extended Stay Hotels 2022 Pet-Friendly Initiative Means

By |2022-03-03T12:05:07-07:00November 1st, 2021|Blog|Comments Off on What Hilton’s Extended Stay Hotels 2022 Pet-Friendly Initiative Means

People are traveling with their pets way more than in years past. As pet travel trends grow across the United States, major hotels have taken notice. Two extended stay brands that are recognizing the change include Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton. The brands plan on introducing new pet-friendly amenities over the next year.

Hilton will classify nearly 1,000 extended stay properties as pet-friendly by 2022. Hilton plans on adding Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites to that growing portfolio. The change means Hilton will permit pets in guest rooms. Similarly, Hilton plans to allow pets in many of their public areas. These changes are not the only ones that will make travel easier for pet owners. By 2022, both brands will coordinate pet fees. Previously, hotels charged a pet fee on an individual basis. After the standardization, both brands will cost $50 per stay across their North American portfolio.


Who Benefits from Pet-Friendly Hotels?

Many travelers who want to work remotely find extended stay hotels appealing. These hotels, and vacation rental properties, hold a mass appeal over crowded offices. Travelers also feel increasingly comfortable that they can bring their pets with them. The ASPCA has found that nearly 20% of American households added a new pet since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. A KRC Research survey found that from 85% of pet owners planning on traveling within the next year, 65% of them intended on bringing their pet.


What is the New Hotel Pet Pilot Program?

Along with these latest changes comes a pilot program. The program will offer complimentary digital assistance from pet experts to visitors at certain hotels. Guests can speak with experts about any wellness and behavioral questions. The pilot program hopes to alleviate the stress from traveling with a pet.

The program, by partnering with Hilton, also strives to help make additional cities become more pet-friendly. Guests will also have access to getting phone or online tips. These tips may range from learning more about pet etiquette to what to pack for your pet. Guests can also learn if a pet visit is important during their travels.


Why are Pet-Friendly Hotels Significant?

Pet owners across the country know that traveling with a pet has become increasingly difficult. Over the last year, airlines have revised travel regulations and reconsidered classifications for emotional support animals. More recently, pet travel has gotten harder due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s rabies rule and higher-priced pet “tickets.”

Prior to the C.D.C.’s limitations, people could at one time easily fly their pets across the United States. However, in certain respects, our pets will have a harder time traveling amongst all of the new restrictions than we do with COVID-19 travel regulations. That makes the pet-friendly hotels significant for travelers right now. People know that they have a place to go by multiple modes of transportation where they will not have to pay a high pet fee.

20 10, 2021

Airport Therapy Dogs Can Make Flying More Tolerable

By |2021-10-04T07:47:20-06:00October 20th, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Airport Therapy Dogs Can Make Flying More Tolerable

Seasoned travelers are undoubtedly familiar with airport therapy dogs. Airports have utilized humankind’s best friend for decades. However, travel and general life anxieties have risen in nearly the last two years. It is fully conceivable that we need these airport therapy dogs in airports now more than ever for both frequent and reluctant flyers.


What’s an Airport Therapy Dog?

Airports induce stress even in the most ideal circumstances. Even if you do not experience a long wait in the security line, you still need to rush to remove your shoes. You also need to be sure to reveal all technological equipment and then make sure you can account for it all after. Many people in the past drowned these anxieties at the airport bar. Others might have tried to get an airport massage before their flight.

But airport therapy dogs can create a better – and frankly, a less expensive – airport experience. They are not new to airports either. San Jose International Airport (SJC) in California introduced therapy dogs to its terminals shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. The airport’s chaplain volunteer tested the practice by bringing in her trained therapy dog. After seeing positive results, SJC started an official therapy dog program.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has also implemented a therapy dog program. The LAX Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUP) program had over 100 therapy dogs prior to the pandemic. In 2019, volunteers logged about 5,200 hours with the program. First developed in 2013, LAX’s program has become the largest one in the country.


Can Dogs Really Relieve Stress?

Researchers continue to study the positive and negative consequences of human-animal interactions. However, certain studies indicate that interacting with animals can provide a number of positive health effects. In certain cases, humans engaging with animals lowers cortisol levels, which is a stress-related hormone. Animals can also reduce blood pressure, loneliness, and boost feelings of social support.

When it comes to the availability of airport therapy dogs, accessibility varies throughout the country. Before the coronavirus pandemic, 87 North American airports offered programs for therapy dogs. Airports have gradually reinstated therapy dog volunteers as travel and health restrictions have lifted. By September 2021, 35 of the airports reintroduced their programs.


Who Do Airport Therapy Dogs Help?

The good news is, airport therapy dogs can potentially benefit anyone who feels comfortable approaching them. You can visit with these therapy dogs if you are younger, older, traveling alone, or flying for business. Some adults will even lie on the floor or get selfies with therapy dogs. The furry travel friends evidently act as a welcome reprieve during the airport hustle.

In some cases, passengers with medical concerns can even benefit from these airport dogs. One existing airport therapy dog program is Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) PIT PAWS (Pups Alleviating Worry and Stress). Passengers at the airport have told Tara Hoover, who works as the head of the program, that they did not need to take anxiety medications due to Pittsburgh’s soothing airport therapy dogs.


14 10, 2021

Help Your Dog Get Rid of These 6 Bad Habits

By |2021-10-13T10:05:13-06:00October 14th, 2021|Blog|Comments Off on Help Your Dog Get Rid of These 6 Bad Habits

Most pet owners will tell you: raising a dog is not easy. New pet parents need to know to draw a line between affection and indulgence. For some dogs, these owner interactions can facilitate rowdiness and bad behavior. If you’re a new pet parent, or if you’re thinking about adopting a pup, it is extremely crucial for dog parents to understand dog psychology. Here are a few ways to ensure good behavior in your future pet.

Train your dog from the beginning

Don’t wait too long to train your dog after adopting a puppy. Rather, you should start training your pup as soon as you bring it home. Training from an early age helps your dog to develop good habits and avoid bad ones. Remember that older dogs take far more time to be trained compared to puppies; the older the dog, the more habits it’s already formed. Training a dog is also beneficial for its mental growth and physical health. It helps your dog to develop a healthy routine.

Don’t tolerate bad behavior

As much as we love our pups, dog parents often mistake indulgence for love. It is okay to accept certain characteristics of your pet. However, you should not indulge your dog when they exhibit bad behavior. People tend to ignore certain puppy behaviors because of their age and immaturity. If you do this, your setting yourself – and your dog – up for a tough adolescence and adulthood.

Remember: Just like as children need to be guided, your dog needs it too. Working on your pup’s behavior doesn’t mean you love them any less. Instead, it signifies you love your dog the most and hence want it to lead a proper lifestyle.

Reward good behavior

Dogs know how to differentiate between rewards and punishment, and they need both. They can understand causal relationships, which means they can determine that their actions facilitate a reaction from you – be it a treat or a scold. Always reward your dog for good behavior. Doing so will motivate your dog to behave well all the time. You should also remember to reprimand your pup whenever they misbehave. This helps your dog to understand which behaviors are good and bad.

Be consistent

Dog parents should remember to be consistent in their training. This helps the dog to understand your commands and understand which behaviors are allowed. It is best to repeat commands when beginning training so that your dog understands their meanings over time. Remember, the best way to train your dog is to keep up a consistent practice.

Don’t entertain sneaking food

It is crucial to ensure your dog has healthy eating habits. Dogs can develop the habit of sneaking their favorite snacks right from the table or your plate. If something like this happens, you’ll want to immediately address the behavior. This will help prevent them from doing it again in the future. Though such behavior might often be regarded as childish initially, it can become annoying – even unhealthy – as your dog gets older. Of course, you would prefer a well-behaved dog when you have guests at home. The only way to ensure this is by feeding your dog at frequent intervals and setting a strict routine for them.

Dogs also have the habit of chewing whatever they see. Puppies tend to do this during the teething process. Pet parents need to check this habit to prevent pups from choking or becoming ill. Allowing miscellaneous chewing can cause certain health conditions, which require trips to the animal hospital.

If you are really concerned about a health issue, you should also consider pet insurance for your dog. Pet insurance provides your dog with financial coverage in case of any emergency or sudden illness, and it reduces your financial burden. Do a few searches for ‘How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?’ This should help you to get a better idea of the different kinds of insurance policies available for your dog. You’ll learn more about their costs and which plan is suitable for your needs.

Train your dog to behave with veterinarians

Dogs often misbehave with vets, especially when they’re poked and prodded for vaccinations and blood draws. While on the one hand, you should take your dog to a pet-friendly vaccination center, it is also important to teach your dog obedience and ensure they are acquainted with their vets. Doing so ensures better communication between your dog and the vet. It also encourages better treatment and faster recovery.

The psychology of dogs is similar to that of humans. Thus, raising a dog is the same as raising children. New dog parents need to undertake various steps to ensure good behavior in your pet. Following the steps mentioned above can help you to raise a healthy, well-trained, and friendly dog.

Go to Top