Airline News - Europe.

 
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Jan 17, 2010

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has advised all airlines that as of Jan. 20 it will be mandatory for all passengers traveling under the Visa Waiver Program to receive approval to travel through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) program. British Airways strongly advises all customers traveling to or transferring through the U.S. from this date to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours in advance of their journey. Silla Maizey, director of customer service, said, OIt only takes 15 minutes to complete an ESTA and the vast majority of applicants will receive approval for travel within minutes, although it can take up to 72 hours. Under the new regulations, we will not be able to accept U.S.-bound customers for their flight if they have not received ESTA approval or if they do not hold a valid visa or Green Card. Most of our customers are already familiar with ESTA as it has been in place for more than a year, although not fully implemented.O For more information, visit https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Jan 14, 2010

A large majority of travel managers polled separately by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and the National Business Travel Association indicated their companies have not reduced business travel as a result of the Christmas Day attempt to detonate a bomb aboard a Northwest Airlines jet en route to Detroit from Amsterdam. But the byproducts of the terror plan--enhanced security screening and other reactive measures--already are affecting travelers around the world. The full consequences are not yet clear as authorities in several countries continue to review and enact new rules. Thus far, there is no evidence of a substantial drop in U.S. air travel demand as a result. "The terrorist incident in December has perhaps had some negative impact on ticket sales, particularly to/from Europe," according to a Jan. 11 research note from UBS analyst Kevin Crissey. "That said, the managements with whom we've spoken have not seen any material downtick that they can attribute to the failed attempt." But the situation raises questions for many frequent travelers and their managers. Will new security procedures that lengthen checkpoint wait times become too much of a drain on traveler productivity? Will carry-on restrictions become less consistent worldwide and force more travelers to wait for checked bags? How should national authorities and corporations that field business travelers handle health and privacy...

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