Travel tips: DIA prepares for the Christmas travel rush

DENVER (KDVR) — More than 2.7 million travelers are expected to pass through Denver International Airport between Monday and Jan. 3

This would be a decrease of 5% for the same period pre-pandemic in 2019.

The airport is expecting Dec. 23, Dec. 27 and Dec. 29 to be the busiest days, with more than 200,000 passengers traveling through each day.

The airport is working to make the busy travel season as smooth as possible for travelers, from parking their vehicles to arriving at their gate.

Plan ahead

  • Passengers should arrive inside the airport at least two hours in advance of their boarding time
  • DIA has three security checkpoints. South security is open 24 hours a day, north security is open between 4 a.m.-9 p.m., and bridge security is open from approximately 4:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • TSA screening checkpoints are generally busiest early in the morning from about 5-10 a.m., and from 1-4 p.m.


  • The Pikes Peak Shuttle Lot will be open 24/7 through Jan. 6. Travelers utilizing Pikes Peak should allow an extra 45 minutes to get to the terminal.
  • The East Economy Lot and east and west valet are closed.
  • Before heading to DIA, check for real-time parking information. While on the road, watch for electronic signs along inbound Peña Blvd.
  • Not driving? Take the RTD A Line from Union Station, or meet your Ride App (Uber, Lyft, etc.) driver for pickup on Level 5, Island 5 with other ground transportation services.  


  • United and Southwest check-in areas are now at the center of Level 6, United on the west side and Southwest on the east side.
  • The new check-in areas allow passengers to use kiosks to print their boarding pass and tag their bags before placing their bag on a self-bag-drop unit.

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Expo 2020 Dubai prepares to mark UAE golden jubilee | News

Expo 2020 Dubai will mark 50-years since the founding of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in show-stopping style with a four-day slate of world-class events and immersive experiences.

Organisers said the show comes as the country celebrates its golden jubilee with “renewed optimism for the next half century”.

Running from December 1-4, the site-wide celebration – taking each and every visitor to Expo on a journey of authentic Emirati experiences and stories – will include world-class ceremonies, exceptional musical showcases, meaningful cross-cultural conversations, culturally-fused performances and engaging exhibits.

As announced by the UAE president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, highlights at Expo 2020 include the UAE national day, celebrated every year to commemorate December 2nd, 1971, when the UAE declared independence as a sovereign nation.

From 10:15, visitors are invited to Expo 2020’s UAE national day ceremony at Al Wasl Plaza, including the raising of the flag, high-level speeches and anthem performances by a children’s choir, concluding with an Al Azi Performance by Al Wasmi.

This will also feature alongside horses of the Dubai Police and the UAE Ministry of Interior Marching Band in the Colours of the World Parade between 12:45 and 13:15.

A gravity-defying aerial performance by Dubai Police will follow shortly after, alongside a 30-minute musical showcase by Emirati singer Fatma Zahrat Al Ain, and a jaw-dropping flyover display by the UAE Air Force aerobatics team Al Fursan.

The diamond in the crown of Expo 2020’s programming will be Al Wasl Plaza’s immersive theatrical show, Journey of the 50th.

Set to take place from December 1-4, the show will push the boundaries of what is possible in Al Wasl Plaza, featuring a blend of human performance, theatrics and the unique capabilities of the venue in a never-before-seen way.

Over 200 hundred performers including participating countries will take part of this theatrical show.

Amna Abulhoul, executive creative director, events and entertainment, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “As the show unfolds, we will learn about the origins of the Emirati people, the people of this land, who follow the current of the sea, know the language of the stars and hear the wind as it speaks.

“Their true connection to the earth and how the values of our forefathers still continue to push us forward today.”

More Information

Further details on UAE National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai can be here.

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Listen in: Travel writer Simon Veness talks the next British invasion, as Orlando prepares to welcome back UK travelers next week – Central Florida News

Orlando International Airport will begin welcoming back fully vaccinated international passengers on Monday for the first time since the start of the pandemic. 

In 2022 alone, some 765,000 people from the UK are expected to visit the theme parks bringing in an estimated $765 million dollars to the local economy.

WMFE spoke with Simon Veness of Veness Travel Media about this latest tourism-based British invasion.

Read the full interview below or listen to it by clicking on the link at the top. 

Simon: Virgin Atlantic will set the ball rolling with two flights, I believe, from the UK, one from London and one from Manchester. And they’re going to be using their A350, which is the best part of 400 passengers per plane. We understand that they are absolutely full for the first few flights. So we’re certainly going to see, you know, nearly 1,000 people a day coming into MCO from the UK via Virgin Atlantic, and then British Airways will chip in from November 15th, with a daily flight from London, and probably another 350 plus. So it’s going to be an exciting and busy time for Orlando International Airport.

Danielle: You know, I have a question about pent-up demand. When I think about the Midwest, where I’m from, there are so many people that were so excited to come back when they thought it was safe. Do you think that’s going to be the case? We’re just going to see this huge surge?

Simon: Yes, I mean, within reason, yes. I think that there is a huge pent-up demand for Florida because it’s such a popular long haul market for the UK. And we have so many people who are dedicated to coming here, you know, every year pretty much. So there are an awful lot of people ready to come back. Obviously, the one sort of not necessarily snag, but the one possible drag on the proceedings will be the new regulations that everyone has to follow to visit the US from outside countries at the moment by air in terms of being fully vaccinated, in terms of taking a COVID test no more than three days in advance of their flight here. And also, for children under 18, they will also be required to take a second COVID test, once they’ve you know, once they’re here between three to five days after arrival. So there are quite a few hoops that people will need to jump through, which I think might just act as just a little bit of a an inhibitor for the initial rush. But I think once we get through this opening period, and we can see how everything works. I’m sure we’ll see even more people coming in and more flights, especially in the run up to the Christmas period.

Danielle: You know, do you think we’re gonna see kind of that sector of our tourism industry, you know, kind of come back to what it was before the pandemic right away? Some people are saying 2023? Are you still hearing some people even maybe have concerns coming to Florida after what they’ve seen in the news about the Delta variant?

Simon: Yeah, I mean, I think that there’s a there’s a very realistic understanding that that the virus hasn’t gone away. It’s still part of our lives, and we still need to take account of it. But you know, once we’ve got people fully vaccinated, I think that will act as something that really gets people comfortable with the idea of traveling again, especially, you know, a long haul flight when they will still be required to wear masks. It’s going to be a little bit awkward at first, but I do think people will get into the routine very quickly. And once they can see that the new systems are in place and are working and it’s smooth and it’s just one more process if you like in the long haul travel. I think we’ll see the UK market come back to Florida very consistently in 2022. And not only that, we’re gonna see some new faces here as well. Because with all that Disney are doing for their 50th anniversary, it’s going to be very much in the hearts and minds of the UK audience.

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Hawaii’s tourism industry prepares for loosened national travel restrictions for fully vaccinated visitors – Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather

Friday’s announcement was welcomed news for many people in the tourism industry including here in Hawaii. Bruce Fisher, owner of Hawaii Aloha Travel, says international visitors are better for the local economy because they tend to stay longer and spend more. The industry is hopeful for a more vibrant 2022 but right now Hawaii still has travel restrictions in place for visitors from many foreign countries. 

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‘Book now’: Ford Airport prepares for boost in travel during the holidays

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The holidays are right around the corner, which means people are starting to book their plane tickets to visit family and friends. Officials with the Gerald R. Ford International Airport say their biggest piece of advice is to book your tickets early.

Stephen Clark, the director of commercial development, says back during the Fourth of July holiday, they saw travel numbers hit pre-pandemic levels and they’re expecting that to happen again.

Clark says it’s also important to check entry rules and restrictions for different states and countries before you travel, as they are everchanging. The airport still has its COVID-19 testing site available on the property to use.

He says they’re continuing to prioritize safety by cleaning regularly, noting that masks will be required when flying until the middle of January at the very earliest.

“Folks want to get out and travel. They can do so safely and they’re going to destinations where they can travel safely so they’re booking earlier, so those good deals aren’t lasting as long,” said Clark. “I think the big piece of advice for folks this holiday season that is looking to travel is book now and be ready to go.”

When it comes to airport staffing shortages, Clark says to be prepared to be patient when traveling as lines will be longer for the time being.

They plan to host a hiring event to combat this in the coming weeks.

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CWT Prepares Prepackaged Chapter 11 Filing

Travel management company CWT is preparing a ‘prepackaged’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the United States to push through a recently announced financial restructuring plan.

The TMC said it is taking steps to implement its previously announced agreement with its financial partners “that will significantly strengthen our financial position, provide substantial liquidity and reduce our debt by approximately 50 percent.”

CWT in a statement said: “We plan to use a ‘pre-packaged’ court-supervised process to implement the agreement on an expedited basis in the coming weeks while we continue operating normally. We look forward to moving ahead as a fundamentally stronger [business].

“We already have overwhelming support for the agreement from our financial stakeholders representing 100 percent of our bank group and holders of over 90 percent of our outstanding secured debt.”

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Breaking Travel News investigates: The First Collection prepares for Dubai debut | Focus

The First Group has unveiled a unique and innovative lifestyle brand, the First Collection, encompassing the portfolio of hotels, restaurants and leisure venues owned and operated by the company.

The first property, the First Collection at Jumeirah Village Circle, will join the market in the coming days.

The launch of the brand marks a major step in the evolution of the Dubai-based integrated global property developer.

The First Group has long been recognised as one of the leading lights in the United Arab Emirates, thanks to its existing portfolio of 11 properties, which includes Wyndham Dubai Marina, Millennium Place Marina and TRYP by Wyndham Dubai.

The company is now taking the next step, offering travellers a new, lifestyle-focused brand.

Additionally, the First Group has a pipeline of seven upscale and upper-midscale hotels in development in Dubai, with many of these exciting new projects launching under the

First Collection banner, along with a selection of existing properties that will be rebranded in the coming months.

“The First Collection brings our assets together under one sophisticated brand, providing a platform for the development of exciting lifestyle experiences that leverage our core strengths while providing investors new opportunities to further capitalise on our long-term growth plans,” commented Rob Burns, chief executive the First Group.

“The First Collection will enable us to accelerate our expansion plans in new and existing markets, while ensuring strong brand recognition across our entire portfolio,” continued Burns.

Over the past several years, the First Group has diversified its operations, branching into key vertical markets, including property asset management and food and beverage – with the latter earning the brand a formidable reputation as one of most ambitious and innovative hospitality operators in Dubai.

This is thanks in part to the launch of MasterChef, the TV Experience – the first restaurant based on the global reality TV phenomenon, located at Millennium Place Marina.

In recent months, the team have rolled out equally exciting and original outlets including Japanese street-food inspired Ikigai at Millennium Place Marina, plus Lola Taberna Española and the Mediterranean-themed Soluna Restaurant & Lounge, both of which are located at TRYP by Wyndham Dubai.

Each venue has received acclaim for delivering unique and exceptional dining experiences.

The First Group has appointed a dynamic, highly experienced team to oversee the long-term development of the First Collection’s hotel and culinary portfolio.

Renowned hotelier David Thomson, who spent two decades stewarding the rise of Dubai-based JA Resorts & Hotels, will serve as vice president of the First Group Hotel Management.

At the same time, internationally acclaimed restaurateur, Mark Patten, who previously managed of food and beverage for Atlantis, the Palm and Harrods of London, will oversee the First Collection dining and entertainment division as vice president of food and beverage.

The introduction of the First Collection will also signal an exciting new era for investors, who currently hail from 149 countries worldwide.

The First Group’s unique investment proposition enables individual investors to purchase hotel guestrooms, earning annual returns and gaining access to an array of unique, high-value privileges via the owner rewards programme.

“The launch of the First Collection will enable the First Group to further hone and develop our loyalty programmes, providing investors with access to even greater rewards and lifestyle experiences that reflect the broader ambitions of the First Collection portfolio,” adds Burns.

The First Collection will also provide key benefits to members of the lifestyle rewards programme, which is available to all patrons and guests who choose to stay, dine or relax at any of the group’s hotels located in Dubai.

Members also gain access to a range of attractive incentives, including discounts on hotel stays, complimentary dining experiences, and more.

Take a look below as David Thomson, vice president with the First Group, brings Breaking Travel News up to date with the new venture during the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference:

More Information

Headquartered in Dubai, the First Group is a dynamic, integrated global property developer with a fast-growing portfolio of upscale hotels, residential properties, food and beverage brands and real estate asset management services including hotel management.

Since launch, the company has carved a highly successful niche offering unrivalled property investment opportunities to clients from around the world.

Find out more on the official website.

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Rove Expo 2020 prepares to welcome first guests | News

With just days to go ahead of the opening of Dubai Expo 2020, the emirate is getting ready to welcome more than 190 countries and millions of visitors to the making of a new world. 

Final preparations are underway for the opening ceremony on Thursday, while there is plenty happening elsewhere around the site as the big day approaches.

Catch up with the latest, here.

At the heart of it all, Rove Hotels is inviting guests to grab the best seats in the house at the only on-site hotel, Rove Expo 2020.

Located at the centre of it all, adjacent to Al Wasl Plaza, the property is set to welcome visitors from across the globe.

“As a home-grown hotel brand born here in Dubai, Rove Hotels is extremely proud to serve as the only on-site hotel at Expo 2020.

“Every Rove hotel is designed with the modern international traveller in mind, and Rove Expo 2020 will be the latest exciting evolution of our unique brand of fuss-free hospitality – located right at the heart of what will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime event.

“While Rove Expo 2020 will certainly grab the headlines thanks to its location in Al Wasl Plaza at the centre of the Expo site, our ‘Rovesters’ are also hard at work preparing our other well-connected hotels across the city to meet the massive demand for stays during the event.

“Rovers can rest assured that regardless of which Rove location they choose for their stay, they will be able to enjoy great hospitality just minutes away from the Expo 2020 site,” said Paul Bridger of Rove Hotels.

Regroup, recharge and re-think the future with all the Rove-brand favourites under one roof at Rove Expo 2020.

Keeping Rovers on the beat of the Expo pulse, the hotel is adjacent to Al Wasl Plaza, the main square of the Expo site, providing the perfect launchpad to more than 190 Country Pavilions.

For adventures further afield, Expo 2020 has its own dedicated metro station, linking commuters to Dubai Marina, JBR beach,  the Dubai Mall and beyond.

A gateway to a six-month celebration of culture, innovation and human excellence, Rove Expo 2020 will feature 312 king, twin and accessible Rover Rooms, as well as 19 Rover suites.

Rove Expo 2020 will also boast several dining and social outlets, including the Daily, a grab and go Rove Café and the Bar, along with a rooftop swimming pool and sundeck overlooking the Al Wasl Plaza.

Rovers can expect 100 per cent sustainable in-room amenities, late check-out times, super-fast 5G Wi-Fi, a 24-hour gym, prayer rooms and much more.

Rove Expo 2020 has a continuous contemporary aesthetic throughout, maintaining a 2.0 version of the much-loved ‘Rove touch’.

Each zone balances clean lines and fresh functionality with cool comfort and trendy interiors, leaving plenty of space for the dreamers, who can gaze upon flashes of quirky local art for tonnes of inspiration.

Additionally, sustainability is also an area of great focus.

With Expo 2020 aiming to be one of the most environmentally friendly in history, the brand is upping its earth-love ethos to match.

Rove Hotels’ commitment to making a positive impact in everything it does can be found within the big stuff, filtering all the way through to the tiny details.

Its team has utilised the latest technologies in energy efficiency with increased solar panelling, whilst operating with the leading artificial intelligence in food waste solutions and so much more – all in line with Rove’s strong spirit of #sustainability.

Paul Bridger, chief operating officer of Rove Hotels, tells Breaking Travel News about his plans for Expo 2020:

More Information

The Expo 2020 Dubai site is very well connected to the rest of Dubai, making it easy for visitors to travel between the city and Rove Expo 2020.

Find out more about the property on the official site.

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