PLUS: Delta introduces facial recognition for travelers; the latest on the Thailand and Australia reopenings
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Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Navigator from Dollar Flight Club!

Formerly known as The Weekender, this new look newsletter is still here to bring you the latest and most important information from the travel world and beyond.  So if you've got something you'd like to know more about, like whether you should drink airplane coffee (you probably shouldn't) or how to figure out which countries you can visit right now (we like this tool a lot), hit reply and let us know!

In today's edition:
  • American Airlines experienced a Southwest-level cancelation meltdown
  • Delta Air Lines wants you to pass through the airport using just your face
  • Australia, Thailand, and others move to reopen their borders for travel

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American Airlines canceled thousands of flights this weekend
American Airlines canceled more than 1,500 flights over the weekend and delayed over 1,000 others. The airline cited a combination of weather – high winds, specifically – and staffing shortages as the reason for the widespread disruptions.

These issues come just a few weeks after Southwest had to cancel nearly 2,000 flights in one weekend for virtually the same combination of reasons. So what gives?

As air travel has resumed, airlines continue to struggle with cancelations for a variety of factors, though one of the most impactful is staffing shortages. Most airlines significantly reduced their staff during the pandemic in order to stay afloat and are now having a difficult time dealing with setbacks as they rapidly try to bring on new hires.

With the holiday travel season on the horizon, we’ll be watching this situation closely. In the meantime, be sure to know when you’re entitled to a refund from your airline.

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Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines
Delta introduces facial recognition to get you through security
Starting this month, Delta Air Lines wants to start making your journey through the airport completely hands and device-free.

The airline has partnered with TSA PreCheck to allow passengers to drop their bags, pass through security, and board their flight all just by simply showing their face. The pilot program, set to launch at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport this month, is an extension of the technology Delta already has in use at its Detroit hub.

Initially, the program will only be available for passengers that have both the Fly Delta app and a TSA PreCheck membership.

Australia, Thailand, and others move to reopen
It's an encouraging week for travelers who've been waiting to return to closed-off destinations.

This week, vaccinated Australians will finally be able to travel overseas. While American (or any) tourists still aren't able to visit, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that he expects them to be able to return this year.

In Southeast Asia, Thailand's long-awaited quarantine-free reopening for vaccinated travelers kicks off today. Meanwhile, next door, Cambodia announced plans to reopen for international visitors by the end of the month.

Finally, Argentina will begin welcoming fully vaccinated travelers back today quarantine-free, though submitting a negative COVID test is still required.

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  • Flight attendant suffered a broken nose after a passenger attacked her

  • A total snooze: Hong Kong bus tour drives sleepy passengers around for hours to help them catch some Zs

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