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LATEST STORIES

Passports — Global Entry, CBP Kiosks, Renewals by app and online

As we get into the spring and summer travel seasons, international travel is becoming to come into focus for some travelers. With international travel comes the need for a passport and the need to navigate customs and border protection when returning to the US. Here are some passport tips to make reentry painless.

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How to evacuate a plane

How, exactly, do you evacuate a plane? It turns out the answer is pretty simple and involves staying informed, following the crew’s instructions, and moving fast. Really fast.The odds of you having to flee a burning plane are remote, at least in the United States. Most evacuations are orderly and anticlimactic.

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POLICY

Passports — Global Entry, CBP Kiosks, Renewals by app and online

Passports — Global Entry, CBP Kiosks, Renewals by app and online

As we get into the spring and summer travel seasons, international travel is becoming to come into focus for some travelers. With international travel comes the need for a passport and the need to navigate customs and border protection when returning to the US. Here are some passport tips to make reentry painless.

TRAVEL

Ignore these misguided Venetian myths when visiting

Ignore these misguided Venetian myths when visiting

Tourists who visit will find a wonderful experience. And, anyone who has the time to spend an extended period in the city will have a chance to live life with no horns and car traffic. These normal urban sounds are traded in for the ringing church bells, the rumble of waterbuses docking, and occasional music from gondoliers.

Know the real rules for compensation when you are bumped

Overbooking is not illegal, and most airlines overbook their scheduled flights to a certain extent in order to compensate for “no-shows.” Passengers are sometimes left behind or “bumped” as a result. When an oversale occurs, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires airlines to ask people who aren’t in a hurry to give up their seats voluntarily in exchange for compensation. Those passengers bumped against their will are, with a few exceptions, entitled to compensation.

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DOT is sadly failing at effective consumer protection

The government’s aviation system is a complex mess as far as America’s consumers are concerned. The mishmash of organizations that theoretically work for passengers, take turns stepping on each other’s toes. And, the state judicial system cannot protect passengers because of Supreme Court rulings.

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Will Spirit ever pay for my damaged luggage?

Angela Williams flew from Washington to Atlanta for a funeral this summer. But during the trip, a Spirit Airlines baggage handler created another casualty — her new luggage. Now she wants to know: Will Spirit ever pay for the damaged luggage? Williams filed a claim —...

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Panama — it’s more than just the canal

Visiting Panama is far more than only the Canal. The country offers the sun-and-sand attractions enjoyed in countries that front the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Plus the environment and the native cultures are fascinating.

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Sicily, Italy: Where what’s not on the itinerary is as important as what is

I wanted to focus on the extensive ruins of the Greeks and Romans from the 8th century BC; the city market created by the Arabs in 900 A.D. which still operates today as it did then; the Norman Church built in 1174 which was proclaimed by acclamation as “The most magnificent cathedral ever!”; a boat ride to a Phoenician island dating back 2,700 years; and a powerful WWII Museum devoted to ending Italy’s Fascist rule. But that’s where the story veered into trouble

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TRAVEL SAFETY

Hotel safety is still primarily on the shoulders of guests

Hotel safety is still primarily on the shoulders of guests

Hotel security and hotel safety have been in the news lately. Both Hilton and Disney changed their “Do Not Disturb” policy. While the new policy will help make hotel guests safer, it’s still incumbent on guests to take personal responsibility for their own safety.

TRAVEL TIPS

How to evacuate a plane

How to evacuate a plane

How, exactly, do you evacuate a plane? It turns out the answer is pretty simple and involves staying informed, following the crew’s instructions, and moving fast. Really fast.The odds of you having to flee a burning plane are remote, at least in the United States. Most evacuations are orderly and anticlimactic.

Know the laws while traveling to avoid legal trouble

Oh, the legal trouble Americans get themselves into when they're abroad "They dress immodestly," says Sheryl Hill, the executive director of Depart Smart, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving travel safety. "They bring banned medications. They make...

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18 tips to improve your hotel personal security

Hotels across the globe are recognizing that they must do more than provide clean, beautiful rooms with comfortable beds and lots of amenities. Today, most hotels in every price range are taking guest security much more seriously. Hotels have installed electronic room...

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How to know when driving is better than flying

Airlines need to keep in mind that passengers often have choices. These choices may include other competing airlines, taking trains or buses, and driving. One of the biggest changes has been in the competition between driving and planes. Many consumers are choosing to drive when given a choice to take a trip where a drive is compared to a plane to travel for up eight hours.

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Why some flights are delayed and some flights are on time

When an airport is operating at temporarily reduced capacity, for any reason, airlines are likely to be told how many flights they can have take-off and land within a given time. The airlines then can decide accordingly what flights leave on-time and what flights are delayed.

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How to miss a cruise ship’s sailing

There are many ways to miss your cruise ship  Last week, I discussed missing or getting kicked off commercial airline flights. It can ruin your vacation. Similarly, missing your cruise ship's sailing or getting kicked off your ship can be devastating and expensive. If...

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How to know if you should buy travel insurance

Follow these rules to get great travel insurance Do you need travel insurance for your upcoming summer vacation? You’re not alone. It’s going to be a big year for travel insurance. Really big. A survey by the travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth predicts 24...

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Accomplishments

These accomplishments have been achieved by working closely with our members, national media, the travel industry, the Department of Transportation (DOT), Congress and many other agencies.

  • Creation of the Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protections
  • Advertised airfares now include airfare plus, mandatory taxes and fees
  • Lost/damaged/delayed luggage compensation limit increased to $3,500
  • Passengers have 24 hours to change or cancel their nonrefundable tickets without penalty
  • Once an airfare is purchased, that airfare and ancillary fees cannot be increased
  • Families flying together act passed by Congress that requires family members 13 years of age and younger to sit with other family members at no additional cost.