January 15, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY -- Cubans now for the first time have the right to travel off the island without a special exit permit, the latest in reforms that the communist government is slowly enacting in hopes of reinvigorating its troubled economy. The new and much-anticipated regulation went into effect Monday. Eager to take advantage, Cubans lined up from early hours and all day long outside travel agencies and the state offices that issue passports. Remarkably, it appeared that several longtime Cuban dissidents who have been repeatedly denied permission to travel will also be allowed to leave from and, importantly, return to Cuba.
August 19, 2012 |
Instead of the usual question-and-answer format this week, I'll address a question that's the equivalent of a bug bite on the behind for leisure travelers: Isn't anybody watching out for us? Our business travel brethren seem to get all the love and attention from travel providers. It's not that they don't deserve it; road warriors have a tough, well, road, juggling regular work with irregular travel schedules. They get perks for the frequency with which they do this. The leisure traveler generally does not, and it does leave us feeling as though we're not Mom's favorite.
May 14, 2012 |
It was a tough week for the Transportation Security Administration, but on at least one issue the federal agency may have scored a small victory. The TSA was on the defensive during congressional hearings last week over charges that it has wasted money by storing hundreds of pieces of screening equipment, including full-body scanners, in warehouses in Texas. The TSA's top financial officer, David Nicholson, defended the agency, saying it has cut its warehouse costs from $7.6 million in 2009 to $3.5 million in 2011.
January 29, 2012 |
Think of what follows as a travel tapas buffet - tidbits that just might whet your appetite for more. Here are a dozen pieces of information for the 2012 traveler. 1. You will know how much you'll pay to check your bags when you're flying. The Department of Transportation this month denied requests to delay implementation of this rule, so as of last week, you will know what you'll pay if you decide to check a bag or another piece of luggage. This, of course, applies to the majority of us who aren't flying in first or business class, aren't elite frequent fliers or haven't paid with a credit card that gives us free baggage check.
January 16, 2011 |
Call it "The Case of the Disappearing Flights. " Recent visitors to two big websites that help travelers shop for airline tickets may have noticed a missing player: American Airlines. In a dispute over how American's flights are displayed and at what cost, the third-largest U.S. carrier in December pulled its fares from Orbitz, one of the top five online travel agencies. Expedia, the biggest such agency, soon stopped listing American too. Then Texas-based Sabre Holdings Corp., the largest provider of airfares to online travel agencies (including Expedia)
April 19, 2009
Regarding Catharine Hamm's "If You Need a Pro" on finding a good travel agent ["On the Spot," April 12]. There are several good sources for finding reputable travel professionals: American Society of Travel Agents: www.travelsense.org/agents. All travel agents in this directory are ASTA members and adhere to a code of ethics. Virtuoso: www.virtuoso.com. Virtuoso is the world's most exclusive network of travel advisors, with only 1% of travel agencies invited to join. Signature Travel Network: www.signaturetravelnetwork.