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About Edward Hasbrouck

"The Practical Nomad"
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    Tell Congress not to legalize more deceptive airfare advertising

Tell Congress not to legalize more deceptive airfare advertising

Airlines don't like comparison shopping, make it as hard as possible and positively hate passengers who don't care what logo is painted on the tail of the plane. Airlines want brand loyal, price indifferent customers who pay (or whose employers pay) whatever the airline asks.

Have travelers lost the class war?

In air transportation, the ultimate "opt out" is the use of private aircraft to avoid, for a very high price, the hassles of common-carrier airlines. Private charter flights are exempt from TSA screening searches, and often operate from separate "executive" terminals or even separate airports most airline passengers have never heard of, such as those in Teterboro, NJ, for New York City, or Van Nuys, CA, for greater Los Angeles.

Call for U.S. DOT to act on travel privacy

Next Monday, 16 December 2013, the ACACP will meet to consider privacy protection actions to recommend to the Secretary of Transportation. Pursuant to the law which mandated the establishment of the ACACP, the Secretary must report to Congress on what the ACACP has recommended, and what, if any, action the Secretary has taken on those recommendations. So unlike many advisory bodies, the ACACP can set its own agenda and can not be completely ignored.
By |December 13th, 2013|Today|0 Comments|

International travel by air is a Constitutional right

In a preliminary ruling in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU three years ago on behalf of a group of people who have been prevented by the U.S. government from traveling by air, a Federal judge in Oregon has found (1) that international air travel is a Constitutional right, and (2) that a categorical ban by the government on the exercise of that right can only be issued in accordance with due process.
By |September 5th, 2013|Today|1 Comment|

White House approves new “long forms” for some passport applicants

After a year-long "review," the White House on August 12, 2013, approved the State Department's proposed new "long form" questionnaires for some (unspecified) subset of applicants for US passports. Who gets this form? Why? And, what if they don't have the information to fill it out? Are they denied movement?

Travel is a right, not a privilege

One of the most important principles that protects consumers of travel services is that travel is a right. Your right to travel (both in general and specifically by air) is recognized by U.S. law and by international human rights treaties. That's why an airline isn’t like an ordinary business which can say, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

State Dept. admits passport form was illegal, but still wants it approved

Ignoring massive public opposition, and despite having recently admitted that it is already using the "proposed" forms illegally without approval, the State Department is trying again to get approval for a pair of impossible-to-complete new passport application forms that would, in effect, allow the State Department to deny you a passport simply by choosing to send you either or both of the new "long forms."
By |September 24th, 2012|Today|5 Comments|

International travelers: Watch for a check in the mail!

If you used a US-issued VISA or MasterCard, or a VISA or MasterCard-branded ATM card, to make purchases or withdraw cash in foreign currency between 1996 and 2006, look for a check like the one below in your mail this week.

Mine was delivered yesterday, so yours might have been delivered a few days ago, or might still be on its way. Check your recent mail. It’s easy to mistake these postcards for junk mail.

By |January 25th, 2012|Today|8 Comments|

State Department wants to make it harder to get a passport

If you don’t want it to get even harder for a U.S. citizen to get a passport — now required for travel even to Canada or Mexico — you only have until Monday to let the State Department know.

The U.S. Department of State is proposing a new Biographical Questionnaire for some passport applicants: The proposed new  Form DS-5513 asks for all addresses since birth; lifetime employment history including employers’ and supervisors names, addresses, and telephone numbers; personal details of all siblings; mother’s address one year prior to your birth; any “religious ceremony” around the time of birth; and a variety of other information.  According to the proposed form, “failure to provide the information requested may result in … the denial of your U.S. passport application.”

State Dept. brushes off critics, raises passport fees

This week the Department of State published an interim final rule putting its previously proposed increases in passport and visa fees into effect as of July 13, 2010.