The Amazing Race coverage and what it misses

Almost by definition, a place that is known as the “most typical” of anything of interest to international tourists probably isn’t typical of anything except the culture of international tourism.

Tell AA and DOT you want a ticket and complete notice of airfare when you fly

Without a ticket, and the information contained on it, a traveler has no way of knowing which provisions of the tariff apply, and thus cannot enforce those terms against the airline. And the airline, of course, has no reason to tell the traveler about information on the ticket that might benefit the traveler in a dispute with the airline.

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.

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.

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.”

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, […]

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 […]