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In a Pre-Election Gambit, the Trump Administration Announces New Travel Bans for Cuba

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/29/2020, 3:00 PM

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense," the Mad Hatter told Alice in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. "Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?” That mercurial milliner's words apply to this week's current events, which saw the announcement of a new curtailme...

Would You Travel for Beer? United Airlines Debuts Themed Flight Searches

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/29/2020, 11:00 AM

On a recent episode of NPR's Marketplace, aviation history professor Janet Bednarek of the University of Dayton was asked to describe the current state of the airline industry. She boiled it down to one word: "Armageddon." In her view, we are in the middle of "the worst crisis in the history of American aviation." That's not hyperbole. It is expected that the airlines will cut tens of thousands...

United Is the First U.S. Airline to Offer Covid-19 Tests to Passengers

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/24/2020, 2:00 PM

United Airlines will be the first airline in the United States to extend Covid-19 testing to passengers. The program will start small, rolling out only on flights from San Francisco to Hawaii starting October 15. Earlier this month, the state government of Hawaii announced that it would begin accepting tourists again, but only if they arrive with fresh, negative viral tests in hand. United's...

When Cruising Resumes, You Won't Be Allowed to Roam Ports Alone

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/24/2020, 12:00 PM

Large cruises that depart the United States have been paused since mid-March, but we now know one thing about their return. Guests will no longer be able to wander ports of call on their own. In their bid to restart the industry with new, Covid-sensible protocols, the major cruise lines have pitched the Centers for Disease Control with their ideas for how to operate more safely. This week, R...

Hotels Suspended Amenities But Are Keeping Resort Fee Cash. The Scam Must End

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/21/2020, 4:00 PM

At this point, everyone knows that the travel industry has been forced to curtail its usual offerings. To satisfy social distancing and tight sanitary protocols, hotels have suspended access to everything from fitness centers to complimentary shuttles. Why, pray tell, are hotels still charging high resort fees? Those pernicious charges are among the scammiest scams that ever scammed the t...

Colleges and Universities Are Canceling Spring Break in 2021

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/21/2020, 3:00 PM

No need to practice your keg stand or to save up for a bikini smaller than the dollar bills you'll use to buy it. Some six months in advance, universities are announcing that because of the pandemic, they will drop the usual spring break from their schedules in 2021.  The University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Michigan, Purdue University, Baylor University, Carnegie Mellon Univer...

Headlines Shout of Covid-19 Exposure on Flights, but Look Deeper—It's Worse

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/21/2020, 2:00 PM

You might have seen a few headlines this week casting doubt on whether flying is safe. Here's one from the New York Post, dated September 21: "Woman spread coronavirus to 15 people on international flight." Terrifying, right? The outbreak was traced to a flight from Vietnam to London. Our containment measures aren't working! But read past the headline.  The incident happened March 1, w...

Hawaii Is Reopening! Starting Oct. 15, State Will Admit Tourists with Recent Virus Tests

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/17/2020, 2:00 PM

Perhaps no American state's economy has been devastated by Covid-19 worse than Hawaii's. The state's isolation determines so much about its health. Nearly all tourists arrive to the islands by air. Unlike places in the contiguous U.S., Hawaii can't easily transfer patients to neighboring states if the hospitals fill up. That why Hawaii was so aggressive about dealing with Covid-19 in March, clo...

Morocco Reopens to Tourists—But Maybe That's Not Such a Good Idea

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/16/2020, 11:00 AM

On September 6, Morocco's national air carrier, Royal Air Maroc, tweeted that "nationals of visa-exempt countries with an invitation from a Moroccan company or a confirmed hotel reservation can now have access to our flights to Morocco." The United States is one of about 60 of those "visa-exempt" countries. As long as that hotel reservation is accompanied by a Covid-19 test no older than 48 ...

The Feds Want to Raise the Global Entry Fee, So You'd Better Apply Soon

By Frommer's Staff

Posted on 09/15/2020, 10:00 AM

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has signaled an intention to raise rates for its Global Entry program. In a "notice of proposed rulemaking," which will be open for comment until early November, CBP called for a "harmonization" of fees across Trusted Traveler programs, including Global Entry. But in the final analysis, the agency actually wants to hike fees. Global Entry, which allows for...

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