By Judy Newell
Interjet launches twice-weekly Las Vegas-Mexico City service
Interjet debuted twice-weekly service to Mexico City on November 15 from Las Vegas. Introductory fares of US$299 to Mexico City’s Toluca Airport are valid until the end of December, subject to availability.
The new Mexico City service operates on Thursdays and Sundays. The flight departs from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport at 11:40pm, arriving at 5:10am the next morning in Mexico City. The flights fly from Mexico City’s Toluca Airport to Las Vegas at 7:50 p.m., arriving at 9:45pm
Interjet currently flies from Miami, New York and San Antonio to Mexico City, and from Orange County, California, to Mexico City and Guadalajara. In addition to its US gateways, Interjet’s international route structure currently includes Guatemala, Cuba, and San Jose, Costa Rica.
Checked bags, maybe not all the way
Baggage fees are one thing. But now major airlines have given travelers a second reason to eschew the checked-luggage line.
US Airways and Delta will no longer transfer bags when passengers have connecting flights with other airlines. According to a report from Consumer Traveler, the two major airlines have quietly tweaked their baggage policies: US Airways made the change last summer. And beginning January 15, Delta will follow suit and only check bags as far as the next destination served by the airline.
The transfer of passenger luggage from one airline to the next is known as “interlining baggage.” When bags are interlined, they pass through to passengers’ final ticketed destinations. With Delta and US Airways’ new policies in place, however, flyers with connections to new airlines on the same itineraries will have to pick up their bags in the claim area, go through airport security, and recheck their luggage before getting on the next plane.
So if you’re flying, say, from New York to Chicago on US Airways, and then from Chicago to Los Angeles on American Airlines, you’ll have to make sure you have plenty of time between connections to pick up any checked luggage. Rechecking a bag during a tight connection is always a risk. If you don’t give airline staff enough time to load your luggage onto the plane, your bags might not make it. You should check luggage at least half an hour before departure.
Adding insult to injury, for many travelers this could also result in a second checked-bag fee for the connecting flight.
Silversea launches fare guarantee program
Silversea Cruises launched a new fare structure for 2013 and 2014 sailings. If the fare drops after a booking has been made, the line will refund the difference in the form of a shipboard credit, suite upgrade, future cruise credit or fare reduction.
The guarantee is only available on the new, cruise-only Silver Privilege fares. Silver Privilege fares allow passengers to book early for the best price and choose their suite. Though the fares are cruise-only, guests are still able to bolt-on air, transfer, hotel and land components.
Fred Olsen, P&O Cruises and Cunard all introduced fare guarantees earlier this year.
Silversea’s Fare Guarantee Program is valid for all voyages departing on or after June 1, 2013, effective for new Silver Privilege bookings made on or after November 1, 2012.
Owe the IRS? You could lose your passport
A law buried in a proposed bill could prevent US travelers who owe taxes from leaving the country. According to a report that appeared in Forbes this past spring, Bill 1813 contains language that would allow the government to take passports away from travelers in debt to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The bill is currently pending in the House of Representatives.
In March, the Senate passed Bill 1813, which was introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer. The bill is more than 1,000 pages long and mainly addresses the allocation of federal funds for transportation purposes. But planted in the bill is an amendment that would permit the State Department to take away a person’s passport if he or she owes significant back taxes to the IRS.
Here’s what it says in section 7345 of the proposed legislation: “If … any individual has a seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of US$50,000, the Secretary shall transmit such certification to the Secretary of State for action with respect to denial, revocation, or limitation of a passport.”
Bill 1813 still needs to be passed by the House and then signed by the President before it becomes law. In the meantime, it’s something travelers might want to keep an eye on. You can sign up for email alerts to keep track of the bill at Govtrack.us.
Deal of the Week
Spring savings on Tulip Time Cruises
There may be no better time of year to visit Europe than in the spring when the flowers are in full bloom and everything is fresh and vibrant. AMA Waterways popular Tulip Time Cruises now feature US$1,000 savings per stateroom or companion flies free. Fly roundtrip to Amsterdam from any US gateway.
Tulip Time Cruise: Seven-night cruise through Holland and Belgium in the spring: US departure dates: March 31, April 1 and 8, 2013; Starting from US$2,299* per person, cruise only. Ports of call: Amsterdam, Volendam, Edam, Arnhem, Antwerp, Ghent, Willemstad, Keukenhof Gardens.
Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys which specializes in tour and cruise travel for everyone. She also conducts private small group tours from San Miguel de Allende. The 2013 tours will be announced in January. Contact Judy by email at email@example.com.
Sources: Travel Pulse, Smarter Travel, Cruise Critic, AMA Waterways