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Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

US Passport Fees Are Going UP!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on July 10, 2010


The US Passport office will officially increase the price of a United States Passport on Tuesday July 13, 2010. The new fees will raise the price of a passport by approximatly $35. The chart below outlines the new fees.

Remember, you need a passport to leave the United States. You cannot travel to a foreign country on your drivers licenses. It amazes me that people in the US think that they don’t need a passport to travel around the world.

But get you passport before July 13 and you will save $35!

Passport Fee Chart

Passport Fee Chart

Posted in airlines, airplane, airports, cruise line, cruises, Europe, first class, Government, islands, Mexico, Oasis of the Seas, Panama Canal, politics, royal caribbean, ships, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations, Voyager of The Seas | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Farewell To Travel Trade Publications after 80 Years!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 26, 2009


 

Joel and Lenore Abels

Joel and Lenore Abels tribute dinner

It was a family run business for more than 3 quarters of a century. Joel and Lenore Abels were the best friends the travel industry ever had. Joel passed away on January 25, 2007 at the age of 80 and Lenore passed away 2 months later. The industry lost two great supporters that year.

 

I wondered what would happen to the publication that was built from scratch 78 years ago. I soon found out that the publication was sold to Ian Gittlitz and that he was going to continue the rich tradition of Travel Trade.

Things started to change at Travel Trade and it just didn’t look right. Then came the headline ” Ian Gittlitz, one of the owners of Travel Trade, had been arrested on embezzlement charges. If convicted, Gittlitz faces four to 15 years in prison.”

I was still told that Ian’s son, Seth was running Travel Trade and he was planing a great celebration for the 80th anniversary. But then things started to go south. They stopped publishing the print version of the publication and went to a “Web Only” version. Then at the end of September of 2009, the Website started to shut down. I tried for 3 weeks to contact someone at the offices in New York, but all I was able to get was a voice mail box. Then on October 20, the Website was pulled off the web and the phones were disconnected. This is very sad. Something that took 78 years to build was trashed in less then two and a half years. I am sad to see it go, but I will always remember my many years of friendship with Joel and his wife and what wonderful people they were.

 

Posted in airlines, airplane, caribbean, cruise line, cruises, Europe, Government, Las Vegas, luggage, news, royal caribbean, seniors, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Bogus Currency Conversion Fee on Bank of America CC

Posted by thetraveldoctor on February 17, 2009


 

Just Waiting for That International Flight

Just Waiting for That International Flight

You think that you have seen everything and then your friend gets hit with a bogus credit card charge for purchasing an Air Canada ticket in the United States. Here is what happened.

My friend purchased a ticket from a travel agent in the Chicago area. The Ticket was purchased  from Chicago to Rome round trip on Air Canada with a connection in Toronto. The ticket was purchased in the United States in US dollars. Now you should know that it is against the law to purchase an international ticket in the United States in a foreign currency, so the ticket must be purchased in US Dollars. My friend used his Bank of America Visa card to purchase the ticket. When the Bank of America Visa statement arrived, there was a 3% currency conversion fee for the ticket which amounted to over $80. Now how do you charge a currency conversion fee for a ticket that was purchased in US dollars? That’s right, you can’t but Bank of America did because they can and there is nothing you can do about it because they tell you it is a fee that cannot be disputed.

We talked with Air Canada and they agreed that the ticket was purchased in US dollars in the US and there was never any currency to convert. We called Bank of America back and they insisted that they were right that there was a currency conversion (yeah right) and that the fee could not be disputed. My friend asked Bank of America for proof. They said they would send proof. I can’t wait to see what they sent. The travel agent has proof that there was never any currency conversion, Air Canada has proof there was never any currency conversion, but Bank of America, they have proof. This is the biggest scam I have seen in the travel industry in years. I cannot imagine how much money is taken in by charging this fee on Air Canada tickets.

If anyone out there has had this happen to them, please reply to this blog. This has got to end and my friend will not let it go.

Posted in airlines, airplane, airports, Banks, Business Class, Credit Cards, economy, futures, Government, investments, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

San Antonio, A Great City to Visit!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on January 8, 2009


The Rio San Antonio River Cruise

The Rio San Antonio River Cruise

just returned from a fantastic trip to San Antonio and the Alamo Bowl. I loved the City of San Antonio and its famous Riverwalk. The first thing you need to know if you are planning a trip to San Antonio is the San Antonio Airport is under construction and it is a bear to get around. The roadway in and out of the airport is all torn up and there are temporary entrances for all the terminals and the walk from the drop off point to the ticket counters is very long.

The City of San Antonio’s downtown district is always jumping. This is due to the Riverwalk that winds it’s way through the entire downtown area. You have to take the boat tour. The boats are run by the Rio San Antonio Cruise Company. The cost of the 30 minute river tour is $7.75 (cash only) and you can board at two different areas along the Riverwalk. Since we were there right before New Years, the Riverwalk was all lit up with thousands of Holiday Lights on all the trees lining the river. The lights come on at dusk. If you can take the river cruise right around 530PM, it is a beautiful ride.

The Alamo Dome was a great place to see a football game. We went to see our team, Northwestern University take on Missouri in the Alamo Bowl. It was a great game and we enjoyed cheering on our Wildcats. And even thou we didn’t will, we did cover the point spread, so in my book we won.
San Antonio gets two thumbs up from me!

Posted in airlines, cruises, economy, free, Government, Hotels, luggage, news, sailing, seniors, ships, State house, Texas, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Governor Blagojevich Poll

Posted by thetraveldoctor on December 20, 2008


With all that is going on in Illinois Politics, I thought it was time to ask the people if the Governor of Illinois should resign. He serves at the pleasure of the people and we have to tell him if he should stay in office or leave for the good of the state of Illinois. Vote and I will forward the poll results to the Lt. Governor.

Posted in economy, emergency, Government, Illinois, investments, news, options, State house, Uncategorized, US House | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »