Boarding Pass

Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 370th issue of your monthly overseas travel magazine.

January 2007 is when new rules would have gone into effect requiring all cruise passengers returning to the U.S. from Mexico, the Caribbean, Bermuda or Canada to show a passport, but that deadline has been pushed back to June 1, 2009, by legislators, who inserted a provision into a Homeland Security Department appropriations bill.

The requirement on having a passport for a land border...

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Dear Globetrotter: Welcome to the 369th issue of your monthly overseas travel magazine.

“Chicken or fish? Menthol or regular?”

A German entrepreneur, Alexander Schoppmann, is planning to start up Smintair (Smoker’s International Airways) early next year, with daily service between Düsseldorf (his hometown) and Tokyo.

Düsseldorf has the third-largest population of Japanese in Europe, more than 15,000, after London and Paris. In Japan, 49% of men and 14% of women smoke....

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Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 367th issue of your monthly overseas travel magazine.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines System has introduced a “biometric security check” on domestic flights in Sweden. That’s tech talk for reading the fingerprints of people checking bags in and then, by taking new readings at the gate, making sure those bags belong to the passengers boarding the plane.

SAS claims that personal privacy will be maintained: the stored fingerprints will be...

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Dear Globetrotter: Welcome to the 366th issue of your monthly overseas travel magazine.

98.5% of ITN subscribers have passports. (With your fellow readers, you’re in good company. No other magazine can claim such a high percentage.) So for most of you, the following reminder will merely be something to tell your friends.

If you’re scheduled to take a trip that has you, on or after Dec. 31 of this year, returning to the United States by air or sea from Canada, Mexico, Central...

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Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 365th issue of your monthly overseas travel magazine.

The airlines are feeling the pinch and passing along the burden.

This year, Northwest Airlines began charging $15 more for some emergency exit row seats and a few aisle seats. These less-claustrophia-causing seats are up for grabs 24 hours before check-in. WorldPerks and SkyTeam Elite members can reserve them at no charge.

Also a few months ago, the budget airline Ryanair,...

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Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 364th issue of your monthly overseas travel magazine.

The results of a recent study are based on the typical expenses of business travelers rather than tourists, but Oslo is now reportedly the most expensive city in the world, displacing Tokyo. Trailing those two are Reykjavik, Osaka, Paris, Copenhagen, London, Zürich, Geneva and Helsinki. The rankings were derived by the consulting firm Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), based in London....

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Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 363rd issue of your monthly overseas travel magazine.

Indian Railways is lowering its fares in air-conditioned first-class cars by about 18%, and in second class by 10%, to draw passengers away from low-cost domestic airlines.

Air travel may take less time but costs 25%-30% more than rail travel. Rail officials hope to attract those who have time to spare and would prefer the savings.

The Foreign Affairs Office in Beijing, China...

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by June L. Griffin, Lewiston, ME

The prospect of a trip to Eastern Europe was made very attractive by the thought of stepping ashore in five countries — Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia & Montenegro, Croatia and Hungary — from the comfort of a luxurious river vessel. Just a decade ago Russia dominated these countries, which are now enjoying a taste of freedom, and in October ’05 I spent two weeks visiting this diverse region of Europe.

The ship

My trip was what Grand...

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