travel

OCTAVIO JONES / AP

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday that the Trump administration should consider domestic flights in the ongoing effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Florida, where dozens of cases have been discovered.

President Trump Thursday defended his new policy that, for 30 days, will bar most travelers arriving to the U.S. from much of Europe. Trump says coronavirus cases from the continent have been seeding outbreaks in the United States. The travel ban, he says, will save American lives.

As the cases of known coronavirus infections multiply worldwide, restrictions are increasing on international travel as well.

Updated at 12:34 a.m. ET Thursday

President Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from European countries to the United States, beginning on Friday at midnight, in a bid "to keep new cases" of coronavirus "from entering our shores."

The restrictions, he said late Wednesday, do not apply to travelers from the United Kingdom.

Despite worrisome new outbreaks in Iran, Italy and South Korea, the coronavirus disease called COVID-19 is not currently a pandemic, the World Health Organization said today.

In fact, there are some encouraging trends, especially in Hubei province, where most of the cases have been reported.

The epidemic there appears to have plateaued in late January and is continuing on a good trajectory. Dr. Bruce Aylward led a WHO trip to China with a scientific delegation that just concluded. On Sunday, he told reporters in Beijing that trend is real.

The State Department plans to deny tourist visas to pregnant women if officials believe they are traveling here to secure American citizenship for their child by giving birth on U.S. soil.

The Trump administration says it is targeting the practice known as "birth tourism." The State Department says that traveling to deliver a child in the U.S. is not "a legitimate activity for pleasure or of a recreational nature."

The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering tightening the rules for taking service animals on planes after increased customer complaints and lobbying from the airlines who think current regulations are too lenient.

The Transportation Security Administration is reminding airport travelers that it's fine to stuff carry-on bags with clothes and toiletries. Just don't pack any heat.

TSA announced that its officers seized 4,432 guns at checkpoints last year — the most in the agency's 18-year history. It also says that 87% of those guns (some 3,855) were loaded.

You Soon Won't Be Able To Fly Domestic Without REAL ID

Dec 26, 2019

It's been more than a decade since Congress passed the REAL ID Act. It is based on recommendations from the 9/11 Commission, which set standards for issuing sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, "The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards."

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

A record 6.1 million Floridians plan to travel more than 50 miles during the holidays this year.

The Christmas travel period began Saturday and runs through New Year’s Day.

Five and a half million Floridians will be driving, an increase of 200,000 from last year.

Air travel is also expected to be up nearly 5 percent.

It will cost more to get to your destination this year, with gas prices up about 20 cents per gallon from 2018 and car rental rates at their highest levels in a decade.

Still, travelers won’t be discouraged.

Joe Cavaretta / South Florida Sun Sentinel

South Florida was swamped by heavy rains overnight that flooded streets and highways, stranded cars and closed the airport in Fort Lauderdale.

When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it's a necessity.

The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah Aylward, is one-half of the YouTube duo Squirmy and Grubs — has spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that affects motor neurons and causes muscle wasting and weakness. The disorder contorted his limbs and he has used a wheelchair for mobility since he was 2 years old.

The current Thanksgiving travel season is projected to be the busiest time to fly with more than 26.8 million passengers - a new record, according to the Transportation Safety Administration - flying between November 22 and December 2.

Morgan Lane / Unsplash

If you use travel booking websites, beware.

New research from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) reveals that customers are cheated out of almost $6 billion annually by online booking scams from fraudulent or misleading travel websites.

Updated Oct. 9 at 3:50 p.m. with statement from Expedia Group

 

According to the AHLA, nearly one out of four customers faces some sort of problem when booking a hotel reservation through a source outside of the hotel's direct booking system. 

Starting Oct. 1, 2020, when the REAL ID law takes effect, if you plan to fly anywhere in the United States, the driver's license you show to security is probably going to need to have a star at the top. Essentially an enhanced driver's license, it will be required at the airport gate, unless you have another accepted form of ID. And officials are worried that one year out, many people don't yet have one.

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