How to take a space trip for less
TSA says airlines owe the government
$219 million for post-9/11 security.
P riceline’s Shatner gets in the
face of Travelocity’s Gnome.
THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY
JUNE 18, 2007
[ REFUNDS POSSIBLE ]
force U.S. to delay
By Michael Milligan
WASHINGTON — Travelers who paid for
expedited processing of passports but still
haven’t received them may be eligible for refunds from the State Department, which is
working to dig itself out from under an enormous backlog of passport applications.
“We estimate that there are probably about
500,000 applications older than 12 weeks
right now” in the system, said Steve Royster,
a spokesman for the State Department’s consular affairs office.
The refund offer is the latest in a long series of twists and turns brought about by the
administration’s efforts to implement the
Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which
imposed a new requirement in January that
all airline travelers entering and exiting the
U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean
and Bermuda must show a valid passport.
The State Department, unable to cope
with the resulting rush of passport applications, is failing to deliver passports on time
even for those who paid an additional $60
for expedited processing.
Under mounting pressure from travelers,
travel associations and Congress, the State
Department has been maneuvering to aid
those still waiting for their passports.
The refund policy came just days after the
State Department and the Department of
Homeland Security jointly decided on June 8
to temporarily suspend the WHTI specifical-
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Through generations of computer technology, agents have stuck with
an old-fashioned command-prompt ‘green screen’ because it’s fast and efficient.
Now the industry is pushing them toward a ‘graphical user interface.’
By Dennis Schaal PAGE 18
Marriott, Schrager in boutique venture
By Jeri Clausing
pult the lifestyle boutique hotel into the present by capturing the spirit of the times,” he
‘There are probably about
500,000 applications older
than 12 weeks right now.’
— Steve Royster, U.S. State Dept.
ly for U.S. citizens still waiting for passports
by permitting them to use a driver’s license
or other government-issued photo ID, as
long as they can prove they have applied for
Proof can be obtained online at http://
Under the temporary policy, children 16
Continued on Page 46
Marriott Corp. is teaming up with Ian
Schrager for a global expansion of Schrager’s boutique hotel concept, creating a new
brand that will develop as many as 100 hotels
around the world.
Marriott CEO and President J.W. “Bill”
Marriott Jr. and Schrager jointly announced
the somewhat unlikely alliance last week,
standing together on the rooftop of Schrager’s Gramercy Park Hotel in New York.
Though the brand has yet to be named,
Marriott and Schrager employed effusive
language peppered with superlatives to characterize the concept as a “vision” that would
take the hotel industry “to a new level.”
“Nobody has done what Ian has been able
to do with his hotels time and again, and he
is the perfect partner to help us create and
launch a new, modern genre of hotel,” Marriott said. “These hotels will be an excellent
complement to the Marriott portfolio of
brands and allow us to use our global platform and ability to execute to create … the
first truly global branded boutique lifestyle
hotel on a large scale. We expect the brand to
set the standard for decades to come.”
Schrager called the deal a dream come
true and “an affirmation of everything I have
been trying to do my whole life.”
“We won’t be replicating anything we have
done before,” he said. “It will be 100 individual hotels.”
Schrager said the hotels would cater to an
underserved market of guests who were expecting a unique experience rather than just
a place to sleep.
“Together, Marriott and I have a new vision and plan to radically rethink and cata-
Continued on Page 47
No surrender Luxury hotels World Cup
in Hawaii’s add refinement kick-started
interisland fare to raucous tourism in
wars. Cancun. Germany.
P. 25 P. 32 P. 28