At CES, understanding the limits of technology to
provide a seamless traveler experience. 12
IN OTHER NEWS
Calif. bill would require hotels to provide housekeepers with panic buttons 6
Laws requiring emergency training of airport employees gaining momentum 8
I’m pondering creating ‘Murray,’ an artificially
intelligent travel agency in a box. 41
AIMS TO ALLEVIATE CONFUSION AMONG TRAVELERS
State Dept. reveals new system
for issuing its travel advisories
By Johanna Jainchill
For the average person, and apparently for quite a few news organizations, the difference between the
State Department’s “travel warnings” and “travel alerts” was unclear.
For that reason, many in the travel industry welcomed and praised the department’s
overhaul of the country-specific travel advisory system it announced last week.
“We shouldn’t need to spend more time
explaining the difference [between a travel
alert and a travel warning] than we do explaining what the threat actually is,” Michelle
Bernier-Toth, acting deputy assistant secretary for overseas citizen services, told reporters last week.
Under the new system, every country in
the world has a travel advisory ranking from
1 (“exercise normal precautions”) to 4 (“do
Popular destinations for U.S. travelers,
such as Mexico, France and the U.K., register a 2 (“exercise increased caution”), while
countries including Cuba, Turkey and Russia have been given level 3 (“reconsider
Eleven countries are ranked level 4, including North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria.
An interactive map color-codes each
country by its ranking: red for 4; orange for
3; and yellow for 2. Countries with a level 1
ranking, such as Canada, Sweden and Mongolia, are not color-coded.
The risks and threats of traveling in countries deemed level 2 or above are further
detailed. For example, terrorism determines
the number for Western European countries,
No stepped-up enforcement of pot laws
at airports, despite Sessions’ policy flip
By Danny King
As is the case in national parks and on open
waters, possessing cannabis in any form
within U.S. airports or on commercial aircraft falls under federal jurisdiction. As a result, it is illegal, pure and simple.
But the realities of actually traveling with
pot or cannabis-infused substances are not
at all simple.
The issue became especially pertinent fol-
lowing Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent
announcement that he was overturning the
Obama administration’s ban on federal pros-
ecutions of licensed growers and sellers in
states where pot had been legalized. Sessions
earlier this month told federal prosecutors
they are now free to prosecute growers and
sellers under federal marijuana laws.
Still, experts said last week, there was no
evidence yet that the ever-expanding legalization of recreational marijuana, already a
fact in nine states, was triggering a spate of
drug busts at airports.
As with all things cannabis, the issue of enforcement is a murky one. While the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is
the most visible law enforcement at airports,
its focus is squarely on security threats, especially acts of terrorism. TSA agents are looking for many things, but cannabis simply
isn’t one of them — or at the very least, it is
not a high priority.
Yet, despite concentrating on their security
mission, TSA agents tend to turn over the
See MARIJUANA on Page 42
See ADVISORIES on Page 44
WWW.TRAVELWEEKLY.COM JANUARY 15, 2018
THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY’S TRUSTED VOICE
IN THE HOT SEAT ON TRAVELWEEKLY.COM HAWAII LOVES TRAVEL AGENTS MARK PESTRONK
Air Travel Fairness Coalition’s Kurt Ebenhoch
on ending DOT’s hearings on baggage rules. 4
Dispatch, Baja: A day of wellness with Lindblad
David Hu, president of Classic Vacations, discusses airlift and offers advice to sellers. 22
Agents are responsible for informing clients of
passport rules in countries they plan to visit. 7
Far from being a vestige of days
gone by, today’s printed travel
brochure has evolved into a sophis-
ticated supplement to web content
that remains an important tool
for travel sellers and a tangible
memento for travelers.
BY MICHELLE BARAN PAGE 16