immigration

During the budget negotiations last year that produced a two-year budget deal, airline passengers were slapped with more than a doubling of TSA Security fees for many fliers. Now in a new bill working its way through Congress, airline passengers are facing a 30 percent increase in the immigration user fee paid by airline passengers on international flights to the United States as part of the FY 2014 omnibus appropriations package.

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Ned Levi tells his story of a United Airlines flight leaving Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE), in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the US, and the trouble encountered at check-in, security, and gate rescreening. It’s a story of absurdity, surreal circumstances, crazy security, and airline officials gone mad.

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Ned Levi discusses his recent experience flying in and out of Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport. He suggests the French government need to replace Terminal 1 at the airport and drastically improve it overall, including dramatically improve security there.

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Guess this is a glass half-full versus the glass half-empty point of view. International travel in 2008 (until September) to the US was running ahead of the 2007 rates. But since these figures, the international economic collapse has blossomed. Worse, our incoming travel figures are still running behind 2001 pre-9/11.

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The TSA’s move to shift resonsponsibility for fingerprinting and photographing departing foreign passengers to the airlines and cruise lines, the House vote last week banning private tax debt collection seems more important.

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James WysongHow many times have you returned from your trip abroad to find a smiling group of officials at customs and immigration, greeting you with open arms? Never, you say? Neither has James Wysong, but after 20 years working for the airlines, he has some tips for a smooth re-entry.

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