Travel News and Notes for February 9th 2012 through February 10th 2012

Bringing you what’s new in travel for February 9th 2012 through February 10th 2012:

  • New U.S. State Department warning maps out unsafe areas of Mexico – latimes.com
    The U.S. State Department issued a new state-by-state warning for travelers to Mexico that details the more violent areas of the country but also points out popular places such as Cabo San Lucas and Mexico City where travel advisories aren't in effect.

  • Exclusive: American Airlines creditors want to talk merger| Reuters
    NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Some American Airlines unsecured creditors increasingly feel the bankrupt airline should explore a deal with US Airways Group or another carrier, after hearing parent company

  • Airfare Deals: Southwest, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines – posted this over on Frommer's : Fly for less with these cheap flights from Southwest, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and AirTran.
  • 5 reasons to care about new FAA law – CNN.com
    Did you hear that? It's a door busting open in Washington, unblocking a huge backlog of airline issues that will directly affect America's millions of air travelers.

  • Hidden Treasures of the Presidential Museums – Bing Travel recently posted this over on the Bing Travel Blog:

    There are 13 of them around the country, each one housing the papers and memorabilia from a different president’s time in office.

  • Lufthansa Cargo ends night flights at Cologne| Reuters
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Lufthansa Cargo will cease diverting flights via Cologne to skirt a night flying ban at its Frankfurt hub as the attempt has proven uneconomical, the company said on Wednesday.The

  • U.S. updates travel warnings to Mexico – HeidiS recently posted this over on the Bing Travel Blog:

    There has been a steady drumbeat of bad news coming out of Mexico in the past few years, and this week the U.S. State Department updated the travel warning for the country for the first time since April 22, 2011. This new advisory lists state-by-state updates on the security situation, confirming that travel to some pockets of Mexico is still dangerous. The good news is: Many of the most popular destinations for tourists from America are as safe as ever to visit – welcome news for people planning a spring break vacation south of the border this year.

    For example, the new update includes no travel advisories or restrictions for Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum, Cabo San Lucas, Campeche, Merida and Chichen Itza, and Mexico City.

    Here is a summary of the overall conditions in Mexico, from the U.S. Department of State:

    “Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day.  The Mexican government makes a considerable effort to protect U.S. citizens and other visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) have targeted U.S. visitors and residents based on their nationality.  Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major trafficking routes.

    “Nevertheless, U.S. travelers should be aware that the Mexican government has been engaged in an extensive effort to counter TCOs which engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico.  The TCOs themselves are engaged in a violent struggle to control drug trafficking routes and other criminal activity.  As a result, crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country and can occur anywhere.  U.S. citizens have fallen victim to TCO activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery.”

    Places to avoid

    The State Department recommends Americans avoid all non-essential travel to Ciudad Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua, which has the highest murder rate in Mexico: 3,100 people were killed in Ciudad Juarez in 2010 and 1,933 were killed in 2011, according to the Mexican government. Copper Canyon, a popular travel destination in Chihuahua, is also reporting drug-related activity.
    Other states to avoid include Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon (Monterrey), San Luis Potosi and Sinaloa – and travelers should limit their travel in the city of Mazatlan to main tourist areas such as the Zona Dorada and the historic town center.

    In the southern state of Guerrero, non-essential travel should be deferred, and travelers to the cities of Acapulco, Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo and Taxco should be cautious, drive only during daylight hours, and stick to main tourist areas.

    For a full list of state and city advisories for Mexico, read the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisory for Mexico.

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