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      Where do you want to go on your next vacation? If you answered, "not too far" - this site's for you. The mission is to show you an unfamiliar side to a familiar place. Recent surveys suggest more people are vacationing closer to home than ever. They want the familiar. But they don't want to be bored. Not2far's team of travel writers "zig" when everyone else "zags" - they look for the odd, offbeat, quirky, unusual aspect of a destination. And they write about it with empathy, passion and humor. So when you're looking for a fun travel article, you know where to go: Not2far.
    • Fly from the West Coast to Mexico from $218 R/T
    • Domestic sale fares starting at $118 R/T
    • Bed and breakfasts: savings and added value
    • Luxury hotels in NYC from $119/night
    • JetBlue will add a third daily non-stop flight between New York JFK and San Diego (SAN) on Sept. 3. The airline also has extended its introductory fare sale between the cities. Tickets are $119 each way if booked at Buy tickets by Aug. 15 for travel Sept. 3 through Dec. 17. Regular one-way fares range from $139 to $299.
    • Intro Fares On The First North America-India Nonstops: October 26, Air Canada will begin daily nonstop service between Toronto and Delhi, the only nonstop air link between North America and India. The new service will shave at least three hours off traditional best routings offering travellers earlier arrival times that allow for better connections to many destinations. Flights will be operated using 282-seat Airbus A340 aircraft with Air Canada's recently redesigned premium Executive First service.   Introductory fares from $1,599 CDN (about $1,164 USD) are offered for purchase by July 17 for travel until November 30. Taxes and fees are additional. (From
    • Buy A Day, Get the Year Free On The Long Beach Queen Mary
    • Buy one, get another: United & American Airlines first- and business-class passengers who buy a qualifying round-trip ticket for international travel from July 9 through Sept. 14 will earn a free ticket to any destination served by United and the Star Alliance carriers. Passengers can earn unlimited free economy award tickets. Award tickets are transferable and must be used from Sept. 15 this year through March 31, 2004. Most major carriers matched that promotion.   United fliers should Click Here , or call 800/447-6772 and enter code 793 after your Mileage Plus number. AAdvantage members should click here or call 800/882-8880 and use promotion code AAINT.
    • Delta Air Lines will offer one daily nonstop flight between Cincinnati and Honolulu beginning November 1, using Boeing 767-400 aircraft. An introductory fare of $549, plus taxes and fees, is offered for Tuesday through Thursday departure. A 21-day advance purchase is required and travel must be completed by December 15. Check QuickFare Finder for member fares.
    • Lufthansa , the German national airline, is one of the few big carriers that still offers senior citizens discounts in a broad category of fares.  Passengers 60 or older get a 10 percent discount on all published fares to Europe, exclusive of limited-time special sale fares.  Clark Howard
    Didn't have a chance to read last week's newsletter? Click here!

    Wow! What a crazy week of traveling. It was so crazy I can only tell you half; otherwise you would get exhausted just reading it.

    Amber Airplane and I left sunny Southern California last Wednesday and headed out on a whirlwind tour of the U.S. In the last three days we have been to two weddings and eight airports (sounds like a movie title). Crazy, crazy, crazy!

    We started in L.A., where we hung out by the beach.  You might be interested in knowing about a new restaurant we tried. L.A. Food Show is in Manhattan Beach, and owned by CPK (California Pizza Kitchen). Soon they’ll be opening more. The food and service were both good. I'm not too sure if I like the red décor, but what do I know? Well, I do know I had the rotisserie Thai chicken (served with a side of peanut sauce). It was about $13.95, and just okay. Amber had the steak salad ($9.95), and said it was really good.  The corn bread ($2.95) and appetizer, Southwestern egg rolls ($7.95), were mighty tasty. But they were a little steep in price for such small portions.   

    Around noon on Wednesday we headed to LAX. The airport was packed! Check-in lines were at least 30 minutes long, but we ran into a friend who took care of us. The security line was also long (15 minutes). I used to be a big fan of the TSA, but their inconsistency is killing me. I understand the long lines are due to cutbacks out of their control, but why does every airport have different rules? Some check ID's at security checkpoints and at the gate, and others don't. It makes me feel like I’m traveling in a foreign country.  I have no idea what's going on. 

    To make matters worse, the security agent asked me if Amber was 18. He said it like I was her father!  When I said yes, he told us we each had to hold our own boarding passes. Then yesterday, a TSA agent told me I had to take off my sneakers, while their head office just released a statement saying it was the passenger’s decision to take them off or not. What's up, TSA? Get with the program!  

    Here's a United Airlines observation. This past week they started cracking down on bags that weight over 50 pounds. They made Amber take things (clothes) out of her bag twice this week. We had to do a mad stuff into my suitcase to avoid being charged $25. We hear other airlines are cracking down on this too. 

    Amber and I flew to JFK (New York City). Our flight was easy as can be. We took off on time, our bags appeared right away, and our Tel Aviv car service (212-777-7777) was there in two minutes. (Of course, I called them while walking off the plane and said I had all my bags.) Cost: $35 + tip and toll ($4).

    We landed at 9 p.m., and arrived at the apartment around 9:45.  We unpacked, then took a stroll for some late-night pizza. We tried a new brick-oven place, Piazza. We had a slice of the  pasta pizza.  That's right: baked ziti on a slice of cheese. Sounds nasty, but it was damn gooood! Cost: $3.20. Piazza Pizza: 1657 Second Avenue at 86th Street, tel.: 212-879-5100. They close at 3 a.m. during the week, 5 a.m. on weekends. You gotta love New York just for late night pizza!

    We were in NYC for my cousin AJ's big wedding. I can't tell you about it until next week, because I have to wait for the magazines to publish their stories. Some editors said Johnny has been all over the Soprano fan sites because of the bachelor party pics, and they don't want to lose sales. Who knows, but I’ll honor their request. I will tell you, the wedding was like a dream. But guess who caught the bouquet? Big trouble ahead!

    The next morning Amber and I went downtown to meet my sister Carol, so they could get their nails and brows done. I guess they couldn't get into Eliza or whoever that high-priced beautician is, but I wasn't going to let Amber pay $60 again for an eyebrow wax (and who knows how much for a manicure). I’d pluck them myself. Instead they went to Lily Nails on 15 East 21st Street (on Broadway), tel.: 212-254-4118. They said it was good. I thought it was good too, because it cost only $12 for waxing, $15 for a manicure and $18 for a pedicure.  

    If you go down there you might as well and stop by Fishs Eddy. It's a block away, and they sell all kinds of dishes and utensils.  It used to be a lot cheaper, but you  can sometimes find old plates and utensils from the airlines. Fishseddy, 889 Broadway and 19th Street, tel.:  212-420-9020.
    A good place for lunch down there is Republic. It's quick, inexpensive and fun. Check out their menu online. The website is cool: You choose the item, and it shows a picture of it.  Republic, 37 Union Square West (14th Street), tel.: 212-627-7172.   

    AJ and Jamie's wedding was on Friday night.  We didn't get to sleep till 3 a.m. -- and had to wake up at 4:30 to catch our 6 a.m. flight to Denver. If Amber didn't wake me I would probably still be asleep, I was so exhausted. I had so much pressure to give a good speech in front of 320 guests, including my family, celebrities and four TV cameras. Somehow I pulled it off, and there we were in LGA (LaGuardia) when the sun came up. We were in Denver by 8 a.m. We connected to a United Express flight. Thirty-five bumpy minutes later we were over the Rockies to Aspen, where we were to attend another wedding that afternoon. Amber got really queasy from the flight (I didn't).

    We landed in Aspen at 10 a.m. and  took a taxi to the SnowFlake Inn. High Mountain Taxi (970-925-8294) charged us $18, plus 70 cents per bag and 70 cents per extra passenger. Going back to ASE (Aspen airport code) we used Snow Limo (877-859-5466), which charged an $18 flat rate.  We could've taken the free valley bus, which stops every half-hour, but with a lot of luggage it wasn't worth it. Well, at least not to Amber Airplane.

    Our Inn was  nice, plus cheap. I got it for $85 a night on The place is centrally located and has great a view, but that’s true everywhere in Aspen.   SnowFlake Inn, 221 East Hyman Ave., tel.: 800-247-2069.

    It was our first time in Aspen, and I was amazed by its beauty. Holy cow, is this place scenic! It was so nice we skipped our much-needed nap to check out the  town.  Amber Airplane is going to love this picture I snuck in. (Shhh -- don't tell her!) What a name, huh? I had to drag Amber Airplane out of every shop and booth at the farmers market so we could go get some food. We ended up at the Bakery on Main, which is a great place for breakfast. One warning: If you’re hungry, don't order the pancakes – they’re child-sized. Main St Bakery & Café, 201 East Main Street, tel.: 970-925-6446.

    We finally napped, then took the shuttle to our second amazing wedding in as many days. It was held at the  Elk Mountain Lodge, a high-altitude retreat for private events 20 minutes from downtown Aspen. The place has unreal views, and is perfect for an outdoor wedding.  This time it was my good buddy Nick who walked down the aisle.  

    The ceremony was beautiful, and so was the  bride. It was 90 degrees out, which is pretty hot, but when the sun went down so did the temp. It dropped almost 50 degrees – how crazy is that! Needless to say we spent a lot of time inside, either cooling down or warming up. The lodge (actually a 5-star log cabin) was so cozy and decadent. Check out the Elk horn chandelier. For dinner they served trout, poussin and -- you guessed it -- elk.  

    Turns out the bride’s father is the lead singer in the popular Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. He is really cool, and played at both the ceremony and reception.  The highlight came when he played their Top 10 hit Dance little Jean which was written for her!   Elk Mountain Lodge.

    We hit the wall around 10:30, and took the shuttle back to town.  We were so tired we couldn't even speak. When we finally woke up Sunday morning, we went into town. It wasn't too comforting when I noticed these trash cans.  They are all bear-proof! Amber Airplane wanted to rent this bike but I said I wasn’t going to cruise around in that thing. Besides, the elevation is 7,908 feet and I was starting to get asthma. (Here are two tips on getting acclimated to the altitude: Drink lots of water, and eat small meals every two to three hours. I learned that from channel 16, the visitor info channel.)

    Of course, we didn't take that advice. Instead we had huge portions at one of the best breakfast places ever: PoppyCocks. I had very tasty whole wheat blueberry oatmeal pancakes, while Amber Airplane ordered a ham and cheese crepe. So good!  PoppyCocks, 665 E. Cooper Avenue, tel.: (970) 925-1245. After breakfast we were going to go up in the  Gondola ($17 apiece), but looked at our watches and realized it was time to go.  

    Amber Airplane kept saying she wasn't looking forward to the flight back to Denver. Well, she didn't have to deal with it. Because of the heat the airlines had big-time weight restrictions, and were bumping close to 20 people (out of 88 passengers) off the planes. We (that is, Amber Airplane) volunteered us, and instead of waiting for the airline to get us ground transportation, I rented an $86 Avis  rental car.  In the summer time there seems to be no inexpensive way to get from Aspen to Denver. The cheapest I found was a $90- something shuttle (each). Forget that!

    The drive turned out to be one of the most scenic (and scariest) rides I have ever been on. It was crazy! We drove over the mountains (14,433 feet) on single-lane, two-way traffic roads without guardrails. We were so high, there was still snow on the ground. We saw plenty of Aspen trees, and other incredible landscape. Route 82 to 24 to 70, a 180-mile drive, took over four hours. If we hadn’t hit traffic it would have been quicker. But I wasn't rushing (especially around those hairpin turns).  

    What was cool about Avis is that they equipped the car with satellite radio. This was my first experience with it, and I hope not my last. Crystal-clear commercial-free music of every type imaginable: from the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, MTV, VH1, L.A.'s KIIS-FM,  country, folk, you name it. It was fantastic, especially since we were in the middle of nowhere.

    We ran into some nasty traffic after we stopped in Leadville for a falsely advertised hamburger at  Wild Bill's.  The billboard said “99-cent hamburgers 6 miles away.” When we arrived the line was out the door (I’m sure everyone else had seen the same billboard), but the cheapest burger was $4. What's up with that, Wild Bill?!

    We made the last flight to LAX. We were home for all of 15 hours (just enough time to do laundry, bills and errands). Now we are in Alaska.  But that's a whole other story, which will have to wait till next week. However, if you are in the Last Frontier, come on by and say hi at my book signings: Wednesday, July 16, 7:30 p.m. at Title Wave Books on Northern Lights Boulevard, and Friday, July 18 at Cook Inlet Books on 5th Avenue (7-9 p.m.).


    • July, 2003 RAZOR MAGAZINE
    • July 13, 2003 SUN-SENTINEL
    • July 12, 2003 KFQD 750AM- ANCHORAGE
    • July 12, 2003 WBNW 1120AM- BOSTON
    • July 12, 2003 WPLM 1390AM- BOSTON
    • July 11, 2003 WPON 1460AM- DETROIT

    • *If you heard about us somewhere else or have the link to the story please email Johnny Jet media and let us know where!
    • You look like you have the coolest job on earth! Joe - Marina Del Rey, CA
    • Good luck this week with your speech...I'm sure you'll do great! Steve - Palos Verdes, CA
    • Congratulations on the vast improvement. Not only are all the newspaper stories accessible with no trouble but now you no longer have to enter an ID every time to read stories (at least the ones I read). Very nice - and plenty of choices.  John - Florida
    • Please, give me a break!! You seem so full of yourself!  WOW, it was soooo interesting that everyone was coming to talk to you right before they went on! You know, when I get your newsletter, I roll my eyes and read it for a laugh! You can be so snobby sometimes! How are you able to go on all these "trips"? Don't worry, you don't need to answer that question......Your website racks in LOADS of money! Right??!! Oh and good luck with the wedding, I'm sure you will just be FABULOUS!!!! K-
    • My wife and I trade our San Diego CA home around the world and would like to advise your readers about the home trading experience and some of the do’s and don’ts of the process, Love your web-site and have recommended it to everyone!.   PS we are originally from NJ and love the Soprano’s. So if you are interested take a look at our web-site. Bill & Micky - San Diego
    • As always I love your column.  Speaking of Pinks, have you been to the Tommy's Original Hamburgers on the corner of Beverly Blvd & Rampart in Los Angeles??  We went there the other night after a Dodger game and I must say it was quite interesting -- the burger was good, the pickles were even better but the people watching was the best!!  I felt quite nostalgic since it is the original (1946.)  And tell your DAD that if he insist on no more pictures..... I will have to cancel my subscription!!!!  Thanks again Johnny AND Amber Airplane for the enjoyment you provide me.  Karen Harris-Woodland Hills, CA
    • Dear Johnny - I have just been forwarded your email newsletter and liked it a lot.  Kudos.   Jeffrey R - Miami
    • Palmyra, NY is having their Pageant Jul 11, 12 and 14-19th.  Anyone seeking the Lord come on over.  Free parking and free pageant.  10,000 people a night. Johnny and Amber fly in.  You don't smoke or drink so you're half way their.  Jude - New York
    • I want to go to the fun parties such as the ones in the pictures.  Where are these parrties taking place?  I live in Maryland and our nearby beach, Dewey, is a great time like that.  I like to expand my horizons though.  Kelli - Maryland  REPLY:  Southern California
    • I didn't know there was a "travel channel radio"..I live in the S.F. Bay AREA... Is that Amber's "real" last name???  Pretty strange!!!   Lynn, San Francisco
    • The book is so great! Thank you so much.  There are so many sites that I never knew existed. It's kind of funny, because I was so excited to get the book, and my 4 1/2 year old son ran in telling my wife that "we got a book from Johnny Jet!". I just had to tell you - cuz he's heard your name a few times.  Wish I could shoot up to Anchorage to see you for your book signing (Alaska Travelgram). Maybe you'll have to do a book signing in Duluth this coming January!   Dean- Duluth, MN

      *Please note that we reserve the right to post excerpts, perhaps edited, from your message on the Johnny Jet website and newsletter. We will not use your full name without your express permission. If you'd rather not have your message posted on the website or newsletter, just say so and it won't be.
    Stop staring
    QUESTION: Good day, Johnny Jet, I've tried unsuccessfully (online and via ticket agents) for over two years to redeem my SkyMiles for four (4) First Class seats from Cincinnati to Hawaii on Delta. I've flown Delta times when it's inconvenient...and at times when the price of the ticket is much higher than competitive airlines. I serve on Delta's Advisory Panel and am also a member of its Crown Room Club. Any recommendations on how to obtain these seats as a present for my daughter's high school graduation on May 30, 2003? They sure promote every way to obtain SkyMiles...but just try to redeem them! Maralah - Bethel, OH

    REPLY: Thanks for the email. I asked my good buddy Chris from CNN & The Ticket. This is what he had to say...
    As editor of THE TICKET, a newsletter read by thousands of SkyMiles members, I must say that I get very few complaints about difficulty redeeming SkyMiles. An occasional snag here or there, but I think it's safe to say that most SkyMilers end up getting pretty much what they want in terms of award trips. As a matter of fact, I've recently been able to redeem SkyMiles and get award trips to Greece in July, and Tahiti in December. How? By advance planning and flexibility. To get your free tickets to Hawaii (probably the most popular award destination), I suggest you decide on a range of dates, then call Delta exactly 330 days prior to those dates, when Delta releases the seats for award travel. For Hawaii, you might even want to call at 12:01 am on the day the seats are released. Keep in mind also that Delta offers TWO type of awards, much like they offer two types of fares. The "cheapest" free seats come with capacity controls and other restrictions that make them harder to use and require more flexibility on your part. If you want the luxury of traveling on exact dates, destinations or routings, you will have to "spend" twice as many miles for that luxury. Hope that helps and that you get to Hawaii soon! It's a great place. Regards, Chris McGinnis. Sign Up for THE TICKET Today!

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      Is Less More?  Given the airline industry's dismal state, passengers have accepted recent cuts in amenities, services and meals without much complaining. But when American Airlines announced it would scrap its roomier economy-class seats on nearly a quarter of its flights, Ed Kummel snapped. "What's next?" asked the network engineer from Ashburn, Va. "Standing-room only with flight attendants holding cattle prods?" The latest round of reductions suggests the big airlines are operating under a flawed assumption. Passengers, they seem to believe, want one thing: low fares. Details in Opinon

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    Passport Info From the Independent Traveler

    First-Time Applications
    Passport Agencies
    Passport & Visa Expeditors

    All US citizens, including children, are required to obtain passports in their own names for identification while traveling abroad and for re-entry into the United States. Unless specifically authorized by a passport issuing office, no person may have more than one valid, or potentially valid, US passport of the same type at any one time. Following is a summary of the passport application process that was compiled from information provided by the US State Department.
    You can download PDF versions of all applications.

    First-Time Passport Applications
    If you are applying for your first US Passport, you must apply in person at one of over 3500 Clerks of Court or Post Offices which accept passport applications or at one of the regional Passport Agencies listed below. Call your county courthouse or the largest regional post office in your area or look under the blue pages of your phone book. You will need to provide the following documents:

    1. Proof of United States citizenship or nationality such as: a certified copy of a birth certificate (one issued from a government office, not a hospital) for all applicants born in the US, a Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship, or an expired US passport.

    2. Proof of identity (photo ID with signature) such as a previous US passport, a Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship, a valid driver's license, or a valid government or military identification card.

    3. Two identical passport photographs taken within the last six months. The photographs must be 2x2 inches with an image size between 1 and 1 3/8 inches. Photographs must be a front view, full face, taken in normal street attire without a hat or dark glasses, with a plain white background.

    4. A completed passport application form DS-11 which contains all the requested information except your signature. This form must be signed in the presence of an authorized executing official.

    Passport Renewals
    Applicants who have had a previous US passport issued within the past 12 years, and who were 16 or older when the passport was issued, may be eligible to apply for a new passport by mail providing they can submit their passport and their name has not changed. They may also apply in person. Documents required for passport renewals include:

    1. US Passport

    2. Two passport photos

    3. A completed passport application form DS-82 which contains all the requested information and is signed and dated. You can order an application form by calling the passport agency nearest you. Mail the completed application and attachments to:

    National Passport Center
    P.O. Box 371971
    Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7971

    If you are sending your renewal by overnight delivery other than the US Postal Service, send it to:

    Mellon Bank
    Attn: Passport Supervisor, 371971
    3 Mellon Bank Center, Rm 153-2723
    Pittsburgh, PA 15259-0001

    Your previous passport will be returned to you with your new passport.

    Passport Fees
    Passport fees for an initial ten-year passport are now $85 if you are 16 years of age or over, and $70 for a five-year passport if under 16. Note that the fee for a passport is written out as a check or money order to Passport Services and to the county clerk's office, so you may need to bring two checks. Passport renewal fees are now $55. Some local governments are now charging additional processing fees as well.

    Time to Apply
    Passport application processing time varies with passport agencies workloads. It is best to apply in the fall when workload volume is at its lowest. Processing time is normally about 3-4 weeks, but you should apply at least 4-6 weeks prior to any scheduled international travel. The spring and summer months are the busiest so the application process may take longer during these months.

    Expedited Passports
    If you are leaving on an emergency trip within five working days, apply in person at the nearest passport agency and present your tickets or travel itinerary from an airline, as well as the other required items. Or, mail your application overnight express mail and enclose a include a self-addressed, prepaid envelope for the overnight return of the passport, with a check made out to Passport Services and request for its return by overnight express mail. Be sure to include your dates of departure and travel plans on your application. Applications are processed according to the departure date indicated on the application form. If you give no departure date, the passport agency will assume you have no immediate travel plans. If you are leaving the country in less than 15 work days, enclose a $35 expediting fee (in addition to the overnight mail fee, and the $60 passport or $40 renewal fee) and clearly mark the envelope "EXPEDITE."

    Passport Security
    When traveling abroad, carry your passport with you at all times in a safe place. It is a good idea to take a photo copy of your passport with you and keep it in a separate safe place along with copies of your credit cards, traveler's checks and plane tickets. If your passport is lost or stolen, US embassies will usually accept this as proof that you're a US citizen and can quickly issue you a temporary passport. It's also a good idea to leave a copy of your passport with someone at home in case of emergency.

    Obtaining Additional Visa Pages
    If you require additional visa pages before your passport expires, submit your passport with a signed request for extra pages to one of the passport agencies listed below. If you travel abroad frequently, you may request a 48-page passport at the time of application.

    Changing Your Name
    If your name has been changed, you may have your current, valid passport amended with this new name. To do so, mail your passport with your Court Order, Adoption Decree or Marriage Certificate showing your name change, and a completed passport application form DS-19 to the Passport Agency nearest you. You must complete the application and sign it in your new name.

    Invalid Countries
    Check with the embassy or consulate for the countries you are visiting before departure; it is possible the US Passport will not be valid for entry into these countries.

    Passport Agencies
    All have limited 24-hour recordings which include basic information about the passport agency location, hours of operation and information regarding emergency passport services during non-working hours. For additional information try the U. S Department of State's Passport Information Web site: Most passport agencies now require appointments to service passport applications, so be sure to call before visiting your local office.

    You can also listen to automated recordings or talk to a live person by calling the new privately run passport information service at 900-225-5674. Callers will be charged 35 cents per minute for automated service which will explain what's in this document and $1.05 per minute to speak to a live person.

    BOSTON Passport Agency
    Thomas P. O'Neil Federal Building
    10 Causeway Street, Suite 247
    Boston, MA 02222-1094
    (617) 878-0900
    Region: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Upstate New York, & Vermont

    CHICAGO Passport Agency
    Kluczynski Federal Building
    230 S. Dearborn Street, 18th Floor
    Chicago, IL 60604-1564
    (312) 341-6020
    Region: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, & Wisconsin

    CONNECTICUT Passport Agency
    50 Washington Street
    Norwalk, CT 06854
    Region: Connecticut and Westchester County (New York)
    Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., local time, M-F, excluding Federal holidays
    Automated Appointment Number: (203) 299-5443

    HONOLULU Passport Agency
    Prince Kuhio Federal Building
    300 Ala Moana Blvd.
    Suite 1-330
    Honolulu, HI 96850
    (808) 522-8283
    Region: American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Hawaii, & Northern Mariana Islands

    HOUSTON Passport Agency
    Mickey Leland Federal Building
    1919 Smith Street
    Suite 1400
    Houston, TX 77002-8049
    (713) 751-0294
    Region: Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, & Texas

    LOS ANGELES Passport Agency
    Federal Building
    11000 Wilshire Blvd.
    Suite 1000
    Los Angeles, CA 90024-3615
    (310) 575-5700
    Region: California (all counties South of an including San Luis Obispo, Kern and San Bernardino), and Nevada (Clark County only)

    MIAMI Passport Agency
    Claude Pepper Federal Office Building
    51 SW First Avenue
    3rd Floor
    Miami, FL 33120-1680
    (305) 539-3600
    Region: Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, & US Virgin Islands

    NEW ORLEANS Passport Agency
    One Canal Place
    365 Canal Street
    Suite 1300
    New Orleans, LA 70130-6508
    (504) 412-2600
    Region: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia (except D.C. suburbs)

    NEW YORK Passport Agency
    376 Hudson Street
    New York, NY 10014
    (212) 206-3500

    PHILADELPHIA Passport Agency
    US Custom House
    200 Chestnut Street
    Room 103
    Philadelphia, PA 19106-2970
    (215) 418-5937
    Region: Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, & West Virginia

    SAN FRANCISCO Passport Agency
    95 Hawthorne Street
    5th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94105-3901
    (415) 538-2700
    Region: Arizona, California (all counties North of and including Monterey, Kings, Oulare, and Inyo), Nevada (except Clark Co.), & Utah

    SEATTLE Passport Agency
    Henry Jackson Federal Building
    915 Second Avenue
    Suite 992
    Seattle, WA 98174-1091
    (206) 808-5700
    Region: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, & Wyoming

    WASHINGTON Passport Agency
    1111 19th Street, N.W.
    Room 300
    Washington, D.C.20524
    (202) 647-0518
    Region: Maryland, Northern Virginia (including Alexandria, Arlington County, and Fairfax County), and the District of Columbia

    1111 19th Street, N.W. Suite 200
    Washington, D.C. 20036
    Applications for Diplomatic, Official, and No-Fee passport

    To find the closest passport acceptance facility to you, go to:

    Passport & Visa Expeditors
    Should I Use an Expeditor?
    If you are traveling to a country which requires a visa for entry and you are pressed for time, you may want to go through a visa or passport expeditor. The expeditor will go through the steps required to obtain the necessary documents with you, and submit them to the Embassy or Passport Office for you, sometimes even "walking" your documents to the appropriate office. There is, of course, a charge for these services.

    Depending on your destination and time schedule, using an expeditor can be a wise decision. Despite the fact that you are paying for the service, often times the expeditors have negotiated a wholesale price, passing a discount along to you. Other times, particularly if you are not in a hurry, you'll be better off going through the process yourself.

    What are the Fees?
    A reasonable expeditor will charge a fee of roughly $85-$100 for passports processed within 9 days, and about $150 for those turned around within 3-8 days. This is in addition to the government fees, which are $85 for a new applicant, or $55 for a renewal. To have a visa expedited within 24 hours, you should expect to pay at least $200 to the expeditor. Shipping fees are additional; and many sites will give you a discount if you are processing a passport and a visa application, or more than one of either.

    Most visa expeditors will charge a service fee of $30-$50 to process a tourist visa, and slightly more, around $50-$60, to process a business visa, for normal processing. If you want it sooner, you can expect to pay double. These fees come in addition to consulate and shipping fees. Consulate fees vary greatly depending on your destination. The most expensive visas are to Russia and the former Soviet Union, China, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.

    Keep in mind that for a fee of $60 (in addition to the $85 cost for obtaining, or $55 for renewing) the US Passport Service will process expedited passports within three working days.

    Caveats, Precautions
    Be sure to compare fees, to make sure you are getting the best deal. Some companies specialize in providing visas to certain countries, and will give you the best deal to those places in particular, but will have higher fees to other areas of the world.

    Although many companies boast 24-hour service, be sure that it applies to you. Some expeditors require you to live in New York or Washington, DC.

    Also, be careful to fill out all forms correctly! If you fail to provide the necessary information (for example travel to some areas of the former Soviet Union still require an invitation), your visa or passport will be denied and you will still have to pay the expeditor.

    Be aware of hidden fees. If you are requesting 24-hour service, and your documents must be walked to the agency, some companies will charge as much as $30 an hour for "waiting fee" if there is a delay at the office.

    Passport & Visa Expeditors
    Here are some of our recommendations for passport and visa expeditors:

    G3 Visas
    3240 Wilson Blvd., Suite 150
    Arlington, VA 22201
    (888) 883-8472

    A Briggs Passport and Visa Expeditors
    1422 K Street NW
    Washington, DC 20005
    (800) 218-6284

    A Rush Passport & Visa Services
    3901 Danli Lane
    Austin, Texas 78749-4932
    (800) 280-9389

    American Passport Express
    240 Islington St.
    Portsmouth NH 03801
    Call 1-800-455-5166
    7878 Roswell Rd., Suite M
    Atlanta, GA 30350

    Instant Passport
    (800) 284-2564

    2122 P St. NW
    Washington, D.C. - 20037
    Travisa at (800) 222-2589  

    Visa Advisors
    1806 T Street NW
    Washington, DC 20009
    (202) 797-7976


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