Alaska Plane Decorated for Disney Anniversary

Also: Passport Regs Change; New Dot-Travel Domain; Supplier Teams With TV Show

Alaska Airlines unveiled a new themed airplane to commemorate Disneyland’s 50th anniversary. The bright blue Boeing 737-400 features Disney’s own flying beauty Tinker Bell on its fuselage and golden mouse ears on the tail and is dubbed “The Magic of Disneyland.”

The aircraft will fly to five airports in Southern California: Burbank, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Ontario and Orange County.

To celebrate Disneyland’s anniversary, the airline is extending a Kids Fly Free offer when accompanied by an adult who purchases a vacation package through Alaska Airlines or the Walt Disney Travel Co. To qualify, tickets must be booked by June 1 for travel by June 29.

New Passport Regs for U.S.

Quick trips across the U.S. border will require more planning starting in 2008. The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security announced a new initiative that will require Canadian, Mexican, Bermudan and American citizens to have a passport to enter the United States. A driver’s license or birth certificate currently is all that’s required.

“Our goal is to strengthen border security and expedite entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors,” said Homeland Security official Randy Beardsworth.

In exchange for tighter borders, some industry officials worry that along with causing further border delays, the initiative would deter spontaneous travel.

About 20 percent of Americans carry a passport, according to The Associated Press, and getting the correct documentation requires a bit of foresight. Along with a photo, forms and $100 fee, a passport requires a six- to eight-week wait, which could keep some spur-of-the-moment travelers at home.

Dot-Travel Addresses Gain Approval

Soon agents will be able to add dot-travel to the end of their E-mail and Web site addresses as the new domain has been approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The affirmative vote by ICANN, a nonprofit that manages the domain name system, caps a five-year effort to win approval for dot-travel, which would be available exclusively to the travel industry. The approval clears the way for New York-based Tralliance Corp. to launch the registry for the new top-level domain later this year.

Tralliance will manage the registry, but policies regarding who will be eligible to use the domain will be set by The Travel Partnership Corp., a non-profit consortium of travel industry organizations led by a 15-member board.

Supplier Partners With Travel Show

In an effort to target a younger and perhaps, wilder, demographic, E! Entertainment Television has partnered with an online travel provider to make E!’s travel show “Wild On!” a reality for clients.

The cable network and Key2Travel a supplier of restaurant, tour and night club packages launched Wild On! VIP Travel, which will allow travelers to recreate itineraries featured on the show, including access to clubs and private parties, adventure tours, concert and event tickets and personal concierge services.

“We realize that no matter where one goes, their ego follows,” said Michael Daly, executive vice president of marketing for Key2Travel. “That’s why we’ve created a service that caters to every whim of a VIP wherever their travels may take them.”

Destinations include Las Vegas, New York City, Hawaii, Southern California and Miami. Aimed at 20- and 30-something viewers, “Wild On!” features the exotic places and parties of the yuppie jet set.