AAA report details how shutdown will affect travel - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

AAA report details how shutdown will affect travel

(WVVA)- With the government officially shut down, AAA has released a report on how travelers will be affected.

According to the report, air travelers "should not expect delays related to the shutdown".

Highway travel will also remain unchanged.

However, passport processing centers and all related activities are likely suspended.

Even worse, all national parks, including the New River Gorge National Park, along with all Smithsonian museums and federal monuments, are closed to the public.

Given the impacts of this shutdown, AAA said in a statement "AAA is hopeful that an agreement can be reached so that travelers looking forward to visiting our national parks, monuments and museums are not disappointed."

AAA recommends that any traveler scheduled to visit a national park or any federally managed facility should call ahead to confirm whether or not said park or facility is open.

Here is a complete copy of AAA's report:

 

How the government shut down may impact travelers
AAA offers travel advice
 
Travelers should expect some impact on travel and recreation services managed by the federal government.
 
·         Air traffic controllers are considered essential employees, so air travelers should not expect delays related to the shutdown.
 
·         No changes will be made to federal government operations that support national security,such as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) aviation operations (e.g. passenger screening)  and border patrol agents. 
 
·         Passport processing centers and all activities supporting passport processing are likely suspended according to an August Congressional Research Service Report, "Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects."  During the last government shutdown in 1996 approximately 20,000-30,000 applications by foreigners for visas reportedly went unprocessed each day; 200,000 U.S. applications for passports reportedly went unprocessed; and U.S. tourist industries and airlines reportedly sustained millions of dollars in lost revenue.
 
·         National parks, Smithsonian museums and federal monuments are closed to the public. Any overnight guests should be notified and given time to relocate outside National parks.
 
AAA is hopeful that an agreement can be reached so that travelers looking forward to visiting our national parks, monuments and museums are not disappointed. 
 
·         AAA recommends that any traveler scheduled to visit a national park or facility managed by the federal government call ahead or monitor the NPS website, http://www.nps.gov/index.htm, to confirm the park is open to the public.
 
·         In addition, the State Department advises that travelers should regularly checkwww.travel.state.gov for updates on passport processing information in the event of a shutdown.  Information on current applications, emergency requests and other updates will be posted as warranted.
 
·         Some travelers may have booked tours that are scheduled to visit national parks and monuments. Generally, tour operators will revise itineraries when events occur making it unfeasible to proceed with the planned route. AAA recommends travelers with plans to visit the national parks in the next couple of weeks contact their travel agent or travel provider to determine what alternate options will be offered.
 
·         The AAA Mobile app and eTourBook guides provide on-the-go access to AAA travel information if last minute changes to travel plans are needed. Content includes AAA Approved attractions such as local museums and state parks. Visit AAA.com/mobile or AAA.com/ebooks.
 
·         Travelers can also  use the TripTik Travel Planner, available free to all travelers at AAA.com. Listings include 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants, 17,000 attractions, 23,000 events and 7,000 destinations. Printed AAA TourBook guides and maps are available free to members at AAA and CAA offices.

 

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