Travel Weekly's Mexico E-Letter: July 1, 2002

AEROMEXICO will roll out new frequent flyer benefits on a month-by-month basis through December in a push to boost enrollment in its Club Premier program. In June, for example, the airline said frequent flyer miles would not expire as long as Club Premier members fly with Aeromexico at least once every two years. In addition, Club Premier members now can accrue double miles when they fly in Clase Premier on international and domestic flights.

IN A BID to tame its image and distance itself from the zany spring break crowd and other overzealous visitors, Cancun's tourism industry took steps to "reduce disorderly conduct" at the destination. Hoteliers, bar and nightclub owners and other business and municipal authorities signed a "civility" agreement. As Miguel Borge Martin, executive director of the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau, put it: "No longer will Cancun tolerate anyone walking in the hotel zone with open drink containers, or any establishment serving alcohol to minors. Moreover, we will no longer permit the use of banners, signs and commercials that promote the consumption of alcoholic beverages or alcoholic prizes," he said. According to the Cancun Hotel Assn., 50,000 American students are expected to visit the destination this year.

CLIENTS NEED NEW LUGGAGE? If they book their Mexico trip with US Airways Vacations by July 16 and pay with MasterCard, they'll receive a 35% discount and a free three-piece set of Samsonite Streamlite II luggage valued at $239. A MasterCard must be used to receive the luggage, although the discount still applies if another form of payment is used. The offer is valid for travel through Oct. 31. Participating Mexico destinations are Cancun and Cozumel. A three-night package at the Imperial Las Perlas in Cancun starts at $373 per person, double, from Baltimore, $389 from Philadelphia and $414 from Boston. Six nights at the Reef Club Cozumel costs $795 from Baltimore, $812 from Philadelphia and $847 from Boston. The rates include roundtrip air fare, airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges, and international travel taxes. The offer also is available to Bermuda and the Caribbean. For information or reservations, call (800) 455-0123.

ON JULY 1, SunTrips' core Mexico program from Oakland, Calif., and Denver began operating almost exclusively with North American Airlines and its fleet of 757-200 aircraft serving Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Los Cabos (from Oakland). SunTrips' Mexico charters are operated by North American and Allegro airlines. However, SunTrips' relationship with Allegro, which operates its Saturday Oakland-Cancun flight, will cease at the end of August. Allegro uses a 727 on the route. SunTrips offers three-, four- and seven-night packages to Mexico from Oakland starting at $299 per person, double, and from Denver starting at $249 per person, double. Packages include nonstop roundtrip air fare and airport transfers. In other news, SunTrips is offering a $99 roundtrip air fare for children ages two to 17 for select departures from Oakland to Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos, and from Denver to Puerto Vallarta and Cancun, through September. For information or reservations, call (800) 786-8747 or visit the Web at www.suntrips.com.

GUESTS AT THE Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, can check their e-mails or the latest sports scores at the beach. The hotel is renting PCMCI cards for guests' laptops or PDAs for $35 a day. The card allows hassle-free Internet access from anywhere on property. A hotel spokeswoman said that guests are using the card at the pool, beach and during meeting breaks to check e-mails, keep an eye on the stock market and read newspapers on line. The spokeswoman said the hotel's systems department tested several card models before selecting the PCMCI card. The hotel's technology butler installs the card and driver on the guest's laptop or PDA. For information or reservations, call (800) 241-3333 or visit the Web at www.ritzcarlton.com.

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