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Originally published July 30, 2011 at 7:04 PM | Page modified July 30, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Travel updates: Seattle Passport Agency on the move

entitled to airline tax refunds The Internal Revenue Service says that passengers who bought tickets before the airlines had to stop collecting...

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IRS says passengers

entitled to airline tax refunds

The Internal Revenue Service says that passengers who bought tickets before the airlines had to stop collecting federal taxes for travel on or after July 23 may be entitled to a refund on the taxes they paid. However, passengers may find that collecting is not easy.

The IRS has asked the airlines to repay customers, but most, including Seattle-based Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air said they are referring people directly to the IRS for claims.

Carriers aren't required by law to issue refunds, Frank Keith, a spokesman for the IRS, said, adding that the IRS is developing procedures for passengers to submit claims to the agency directly.

U.S. airlines suspended collection of ticket taxes after Congress failed to extend the FAA's funding. The FAA estimated its losses at $30 million a day in uncollected taxes. Most of that went to the airlines which raised fares. The major exception was Seattle-based Alaska/Horizon which passed the savings onto customers.

Seattle Passport Agency on the move

The Seattle Passport Agency is moving to a new office at the south edge of downtown, with more space and service windows for issuing passports to travelers.

The existing office, in the Jackson Federal Building in downtown Seattle, will be closed on Aug. 5 and Aug. 8 in preparation for the move.

The new Passport Agency office will be at 300 Fifth Ave., Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98104 (the cross street is Yesler). The new office will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday starting Aug. 9. The office serves customers with urgent travel requirements by appointment.

Schedule an appointment or get passport information by calling 877-487-2778 or see www.travel.state.gov.There will be a nationwide "Passport Day" on Saturday, Sept. 17, where travelers can apply in person for passports and get advice from staff without an appointment.

Worldwide caution for travelers

Osama bin Laden's death has raised the risk of anti-American violence worldwide, says the U.S. State Department, which has issued a new global caution for travelers. It urges American travelers to be vigilant, and said al-Qaida and other groups may be planning terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in Europe, Asia, Africa and Middle East. Urban-transport systems also could be targeted.

For more information see www.travel.state.govand click on "Worldwide caution."

Southwest cutting some Seattle flights

Southwest Airlines is ending flights between Seattle and Spokane, a route that is dominated by Alaska and Horizon airlines. Four flights a day between the state's two largest cities will end on Jan. 8, 2012, as part of a series of cost-cutting moves across the country by Southwest. Flights also will be cut between Seattle and Boise, Idaho, in the winter.

Seattle Times staff and news services.

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