More drama in Mexico

The State Department’s warnings about Mexico are beginning to sound like narco-novelas. Late last month, the agency added a new chapter to this sad and dramatic tale.

In its latest warning (travel.state.gov/travel/
cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5440.html)
, the department adds to the growing list of dangerous areas American travelers should avoid south of the border. (Note to State: For a visual tool, how about creating a map with the risky sections shaded in? Could be useful for vacation planners.)

New appearances on the list include Puerto Penasco, known among spring breakers and beachgoers as Rocky Point; Nogales, which borders the Arizona town of the same name; Acapulco, the legendary party town; Cuernavaca, a Spanish-language learning center; the state of Michoacan, including the areas around the capital of Morelia and the butterfly sanctuaries; and Mazatlan, which some cruise ships recently dropped from their itineraries.

The agency does assert that “millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day for study, tourism or business and at least one million U.S. citizens who live in Mexico.” Stay tuned for more “Danger! Danger! Mexico.”

Happy (hiccup) flying

Starting today, American Airlines becomes the toast of the skies with the return of its 5@5 Happy Hour. The promotion, which runs through May, offers passengers cocktails, wine and beer for $5 on American or American Eagle domestic flights departing between 5 and 5:59 p.m. The discounted drinks are served on flights within the continental United States and to/from Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Tripping on Overstock

The e-dumping ground for refurbished vacuum cleaners, pea green purses and other discounted consumer goodies is adding travel to its offerings. Last week, Overstock.com introduced Overstock Vacations. Users can expect to find 30 to 40 travel deals per viewing. Offerings include four nights in September at the Mamaison Hotel Riverside Prague for $291 per person double, two nights in August at the Hilton Boston Back Bay for $193 and three nights in August at the Cork Hotel in Lancaster, Pa., for $174.

But are these good deals? A room at the Mamaison normally starts at $160 a night; the Hilton goes for $269; and the Cork for $139. However, Overstock bases its rates on two travelers. So when planning your trip, double the listed price or search for a companion deal.

Don’t-fly-these zone

Some airlines just make CoGo want to stay home and hide under the covers. Specifically, those 250 carriers blacklisted by the European Commission Mobility and Transport. The updated report (ec.europa.eu/transport/
air-ban/list_en.htm)
provides the names of airlines that fail to uphold the EU’s safety standards and are therefore banned from landing on European soil.

The countries with the largest number of perpetrators include Indonesia, Kazakhstan and the Philippines, plus many African nations. Too bad, because CoGo would love an eyeshade with Zest Airways (Philippines) or Air Rum (Sierra Leone) printed on it to wear over our forehead.

Travel ticker

Greyhound Express is expanding with nonstop service from Washington to New York. The bus company will offer eight daily round-trips starting May 10. Starting fare is $1 one way. Info: www.greyhound.com/
express
. . . BWI Marshall has unveiled eight electric-vehicle charging stations, part of a state plan to install 65 chargers in the Baltimore-Washington metro area by June.

Andrea Sachs

Help feed CoGo. Send travel news to: cogo@washpost.com. By mail: CoGo, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.