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Credit for China's Improved Airlines

November 27, 1994

You cannot rely on air travel advice within China from anyone who has not been there lately ("Domestic Carriers in Russia, China Shunned," Nov. 17). Recent changes in China's domestic air service are amazing, all-pervasive--and mostly positive.

In the past year, I have traveled on Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Yunnan Airlines, China Southern Airlines and China Southwest Airlines, most recently last month, throughout Southwest China. It is an injustice to place the stigma of Russian airlines on China's state-run system.

In economy class, English newspapers were offered and hot towels were handed out with meal service that often exceeded today's Western standards. Small gifts (key chains, tie clasps or pins) were usually distributed as mementos. My flights ran on schedule, and I was told carriers accept responsibility for meals and hotels when flights are delayed beyond a reasonable time. All trips were well staffed by professional, courteous attendants who handle fully occupied, and noticeably clean, aircraft.

Let's give credit where credit is due.

LOUIS R. BECHTEL

Rancho Palos Verdes

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