Baggage scofflaws and their scoffers
Regarding "Bag-Fee Dodger" [On the Spot, March 27] by Catharine Hamm: My wife and I recently returned from a 15-day cruise. We flew to Miami, Miami to Rio de Janeiro, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Dallas, and Dallas to LAX, all on American.
The American Airlines representative's quote in the article about gate agents asking passengers to check excess items is nonsense. At no time was the carry-on bag rule enforced.
I saw people carrying oversized bags, two or three bags plus a laptop computer and musical instruments and tennis rackets into the cabin as carry-on luggage.
I traveled on American Airlines two weeks ago. Everyone who had a carry-on was allowed to carry it on, regardless of size. I had an average size backpack and had checked my suitcase. It was a full flight, and they made an announcement that anyone who wanted to check their bag could do so free. They also made an announcement not to stow any coats in the overhead bins because that's where the carry on luggage needed to go.
I paid $25 so I could shove my jacket under the seat so someone else didn't have to pay $25 and they could put their luggage in the overhead compartment. The same thing happened on United when I flew in November.
People like me who are willing to fork over $25, get penalized. Just doesn't seem right.
I am always encouraged when someone talks about integrity and expects that "everyone" has it. Sadly, that is not the case these days. These "dodger/louts" don't care about things like respect, dignity and ethics. That is for somebody else. They do what they want to do regardless of written or unwritten rules/mores. There was a day when these traits were valued and we would go to great lengths to not have anyone think poorly of us. No longer.
Guatemala tour proves rewarding
On Jan. 9, I saw a small article in Tours & Cruises in the L.A. Times Travel section. As a result, I took Escalle & Co.'s Textile and Jewelry Tour to Guatemala in March.
What a find! The tour was quite affordable, very professionally run and operated to support women's and children's charities.
This trip wasn't about climbing volcanoes or seeing Mayan ruins, but to meet and support the female artisans of Guatemala, to hear their stories, to learn about their traditional crafts, their culture and their lives and to aid 50 girls at the Niñas Mayas school in a small village on Lake Atitlán.
To meet those girls was an emotional experience that will stay with me for a long, long time, and I'll have a connection to Guatemala through those girls for years to come. Thanks for including these rare travel experiences in your section.