Regarding "Death or Illness: Airfare Refunded?" by Catharine Hamm [On the Spot, Nov. 4]: As infrequent travelers, my best friend and I signed up for a trip to New York City some years ago. Travel insurance was offered, but we weren't sure we'd need it. After much thought, we went with it.
We were surely glad we had. The last thing we expected was for me to end up in the hospital just a week before takeoff. The company we dealt with was great. We had complete refunds.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, November 27, 2012 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 37 words Type of Material: Correction
Military service: A letter in the Nov. 25 Travel section stated that Ronald Reagan did not serve in the military. Reagan was called to active duty in the Army and was discharged as a captain in 1945.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, December 02, 2012 Home Edition Travel Part L Page 3 Travel Desk 1 inches; 33 words Type of Material: Correction
Military service: A Nov. 25 letter stated that Ronald Reagan did not serve in the military. Reagan was called to active duty in the Army, then was discharged as a captain in 1945.
"Nonrefundable" means taking a big chance, so you really need to weigh that concept against insurance.
Norma Jean Wilkinson
The open road
Thanks for the welcoming travel article about Ely, Nev., by Ryan Ritchie ["Old-Fashioned Ways," Nov. 18].
I am sure Ritchie would agree that the beautiful drive along U.S. Highway 93 is actually filled with everything (rather than nothing). The drive is extended if you take the time to visit Caliente, Cathedral Grove, Pioche or stop on the side of the road to glance at Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park.
The excellent motorcycle-road trip movie "Roadside Prophets" follows this route and continues farther north to Jackpot.
Kudos to Edward Ryan, whose letter in the Nov. 4 Travel section urged travelers to resist the "surly welcome" and "obnoxious behavior" too often inflicted by Customs and Border Protection officers at LAX -- despite their posted "pledge" to treat everyone "with dignity and respect."
I was informed after my letter of complaint that "a CBP Supervisor or a CBP Passenger Service Manager is always available to further address ... any issues/concerns that may arise."
Worse than a surly officer is a rude and bullying one -- in our case, a homophobe who loudly and angrily separated a longtime couple, allowing no explanation or dissent and informing me, a U.S. citizen, "This is not your country," after asking if I'd served in the military (neither did John Wayne or Ronald Reagan).
Do fight back.
When I was in Las Vegas recently, I was amazed at how many people were homeless and begging for money. At each street corner and on the walking bridges that connect the hotels there were so many of these down-and-out people that it seemed as though the Strip had its own private skid row.
It is sad, depressing and surprising that amid these billion-dollar hotel/casinos there would be large numbers of these people. Some of the lost souls actually tried to earn meager funds by attempting to play some kind of musical instrument. Most of the downtrodden, however, simply sat in the same place for hours with signs that read "homeless, please help."
One can only wonder how could so many have lost everything in an area filled with so much opulence.