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January 13, 2013

Thanks for the peak experience

Thank you so much for featuring Jeremy Evans' beautiful pictures and his story of hiking the John Muir Trail ["Scenes of a Dream Trip on the John Muir Trail," by Rene Lynch, Dec. 30]. It brought back great memories of our trip from Cottonwoods Lakes to the top of Mt. Whitney. I think the memories and pictures of the trip will last a lifetime. Evans' website took us back to the magic that the Sierras hold for us.

Hetty Shurtleff

Santa Barbara

In response to the Dec. 30 On the Spot column ["Checking Security," by Catharine Hamm]: My husband and I both have trusted traveler status through the Global Entry program. However, when driving back from a seven-day vacation in British Columbia and pulling into the appropriate line for trusted travelers, we were asked questions for five minutes and then pulled over to a parking area where we were detained for 20 minutes while three agents thoroughly searched our rental car and every single piece of luggage. So having membership in Global Entry is not necessarily the timesaver one would hope it would be. We were pretty dismayed that our "trusted" traveler status really wasn't.

However, it was a huge timesaver when flying into the U.S. from Rome earlier this year. We just walked up to a kiosk, scanned our passports and fingers (really! You just press your hand to the screen) and answered four questions. Then we each received a receipt that let us walk to the head of the line, wave it at the customs official and walk on through.

So, same program, entirely different (and unpredictable) results.

Paula Reid


Loved the article today on flight attendants ["Flight Attendants' Secrets," by George Hobica, Jan. 6]. I've been flying for one of the majors since 1987.

As a coffee-holic, I would never serve decaf to one wanting caffeine, but that's just me!

Please, take off the darn headphones when I'm asking you a question, and please, no deep knee-bends in my work space, which is tiny, and, no, I don't earn a red cent till that plane pushes back.

Thank you for the honesty.

Heidi Gunderson

Redondo Beach

I think the article about flight attendants was in bad taste. There was no redeeming quality. Sorry I even read it. And not funny. This comes from a former crew member of 35 years.

Patti Hausler

Hermosa Beach

Thanks for the reminder in On the Spot about who's really in charge when it comes to seating ["Why Seating Is Up in the Air," by Catharine Hamm, Jan. 6]. Will help me from blowing a blood vessel the next time I don't get what I reserved at check-in.

Thanks for the laugh about Joyce. I attempted "Ulysses" my sophomore year and was totally flattened by Chapter 3. I figure I've got 30 years left to try Chapter 4.

David Pohlod

Oak Park

Don't blame the airlines for their indifference to customer service. The blame belongs to Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration, the poster child for regulatory capture, which makes no pretense of caring for the flying public. Overbooking by an airline may be justifiable, but doing so without telling the passenger is simple fraud. The FAA not only sanctions this fraud, it also has detailed rules about the inadequate remedies the passenger is limited to. Until the FAA undergoes a complete attitude change, there is no reason to expect decent conduct by the airlines.

Arthur O. Armstrong

Manhattan Beach

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