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Travel letters: Illumination on travel insurance

Plus, a cellphone cowboy and a happy place amid the Great Barrier Reef.

October 13, 2013

Thank you for Catharine Hamm's enlightening article on travel insurance ["What That Policy Covers," On the Spot, Oct. 6]. I blew out my knee's quad tendon in Dubai on the first day of a cruise tour. After having my entire leg cast locally, I tried to fly back to L.A. for immediate surgery. I had a prepaid return flight in coach, but Emirates Airlines said it couldn't accommodate me there because my leg had to be elevated and sticking straight out, and coach didn't have the room for my leg. (Of course, I'd have accepted lying across three seats, but the airline said no.)

After 21 wheelchair-bound hours in the Dubai airport, I finally paid $5,200 more than my already prepaid coach flight for a business-class seat by the bulkhead, with my leg elevated by flight attendant luggage. My claim for the unavoidable $5,200 extra business-class cost was repeatedly denied by my insurer CSA, which said it wouldn't reimburse that fare despite there being no other way for me to get back.

As a last resort, I filed a complaint against CSA with the California Department of Insurance. In 10 days, I got a check from CSA for $5,200, with virtually no explanation.

Sometimes the squeaky wheel actually does get the grease.

Richard James

Marina del Rey

Unfortunately, I think Hamm may have entered the world of diagnosable mental disorders that she mentioned in her column.

She stated that the author of the report she referenced was hoping it would generate congressional hearings, resulting perhaps in changes in the way travel insurance is marketed.

That in itself can be classified as a "diagnosable mental disorder," to actually put in writing that the same people who cannot agree to keep our government open on a daily basis could accomplish something that complicated.

It's wonderful to dream and also to believe in fairy tales, but one must acknowledge reality.

John Wade

Newbury Park

I have traveled extensively. I never buy insurance from the cruise company, airline or travel agent. I go to, where you can compare all the plans available and choose the one that will give you the coverage you need for your particular trip. I have never been disappointed. Customer service is great, and you can call them for help in choosing a plan.

Mina Lerman


A cellphone cowboy?

It's clearly a reflection of our times that the cowboy on his horse in Monument Valley could be looking at his cellphone in the cover shot ["Where Drama Looms Large," by Christopher Reynolds, Sept. 29]. Otherwise, this picture could have been taken in the '50s, before the Digital Age came along to distract us from the beauty and peace in nature.

Andie Ashley

Hidden Hills

Happy place amid the Great Barrier Reef

I am always getting kidded about my happy place ["Their Happy Place," Sept. 15]. I zone out by snorkeling. I have my mask and snorkel on, and I start walking into the crystal-clear blue water. The magic of the Great Barrier Reef swiftly begins to take hold. I am snorkeling with turtles and rainbow fish, and sometimes a giant trevally swims by. If I listen real close, I can actually hear the fish eating the coral.

After a few minutes, I am ready to take on more phone calls, get the car fixed or turn around my bad day.

Kerry Eyre

El Segundo

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