Regarding "A Families Line?" [Letters, March 20]: I totally agree with letter writer Alex Bates and the dismay/disappointment in foreign countries that do not provide separate immigration lines for various family issues. So arrogant and unhelpful, to say the least.
I am constantly traveling internationally with my dogs and cats. I don't understand why most countries do not have a separate line for people who travel with dogs and cats.
I am in a 45-or-more-person line in immigration, and it has been a great challenge with an over-tired dog or cat, having just been on a 10-hour flight.
It is an incredible burden for single travelers holding dogs and cats and their food and supplies for that amount of time and incredibly stressful when your dog or cat realizes he or she needs to go to the toilet once deep in the line and having to leave and start all over.
It seems like a no-brainer. What am I missing?
With tongue in cheek,
The letter writer wants a family line, not just in the U.S. but in other countries also. Just for that family.
I want a line just for me, one without mothers with smelly babies and toddlers who are crying, spitting up and causing a general nuisance.
It's a great challenge for me to endure such self-centered, self-absorbed individuals. It's such an incredible burden for me to have to stand in a line for 15, 20 or 30 minutes to re-enter the U.S. How can one suffer such a wait?
West Los Angeles
The March 13 letter ["Legit Gripes Only, Please"] regarding seating families together suggests that the writer is a shill for the marketing people at the airlines, or that he is completely unaware of present practice.
When one books for a family on the same reservation ahead of time, even way ahead of time, for an economy airfare, even if the plane is completely empty, the airline's website will show no available seats together.
It appears this is a shameless act on the part of the airlines — ahem, their marketing people — to trade money in exchange for the safety of children. If one pays more, one can buy the luxury of not having one's 6-year-old daughter seated between a pair of strangers 10 rows away.
In my view, her safety is not a luxury but a basic right. Marketing "people" would disagree; it appears a bigger bonus is all that is right to them.
Safety for children should not be a lever of monetary coercion.
This state of affairs is factual. I occasionally book with miles and see the real empty seats, but I pay for my family members with cash on the same flight on a separate reservation and see that for their reservation the planes are displayed as nearly full, with no seats available near each other.
The workaround is at the first moment check-in is allowed, 24 hours prior to the flight, real seat availability is shown. At that time, change seats to get the family together, or at least in the same area of the plane.
But how did it come to this? It appears the airlines have decided that their customers are the enemy.
Should we customers regard the airlines in kind?