Travel Letters: Liberty Memorial's history-making day in Missouri

A very nice article about the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Mo. ["Moving Memorial, Piece by Piece" by Cynthia Mines, July 27]. If I could add, Gen. John J. Pershing was born in Laclede, Mo.

The site dedication in 1921 was the only time that the military leaders of each of the Allied forces met together in public. Gen. Alphonse Jacques de Dixmude (a.k.a. Gen. Jacques) of Belgium, Adm. David Beatty of Britain, Gen. Armando Diaz of Italy, Marshal Ferdinand Foch of France and General of the Armies Pershing. A pretty big deal in those days.


Steve Leonard

Dana Point


Duty-free bright spot

Re: On the Spot by Catharine Hamm ["Duty-Free … Not Worry-Free," July 27]: I had a similar experience with liquids poorly packaged by duty-free employees like the couple with Italian olive oil. Ours, though, had a happier ending.

When we were returning from Nicaragua with a bottle of 18-year-old rum, the duty-free employee there placed the bottle in a basic shopping bag. After going through customs in Miami and rechecking our bags to San Diego, the Transportation Security Administration told me I couldn't walk on the plane with the rum because it was not packaged in a tamper-proof bag.

This is where the story turns for the better. While pleading my case with the TSA officer, another officer suggested we see if someone at the American Airlines desk could find a box and we could check it through to our destination.

She took me back through the security lines to the AA desk where she found a supervisor she knew. This supervisor walked over to the domestic desk and returned with a cardboard box and packaging tape.

We boxed the rum and the AA agent checked it. The box emerged on the baggage carousel before our luggage in San Diego.

Whenever my wife and I hear stories of rude and cranky TSA officers, we will always remember our experience when the TSA and the airlines, for that matter, went above and beyond the call of duty to serve and be helpful.

Geoff Westermeyer



Re: "Easy Breezy" by Irene Lechowitzky, July 6: After reading her article on Oceanside, my wife and I booked a room at the Marriott SpringHill Suites for a weekday getaway. She mentioned the sushi joint Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub but did not have time to visit it. We did and found it well worth the effort. The albacore was very good, and the bluefin tuna was out of this world. Also of note at the 333 Bar (part of the Wyndham) are the $7 happy-hour martinis. Keep those SoCal travel reports coming!


Charlie and Anita Beals

Van Nuys


More rental car tips

A number of months ago, Catharine Hamm wrote an article about how to save money on rental cars ["Four Rules for Reducing Rental Car Cost," May 11]. I have an addition to that information.

In February, I found out that my nephew was going to be married in June in Massachusetts. I called Enterprise Rent-a-Car at Logan Airport on Feb. 27 and reserved an intermediate car for June 19-24. I was told the cost would be $547.

On May 2, it hit me that that was kind of expensive, so I called Enterprise again, and this time I was told it would cost $390. My reservation was changed to reflect this. I asked why there was such a big discrepancy and was told that it had to do with the availability of vehicles when I called.

I called twice more, at the beginning of June and then again a few days before I left for Boston. The price went down to around $339 and then to around $303.

I ended up with a Nissan Sentra, and I waived all extra charges (insurance, collision, etc.). I was told that Enterprise no longer accepted AARP or AAA cards for a discount, but they did give a 10% break for using Costco cards.

My final bill was $278.

Tina Levine

Long Beach