I enjoyed the article about cavern exploration in American national parks ["Getting in Deep," Feb. 28, by David Kelly]. Many of these treasures would be unknown if trailblazers such as Horace Dade Ashton, an early member of the Explorers Club, had not ventured into them.
Although Ashton did not visit the caverns listed in your article, he did represent the Explorers Club in a joint expedition with the American Museum of Natural History to find the end point of the Endless Caverns in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley in 1925. Located near New Market, Va., the caverns are definitely worth a visit by anyone who enjoys spelunking.
Ashton became lost during this exploration, but he did find the end point of these natural wonders for all to enjoy.
Libby J. Atwater
The article on Global Entry ["Global Entry Denial Brings Up Old Charge," Feb. 28, On the Spot by Catharine Hamm] really bothered me. Participating in Global Entry is a privilege, not a right, and should be viewed as such.
Shoplifting and petty theft are not "youthful indiscretions," particularly when compounded by telling a federal agent that you had never been arrested when in fact you had. I do not feel a scintilla of sympathy. Law-abiding citizens who do not violate the laws and statutes of this country are waiting for their turn for interviews and participation in Global Entry.
There should be consequences to one's actions whether they were three weeks or 30 years ago, and while this man ultimately got the redress he sought, I do not agree with the idea that he is entitled to any grievance with the government.
The Travel section would be better spent on legitimate grievances the traveling public experiences with air carriers, travel agencies and the like.
Re: "Getting Seats With Kids on Flights" [On the Spot by Catharine Hamm, Feb. 21]: I believe it is critical that children be seated with the relative or person they are traveling with. It is unconscionable that the airlines seat children anywhere, which could be next to a sexual predator.
There's no way to know what kind of person they may be seated next to. The children's safety is more important that the airlines' profits or whatever game they are playing. How dare they remove children to sit next to an unknown.
I am sorry, but the solution for finding seats together is not to leave this in the hands of the travelers.
When I make and pay for a family reservation, I expect to be treated as a family.
Otherwise, I would make five separate reservations.
Unless you buy tickets one or two weeks before a trip, there is no reason other than airline company greed not to seat members of the same reservation together. Nowadays, even when I travel with my wife this happens.
How many families with kids do you know who book at the last minute? Not many.
When families book months (even almost a year) in advance, there is no reason not to seat them together.
What you can do as media is raise concerns and encourage people to demand a federal airline ombudsman office that will police the airlines.
This is what needs to happen to restore basic common sense and decrease traveler frustration.