Call him old school, but he likes his ship safety drills real, not virtual

Virtual ship drills: Titanic, anyone?

I enjoyed Beverly Beyette’s article on the new Oasis ship [“The Sheer Fun of It All,” Jan. 24] right up to the point where she praised the deletion of the “dreaded safety drill” and also praised the ship for placing life jackets at the boat stations rather than having them “take up valuable room in the cabin.” Apparently, abandon-ship drills are now to be done in a virtual format. Beyette should Google “Titanic” or, perhaps more recently, “Andrea Doria” to see the definition of “unsinkable.”

I like to see my lifeboat in person, not on a TV screen, and to actually go to it. Would she know where to go, if necessary, hoping to find a life jacket there? It will take only one, though unlikely, disaster to put an end to virtual abandon-ship drills and phantom life jackets.

Thomas Nosek



The early bird gets the flights at LAX

Regarding On the Spot by Catharine Hamm [“From Bad to Wurst,” Jan. 24].

People should know by now to get to an airport earlier than 1 1/2 hours before the flight, especially if they have luggage. If they had gotten to LAX two or 2 1/2 hours before the flight, perhaps they would have made it. I don’t have much sympathy for them unless they have never flown before. Then, maybe a little.


William Besse



If the kiosk literally instructed the passenger to “check with an agent,” the airline should use a different word to avoid the confusion that ensued. How about “contact an agent” or, even more clearly, “contact an agent after you have checked in here”?


This is clearly a problem the airline can and should solve. An airline customer who is merely being human in an already stressful environment bears no blame.

Alec Frank

Playa del Rey

In the Maldives, a matter of survival


Regarding “Getting Their Green On” by Amanda Jones [Jan. 10]. For the Maldives’ people, landscapes, wildlife and those who might someday visit them, climate change could be a matter of life-or-death survival, no matter what some bullheaded elephants in Congress believe.

When you’re as low-lying above current sea level as the Maldives (or Florida, for that matter), even small changes in storm, tide and erosion patterns could quickly become dangerous. What’s an ounce of prevention worth, if there is no cure?

Lee Moldaver

Santa Barbara


Watch out for seals on Highway 1

Last month, my wife and I traveled on Highway 1. We stopped at the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery. After we left the rookery’s parking lot, we encountered a giant elephant seal on the land side of the highway. I drove carefully around the seal. In my rear mirror, I saw the seal was crossing the highway back to the rookery.

To protect the public, Caltrans should at least place signs that read, “Caution, Elephant Seals Crossing.” Of course, the rookery fence could be fixed and the gates kept closed.

Guenter Schmidt


Thousand Oaks