Travel letters: Flying’s effects on global climate change

The environmental impact of air travel
Have people considered the negative environmental impact of air travel, a reader wonders.
(Richard Derk)

Regarding “6.3 Billion People Flew in 2013" [Need to Know, Sept. 28]: About 6.3 billion people flew last year, a 4.6% increase over the year before. Some saw melting glaciers caused by CO2 emissions from vehicles of all types. Ask anyone who travels if they plan to cut back to reduce the effects of global climate change. Having fun and consuming is what it is all about.

Roger Newell

San Diego



Equally fun visit with Santa

I just read with a smile Chris Erskine’s article about the Polar Express in Williams, Ariz. [“Polar Express Gears Up in Ariz.,” Sept. 21]. Seventeen of us in our family spent last Christmas Eve riding the Polar Express in Williams, and we had a wonderful time. We had six young children with us, ages 4 to 8 — it was a perfect time in their lives.

People who are thinking about making this trek should know that there’s a second trip to the North Pole in nearby Flagstaff, and it’s just as wonderful. Little America Flagstaff sponsors the North Pole Experience (, which involves a bus trip into the nearby woods to the North Pole and Santa’s Workshop.

There are numerous decorated rooms to visit, each with an activity for kids — making toys to help Santa, doing “quality control,” writing letters to Santa, snacking on cocoa and cookies, and concluding with photos with Santa given to you on a memory card. We highly recommend both experiences for kids — I’d hate to have to pick which one was better.


Chris Byrd

Villa Park


This is ‘upgraded’ air service?

Catharine Hamm’s article of Sept. 7 [“Service Is at a Premium”] refers to American Airlines’ “upgraded service” as a jumping-off point to discuss what airlines are doing for their super-premium passengers.

As a frequent flier on American, I too received the letter that writer Daniel Fink received. In reality, AA announced a downgraded meal service, not upgraded, carefully disguised under the concept of equalizing the service between American and US Airways.

Last month, the return portion of a trip I had scheduled on American was rebooked by AA on US Airways. I had never flown US Airways, so I looked forward to what I was led to believe would be a superior experience.

In reality, my first-class experience was shockingly disappointing. The A320 from Boston to Phoenix had no power ports at the seats and no entertainment whatsoever on what was ostensibly a transcontinental route. Even the decrepit, ancient MD-80s that American flies out of Palm Springs have some sort of power port.


If this is the future of the new American Airlines, it is in big trouble.

Andy Linsky

Palm Springs

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