He has plenty of company when it comes to not hearing airport announcements

I thought I was in a minority when it came to hearing loss, but learning that 14% of people ages 20 to 69 share my problem gave me a little comfort [“Wait — What’d They Say?,” All Systems Go, by Yomi S. Wrong, Aug. 26].

That comfort, however, does not alleviate the frustrated feeling of hearing, but not understanding, flight delays and gate changes announced on loudspeakers. The new paging screens and apps now at airports will make it easier for silent-generation folks like me to not miss important messages.

The last few times I have flown, the announcements sounded loud but jumbled to my ears. Had it not been for my Generation X son, I might have missed something important.

I guess the trick is to get a hearing aid and the proper app for your phone, stand close to a paging screen, be with someone younger or take a bus.


Bill Spitalnick

Newport Beach

Must I spend so much?

San Pedro is indeed a nice place to visit for the day [“Sailors, Dolphins and Ships, Aye, Aye,” by Rosemary McClure, Aug. 26]. I also recommend the Maritime Museum, and Ft. MacArthur is nearby.

But $600 “relatively inexpensive”? I guess people with my mind-set don’t rev the economy, though I also wonder why most people have little or no savings.


Bob Wieting

Simi Valley

They stranded her; she froze them

Catharine Hamm’s column discussed some of the issues that may arise when using a credit card overseas [“No PIN Could Spell Trouble,” On the Spot, Aug. 26]. She mentioned a problem with her American Express card, which was frozen.

When we were traveling in Vietnam, my husband’s wallet was stolen, an American Express card and a Visa card taken.


American Express froze the card and would not send a replacement to any place other than our home, where we would not be for two months. Visa, on the other hand, overnighted a new card to our hotel without difficulty.

If we had not been able to replace either card, our travel experience would have been much more difficult.

Our experience with American Express was enough to have us both cancel our American Express accounts. We have found it much easier to travel with other types of credit cards and believe others should be aware of this issue.

Linda Cioppa



Remember you’re a guest

I saved the “Expat’s Guide to Paris Life” by Peter Mandel [July 29] because I was so pleased to see the sentence, “The city will open up to you in a thousand small ways if you can blend in and play by a few of its rules.”

I wish those words were printed on the cover of every passport issued to U.S. travelers. I don’t travel frequently, but when I do I am always saddened when it doesn’t occur to travelers that they are guests in someone else’s home.

Please continue to make that point as often as you can. And Mandel is correct: Observing and respecting the way things are done in a different culture (“blending in”) turns a sightseeing trip into an unforgettable, profound connection with that place and its people — especially if you take the trouble to acquire some of the language.


Phyllis Elliott

Santa Monica