FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Mail Call December 2019

Dec 13, 2019
December 2019


In our October issue, director of sales Bill Lodzinski discussed some of the challenges of international travel, like language barriers. He mentioned his own way of maneuvering through collecting different phrase books to help with minor exchanges. This idea brought up the question: How have you overcome language barriers in your world travels? A few readers wrote in with responses:

I have a few international language apps downloaded on my phone for my various business trips. Some are for quick words and phrases, like Duolingo, which is free, and others are more in-depth, like Rosetta Stone, which I don’t use nearly as often as I should.


I, too, collect words and phrases books on my travels and try to keep one English, one international with me at all times. I like to think they help me learn on the go but are also a great tool to have when conversing with a local and neither of you know a word of the other’s language.

ALEX KLEINMAN, via email

I am bilingual, Spanish and English, so I find I can pick up on similar languages a little easier than most. Italian is similar, so I can finagle my way through if I listen closely, but traveling where you know the language is immensely more enjoyable. I would recommend studying up before traveling.

RITA DRACO, via email


In our Oct. 9 issue of eFlyer USA, we discussed Japan Airlines’ new baby seat map, detailing where small children and infants may be seated on the plane. The map gives travelers a heads up when choosing their seat with an icon. A few readers wrote in with opinions:

Rather than focusing on a rather insignificant problem, perhaps this airline and all others should consider producing a seat map of obnoxious, loud adults with inflated egos enabling their belief in their own self-importance.

DONNA MANZ, via email

I’m sure this map was meant to be helpful, but it puts unnecessary and advanced blame on the parents. Why single them out as undesirable seats when, in all honesty, you can hear crying of any kind from any seat on the plane?


I could go for a similar map of where service animals may be located on the airplane.


A detailed map on all flights would be nice, especially long-haul international trips. I would like to know what I’m getting into before sitting on an airplane for 10-plus hours.

JERRY CLARK, via email


In our Oct. 22 issue of eFlyer USA, we discussed the ongoing story of Boeing 737 MAX cancellations and several airlines’ recent decision to remain grounded through February 2020. The extended grounding gives authorities more time to determine and resolve aircraft issues while simultaneously resulting in major losses for Boeing. A few readers wrote in with concerns:

I know American Airlines is bound and determined to bring the 737 MAX back in February. Is AA taking any public resistance into account?


I’m sure there is much more to this story than we are hearing. Why not cancel Boeing 737 MAX flights until further notice? Why the “news” about extended cancellations? Those planes aren’t going anywhere; seems like they just want the public to think they are on to something.

MARK ATKINSON, via email

Enough with the 737 MAX. It’s the same thing every story. No new news, no updates, no progress. They should cut their losses and move on to more fuel-efficient aircraft. Move forward, not back to fix these debunked planes.

DREW B. QUINN, via email

Cancel the flights; figure it out. No one needs these planes back so badly they are willing to risk flying before they are cleared beyond a shadow of a doubt. I travel every week and haven’t missed a beat without the 737 MAX.



In our Oct. 2 issue of eFlyer USA, we reported on LATAM’s decision to leave the oneworld airline alliance to pursue a new partnership with Delta Air Lines. A few readers and avid travelers wrote in with thoughts:

LATAM will lose passengers from Chicago O’Hare, as Delta’s service there is next to nonexistent.

MICHAEL GREEN, via email

LATAM made a big mistake. Delta is not a worthwhile partner in the Americas.

SHEILA WHELKS, via email

I am a Diamond SkyMiles traveler and love a new route option. I’d be interested to see what LATAM has to offer, as they’ve never really been on my radar before.


Good luck with Delta. LATAM is going to lose a lot of business on this one.


Delta’s service is limited; I don’t see the appeal of this alliance. LATAM might have just screwed up a lot of frequent flyers’ travel plans.

MATHEW GHOSH, via email


As the year comes to an end, I like to look back on travel highlights from the past year (Chile, Sonoma County and Charleston were standouts) and think ahead to places I’d like to visit in the coming year. While I don’t have any solid 2020 travel plans yet, a few destinations have been on my wish list for some time, including Japan, Italy, Western Canada, Seattle and Sedona.

What were some of your favorite 2019 travel memories? Do you have any exciting trips planned for 2020?

Email us: [email protected]

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