FX Excursions

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

Reader’s Letters

Apr 1, 2012
2012 / April 2012

Isle of Delight

I loved Allison Voigt’s article on Jeju in the February 2012 issue. I had no idea all that was available to see and do on the island. She inspired me to visit a place I’d never had any desire to travel to before. Such an enjoyable read!

— Mary Smyth, Fredericksburg, Va.

TSA Expands PreCheck Program

In the Feb. 15 edition of eFlyer USA, we featured a story on the PreCheck program, which offers pre-screened passengers an expedited security screening. We asked if our readers recommend the program, and the results are mostly positive.

As a frequent traveler, I welcome this and think it’s a much-needed program. I would love to be included in the program myself.

— Nancy Rissky, Houston, Texas

My husband and I both paid for the Global Entry program, one of the programs allegedly honored by the TSA PreCheck. We filled in the background information, went to New York’s JFK for interviews, were approved and received “official-looking” IDs. We were in Las Vegas, a participating airport. And guess what? After getting in the PreCheck line, we were sent to the end of the regular line and had to remove shoes, belts, laptops — you name it. It’s all a farce. TSA agents seem to like embarrassing sophisticated travelers. I find it entirely offensive. Paying the money and getting approved by Global Entry didn’t mean a thing.

— Maureen Bjerke, Lindenhurst, N.Y.

I took the time to go through the Global Entry program. There is a fee for the clearance, but once approved, I qualified for the PreCheck program, and I’ve benefitted. It is great to not have to take things out of my bag or remove shoes, belts and coats. It is a whole different feeling going through security now. I wish every airport accommodated the program.

— Bill Hartnett, via email

I love PreCheck. It is shockingly different. As a frequent traveler, you fall into a routine in security; with PreCheck, the rules are different and much easier. One warning, though: It is still random. Just because you are qualified doesn’t mean you always have access to the line. That small disclaimer is noted on the TSA website.

J.J. Sorrenti, Pittsburgh, Pa.

I was an enthusiastic early adopter of Global Entry, which facilitated international travel for me despite the time-consuming enrollment process. This allowed me to get into PreCheck, which I’ve used half a dozen times. The screening process is a breeze, but at times it’s necessary to queue with everyone else before being selected to enter the fast lane. That’s a minor drawback, but hopefully TSA will sort that out. Anything that speeds up the screening process without compromising safety is a positive thing. I encourage frequent travelers to enroll in Global Entry, and PreCheck is a bonus.

— Joel Chusid, Seattle, Wash.

This is an excellent enhancement to the screening process for people like me who travel constantly. No more fumbling to get ready for the TSA check. I use it at LAX, and it works.

— Ron Osterhout, Lake Forest, Calif.

I joined the program several years ago when it required a driver’s license number, a passport number, an iris scan and fingerprinting. I’m not crazy about giving this much information, but the government already has it in most cases. In return, I got a card with an imbedded chip that contained all this information, and it was a pleasure to use. Short lines, no X-rays or pat-downs, no hassles and, most importantly, less stress!

— Karen Kraft, Dallas, Texas

How Do I Join?

I think the PreCheck program is worth considering. Please provide information on how to apply for it without going through a lot of red tape. Thank you.

— Anthony S. Brancato, Clearwater, Fla.

The Transportation Security Administration website lists all the information you need to know about the PreCheck program, including how to enroll. — Editor

For more information, visit www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/escreening.shtm.

Unacceptable Practices

In our Feb. 22 eFlyer USA, we featured a story on an Indianapolis cargo company allegedly in violation of cargo screening regulations. One reader reacts.

Every single person in the company, from the CEO to the managers and the baggage screeners, should lose their security clearance immediately. Airline companies should no longer hire the company to do their screening. In fact, they should be banned from doing any security work in the future, and those involved should face fines and jail time. It is unconscionable to risk passenger lives.

— Shirley Linde, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Safety First

As an independent and sophisticated female business traveler, it is always comforting to me, when I’m traveling alone, to feel secure in hotel hallways and in my hotel room. I tend toward more expensive hotels because of the doormen, the concierge and the constant consideration for my status as a solo female traveler.

— Sandra Craig, Scotia, N.Y.

Kudos to United

I have to say, United is really improving its business class!

— Andy Schmitz, via email

Far from Home

When I learned that my last trip to Japan put me at more than 100,000 miles flown, I found myself excited and bewildered, knowing this was equivalent to circling the Earth approximately four times — a great distance, not only physically but also in my life. The number seemed to give proof of the new world I had stepped into: that of a frequent traveler.

Growing up in small-town Georgia, I rarely traveled. When I moved to the D.C. area, I was elated that I would be spending a great deal of time traveling for my profession. Each trip, I found myself thinking how fortunate I was to be seeing the world. As I traveled the globe, from Singapore to Louisiana, I discovered the people I met, the places I saw and the experiences I gained pried my own world open.

Traveling frequently, I now appreciate those along the way who made the journey special. I learned to never underestimate the value of great service and never take the solitude of home life for granted. I cannot imagine my life without travel. I have a new vision of the world.

— Crystal Zhang, Fairfax, Va.

Zodiac Travel

I was born in the year of the rat, but my sister says I should have been born in the year of the horse because I am always on the move. Traveling seems second nature to me now. I welcome it. I no longer dread it like I used to do; now, I pamper myself with airport lounges and distract myself with ever-present wireless connections. The rewards of being a frequent traveler have made my life experiences richer. I was recently able to use my miles to take my brother back to our birth land, Vietnam. This was his first trip home since our family left 32 years ago, and it was a joy to watch him discover our heritage. From Ha Long Bay to the pristine beaches of Da Nang, he experienced the same emotions and thoughts that I experienced more than 15 years ago on my first trip back. Being a frequent traveler not only exposes you to different cultures but also helps you understand your own culture better.

— Phil Nguyen, Denver, Colo.

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