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Sunday, January 23, 2005; Page P04

Travel Tips

REGARDING THE items about when not to drive I-95 and buying an E-Z Pass ["Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Security Line," Jan. 16]: Delaware, which has always been the worst bottleneck on I-95, still manages to screw it up so that you can't get to an E-Z Pass lane unless you've anticipated the need to do so some miles before reaching the toll plaza. It doesn't have the common sense to put one lane on the left, one in the middle and so forth.

Every time we pass through what we bitterly call the "Joseph R. Biden Jr. Toll Plaza" to visit our New Jersey grandson, I remark loudly that the Delaware Turnpike experience guarantees that no one from that state will ever be elected to national office.

Dave Leckie

Leesburg

I LIKED your list a lot! I travel fairly often and also volunteer at the Travelers Aid desk at Dulles. One suggestion I would add: People who buy their tickets from an online service many weeks in advance should check with the airline within a few days of their flight to be sure the flight departure time has not changed (especially to an earlier hour). While checking that, they should also verify that they're on the airline's list for that flight.

Donna H. Sandin

Reston

Wrong Manchester

YOU MADE a mistake in the What's the Deal? column [Jan. 16]. The BMI air service is to Manchester, England, not New Hampshire.

Neville J. Hughes

Silver Spring

Mr. Hughes and the other alert readers who wrote in are correct. The mistake occurred in the editing process, not with the reporting.

Hello, Columbus

YOU MISSED the boat with the family looking for suggestions for a trip to Columbus, Ohio [Travel Q&A, Jan. 16]. Kelley's Island is wonderful, but it is still a three-hour drive north of Columbus.

The family could stay closer to Columbus and still enjoy a variety of activities. Just east of Columbus off I-70 is Zanesville (www.zanesville-ohio.com), which is home to a large number of ceramic and pottery studios, as well as historical tours of the Underground Railroad. They could have meals and tea at the elegant turn-of-the century Schultz mansion. Near Zanesville is the headquarters of the Longaberger Basket Co. (www.longaberger.com), which advertises the Homestead, a family-oriented retreat center with golf course, restaurants, ice cream parlor and, of course, a shop to purchase baskets. It also boasts the largest basket in the world (the corporate headquarters building).

For more active pursuits, the family can look into camping, mountain biking, golfing or canoeing at several Ohio state parks, such as Dillon or the Muskingum River Parkway State Park near Zanesville. Finally, the family could go on a wildlife safari at the Wilds (www.thewilds.org), a wildlife education sanctuary that is home to African white rhinos, giraffes, zebras and other endangered species.

Robin Hoehn

Falls Church

Northern Lights Tip

ANOTHER RELATIVELY easy-to-get-to place to see the northern lights [Northern Lights 101, Jan. 9] is the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden (www.icehotel.com). We took a flight from Stockholm to Kiruna and then a short bus ride to Jukkasjarvi. The hotel itself is worth a visit, but it also offers snowmobile tours to see the northern lights.

Eileen Roberts

Manassas

Packing Kayaks

RITA ZEIDNER'S article on fees charged by airlines for large/oversize luggage ["Packing Large? You'll Pay the Price," Jan. 9] states, "But in general, any single piece of baggage weighing more than 50 pounds or measuring more than 62 linear inches (length plus height plus depth) is subject to a surcharge." However, the chart accompanying the article shows all the airlines with a maximum weight allowed of 100 pounds.

Since my family plans on taking several trips this spring and summer, I was confused on the differences between the chart and the article. I'm not sure if 50 pounds or 100 pounds is the maximum weight allowed before the airlines start the surcharge.

Bill Gambrill

St. Michaels, Md.

Author Rita Zeidner responds:

The 50-pound limit mentioned in the story refers to the threshhold above which passengers can expect to be assessed a surcharge. The threshholds in the chart refer to the maximum weight and size of cargo the airlines will accept as passenger baggage -- the fees actually kick in for baggage that is smaller or lighter.

ILLUSTRATOR Robert Alan Soule must be a landlubber. FYI, a kayak is not a canoe.

Bob Westgate

Washington

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