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'Anatomy of a Nightmare': The Readers Respond

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Our story last week on the nightmarish trip from Washington to Italy experienced by D.C. resident Cara Lanza -- delayed flights, missed connections, lost luggage and all -- provoked quite a few responses from readers, many of whom shared advice as well as a few nightmares of their own. A sampling:

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Cindy Loose's story on Cara Lanza was terrific. Coming and Going is not only a great travel column but is one of the best pieces of journalism in The Post.

You did leave out a strategy that you have advocated before and that I always try to follow: Avoid connecting flights if at all possible. Lanza could have booked a direct nonstop flight from Dulles to Rome on United Airlines and avoided all of her problems.

We will even drive to an airport that has a nonstop flight to avoid a connecting flight. We did that this past September by driving to Philadelphia to get a nonstop flight to Madrid rather than take a flight that would have connected either through Philadelphia or Newark. In Lanza's case, she would have been so much better off driving the four hours to Newark if Continental was the only airline she could use for her trip to Rome.

Short connecting flights through busy airports significantly raise the risk of airport problems.

Alan Legum

Annapolis

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