Dining in Hungary

THE CoGo article regarding the "dining scams travelers face in Hungary" [Oct. 3] implied that most, if not all, restaurants in Hungary, especially Budapest, are operated by crooks out to fleece unsuspecting tourists. Based on over 30 years of travel there, I can attest that nothing is further from the truth.

Incidentally, the complaints against the "dirty dozen" restaurants of Vaci Street are old news. As I understand, Budapest authorities have dealt forcefully with these establishments, which should discourage more transgressions.

Thomas P. Thiringer


The Uber-Index

FOR YEARS I've been saving the Sunday Travel section, but I had no idea how I'd ever find my way back to specific articles. Now I know. Your extensive index to the past 2 1/2 years' issues [Sept. 19] is a great boon to all hoarders out there (as well as everybody who's online). Perhaps you could make this an annual tradition.

David Radel


The online version of the index is now up and running; find a link to it on the main Travel page on washingtonpost.com.

An Agent Responds

I AM writing in response to your article "Finding Low Air Fares" [Sept. 19]. While your recommendations show a certain degree of creativity that may, indeed, save money, your program certainly does not save time. With five or more steps to complete, it would take your readers considerably more time to arrive at the same, or perhaps even higher, fare than one they would receive from a reputable and highly trained travel agent. Yet you suggest that a travel agent should be consulted only if one does not have access to a computer. This is a disservice to your readers.

At Quality Travel, we regularly receive calls from clients who try to book travel online, only to give up in frustration. Often we are asked to match a fare, and our clients are surprised to learn that the fare we find is even lower. Finally, there is the personal factor. Our agents regularly assist clients with emergencies.

Ellen Sisser

Quality Travel, McLean

Most travel agents we've spoken to over the past year have expressed no interest in helping people who are not already clients locate rock-bottom air fares, claiming it's not profitable for them to offer that service. It's good to hear that there are some agents still willing to do this.

Wrong Warning?

OUR CHILDREN have been negligent this summer. My son left his backpack on the Washington Metro. We immediately contacted the station and were told the Metro staff had found the backpack and taken it to Metro's lost and found. We got it back, but a CD player was missing.

Later we visited a son in Mexico, for which the State Department gave warning of all the thievery to watch out for, particularly in connection with transportation. My daughter lost her backpack there. Shortly after our return, we received the backpack via Federal Express, with everything in it.

The State Department may be giving warnings for the wrong country.

Jerome Ernst

Takoma Park

Write us: The Washington Post Travel section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071; via fax, 202-334-1069; or e-mail, travel@washpost.com.