Nonstop Caribbean

JOHN BRILEY'S article on Aruba ["Windy and Breezy, With Chance of Gusts," Feb. 23] contained an incorrect assessment of Aruba's political situation. Aruba is still a Dutch Territory.

William Bacon

Falls Church

K.C. SUMMERS'S article on Barbados ["Flying Fish and Chips, and Other Britishisms," Feb. 23] was delightful and true to fact. You could spend years there and still have something new to write about each week. She did not mention one of the most beautiful and rarely visited spots on the island, the North Coast, just four kilometers north of Speightstown. It is the other place on Barbados where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean, but in such sharp contrast to the south, where the Casuarina Hotel is located.

One other piece of trivia: You can enjoy a Coca-Cola here made with real sugar, not with fructose as in the States. One big swig and your taste buds will be back to 1960.

Mark Simon

St. Philip, Barbados

YOUR MATRIX of Caribbean islands lists US Airways' nonstop flights from BWI to the Dominican Republic [Turbo Carib-O-Matic, Feb. 23], which arrives in Punta Cana. But the hotels you list are in Puerta Plata, which is at least a five-hour drive from Punta Cana, and Samana, a three-hour drive. Obviously, both lodging options defeat the purpose of flying nonstop and arriving early to the Caribbean. Your listings should have been in the Punta Cana/Bavarro area.

Kevin Potter

Great Falls, Va.

In Defense of Priceline

I WAS disappointed to see the comments made by Marillyn Day about her bidding experience on Priceline [Message Center, Feb. 23]. She acknowledges that she didn't even check airfares before she used Priceline -- mistake No. 1. Then she didn't even read what she herself selected or agreed to. You cannot get a 5 a.m. departure on a domestic itinerary unless you actually tell Priceline you are willing to accept such a flight.

As to the taxes, Priceline clearly lists the total the customer will be charged, and the customer is required to initial that screen before providing their credit card information. Ms. Day's only valid complaint is with herself, for not reading what she agreed to, and it wasn't even in small print.

Robert W. Miller

Oxon Hill, Md.

Scotch, Cont'd

OH DEAR, it's happened again. In 2002, The Post published my letter admonishing your journalists for referring to Scotch whisky as whiskey. Now, in the Feb. 23 Message Center, a letter refers to "whiskey" and the mistake is compounded by a reply from Steve Hendrix, the author of your article on Scotch. Scotch is never referred to as whiskey, but as whisky. The -ey spelling is reserved for whiskies not of Scottish origin. By gum, we Scots have our work cut out for us trying to educate Americans on the subtleties of such an important subject as the "water of life," our whisky!

Diane Stewart Copley

Laytonsville, Md.

We got it right in the original story, which was about drinking Scotch at the source. In the Message Center item, the liquor stores we listed are all specialists in the broad spectrum of whiskeys, hence the -ey spelling.

Bourbon Mall, Cont'd

I MOVED to the D.C. area from Lake Village, Ark., a year ago. I sometimes feel very far from home, so imagine my surprise when I saw your article about Mississippi's Bourbon Mall ["No Teeth? No Problem," Feb. 2]. This was my Aunt Mafalda and Uncle Reno Mangalardi's home and business. I spent many hours as a child there watching Uncle Reno tend the store, which seemed out of a history book, and Aunt Mafalda cooking for her large family, which seemed like an episode from an Italian cooking show. Aunts, uncles, grandmas and cousins were everywhere.

It just goes to prove that the world is smaller than we think . . . and I am always closer to home than it looks!

Julie Floriani

Manassas

Scaring Little Kids, Cont'd

AFTER CHRISTMAS, my niece and her 3-year-old son were traveling from Louisville to Charlotte, N.C., with a change of planes at BWI [Coming and Going, Jan. 12]. The child's shoes set off the security buzzer. He was pulled over to be scanned, and security agents made her stand in a line where she and her son couldn't see each other. Every time she stepped out of line so her son could see her, she was yelled at by security. The boy started crying, and my niece tried to explain to security that she just wanted to be where her son could see her. Didn't make any difference.

Does this make you feel more secure? And the airlines wonder why they're losing money.

James Shumate

Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

Write us: Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Fax: 202-912-3609. E-mail: travel@washpost.com. Include your full name, town of residence and daytime telephone number. Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity.