[LETTERS to the editor]Korail ends English reservation service

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[LETTERS to the editor]Korail ends English reservation service

In attempting to make a reservation for a trip to another city next month, I was stunned and dismayed to learn that Korea’s national railway service, Korail, had recently discontinued its reservation service in English.
Today, as Korea is increasingly — seemingly — interested in globalization and more foreign investment, none of Korail’s Web sites will receive membership numbers and passwords from people who use English and wish to make advance reservations for train travel.
For several years, through October 2007, I found it easy to make such reservations, including receiving a discount as a Korail/Barota card member.
It was a pleasure to ride the efficient, comfortable trains.
Now, without any notice to members, this is no longer possible, as I learned today when I inquired at the Seoul Global Center. The personnel at the center were kind and helpful, and I thank them for that.
However, I also urge the center to play a more proactive role in urging a change to situations like this, which affect the lives of many non-Korean residents.
Providing information in English about schools, hospitals and shopping is nice, but saying nothing in the face of such instances [disregarding the needs of foreign travelers] — is not good for Korea’s global ambitions. It is time for the Center to speak up.
At the same time I also strongly urge Korail to reconsider and rectify such an unfortunate policy.
Or don’t they want my business?
Sonia Reid Strawn, Seoul
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