SOFA SO BAD
I am a long-term Qantas Membership member and retired so my membership is just not paid by an employer. In December my spouse and I flew to Auckland at a price of $1700 every one-way in enterprise class, an enormous improve in contrast with a few years in the past. As normal we visited the worldwide enterprise class lounge at Sydney Airport earlier than boarding. We arrived within the crowded lounge at 9am and there was little area accessible to sit down. We discovered a settee at one finish of the lounge in an space that seemed extra like a bus terminal. The carpeted flooring was filthy with what seemed to be meals scraps. We waited there till a desk with armchairs was vacated.
Armchairs? The second we sat we went straight by means of to the underside of the seat. There was no padding in anyway. Passengers close by stated their seats had been the identical. We determined to have breakfast and located a bain-marie with a few chilly, greasy bacon rashers and chilly scrambled eggs that seemed just like the powdered selection. Given Qantas’ authorities COVID-19 subsidy, government bonuses paid, the steep improve in fares and imperfect service supply, it shouldn’t be an excessive amount of to ask for fundamental consolation for which a buyer is paying.
Joe Royle, Worrowing Heights, NSW
LETTER OF THE WEEK
PUTTING THE “GEE” IN PNG
We might like so as to add our help, following your current cowl story by Ben Groundwater (TravellerFebruary 4) to the promotion of tourism in Papua New Guinea. We made a go to to the Milne Bay area on a current cruise with the primary shore tour to Alotau, the regional capital. A tour of the tidy city, lookouts and agricultural space was adopted by a well-organised go to to a sexy village, together with a cooking demonstration, dancing and craft shows. At Battle Island, a lagoon cruise, snorkelling and guided walks had been supplied. The social and financial advantages to the neighborhood from our presence had been clear.
Ken and Robyn Quick, Blackalls Park, NSW
Folks in search of cheaper parking choices at Melbourne Airport ought to be conscious that in the event that they e book by means of a comparability web site, reminiscent of looking4.com they are going to be hit with a world transaction price on high of the parking price. It’s because the corporate working the location is predicated within the UK. A current nine-day reserving attracted an additional $3.63 on high of the $121 price to park my automobile, and it was not talked about wherever on the reserving receipt. An extended-term reserving may incur a considerable extra price that will not be obvious till they obtained their financial institution assertion.
Greg Hardy, Higher Ferntree Gully, Vic
NO GO, TELCO
I’m off to Europe and the UK for 4 months from June. I can be ditching my Australian telephone quantity to keep away from the $10 a day charged by my Telco and can use a neighborhood SIM card. My financial institution, CBA, has instructed me any Netcodes (2FA) for web purchases can be despatched to my Commbank App and never by SMS so I cannot want my Australian telephone quantity. Here is hoping the recommendation given is right.
Rosie Jordan, Newport, Vic
DON’T BE DIM ON SIM
Do not trouble with an abroad SIM card in case you are a leisure traveller except you’ll actually distant locations. Most lodging present fairly dependable web connections. Use internet-based companies reminiscent of WhatsApp or FaceTime for calls and messages or if it is advisable to name somebody who is not related that means, use Skype to dial any quantity wherever. Use worldwide roaming for SMS so you will get your verification codes. If you hook up with the corresponding native community there’s additionally no downside in utilizing a navigation app or making and receiving internet-based calls in case your worldwide roaming setting consists of information. Even if you happen to incur some roaming prices, the fee could also be not far more than the price of a neighborhood SIM. Simply be certain that earlier than you permit that your service supplier is conscious that you’re going abroad as you could have to high up your credit score stability. Additionally inform family and friends (and any others who’re frequent callers) that you can be abroad in order that they are often contacted through an internet-based app.
Roy Randall, Rose Bay, NSW
It’s irritating that extra banks and credit score and journey card suppliers do not observe the lead of the Commonwealth Financial institution and Clever by having the choice of receiving two-factor authentication codes through their apps somewhat than to cell numbers. As a result of the notifications go to the machine somewhat than as an SMS to a cell quantity, you possibly can have peace of thoughts when utilizing a unique SIM in your telephone whereas abroad.
Paul Fraser, Coogee, NSW
I learn your letter of the week (Traveller Letters, February 4) regarding the vacationer amenities on Victoria’s Nice Ocean Street with absolute horror. It has been 23 years since I visited the world and was completely aghast to listen to of the state of affairs described by your reader. I can not consider there was no enchancment in 23 years. Is Go to Victoria asleep? Does it even exist? This isn’t only a state matter. Nationwide pleasure is concerned. The Nice Ocean Street is without doubt one of the wonders of the world and we have to deal with guests to it with respect and now.
Helen Knight, Wherrol Flat, NSW
TRAINS OF THOUGHT
I completely agree with Mark Smith in his cowl story concerning the wonders of prepare journey in Europe (TravellerFebruary 11). I had a wonderful expertise as a toddler within the 70s taking couchettes round Europe, from racing to get baggage onboard and passing each bit sibling to sibling, wandering by means of the prepare the entire totally different passengers and waking up at evening to see snow for the primary time. A phrase of warning, although. It has modified now however, travelling from Bern to Budapest, my dad and mom thought they’d misplaced me when the prepare uncoupled the previous few carriages crossing over to communist Hungary. Fortunately, I used to be within the eating automobile getting snacks.
Michele Sharp, Queens Park, NSW
Fallacious, Craig Tansley (TravellerFebruary 11). Anybody who has learn John Steinbeck, and absolutely there are numerous of us, can be aware of the title of San Luis Obispo, California.
Alan Whittaker, East Kew, Vic
TIP OF THE WEEK
ARCTIC OF APPROVAL
I not too long ago returned from a Quark Arctic expedition which was delayed two years due to the pandemic. The journey was distinctive with an enthusiastic crew devoted to our well being, security and pleasure. There have been many alternatives to see uncommon wildlife (as an illustration, polar bears, musk ox, narwhals); to hike to the highest of mountains (or simply amble gently if bodily restricted) and to expertise the geological marvels. Informative talks by educated and infrequently humorous crew members added to the expertise. Sadly, world warming is omnipresent with the booming sounds and sights of calving on the glaciers. Go now and produce again these 1000 plus photographs as fabulous reminiscences.
Hilary Johnson, Northcote, Vic
After we flew to Florida our baggage didn’t arrive for some days later. The Daytona 500 was on and the airport was busy. Therefore, we thought our baggage had been misplaced, however they had been placed on one other aircraft coming to the identical vacation spot. I panicked slightly as I might packed a few of my favorite issues and needed to go searching for the necessities. I now do not pack my favorite issues – I pack objects that may be misplaced, though nonetheless I would not wish to lose them. I now additionally pack underwear, T-shirts, and PJs in my carry-on and anything relying on the place you’re holidaying as a consequence of climate reminiscent of, say, swimmers. Do a listing as to what to pack in your carry-on, simply in case. I now name my carry-on the “JIC”. One last tip is to examine what festivals, automobile races, reveals, public holidays, college holidays and so forth are on at and round your vacation spot which you’ll wish to keep away from earlier than reserving.
Cheryl Lopresti, Maroubra, NSW
BORDERING ON RIDICULOUS
Your report on Geneva Airport (TravellerFebruary 5) omitted one among its most distinctive traits. It sits on the border between France and Switzerland and allows airline passengers to depart from or arrive into both nation. Nonetheless, regardless of the very fact each international locations are within the Schengen Space and thus border crossing is a non-event, this flexibility is just not prolonged to different travellers. We arrived and dropped off a French rent automobile on the French aspect of the airport however had been then not in a position to go by means of it to catch a booked coach on the Swiss aspect, sarcastically from Geneva Airport to Chamonix in France. The identical factor would apply to catching trains from the airport station. Our solely different was an costly taxi journey from one aspect of the airport to the opposite, round $70 as I keep in mind.
Ian Mackay, Center Park, Vic
Your article on Phu Quoc (TravellerFebruary 5) jogged my memory of travelling there and all through Vietnam with my 12-year outdated daughter some years in the past. Feasting by the sands of the beautiful seaside, Bai Sao, was undoubtedly a spotlight however it was the innocence of a childhood remark that always returns to me. On travelling in a crowded native bus alongside a riverside highway lined with humble dwellings, she commented on how fortunate the folks had been to dwell there by the river.
Heather Sirianni, Level Lonsdale, Vic
Being a eager vegetation individual, final yr I immensely loved two four-day wildflower journeys out of Perth with Casey Excursions (caseytours.com.au). The climate was good, we had a really educated chief, comfy lodging, and good firm. Even the coach driver appeared to take pleasure in himself. Related journeys with Casey Excursions are deliberate for subsequent spring and I might extremely suggest them, whether or not persons are mad about wildflowers or not. I’ve already booked additional journeys for the Stirling Ranges and all the way down to Margaret River.
Geoff Crowhurst, Thornbury, Vic
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The Letter of the Week author wins three Hardie Grant journey books. See hardiegrant.com
The Tip of the Week author wins a set of three Lonely Planet journey books. See shop.lonelyplanet.com