Back away from the baggage carousel, people


LETTER OF THE WEEK

PLASTIC THAIS

You are right, Tanya Bonte, (Rants & Raves, March 18), everyone has a responsibly to travel ethically.

We are able to move freely about the globe these days, but unfortunately some countries are so eager to please, that basic ethics are often bypassed.

On a recent trip to Thailand, I couldn’t help but notice how much plastic waste there was littered about everywhere. Surely we tourists should be setting an example by saying “no” to over-packaging of things we buy at markets and stores.

We could do without the plastic bags by bringing our own shopping bags, and simply decline the offer of a carry bag. Through a few simple gestures, the amount of waste could be reduced.

Every little bit counts.

Margot Pope, Springwood, NSW

STYLE COUNSEL

As a seasoned traveller in Latin America in my younger days (now 89) I was totally captivated by Rachel Olding’s description of Cartagena, Colombia (Traveller, March 24).

Listing and describing the many places to experience with such detail as we rarely see in travel descriptions, it made me immediately feel like booking a stay there.

This is just the style of article that makes a destination attractive. Many travel writers would do well to take a lesson from it.

Frank Langley, Pearl Beach, NSW

BEYOND BELIEF

I am in disbelief that you would publish such a distorted, one-sided piece of propaganda (Traveller, March 17) on the Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem.

Of course, no one wants a wall but surely you need to give both sides and tell everyone why the wall was built.

Do you think there would be a need for the wall had Israelis not been murdered by the incursions that took place pre the wall?

If you wish to make your travel section a political forum by all means do so but please give all sides.

Peter Icklow, Pymble, NSW

ROOMS WITH A VIEW

Folding toilet paper into a “v”? I don’t want anyone touching it before I use it. Only one small bar of soap to be used in both basin and shower. No face washers. One hand towel.

What bugs other travellers about hotel room amenities, or lack of them?

Chris Sinclair, West Pennant Hills, NSW

FINDERS KEEPERS

A Traveller article from September last year which I’d kept proved most valuable when we recently travelled to Penang, Malaysia.

Habitat, atop Penang Hill, was a wonderful experience – beautiful walks including through the treetop canopy, food and enthusiastic, knowledgeable rangers were all very rewarding.

We would have missed it as it is not well publicised at the top of the funicular and my (too old) guidebooks.

Carole Dent, Woodford, NSW

SHEDDING LIGHT

Luke Slattery’s article “Mrs Macquarie’s Lair” (Traveller, March 10), was fascinating and brought back many memories of our trip to Mull.

One more suggestion for travellers to consider is to stay at Rubha nan Gull, a former Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage on the spectacular and remote northern tip of Mull.

Built by the Stevensons in 1857, the recently renovated cottage is in an unique position from which to enjoy tranquil surroundings and abundant wildlife.

Access is via a coastal footpath, a 25-minute walk from Tobermory and there is no vehicle access.

Janet Leckie, Balwyn North, VIC.

BACK OFF

Why, oh why, must arriving airline passengers line up shoulder-to-shoulder against the very edge of baggage carousels while waiting for their bags to come past, thereby preventing others from collecting their bags?

People, just stand back a metre or two, and when you see your bag coming, simply step forward, pick up your bag and retreat, thereby allowing someone else to access the carousel. It’s not rocket science.

B. J. Millar, Isabella Plains, ACT

MAMA MIA

I recently booked a flight online with Alitalia from Catania to Milan. A few weeks later I got an email to say my departure time had been changed from 10.30am to 12.10pm.

As a 10.30am flight was still available online I called the Italian office. They said as my original flight number was changed by less than five hours (by Alitalia) I could not be put back to my original time which now had a different flight number unless I paid 85 euros per ticket for the cancellation fee, plus the increased cost of the ticket.

I was told that even if I did pay the fee it was possible the flight times could be changed again. This is ridiculous and terrible customer service.

Shirley Zajac, Melbourne, VIC

BRONZE, BRONZE, BRONZE

I can certainly emphasise with Mike Watson (Rants & Raves, March 17) regarding the Qantas Club being sticklers for their rules.

Recently, in preparing a domestic trip for myself and two friends booked with Qantas, I wrote to the Qantas Club to see if they would allow one extra guest to enter the Club before the flight.

As a Bronze, lowest tier, member I am entitled to just one guest joining me in the Club before a Qantas flight. I pleaded that having been a member for 23 years, they might make one very small exception in this case.

The reply came back to tell me that, no, only one guest is allowed per member, however if I joined the other person up to the club, that would be a solution. At a cost of $939, I decided that that would be a very expensive pre-flight morning tea, so we will enjoy the usual terminal facilities.

Qantas like to promote themselves as The Spirit of Australia and emphasise the importance of loyalty in their business, but bending the rules, however small, isn’t a part of that spirit.

Bill Selden, Sunshine Beach, QLD

OFFICERS AND GENTLEMEN

In reply to “Not so Fast-Traveller” (Rants & Raves, March 17), my husband and I also visited India in December. However our experience was very different.

We had both obtained e-visas on-line. When we arrived at Delhi airport we went directly to the e-visa area.

There was no queue and the officers were extremely cheerful and helpful,asking my husband’s thoughts on the cricket and enquiring which parts of India we were going to visit. We will certainly get e-visas next time we visit.

Pauline Webster. Mona Vale, NSW





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