I am a Virgin Platinum frequent flyer and love flying with them. Nonetheless I lately flew between Sydney and Melbourne, seated in an exit row and had to endure an unmasked passenger sneezing and coughing for your entire flight. The crew made no effort to do something about necessary face mask carrying. There was even a travelling pilot on the opposite aspect of him and once I questioned the crew, I used to be answered with an “all proper”. Nevertheless it was too late as by that stage we had been disembarking. The unmasked bandit then walked by means of the terminal unencumbered.
Paul Soanes, Doncaster, VIC
LETTER OF THE WEEK
I had to smile studying Lee Tulloch’s column on carry-on baggage (Traveller, Might 14). I returned this week from a two week Intrepid Premium tour of Morocco. There have been six of us on the tour and the opposite 5 had all managed to arrive with a wheeled carry-on and a backpack. I had a medium suitcase weighing round 16 kilograms and a backpack and felt responsible each morning once I had to have a porter take the case to the foyer from my room. Fairly frankly I (and the information) puzzled the place on Earth all their adjustments of garments had been coming from. I had packed for potential chilly nights within the desert and a chilly Melbourne on return. I additionally had an additional pair of mountaineering sneakers and a full toiletry and beauty bag. I wore all my garments and had a few issues laundered and wore them once more so I am undecided I may have diminished a lot. I suppose the additional sneakers and toiletries had been pointless. I might be excited about what individuals select to depart behind to allow carry-on
Denise Williamson, Seaford, NSW
BANG ON BANGKOK
It was pretty to see such a complete story a couple of favorite journey hang-out, the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok (Traveller, Might 14). Thanks for together with Samsara Cafe. I can vouch for it – a critically trendy place and likewise tucked on this hidden laneway location, behind a temple, is essentially the most lovely and quirky lodge – Loy La Lengthy. It has the identical relaxed vibe as Samsara the place you may sit along with your legs dangling above the river, sipping a drink and watching Bangkok life stream by and likewise a fraction of the price of the characteristic high-end resort.
Sally Pope, 5 Dock, NSW
As a lot as I loved Anthony Dennis’ story concerning the Artistic District in Bangkok, it was galling to see Thai Airways is the recommended service once I, and plenty of others like me, are nonetheless ready for Thai Airways to refund my cancelled flights from April 2020. And, I proceed to hear nothing from them with reference to once I can count on the cash.
Debra Kilsby, Elwood, VIC
The frustration in delays getting an appointment for a visa to go to the US is actual and comprehensible. I’ve now simply obtained my sixth J-1 visa which permits me to work on the College of Hawaii for one semester after a nail-biting four-week delay which I perceive is brought on by the consulate in Sydney being closed for relocation. The tip to maintain wanting on-line for earlier appointments is nice however dates can fluctuate between November 2022 and March 2023. Another is to go for submitting all paperwork by publish and marking it “emergency”. Good luck.
Judie Hudson, Prahran, VIC
Sydney’s Central Station concourse’s lack of ample cafe amenities (Traveller Letters, Might 13) is infamous and has been so for years. The federal government’s cause given for the dearth, reportedly “due to diminished patronage”, merely displays the usual of what was on provide. The amenities and off, pre-packaged meals had been so poor that it’s no shock under-patronage occurred. Downgrading amenities after which saying no one needs them is a deliberate dodge. Within the station concourse’s japanese nook there used to be a welcoming cafe with seats, tables and loads of recent, numerous meals on provide. Then that cafe disappeared. The federal government may simply return this cafe to use. Once I journey from Newcastle I discover it appalling that such a fantastic metropolis can’t insert a superb cafe into the concourse which in any case, could also be many worldwide and nation individuals’s first impression of Sydney.
Susan Webb, Valentine, NSW
Paul Foley (Traveller Letters, Might 13) has solely a part of the passport renewal story. After finishing a renewal type on-line it clearly says you could print, signal, take the shape with two images to a publish workplace the place your passport is minimize up, images adhered, pay $308 after which look forward to a brand new passport. I did it final Monday. My recommendation to Cheryl Luther (redeeming flight credit, Rants & raves, Might 14) is to discover a very skilled journey agent by asking round.
Lindsay Somerville, Lindfield, NSW
TIP OF THE WEEK
BEST (AND WORST) OF BRITISH
A phrase of warning when you have simply negotiated a fly-drive deal within the UK. I signed up for a seven day British Airways and Avis contract commencing March 18 from Belfast. Once I arrived on the Avis desk, the agent refused to recognise my NSW digital driver’s licence, demanding a plastic licence. There had been completely no reference to this within the settlement documentation. I had to negotiate with one other agency and get an understandably inflated deal, which exceeded the entire fly-drive quantity. So a giant brickbat to Avis in Belfast. However there is a bouquet for British Air. When introduced to their consideration after my return to Oz, they’ve organized cost to me of the entire additional value of automotive rent plus 50 Kilos “for my hassle”. I think about that to be “above and past”. And for the report, one of the best worth for cash should you’re wanting to go to London from Sydney is certainly the BA Premium Economic system in a Dreamliner.
Charlie McCusker, Manly, NSW
OPEN THE GATE
Have any readers had success in contacting the web site, gotogate.com, with reference to flight credit because of the pandemic? My airline is completely satisfied to oblige with a credit score but it surely requires affirmation from the reserving agent, on this case gotogate ,who appear to have their telephones completely off the hook.
Michael Atkins, Noosa, QLD
Ray Constitution (Traveller Letters, Might 22), do not hold across the Helsinki airport terminal for eight hours, as seating and cafe house is proscribed within the nice however compact terminal. Take the frequent Finnair coach into city, which takes about half-hour to get to the central railway station on the town. Stroll throughout the sq. to the principle artwork gallery, or should you really feel like stretching your legs after the flight from Bangkok, stroll down by means of the design district and go to the Design Museum. You may see this charming museum in an hour or so, together with time for the astonishing Marimeko Finnish-designed clothes show on the highest flooring. Cease contained in the church throughout the highway, to relaxation your weary legs and thoughts, or have brunch in a close-by cafe and stroll again to the Finnair coach cease beside the railway station, following one of many vacationer workplace’s pedestrian routes, by means of the properly preserved streetscapes of this calm and unspoilt metropolis.
David Weir, Northcote, VIC
In January, I booked lodging in Port Stephens, NSW, by means of an agent 12 months upfront. I paid a 50 per cent deposit. 5 months later, the agent contacted me advising that the homeowners of the house had determined to cancel my reserving as they had been uncertain about renting it. My deposit was refunded. Later that day, I noticed the house on the agent’s web site out there for a similar interval as I had initially booked however for $2000 extra. Has anybody else had an identical expertise and did you do something about it?
Rebecca Matthews, Chiswick, NSW
Leafing nostalgically by means of my 1953 NSW Nation Railway Timetable I relived the numerous in a single day journeys my highschool buddies and I had undertaken to such locations as Wallangarra, Mungindi, Eugowra, Tumbarumba, Bourke, Dorrigo and Batlow. Lately, in a pale imitation, I took the 12.31am practice from Strathfield to Lithgow, with a connection to Bathurst arriving simply earlier than 5am. Bathurst is one in every of our superb nation stations and thankfully heritage protected. I returned on the 5.46am “Bathurst Bullet”, a fantastic innovation of some years in the past to allow a extra handy day hyperlink with Sydney.
John Slinn, Epping, NSW
DON’T BANK ON IT
Whereas Terry Fletcher’s financial institution has confirmed a refund of all charges (Traveller Letters, Might 13), it does not imply the airline’s financial institution has handed it on. Regionally, some organisations do not refund service provider charges, together with American Categorical and PayPal, which implies there’s nonetheless a value to the seller. And who is aware of what the case is in Qatar?
Mark Roberts, Caloundra, QLD
WIN A SET OF THREE HARDIE GRANT TRAVEL BOOKS
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Might 27 2022