Letters: Check-in fails to measure up

Picture this: a wet Monday morning at Sydney Airport check-in. I see people unpacking and repacking their luggage on the scales. Could they not do this before joining the queue? One man at Qantas business-class check-in removes a two-litre container of something from his hand luggage, the check-in staff member gives him tape to seal it with, he then opens his case and puts the container in - all while on the scales. At economy-class check-in I see a woman unpacking a bag and moving clothes from one bag to another. Qantas staff are remarkably patient and although I miss my plane due to the hold-up, staff book me on a later flight and arrange for my rental-car booking to be changed. Next time I will be at the airport three hours before flight time. And, yes, I will have my bag packed properly before I leave the house - as usual.

- Elizabeth Proude

This bus has left

The article "London to Paris for a pound" (Traveller, May 12-13) only encourages tour operators to engage in blatant false advertising, which in the travel industry seems to be the norm and causes frustration to bargain hunters. When you come to book this trip, you find, as we did, that it couldn't be done at a convenient time. It's a bit like trying to redeem frequent-flyer points really: you eventually end up paying more than 10 times the advertised price.

- David Hogg

Hotels take note

I agree with letter writers about the annoyance and "audacity" of hotels not supplying free wi-fi. Some five-star hotels demand a high daily fee. Take note, though: on a recent trip to Shanghai, staying at the Peninsula Hotel (after reading an article in Traveller), I was advised during in-room check-in (no more checking in at the main counter on arrival) that all internet and international phone calls were free. Hotels take note.

- Nikolaus Scheiff

Downgrade for a wi-fi upgrade

Hotels make money squeezing patrons on phone calls, laundry and drinks. Wi-fi is just another of these services. My suggestion is to downgrade. I've never spent more than $100 on a room and I've never been charged for wi-fi use.

- Josh Sandwich

Cooking class hits the spot

I read the article about Martha Sherpa's Cooking School (Traveller, May 12-13) with great interest. My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed attending Martha's one-day class on a recent visit to Hong Kong. It is very good value, the produce is top quality and techniques and skills are meticulously supervised by Martha. We prepared a menu of five dishes. One tip: don't be late to her class, as were our class partners. Martha strongly reminded them "why you are never late in China".


- Ann Hoy

Big value on Big Island

We travel extensively using only self-catered lodgings and have just returned from exploring the volcanoes and crater trails of Hawaii's Big Island. We stayed at Pele's Secret Garden, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home enveloped by rainforest. The interior has jewels of colour and an eclectic assortment of art objects. For our three-night stay, the fridge was stocked with condiments, eggs, bread, milk and other goodies. The cupboards had oils, cereals and spices and the bathrooms had creams and toiletries. The stay cost about $200 a night shared between two couples.

- Peter Krumins

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