Letters: Feeling the squeeze on a Qantas 737

Feeling the squeeze

Has anyone else recently flown with Qantas to New Zealand, especially in a 737? Having flown to New Zealand on a code-share with LAN Airlines in a spacious and comfortable plane, it was a rude shock to be squeezed into a 737 for the return journey. I am tall and I found the three-hour trip very uncomfortable, to the point of feeling back spasms and leg cramps. I know it is a relatively short journey but come on, Qantas, you have real competition on the route. I know who I will be travelling with next time.

- Craig McGrath

Lose the bottles

Anna Eller should not be surprised that her duty-free booze was confiscated in Doha (Traveller Letters, January 12-13). Australian aviation security rules prevent passengers boarding flights to and from Australia to have carry-on baggage containing liquids, aerosols and gels of more than 100 millilitres. The rules do not apply to checked baggage. The rules are not new. See travelsecure.infrastructure.gov.au before future travel to ensure you are aware of current aviation security requirements.

- David Gilks

Plane annoying

A recent flight from Kuala Lumpur to Chiang Mai with Air Asia left me gobsmacked. After being told our flight had been delayed and our gate changed, we were shortly afterwards asked to return to the original one for immediate boarding. Things got much odder when we arrived in Chiang Mai to find no checked baggage had been loaded. About 180 passengers were left with just their hand luggage.

- John Dixon

Open mind, open wallet

I have visited Burma several times. Comments by Lance Richardson (Traveller, December 8-9) and Jim Richardson (Traveller Letters, December 15-16) do not encourage change when they imply that tourists should avoid patronising commercial entities that have ties to the "junta". I believe tourists can have a positive input into change in Burma. If you intend to visit, do not do so with a preconceived idea of where you should and should not spend your money. Rather, embrace the country and its people as you find it. Use your own judgment. You will not regret it and will find that you will be well rewarded and have an irresistible urge to return.

PS: Mobile phones work in Burma: buy a local SIM card for $US20 ($19) and pop it in your phone.

- Neil Atkins

Silky smooth

We recently had a wonderful experience visiting parts of the ancient Silk Road in China. Our small group particularly enjoyed touring the Uyghur area in the far west thanks to our guide, Waheed Karakhan, and his company (silkroadexpedition.net). His knowledge of the area and its history is excellent and we became immersed in local culture. An overnight stay with a Kyrgyz family at high-altitude Karakul Lake was particularly memorable. We highly recommend Waheed's company.

- Christine Kick

Wet and wild

My wife and I went whitewater rafting in New Zealand in December. We booked with Kaitiaki Adventures (kaitiaki.co.nz). The crew helped make our experience one of a kind. Our next NZ adventure will be trying whitewater sledging.

- Sanka Ekanayake

Chauffeured in style

Several years ago, my husband and I spent a wonderful month in Tuscany. The downside was the uncomfortable and sometimes terrifying situation of being a front-seat car passenger. Well, we are just back from a busy few weeks in Umbria and I enjoyed it all. My solution was to swap from the front seat to the back - it made all the difference. My dentist saw a great difference, too. Last time, I had to have fillings in my back teeth as I had had my jaws jammed so tightly together while in the car. Why do Italian drivers think they are in a formula one race?

- Carolyn Butler

We welcome your travel-related opinions, experiences and letters. Letters may be edited for space, legal or other reasons. Email us at travellerletters@fairfax.com.au including name, address and phone number.

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