Regarding recent letters to Traveller concerning oversize cabin luggage on aircraft, I well recall a flight my wife and I took a few years ago from Paris (Charles de Gaulle) to Gothenburg, Sweden.
All the passengers were bussed from the terminal out to the waiting aircraft on the tarmac and before climbing the stairs into the plane everyone's hand luggage was checked by airport staff.
Any oversize or unacceptable item was taken from the offending passengers and placed on a nearby pallet to be loaded later into the cargo-hold area - no problems on-board was the pleasing result.
Other airlines, please copy!
LETTER OF THE WEEK
I unfortunately fell and broke my hip two days into my South African holiday in June this year, which necessitated a total hip replacement in the Sandton Clinic in Johannesburg, where I was wonderfully cared for by surgeon, physician and nursing staff. My husband and I returned to Australia with Qantas. Our travel health insurance, Allianz, covered all my medical expenses, kept in contact with my surgeon and upgraded us to business class. An Allianz registered nurse visited me in hospital virtually every day of my 11-day stay. The Qantas aircrew were exceptionally kind to me at all times. They helped me with my crutches and regularly inquired after my health and comfort. My husband and I were immediately put at ease once we boarded our Qantas flight at Oliver Tambo airport Johannesburg. The ground staff of Qantas had a wheelchair waiting for me on disembarking in Sydney and wheeled us through customs to our awaiting transport. My husband and I cannot praise the crew, both inflight and ground staff, enough and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their care.
ISRAEL OR BUST
You mention that Ben Groundwater has been to all the no-go zones featured in last week's cover story ("Take a chance on me", Traveller, August 17), but has not visited Israel.
Hopefully this is not based on faulty ideological grounds because, if it is, then Mr Groundwater deserves to miss out on the spectacular scenery, delicious food, friendly people and, above all, the fantastic culture and history, historical buildings and historical areas that make up Israel. Anyone who has visited Israel can attest to all mentioned, which is most definitely able to be enjoyed by anyone of any religion (or atheist).
Also, I personally would place Israel above all the other countries mentioned in your article, from a safety perspective.
The results of your online poll on August 10 showing 61 per cent of people do not trust TripAdvisor reviews is not a surprise. While booking into a motel in Merimbula on the far south NSW coast recently, the proprietor explained that when some travellers check-in, they ask for a "discount" on the normal tariff. When this is denied, they say if they don't get some price concession they will write a bad review of their stay on TripAdvisor. Perhaps this is why some of us are a little cautious about believing everything that is written about people's travelling experiences.