Letters: Recline and relax

Recline and relax

Long-haul economy seats, with their in-seat entertainment and eating trays, are designed to be set in the upright position or reclined.

You might be lucky enough to sit behind someone who chooses to sit upright for the flight but they have just as much right to recline. We flew recently to Europe with Singapore Airlines in economy and there was enough room to eat, relax and be entertained with the seat in front reclined.

Adjust your seat and get as comfortable as you can to endure the long hours ahead with the knowledge that the person behind is doing the same.

- Kate Carrillo

Kris cross

I have been a satisfied KrisFlyer member with Singapore Airlines but am disappointed by the present service.

The airline's internet site, once simple, is now unreliable and unnavigable in my experience. Most recently, I have been unable to allocate seats on return flights from Melbourne-Singapore-Europe with any degree of certainty. Multiple emails during a period of weeks to the Australian customer service centre received only one acknowledgement of receipt. Our calls to the Mumbai-based call centre came to nothing.

In desperation, we visited the airline's Melbourne office, where we were assured our call to a supervisor within the call centre would resolve our request to buy preferred seats.

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After four attempts to get connected, a supervisor finally told us the only action they could take was to forward our requests to head office in Singapore. We are still waiting.

- Bruce Graham

Credit-card insurance

I am travelling to the US and intend to use the free travel insurance through my Westpac Visa card. Have readers had good or bad experiences associated with such insurance to share?

- Gwen Hall

Fast downgrade, slow refund

My loyalty to Qantas has waned in the past few years because of indifferent customer service but the piece de resistance was waiting more than two months for a refund after a Qantas flight downgrade that was made to accommodate its staff on a flight from Sydney to Auckland.

This downgrade was advised only as we drove to the airport but we were assured a refund would be processed quickly. If we can book flights online and have credit cards debited instantly, why does it take so long to receive a refund?

- Mary Maloney

At the pointy end

Clearing security at Sydney Airport recently, my daughter had forgotten she was carrying a small engraved Swiss Army pocket knife.

The X-ray picked it, which is a good thing. There was no option but for it to be confiscated.

Isn't there scope for some form of deposit and pick-up-later scheme with a charge that would make the service viable?

- Martin Foreman

No delivery on bassinet

My wife and I travelled recently from Melbourne to Johannesburg to show our four-month-old baby to family. We flew with codeshare partners Qantas and South African Airways and requested a bassinet several months in advance.

There was no problem to South Africa but we were disappointed when told at check-in for our return journey via Perth that all seats in these areas were sold out. The majority of seats in these sections were taken by adults without babies or children. We asked the flight crew if we could swap seats. Fortunately, one man volunteered his seat and we had a peaceful baby. I am not angry at the people who sit in these seats but at the airlines that present a service they are not willing to deliver, even though a baby is charged for a ticket.

- Christian Graeme

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 your name, address and phone number.

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