Letters: Solution to bag security on international flights

Bag security is a snip

In response to Heather D'Cruz's letter regarding locking luggage on overseas flights (Traveller, June 9-10), I use a cable tie looped through the zip pulls. Easily cut for inspections and easily noticed if they have been tampered with. I carry cable ties in an unlocked side pocket of luggage, together with an old pair of nail clippers to cut the ties on arrival at my destination.

- Heather Glassford

Bags under wraps

If you are worried about your luggage being tampered with, use plastic wrap. It was $10 in the international terminal at Melbourne's Tullamarine airport last time I looked.

- Elisabeth Middleton

Sri Lankan beauty

Having just returned from a wonderful Sri Lankan tour, we would urge anyone considering visiting the country to do so sooner rather than later. Magnificent temples contain priceless objects and wonderful statues. Ancient sites, sometimes in the jungle, are being carefully and painstakingly restored. Abundant, beautiful flora and fauna is everywhere, particularly wild elephants that, surprisingly, may be viewed up close and sighted along roadsides in rural areas. Land and river safaris are available with excellent local guides.

We ate with local villagers, the food delicious and beautifully presented. We also met children at a village school who were a happy group despite having little in the way of equipment. The company with which we travelled, Bunnik Tours, sponsors the school. Visiting the hills and tea plantations gave us respite from the humidity. Life in Sri Lanka is changing. Tourism is being actively promoted and we felt safe at all times.

- Patsy Waller

Dolphins in the pink

Hong Kong's white dolphins (Caught on Tai O, Traveller June 9-10) can also be a startlingly pink. The young are usually spotted grey and become pinker as they age. Unfortunately their Pearl River Delta habitat is under threat and the population is decreasing in size and individual life expectancy.

One of the groups trying to raise awareness of the dolphins' plight is Hong Kong Dolphinwatch, which operates excellent, informative tours under ecotourism guidelines.

I have been on several of its tours and have always sighted some of these delightful pink dolphins. See hkdolphinwatch.com.

- Janet Jenkin

Timed out at Haworth

We returned to our car at Haworth, Yorkshire (Traveller, June 9-10), to find it clamped, with two tattooed men sitting in a van waiting for us. My husband had to hand over his gold watch as a deposit while we drove to get the £90 ($140) to pay them.

- Marian Hurd

Premium parking

I have also been caught parking "illegally" at Haworth's private car park. I parked for no more than 10 minutes and was lucky that the parking officers (two large men) had just unclamped another car and offered to unclamp my wheel for £75. It would have been more had I phoned them to unclamp it. It ruined my time in Haworth.

- Christine Daly

Allow for delays

We've just spent four weeks in the US, mainly in California and Nevada, flying United Airlines and Virgin America. Of five United flights, four were delayed, two by more than two hours. While waiting we saw two other delayed United flights. If you're flying with United and have connecting flights in the US you need to allow for several hours between flights.

- Paul Dudley

Cruising's data detail

We are taking a Mediterranean cruise next month and would like to access email via mobile phone. It would appear that using roaming, via our Australian provider, costs an incredible $15-$20/MB. Considering that half my daily emails have attachments, which can be up to 4MB each, I could be up for huge costs. The ship provides computer access and, although less expensive than the roaming charge, it's still not cheap. Is there a low-cost method to access emails?

- Greg Loupos

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