Letters: Tall passengers should take action against airlines

Heads in the clouds

In response to Peter Morgan (Tall order in the exit row, Traveller Letters, June 16-17), why haven't tall people mounted a class action for discrimination where airlines have made the seat pitch too small for them? If obese people can successfully claim that being too big for a standard seat is a disability, surely tall people have an even stronger case? They have no control over their height. They should not be satisfied with the option of paying for an exit-row seat. Airlines should provide a sufficient number of seats with greater pitch for tall people at no extra charge.

- David Walsh

Call of duty

I travelled recently from Singapore to Melbourne and bought duty-free goods on the flight home. I then flew from Melbourne to Adelaide but when I arrived realised the goods were missing. I could only surmise I had left them in the overhead locker on the Virgin Australia flight to Adelaide. I phoned Virgin (had to leave a message) and 2½ hours later a staff member called back to say they had my goods. Thank you, Virgin.

- Jenny Cole

Europe takes its toll

After a 30-day driving holiday in Europe, here are some tips. Don't forget to pay the road toll in Austria. The fine is €120 ($150). I now know you must buy a toll sticker for Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, etc. Toll booths operate in Italy and Spain.

Our car hire company wouldn't approve travel to Croatia, Bosnia or Poland as there was no insurance coverage. It is, however, fine to drive on an autobahn at 160km/h and be overtaken by Audis and delivery vans.

Tourist information offices are a great way to book accommodation in guest houses, pensions and hotels, especially if you wish to stay in the old part of town, but be aware parking is an issue. We always seemed to get a room on the top floor of a 500-year-old guest house without a lift, so take a backpack for overnight stays. Switzerland is stunning but expensive. A day trip to the Jungfrau costs almost $200 each so hope the weather is good.

Don't entirely believe your GPS. Ours directed us to a road closed by snow. It is much wiser to believe road signs. And your wife.

- Craig Bromley

More to Dallas than JFK

I spent an engrossing couple of hours in the Sixth Floor Museum (Fall of a president, Traveller, June 16-17) when I visited Dallas, Texas. Although Dallas lacks the hustle and bustle of New York or San Francisco, there is more to the city than JFK sites. There is a Melbourne W-class tram (named Matilda) on McKinney Avenue, statues of cowboys herding steers (a tribute to the city's origins), a quiet haven on a hot day in the Dallas Museum of Art, and Segway tours.

- Daren Fawkes

Last tango in Argentina

I returned recently from Chile where I flew Aerolineas Argentinas from Sydney to Santiago, Chile, via Buenos Aires, Argentina. To avoid a longer stopover and therefore late-night arrival in Santiago, I took the option of an earlier flight from Buenos Aires but had to change airports from the main international airport (EZE) to the smaller Aeroparque (AEP) international airport, 60 minutes away by bus. Though the bus fare was included in the ticket price, the $US100 ($99) I was slugged for an Argentinian "reciprocity fee" (despite being a transit passenger) was not.

On the return flight from Santiago to BA we stopped in Mendoza, Argentina, and inexplicably were forced to exit the plane with all belongings, go through Argentinian immigration, collect our checked-in luggage, proceed through customs, check in the luggage, proceed through security and onto the plane in the same seat.

Next time I might consider the more expensive but less painful option to Santiago by flying with another airline and avoiding Argentina.

- Simon McInnes

Editor's note: Australians are required to pay a reciprocity fee of $US100 on arrival in Argentina and $US95 on arrival in Chile.

Cruising for a bruising

In response to Greg Loupos's letter (Cruising's data detail, Traveller, June 23-24), we have just returned from a Mediterranean cruise and found the ship's internet system expensive - $55 for 100 minutes - and download speeds extremely slow. We found free wi-fi, or at least for the price of a cup of coffee, in coffee shops at most ports or paid a few dollars an hour at an internet cafe.

- Rob Turner

Be smart, in a flash

We take a basic mobile phone with global roaming in case family members need to make urgent contact. If we want to send a message or make a call, we do so on shore. We also take a laptop and when in port pop into the first internet cafe we see and check our email. If there is something we need to work on we save it to a flash drive, work on it at our leisure and send it from the next port of call.

- Kathleen Warren

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