I have just got around to reading the Air Travel special edition (Traveller, February 17). I read the section on airport hotels and I want to relate my experience in early February 2018.
I flew with Air Asia to Phnom Penh from Sydney and that involves a stopover in Kuala Lumpur. The Sama Sama airport hotel was recommended to me by my daughter and she booked it for me at $US70 for unlimited food and six hours in a hotel room. On my return trip I had a 12-hour layover, went to the Sama Sama and the person on the desk remembered me. We negotiated a deal for me to have full use of their facilities including 3 drinks and without a room and it was very cheap. Their food is buffet-style and plentiful and the facilities are excellent and the staff courteous and friendly.
Graham Child, Pennant Hills, NSW
In 2017 we booked a West Coast Adventure Tour, Darwin to Perth, something that had been on our bucket list for years.
A group of travellers from all over Australia were about to depart from Katherine four days into the tour when we were told that Senior Coach Tours (Reed Travel Pty Ltd) had gone into receivership and we would be returned to Darwin and flown back to our original destination.
Trying to claim on insurance was to no avail (they don't cover for receivership), and the liquidator recently advised that the financial obligations outweigh any assets.
We and four other people booked through Macleay Valley Travel, a Kempsey, NSW, travel agent specialising in group tours. Since 2003, we have been on many overseas tours organised by MVT and always have prompt and exceptional service from their staff and their manager Bryn Davies. This family-run business has always tried to give the best deal possible.
Today we were bowled over because we received a cheque in the mail with an accompanying letter saying: "As a gesture of goodwill, MVT has decided to refund the tour participants the unused portion of the tour cost. I wish to bring to your attention the fact that our company is not obligated to provide this refund and we are doing it purely because we recognise that this situation came about through no fault of your own, and we want to look after any client who booked this tour through our company."
Dorothy and Graham Harris, Nambucca Heads, NSW
TAKE A HIKE
What an unpleasant surprise to receive our renewal notice from Australian Seniors Insurance Agency. The premium for our multi-trip, worldwide travel insurance had increased more than 40 per cent.
There was no explanation given. Just an invitation to renew our policy for another year. When we checked online, the same policy was available with a 10 per cent discount. The discount was not offered in our renewal notice.
Brian Richards, Balgowlah, NSW
GETTING A LIFT
In his item about winglets, Michael Gebicki states: "A wing generated lift by creating an area of pressure that is greater below the wing than above it." Unfortunately, this "popular" explanation is totally inaccurate. While there is a slight pressure differential, lift is actually caused by the wing deflecting large volumes of air downwards, attested to by Newton's second and third laws of motion; that is, force = mass x velocity, and "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction". So the wing deflects a certain mass (weight) of air travelling at a certain speed (let's say 500 knots in the case of a commercial jetliner), creating the force (lift), and the reaction is the aircraft weighing up to say, 450 tonnes being lifted into – then supported in – the air. For a complete explanation readers could search the writings of two renowned US aeronautical physicists, David Anderson and Scott Eberhardt.
Martyn Yeomans, Sapphire Beach, NSW
PLASTIC, NOT SO FANTASTIC
I couldn't agree more about taking our principles with us when we visit other countries. Reports that the amount of plastic in the Pacific Gyre is now the size of France is absolutely gob-smacking. Many locations in Bali don't have adequate, functional and effective waste systems – so we visitors can make a difference when we travel. I consistently took my silk carry bags to all shops – and advised all and sundry that I didn't want plastic and spoke about the problems of plastic in Bali and in general. I consistently got really supportive responses from shopkeepers and supermarket staff and other Balinese I spoke to. I discussed ideas for options to plastic with many of these people and floated ideas of an 'I love Bali' calico/cotton bags being made available to people in shops for free or for very little – in place of plastic.
I also did my bit and picked up plastic waste whenever I could and disposed of it correctly – and had Balinese thank me for helping their environment. I gave around two hours to a personal clean-up of around 100 metres of beach in west Bali near one of the locations we were staying at. The more people who saw me doing it the better. If I saw a local I said ' I love Bali' and 'I want to keep Bali beautiful'. Terima kasih (thank you.)
Gayle Russell, Nunderi, NSW
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