Traveller letters: Dear hotel designers, glass walls to bathrooms are never a good idea

ROOM WITH A VIEW

We have recently returned from a trip to Europe and were puzzled by an interior design curiosity in several establishments: clear glass walls and doors to bathrooms and toilets, between the main part of our rooms.

Who would think that glass walls and doors, whether frosted or not, are a good idea? In our opinion they're an invasion of both the guests' visual and aural privacy.

We also wonder how many honeymoons have been ruined by the brutal reality of morning ablutions.

Wolf Marx, Camberwell, VIC

SHINING STAR

In March 2019 I booked a cheapie fare to New Zealand to attend a 70th birthday celebration for my brother.

Unfortunately, my beloved brother fell and broke his hip and was hospitalised for several weeks, and subsequently succumbed to his multiple health issues while I was there.

I rang Jetstar to tell them I was cancelling my return flight to Australia. Staff were so empathetic and helpful arranging later flights for a minimal extra cost.

We are always keen to criticise low-cost airlines but the customer service this time was exemplary.

Trish McBride, Woonona, NSW

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DEER OH DEER

What do the deer farmers in Australia and New Zealand make of [Kokomo Private Island Fiji resort owner] Lang Walker's rejection of venison on his menu (Traveller, Islands & beaches issue)?

At the same time he states that "meat," (presumably other kinds served at his new resort in Fiji are sourced from premium suppliers from Australia and New Zealand.

How does the hospitality industry of Fiji feel about Mr Walker's assertion that in his 47 years visiting there, its "food has always been absolute crap"?

Mr Walker's boast of world-class excellence in his new "five times over budget and four years over time" development, with his "pick of top chefs" is conceited, and unfairly critical of some of the industry's most prominent professionals.

Fergus Maclagan, Milsons Point, NSW

NORTHERN EXPOSURE

My daughter comes home regularly from New York, where she lives, to visit and is always looking for cheap flights. When she said "I'm with Air Canada – great fare, but two stops", I thought "fantastic, Canadians are always lovely".

What was I thinking?

The trip to Oz was OK, although there is little leg room in economy, but the flight back was another matter. Twice the plane left the terminal, sat on the tarmac for a couple of hours and returned to the terminal.

I watched with increasing concern on the Flightradar app. No explanation was given. The flight was finally re-scheduled to the following day. She was given a cab fare and she returned to a relative for the night. That was it.

The flight left late the next morning although they had lost her order for vegan meals so she had virtually nothing to eat until New York (Canadian airports don't "do" vegan it seems).

No explanation or compensation has ever been given or offered. As a young, single traveller her travails were bearable. What of the family groups and others?

It's Qantas from now on – blow the cost.

Mark Morrison, Kew, VIC

Having visited family in Canada regularly over many years I can vouch for the veracity of David Baru's opinion of Air Canada (Traveller letters, July 6). Never once have I failed to be struck by the surliness of the cabin crew.

John Wynne, Brunswick, VIC

FIRST CLASS TREATMENT

Referring to Marie Goldsworthy's letter (Traveller letters, June 15), I recently reserved first-class seats for travel earlier this month between Paris and Brussels on Thalys high-speed train through the office of SNCF (French Railways).

Imagine my surprise to receive in Sydney an email from SNCF asking what further service could they provide to better ensure I benefit from the start of Le Tour de France in Brussels on July 6.

Yes, they do things differently there. We've a lot to learn.

Tony Dear, Abbotsford Cove, NSW

THE EYES HAVE IT

Geoff Parker's letter (Traveller letters, June 22) reminds me of the time when on a bus in Rome, my wife suddenly discovered that one of her hard-contacts lenses had become lodged at the side of her eye.

She simply couldn't get it out herself. As anybody who wears contact lenses knows, a trapped contact lens is potentially a serious situation. My wife had to get to a doctor. Fast.

We rushed into the lobby of the first hotel we saw hoping to be able to get the phone number of the nearest doctor. Luckily, and after much use of sign language, the man on the front desk understood my wife's situation, and called a doctor who happened to be staying at the hotel.

Unfortunately, the doctor was about to check out, and besides the doctor informed us, it was a Saturday, and the chance of locating a doctor, especially an eye doctor, was slim. My wife's best bet he told me was this public hospital located directly behind the Vatican.

He was right. Despite the number of people patiently waiting their turn to see a doctor, my wife was seen immediately. Nobody seemed to mind my wife jumping the queue. And within minutes of seeing this doctor, my wife's contact lens was back in place, and a catastrophe averted.

The cost? Not a thing. Just a smile, a bow and a shaking of hands.

The kindness of strangers indeed.

Chris Burgess, Port Melbourne, VIC

LOST FOR WORDS

I have had luggage lost or damaged in the past and it was rarely a pleasant experience, but full marks to Etihad for this recent experience.

I left Sydney for Munich and my accompanying waterski arrived damaged. These things happen when you transit through a number of airports and flights.

Etihad was very responsive to my calls and emails, understood that I was travelling and had no easy access to a printer or scanner, and within days had agreed to compensate (fairly, I must add) and sent all the correct forms.

The flights were excellent and I can recommend this airline - as a veteran of more than 175 International trips I feel I know a good airline when I see it.

Thank you, Etihad customer service team.

Darren Isaacs, Sutherland, NSW

RIGHT CARRY-ON

Jennifer Dodd complains about being charged for excessive baggage by Qatar Airlines, saying she had a little too much weight on her carry-on luggage and had to transfer three kilograms to her booked luggage.

Qatar's carry-on allowance is seven kilograms, meaning she tried to get away with 10 kilograms. To make it worse she then claims this put her seven kilograms over her booked luggage and was charged $725 excess baggage.

Qatar's booked allowance is 30 kilograms, meaning she also tried to get away with being four kilograms over the allowed weight. She got what she deserved.

Chris Gilchrist, Tuross Head, NSW

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