LETTER OF THE WEEK
On a recent Qantas A380 flight from London to Sydney, a strident economy passenger rapidly made his mark on surrounding passengers and cabin crew. Despite frequent, polite and sometimes 'firm' requests, pending conflict seemed inevitable.
Having taking off from Dubai, seeming peace was quickly dispelled and before long, the cabin manager was required to intervene. It was at this point that the entire mood and tenor changed. With calmness, professionalism, compassion and understanding, the said manager listened, explained and reasoned with the passenger resulting in a transformation totally unexpected.
For the remainder of the flight, this passenger was a courteous, respectful and considerate passenger; so much so that the two burly surfers who were in his row gladly returned to their seats after a lengthy absence. Well done Qantas and kudos to the cabin manager.
Gerard Dominish, Glenbrook, NSW
TULLA'S LONG WALK
I couldn't agree more with Max Wolf (12/12). Jetstar's new Melbourne terminal is appalling. All luggage and boarding passes are self check-in, there is no seating at the gate area and one needs to pack lunch for the journey from check in to gate, much less anywhere else in the airport. It was hard enough for me after a long tiring work trip, but how people with mobility or eyesight difficulties are meant to cope I don't know. I will be avoiding Jetstar from now on!
Nola Errey, Dunalley, Tasmania
TULLA'S LONG WALK #2
I agree with C. Tait (Traveller 5-6 Dcember) that Melbourne's Jetstar terminal leaves plenty to be desired. I advise the Tait family and others who find a 10-minute walk a challenge not to venture overseas. Most international airports have up to 20-minute walks, or more if transferring from international to domestic. With airports becoming larger and virtual massive shopping centres, just get used to walking and take the appropriate measures. It's good exercise, anyhow, after being cooped up in economy!
Richard Mason, Mona Vale, NSW
Congratulations to P&O for the way in which they handled mechanical problems on the Pacific Jewel last Tuesday (December 8) Our two-day cruise to Melbourne was delayed by one whole day. To compensate us every adult passenger received $50 credit and every child $25. They also added an extra day to the cruise at no cost to us. Additionally they reimbursed everyone who had to change airfares and accommodation. This was my first cruise with P&O but it will not be my last.
Kate Webb, Arcadia, NSW
TRACKS IN CALIFORNIA
There are high speed trains everywhere but if you want a slow train experience I can highly recommend the delightfully named California Zephyr. It takes three days to get from San Francisco to Chicago. It's a slow but very relaxing journey. I booked online and got a sleeper which included all meals. The meals were superb. The California Zephyr is not as well known as other train journeys in North America but is excellent value and a great way to see the country and meet people if you're not in a hurry.
Peter Mitchell, Hampton, Vic
Great to see Bologna gaining a gong in the 2016 hot list ... a terrific city off the tourist radar, and our home for a year. However, travellers should note that from late July to early September it is a hot, dusty ghost town; devoid of locals, students, green parks, and central public pools!
Conversely, a visit in the winter months shouldn't be discounted: snow on the streets; Serie A soccer; chocolate festivals; warm inviting cafes & restaurants; excellent opera; and a great student vibe.
Dan Happell, Brighton East, Vic
ACCESS AT OPERA HOUSE
Working as a tour guide, I take people from cruise ships on Opera House tours. I have elderly clients many with walking difficulties, often using sticks or walking frames. Council regulations forbid any tourist coaches to drop off or pick up anyone and direct them a long way up the hill in Macquarie Street to the nearest coach parking. Visitors then miss their tours because they can't manage. I plead my case (disabled clients) to the officious, officials and am told to move on! Drivers risk heavy fines if they stop. This is outrageous and embarrassing – we pretend to welcome tourists and want their dollars but will not accommodate in this case, those that need a little help.
H. Anderson, Sydney
WE WELCOME YOUR TRAVEL-RELATED OPINIONS AND EXPERIENCES
The writer of the letter judged the best of the week will receive a Lonely Planet prize pack. See www.lonelyplanet.com.
Letters may be edited for space, legal or other reasons. Preference will be given to letters of 50-100 words or less.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and, importantly, include your name, address and phone number.
To read more Traveller Letters, click here.