Traveller letters: This is not what a hotel iron is for, you fools

IRON SUPPLEMENT

Only fools with little brain matter would use a hotel iron to make toasted sandwiches (Traveller letters, May 18).

My wife has had an expensive item of clothing ruined by a dirty hotel iron, probably previously used for a purpose for which it was not designed.

No wonder more and more hotels do not supply irons in rooms when "clowns" use them for purposes for which they are not intended. Some people don't deserve to travel and leave their brains at the airport.

Mike Weiss, Vermont South, VIC

A FROWN CALLED ALICE

On arriving at my accommodation, I found out that the hired Mitsubishi Lancer allocated to me for 21 days by Alice Springs Airport Thrifty staff issued a "routine maintenance is due" warning each time I started the car.

I was in no position to exchange the vehicle and to my horror, the car was a threadbare 1963 kilometres from its 60,000-kilometre service. This allowed for a meagre ration of 93 kilometres' grace a day, driving the vast distances of Central Australia.

Although I did not come to harm from any mechanical failure or accident, my mind would have been reassured if Thrifty had taken care to monitor its fleet maintenance schedule and chosen a vehicle with much more generous mileage to its next service for me.

It's a safety priority in rural and remote areas.

Joseph Ting, Carina, QLD

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LETTER OF THE WEEK: HIKE SOCIETY

I don't often get a chance to express how proud I am of my culture nor to see it mentioned anywhere and it was lovely to read a mention of my family's culture in Ute Junker's article, "The only way is up" (TravellerMay 11)

My father was born in Sudtirol-Trentino Alto Adige in 1931, and we are Ladini, from the tiny ethic minority Ute Junker discovered while hiking there.

My father is the son of a dairy farmer and cheese maker (blessed are the cheese makers) from that region. I get my love of bushwalking from discovering the Dolomites as a 10-year old.

Tess Dellagiacoma, Lismore, NSW

FEELING BLUE

In your regular "Rites of Passage" feature [the former deputy prime minister and noted rail buff] Tim Fischer asked "how can you go to Paris and not visit the superb Le Train Bleu restaurant at the mighty Gare De Lyon?" (TravellerMarch 16).

My wife and I were shortly to depart on a trip that would include a week in Paris, so I included Le Train Bleu on our itinerary.

It was an absolute highlight of our trip, offering a gorgeous setting from a bygone age with chandeliers and stunning travel murals on the ceilings and walls.

Stewart Johnston, Mt Eliza, VIC

AGENTS OF MERCY

I would like to give some well-deserved recognition to our ANZ Allianz credit card travel insurance and the staff at the Yarraville Flight Centre who both went out of their way to assist me when I had an emergency hospital visit and surgery in Vancouver Canada.

All medical costs were covered and communication with Allianz staff was timely and empathetic. I was again reminded how valuable it is to book flights with our local travel agent who worked closely with me to ensure all flight changes could be made efficiently, making it stress-free for me.

Sandy Guest, Yarraville, VIC

FEELING REJECTED

Sue Lyons' comments on travel insurance (Traveller letters, May 25) could cause people to make unwise decisions when considering travel insurance for their next overseas trip.

As a manager of a travel emergency assistance company for a period of 20 years, the reasons we saw claims being rejected on medical grounds were either because the insurance policy specifically excluded cover for the condition or the insured had failed to disclose their medical condition prior to purchasing the insurance.

To say that 50 per cent of claims are rejected is wrong, the figure is less than 10 per cent across all types of travel insurance claims.

If you travel without travel insurance and have a medical emergency, the costs of overseas medical treatment and repatriation to Australia can be financially devastating to families.

Rowan Reeves, Eltham, VIC

STYLE COUNSEL

I am a native-born Argentine, living in Australia, and would very much like to inform you that in your cover story on the horse trek with gauchos (Traveller, May 18) you are incorrect when calling us "Argentinians". We are and have always been referred to as "Argentines".

Carole Poole, Charlestown, NSW

EDITOR'S NOTE The in-house style guide for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, in which Traveller is published, allows for "Argentinians" rather than "Argentines". However, we shall bring the matter to the attention of our senior pedants.

NOW HEAR THIS

In reference to the "O Captain, my Captain" letter by Max Woolcock (Traveller letters, May 11), as a frequent user of Wizz Air whilst Europe hopping, the comments in the letter are not new to me since Wizz Air services being late is not a surprise.

My July 23, 2018, flight from Warsaw to Bucharest was delayed by three hours on departure from Warsaw. The flying time on this sector is one hour 45 minutes. The inclement weather in Rome was blamed for the delay.

There was no aircraft in Warsaw until the delayed service from Rome arrived. Rolling delays, I suppose. But at least, whilst still in the departure lounge, we all were given some fabulous pumpkin chips with chilli and a cup of quite a good coffee.

Still, it does have some interesting announcements on punctuality: "Passengers are reminded that the boarding gates will shut 20 minutes before departure" followed by another message in a strong tone advising "all those who are late to the boarding gate, that their luggage will be removed" and that they would not be accepted onto their flight.

It's all especially amusing seeing they themselves are three hours late.

Agnieszka Anglin-Parsons, Yarrawarrah, NSW

BORDERING ON CONFUSION

I crossed the border from southern Argentina to Chile last year and there was no reciprocity fee charged (Traveller letters, May 25). It seems like it is only collected if you arrive and clear immigration at Santiago airport.

I arrived there but transited before boarding a flight to Peru, thereby avoiding the charge. I departed from Santiago but there was no charge levied for departing passengers.

However, I do sympathise with only one officer being on hand.

Ron Greedy, Alexandria, NSW

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