JETSTAR RESPONDS TO TRACEY SPICER
We make no claims to be perfect, and we're carefully reviewing our handling of last month's unexpected weather diversion to Bangkok.
But to rubbish the whole airline on the basis of one experience is not exactly fair and balanced.
This holiday period we've successfully carried more than one million passengers safely to their destination.
In doing so, we've provided many families with the opportunity to travel to parts of the world they may not have been able to experience without our low fares.
This is what drives our hard-working teams to deliver great experiences for our customers every day.
It's a shame these efforts, and the countless positive experiences onboard flights this summer, don't seem to warrant the same attention.
David Hall, Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO
Andrea Black's Flight Test review of Hawaiian Airlines's business class (Traveller, December 5-6) was interesting but those other 276 passengers flying Hawaiian Airlines in economy should also be considered.
With business class full, I recently flew Hawaiian in economy the first time in decades. What a brilliant flight, true testament to why Hawaiian's cabin crew have been voted the 10th best in the world. They were patrolling the aisles throughout each flight with no request a problem and with a friendly island approach.
An excellent dinner (not a snack as advertised) was served immediately after the daily evening flight out of Sydney. A full accompanying bar service remains available for those wanting further drinks after the dinner service.
My seat was exceptional. I'm tall yet after reclining the back, I was able to stretch full length without the base of the seat ahead piercing into my knees. There was an amazing amount of room which my wife also commented upon. We could not believe our comfort in economy despite the relatively long haul.
The best kept secret is entering the United States through Honolulu – no queues, friendly efficient, in fact charming, Immigration and Customs officials greet you in true Hawaiian style. If only Sydney Airport could learn their approach.
And importantly for those flying on to the US, Hawaiian have immediate connecting flights to multiple mainland destinations on their wide-bodied Airbus 330s rather than cramped 737s used by other airlines.
Anthony R. Dear, Abbotsford Cove, NSW
LETTER OF THE WEEK
Our driving holiday in the UK ended in London so we dropped the rental car off as soon as we got into London. We knew the London Congestion Tax was about £11 ($22), and understood that the car rental company would pass this on to us and charge an administration fee to do so.
We were very surprised to find, about a month later, that the administration charge was £35, and that because we hadn't registered online for the congestion tax ahead of our trip into London there was now a penalty charge of £65 owing.
The lesson? Register online for the congestion tax before you drive into London – or be ready to cough up £100.
James Waldron, Carlingford, NSW
Congratulations to P&O for the way in which they handled mechanical problems on the Pacific Jewel on December 8 last year.
Our two-day cruise to Melbourne was delayed by a whole day but to compensate, every adult passenger received a $50 credit and every child $25. P&O also added an extra day to the cruise at no cost to us.
Additionally it 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
My souvenirs, my tokens of remembrance (Traveller, December 12-13, 2015), tend to be practical usable items which include cotton tea towels and linen from Germany, table napkins from Estonia and Russia, BBQ skewers like mini swords from Istanbul Spice Market (checked luggage, of course), superb bath towels (unavailable in Australia) from Italy, ceramics dishes from Greece and more.
All items are used and serve as a reminder of the wonderful places we've visited and keep our minds open to future travel.
Lea Collins, Coffs Harbour, NSW
I couldn't agree more with Max Wolf (Traveller Letters, December 12-13). 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.
Nola Errey, Dunalley, Tasmania
My wife and I returned from an absolutely superb cruise on the Golden Princess around New Zealand. The cruise departed from and returned to Station Pier Port Melbourne. Everything on the cruise was organised with perfection. The ports visited in NZ were very hospitable with readily available and affordable transport of all sorts.
On our return to Melbourne the disembarkation of more than 2000 passengers went flawlessly. We had disembarked by 9am. At the taxi line there were approximately 200 people ahead of us so we expected a wait of about 30 minutes, expecting a supply of taxis similar to the airport.
Alas, after 30 minutes three taxis had appeared. We waited another half hour but the situation did not improve. In disgust we, together with our heavy cases, went to the tram stop and travelled the 20 kilometres home by tram (thank goodness for the tram). We do not have an Uber app, making a decision instead to support the "legitimate" taxi industry which claims to be struggling.
Never again will we rely on a service that performs in this manner.
David Loftus, Surrey Hills, VIC
HARD TO SWALLOW
We are booked on a 34-day cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines and were interested in a beverage package. Eighteen of the days are port visits where one is ashore most of the day often with a 7pm sailing time. One can only buy a beverage package for the whole 34 days, essentially making the sea-day drinks twice as expensive.
We tried to buy a package for the 16 sea days, being prepared to pay normal prices on the port days. NCL were not interested.
Why kill the golden goose? This is a rip-off. Are all cruise lines the same? One would think that a sea-day beverage package would be an attractive marketing initiative.
Tiit Tonuri, Cowra NSW
WE WELCOME YOUR TRAVEL-RELATED OPINIONS AND EXPERIENCES
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