We were surprised to read that Turkish Airlines was recently rated number five in the world by Skytrax. Customer service must not be one of the judging criteria. In May we were booked to fly from Istanbul to Hong Kong to connect with a Qantas flight to Sydney. The day before our departure we discovered the flight had been cancelled and we had been rebooked on a flight six hours later, which meant we would miss the connection. All requests to Turkish Airlines for an explanation as to why they did not advise us of the changed booking, and requests for compensation for expenses incurred by having to stay overnight in Hong Kong, have fallen on deaf ears.
Bob and Sandra, Coughlin
LETTER OF THE WEEK
Car rental companies tend to have a poor reputation on your letters page. A few months ago our own car rental experience at Paris Gare Du Nord started poorly. It took 30 minutes to find the car rental desks in the labyrinth that is that station. Then followed 45 minutes in a queue at Budget. Rather than venting my frustration, I smiled and said "Bonjour". And so began our wonderful experience of being upgraded from a small hatchback to a luxurious Mercedes E-Class for a memorable drive through the glorious wine regions of Chablis, Burgundy, Jura and Beaujolais to the Alps and the bouchons of Lyon. Were we lucky? Yes. Did a simple smile help in Paris? Certainly.
TICKETS TO RIDE
Perhaps even more convenient than having train tickets posted, as Daryll Gigg suggests (Traveller letters, July 19-20), is to just use the booking reference number supplied, type it into the terminal at the station and out pops the ticket. I have done this on Eurostar, Thalys and throughout France via RailEurope with no bother at all. It also works on Amtrak in the US. Saves paper, saves worries about losing the ticket, and it's easy to save it all on your phone or tablet.
LEAGUE OF NATIONS
I note the letter from Dave Torr (Traveller Letters, July 19-20) regarding the ethics of holidaying in various countries. I'd be interested in an itemised "league table" of countries scored according to the various categories suggested in the original letter. It would make for interesting reading as well as being helpful for those considering trips to "ethical" overseas destinations. And, like Dave Torr, nor do I believe Australia would be near the top of the list.
NORDIC AND NICE
Having stupidly left our iPad in the seat pocket of the Copenhagen-Oslo train, we despaired of ever seeing it again. Arriving too late to get to the Oslo lost property office, we could only email our details. Some days later in Russia, Oslo emailed to say the iPad had been found, but of course, we were far away by then. But Anders, at Norwegian Rail Lost Property in Oslo, arranged with a crew from a Swedish train to deliver the iPad to Stockholm, where we would be arriving later. And a few days later we were reunited. Wonderful, helpful, friendly service. Thank you Norwegian and Swedish Rail.