Traveller Letters: Sydney Airport 'bland and boring'


My wife and I have returned to Sydney via Kingsford Smith several times over the past six months. Despite being described as the "Gateway to Australia", this is the most uninviting, bland, boring airport I could imagine.

Not a flower, not a shrub. Poor ambience. Welcome to Sydney!

Our last trip involved leaving the car in the multi-storey parking building. Clients are bussed to the terminal and picked up upon return. The driver did not advise us where to pick up the bus, leaving us to walk all over the place. We mentioned this to the parking attendants and they said they are not allowed to erect any signage regarding their services.

Sydney Airport, please try (it's not too hard) to convert your showpiece into something a lot more welcoming. Take a flight to Singapore's Changi and see how it should be done.

-Anthony Williams


My family had rented a cottage in Germany, near Munich, and we did a lot of driving between Austria and Germany. One day, just on dusk, I was pulled over by "Otto", an Austrian highway patrolman.

He proceeded to ask: "Why are your headlights not turned on?"

"Because it's not dark yet."

"In Austria it is law that your headlights must be on whenever you drive in Austria."

"Sorry, I was not aware ..."

"Well, if you drive here, you must make yourself aware."

Point taken. I was fined €28 ($42). Then he asked: "Where is your sticker?"

"What sticker?"

"The €8 sticker you need to travel on our autobahns and that will be another €120 fine."

Thank god Otto took pity on us naive Australians and waived the €120 fine. We then proceeded to the next service station and bought the sticker ... with Otto following us.

So, people, if you're driving on Austria's autobahns, remember your sticker and remember to turn on your lights.

-Jim Trianta


In Luxe Nomad (Traveller, July 27), Lee Tulloch writes of her trip to Sri Lanka: "I tried not to be an obnoxious traveller. I read quite a bit about the country's recent history before I went and I spoke as often as I could to Sri Lankans - Tamils, Hindus and Muslims - not because I felt I was obliged to, but because they were delightful."

I'm not sure how much reading and talking Lee did, because even a cursory glance at basic facts about the country, and a little listening, would have told her that the largest ethnic group, the Sinhalese, are predominantly Buddhist and that the Tamils, the next largest, are Hindu.

Islam and Christianity are represented among the country's smaller minorities.

-Chris Gymer


The Tripologist article headlined "Why do airlines insist on closing the blinds on daylight flights?" (Traveller, July 27) looks into the problem of trying to sleep during daylight.

Flying for me is always an adventure. The spectacle of towns, cities, forests, farms, rivers, lakes and oceans, not to mention striking cloud formations, never ceases to amaze me.

Those who wish to sleep can wear cheap and effective eyeshades that should be offered to passengers by the airlines.

-John Stirling