DISPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA
Further to Roger Jauchau's letter (Traveller letters, April 12-13) about Qantas not caring about its loyal Frequent Flyer members, I have just been through an experience with Qantas FF staff that reinforces his comment. My father, who passed away in February, had been a loyal FF member since 1991. But, being in his late 80s and not computer savvy, he didn't leave a copy of his FF password in his records. I rang Qantas FF to have his points transferred to my mother, who has also been a FF member since 1991. "Sorry, Sir, without his password, we cannot help you," I was informed. "All we can do is close his membership." Thanks Qantas for your loyalty to my parents, who have flown with your airline all their lives.
LETTER OF THE WEEK
Craig Tansley's article about Vietnam's Phu Quoc (Traveller letters, April 12-13) evoked fond memories. I was there in 1996 on a whim to escape the craziness of Ho Chi Minh City. The small plane flight included no safety spiel and a thunderstorm en route made me wonder if I had made the right decision. But, safely on the ground, I knew I had found a rough gem. There was more rustic accommodation, where the power only came on for an hour or so at night, and a hut on the beach with fantastic, cheap food and with the chance to mix with the locals. I spent a week swimming, eating, riding around the island and just lapping up the charms of this idyllic little island. It would be such a shame to introduce mass development to it.
BLOCK, STOCK AND BARREL
Hear, hear, Norm Simons (Traveller letters, March 22-23). Don't get me started on photos of people standing in front of things. I recall the woman taking a photo of her husband standing in front of the Night Watch in the Rijksmuseum, obscuring the painting for other visitors. And once I was in the Ayasofya in Istanbul waiting for a family to finish taking all of the permutations of their group while standing in front of a particularly fine carved screen, when one member of the party grabbed me, put her arm around me and dragged me into one of their photos.
On a recent flight from Perth to Sydney, I was delighted to hear a polite message over the PA asking all passengers to raise their seats for the convenience of others during the meal. Well done, Virgin Australia, for a simple, courteous and effective announcement.
Noting Audrey Tunny's letter (Traveller letters, April 12-13) "Inn of the Scammed" I can highly recommend a London-based operator called One Fine Stay. They rent out apartments that are usually people's homes and range from a reasonable weekly rent to expensive. We had an apartment in Kensington last September in a secure building close to Kensington High Street and we thought it very comfortable and large. There is always someone at the end of their phone 24/7 if the need arises. They even give you an iPhone for the duration of your stay with their numbers logged in ... and local calls are free. A class act, I thought.