Traveller letters: Tiger Airways has changed its stripes


I never thought I'd give Tiger a great rap, but it's changed its stripes. I booked a flight from the Sunshine Coast to Melbourne with Tiger. To my surprise we left on time, a contrast to the five-hour delay I experienced with my one-and-only previous Tiger flight. The plane was immaculate and the crew friendly and efficient. However, it was an incident about halfway into the flight that drew my admiration. When an elderly woman suffered a "turn", the actions of the crew in attending to her, and ensuring her privacy, were an impressive demonstration of teamwork. They also made sure the rest of the passengers were not neglected. We landed in Melbourne two minutes early and no one objected to having to wait while emergency services came on-board to determine whether the woman needed an ambulance. Will I travel Tiger again? Definitely!

- Jennie Booth


My sister visited from Melbourne and I picked her up from Coolangatta Airport. After a lovely weekend together, I took her back to the airport for her return journey. All carry-on luggage was weighed. We watched everyone getting weighed as we wanted to spend every last minute we could together before she got on the plane. Finally, she joined the queue. She was five kilograms over the luggage allowance. No leeway was given, even though she is only 147 centimetres and weighs 50 kilograms. They made her empty her suitcase and handbag until it met their weight allowance. I know they have rules, but I cannot believe that no one else was over their allowance. She did not have multiple bags, just one small carry-on suitcase.

- Rosie Connolly


Italy is one of my favourite countries and I visit there often.

Last year, I explored Puglia and Basilicata in late February-early March and agree with Ben Groundwater's assessment (Traveller, June 15-16). I did not see a single tourist, or hear a word of English, in two weeks.

Lecce was my base for week one, with easy trips by train to Otranto and Gallipoli. My accommodation at Corte dei Memoli bed and breakfast was outstanding.

My next stay was in Martina Franca, two hours by train from Lecce, from where I could catch a bus to Alberobello to see the trulli (traditional Apulian white stone houses with conical roofs). I stayed at an apartment in La Casa di Filomena, owned by a lovely lady named Carmela.

And finally, on to beautiful Matera by train via Bari, where I stayed at the wonderful Donna Eleonora B&B, run by sisters, Rosanna and Silvia. Nothing can prepare you for the sight of the valleys of sassi, the United Nations-listed ancient cave homes. I took a three-hour tour of the sassi with a fantastic guide whose name was Nadia Garlatti.

- Glynis Wattus


Your article about Cliveden (Traveller, June 8-9) was interesting. However, your writer didn't explain that Cliveden, as a National Trust property, is accessible to the public, albeit for its beautiful gardens rather than the house (hotel). If you are a member of the National Trust of Australia, as my husband and I are, you can enter the property at no charge.

- Jan Murray