As one who pays for all my airline tickets, I do have problems with children (say, four to 10 years) in business class (Traveller, May 24). I pay for these upgrades to escape this noise and allow me a chance to relax and start my holiday refreshed. What I do object to is when these children are seated remotely from their parents, often four or five rows apart. As an alternative to banning children under 12 from business class, airlines should be required to seat the children next to a parent and remind them that it is their responsibility to control the children. In relation to the mother flying first class, for the same cost, she could have had two (or three) economy seats that would have allowed her the same seating space for her and the baby, including access to the bassinets to allow the baby the sleep/rest. There are no bassinets in business or first class.
LETTER OF THE WEEK
I refer to Jenny Cato's glowing letter (Traveller letters, May 24) on her recent visit to Iran. It is a pity the warmth of Iranians doesn't extend to the Tehran police chief who was recently so deeply offended by the "obscene" video posted on YouTube of six young people dancing to the tune Happy that he had them arrested. Or of the Iranian women who have bravely set up a Facebook page, "StealthyFreedom", in which women of all ages post pictures of themselves free from the restrictive clothing the country's rulers declare they must wear in public. I have no problem with visiting countries which restrict the rights of their citizens to go about their lives enjoying the freedoms we take for granted. I have visited Tibet to witness, first-hand, the repression visited upon its gallant people by the Chinese government. Just don't travel with rose-coloured glasses.
A CURRENCY AFFAIR
On all cruises I've done with P&O and Princess out of Australia, the on-board currency has been the Australian dollar. I have just booked a cruise on the Diamond Princess and I noticed in the cruise personaliser that the on-board currency is US dollars. I questioned this and was told it was because the ship was not based in Australia. The ship appears to be based here for the same duration as the other ships within this group of companies. With the age of cashless ships and cruise cards, all they have to do is change the on-board currency in a computer. We are going to be ripped off with currency exchange when it is totally unnecessary.
LINE IN THE SAND
On a recent trip to Dubai, I was astounded at the time it took to check in for our Emirates flight - it took hours. When we finally managed to get served, it was without any apology and we were informed that had we checked in just two minutes later, we would not have been allowed on the plane. I politely suggested that announcements should be made and that the airline offer those waiting hours to check in an opportunity to move closer to the front of the queues. As a frequent flyer, I had not experienced such delays, which could have been averted with less chit-chat among the staff. A tip for those travelling to or from Dubai - allow yourself plenty of time.