LETTER OF THE WEEK
I recently returned to Melbourne from Queensland travelling Jetstar. After disembarking onto the tarmac (now quite standard for Jetstar's budget travel service) my husband, three-year-old daughter and six-month-old son had to walk for 10 minutes to get from our arrival gate to the baggage carousel at Jetstar's new Melbourne terminal.
We were shocked that the terminal did not have a single moving footway. Ten minutes is an extremely arduous walk when carrying a sleeping baby, a tired toddler and all our hand luggage. I can't imagine how difficult those 10 minutes will be for other families in our position, any non-able bodied traveller, elderly traveller, or similar.
On its website, Jetstar proudly announces its new terminal and the "short" five to 10 minute walk from check-in to the gate. The new terminal and its inaccessibility is a disgrace and worse than any other third world terminal I've visited. And don't get me started on the ridiculous public pick-up section tucked away in the multi-level car park another five-minute walk away.
No more Jetstar for my family (and of course, our flight landed into Melbourne late).
Caroline Tait, Caulfield, VIC
DRAM FINE FOOD
Whilst I'm sure Andrew Fairlie's restaurant at Gleneagles is outstanding (Traveller, November 28-29), having just returned form visiting my daughter in Scotland, I would recommend, in Glasgow, Cail Bruich and Tiffney's in the West End area and Arisaig in Merchant Square.
All three were tested and passed with flying colours. Arisaig produced a fine lunch of a haggis fritter in whisky sauce entree, an outstanding medium rare eye fillet and a Scottish cheese board, all accompanied by an excellent McLaren Vale Shiraz.
Robert Phillips, Templestowe, VIC
I too experienced a cabin in darkness flying to Kuala Lumpur last month (Traveller Letters). We left Melbourne at 10.30am and after lunch was served we were asked to close the window shutters.
When I questioned why, I was told it was because of the brightness of the sun. Understandable on a long haul east/west flight but not good enough on an eight-hour flight with little time difference between the two cities. I agree that it is much better to stay awake in the daylight hours and find it frustrating to be in a darkened environment.
Susie Mioni, Hawthorn East, VIC
HELSINKI AND BACK
We recently paid $6000 each for two business class returns to Europe on Finnair. On the nearly 12-hour return flight from Helsinki to Singapore one of our two seats could not be reclined making the entire journey extremely uncomfortable. Before take off the cabin supervisor attempted to rectify the problem electronically and manually, without success.
Later in the flight we were given a €200 voucher as short-term compensation and were advised to pursue Finnair for a higher level of compensation, commensurate with the distance flown and the amount paid for the flight.
Finnair has since declined to provide such compensation. In hindsight we should have demanded to be offloaded pending availability of fully-operable seats on the next suitable flight.
Ian Stuart, Lindfield, NSW
DON'T GO THERE
I am sick and tired of people extolling the virtues of travelling to Iran (Traveller, November 21 & 22)) and encouraging others to travel there. I feel we should be boycotting this country. True, the individuals they meet may be nice and friendly, but you shouldn't forget the official policies of the leaders and the country
This is a country that threatens genocide and is developing nuclear weapons that threaten the whole region. They support terrorist groups such as Hezbollah. They have public executions for minor crimes as well as for homosexuality. They stone people for adultery and keep the population in a state of fear with their secret police. They suppress the rights of women.
Isaac Rochwerger, Caulfield, VIC
Having read the recent letters about Air Canada's in-flight entertainment system problems, I am beginning to wonder whether Air Canada really has an in-flight entertainment system - or is it just too hard to fix?
We had the same experience on an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Sydney - in October 2010. And we were offered, as compensation, the same travel credit deal for future travel with Air Canada as offered recently.
James Starkey, Burradoo, NSW
The power and reach of Traveller Letters is not to be underestimated. In my June 21, 2014 letter regarding tipping in London I mentioned how the ticket price to four of the five historic royal palaces (Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Banqueting House and Kensington Palace but not Kew Palace) automatically included "a small [10 per cent] voluntary donation to Historic Royal Palaces". Now, when buying online you have to "opt-in" to pay the "donation prices", rather than having to "opt-out" of making a "voluntary donation" as was the case last year. More power to Traveller Letters.
Maurice Critchley, Kenthurst, NSW
CHUCKING A WOBBLY
I am around 180 centimetres in height, and have travelled economy class to Japan twice yearly for some time, flying Jetstar's A330 and B787 (both comfortable, quiet and with just enough leg room), Qantas B747 (planes are out of the ark: uncomfortable, noisy, and barely enough leg room) and JAL (which up to now, had rated between the other two).
However, my last trip with JAL on a discounted $995 return ticket placed me on a B777 with more leg room than one could ever have dreamed.
I could easily horizontally place, and wobble back and forth, my hand between my knee and the seat in front of me. Such a relaxed trip resulted. Japan trips on JAL from now.
Ian Hunter, Lewisham, NSW
WE WELCOME YOUR TRAVEL-RELATED OPINIONS AND EXPERIENCES
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