Traveller letters: Airlines should install treadmills on ultra long-haul flights to prevent DVT

VEIN ATTEMPT

We Australians are used to travelling on long flights, because of our distance from the rest of the world. Many of us have been on those 14-hour non-stop flights.

Last weekend, we saw the launch of a new service, a non-stop 17-hour flight from Perth to London. I believe Qantas will soon also introduce non-stop flights from Melbourne to San Francisco. The only problem with these long flights is deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

I read that every two hours spent not moving around increases the risk of DVT. If airlines were to consider installing foldable treadmills on these flight, one could spend five minutes every few hours exercising, which would reduce the risk.

Even if one has to pay a few dollars to use it, I am sure it would be in use for the whole duration of the flight.

Mario Bonnici, Watsonia North, VIC

See also: How Qantas is using science to beat the big problem with ultra long haul flights

LETTER OF THE WEEK

DISPOSABLE WORLD

Further to Gayle Russell's letter (Traveller letters, April 14), my daughter, Penelope owns a restaurant and cooking school in the east of Bali and was so shocked by the monumental rubbish build-up around the island she embarked on a project (baliasli.com.au) to clean it up.

She began with the villages in the area where she lives and works but the problem is there are not enough government-run rubbish and recycling sites and definitely not in the local villages outside of the main centres. Local villages also need educating on rubbish disposal and recycling, particularly plastic bottles.

To get the project underway, Penelope recently launched a crowdfunding project to enable education to empower the locals, inspire the government into action and to create a greener, cleaner Bali.

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The funding will also provide for the establishment of an eco refillery where plastic bottles can be re-used instead of thrown away.

Barry Williams, Mosman, NSW

GIVE US A BREAK

Warning Wayne Robinson (Traveller letters, April 21), your habit of skipping breakfast and eating later in the day, while an efficient use of your time when travelling, would not be recommended by any dietary expert.

Most people find that if they eat breakfast (that was included in the price of their travel) they may not need to eat until much later in the day, thus saving them from expensive restaurant prices and also being better for their health.

Eating is one of the delights of travel; why deny yourself another potential experience, airline food or not?

Philip Sewell, Wy Yung, VIC

My word Mr Robinson, surely a simple "no thank you" is an easy way to settle the breakfast problem. As for the cost, it is miniscule compared with the money we are prepared to pay for flights or tours.

Perhaps it is a case of you want to have your money and not eat it (sorry).

Josie Moncrieff, South Wentworthville, NSW

I feel sorry for Wayne Robinson who is not interested in food, doesn't eat breakfast and can't abide a passenger next to him eating anything. I know

Airline food can't be compared to a home-cooked meal but the majority of people love eating and the meal times help with the boredom on a long flight. I love being handed a meal when I am finally on holidays, after having cooked dinner most nights for a year. I don't expect it to be a three-hat meal.

Wayne is lucky he can afford to travel business class but objects to paying for breakfast, which is a small amount extra.

Robyn Hansen, Pennant Hills, NSW

GOOD MOANING VIETNAM

I'm just back from my third and final trip to Vietnam. In Dalat and DaNang the footpaths are crowded with parked scooters so a simple stroll is hazardous and nearly impossible. Deafening scooter noise adds to the discomfort and scooters are allowed free rein in the crowded streets.

At "historic" Hoi An, we were charged $7 each to simply walk into the public streets – the price supposedly gives admission to several temples but this is not communicated; there was no info sheet, no signs, no map. Claims the income funds maintenance of the UNESCO site are a joke.

Touts, overpriced food, and tacky jewellery stores are what you get for your money. Just outside the gates many buses, cars and tour vehicles mill in chaos with no turning area and no traffic direction.

Throughout our visit we were subject to rip-offs by taxi drivers, restaurants and massage outlets. Local advice is unobtainable. No one speaks English, even the staff at four-star hotels who rely on tourists for a living.

Elizabeth Terrill, Double Bay, NSW

POSITIVE RESPONSE

As with Kaye Gooch (Traveller letters, April 21) I too have a cochlear implant. The answer to her dilemma is to have rechargeable batteries. The charger in the luggage is no different to chargers for phones, laptops and iPads.

The charged batteries can be carried in pockets, or in my case, a pouch, until needed to replace and exhausted battery. Recharging can then be carried out in the hotel room or where ever you are staying.

Anthony Healy, Willoughby East, NSW

JUST THE TICKET

I had occasion to go to the Chinese visa application centre in Sydney to obtain visas for family members to visit China and what a revelation. I arrived at 9am, the official opening time, to be met by a packed room.

With my ticket numbered B54 (apply for a visa) I assumed I would be there forever. A man suddenly appeared and started asking those people with "D" tickets (to collect visas) to form an orderly queue. They did so without a murmur, all 70 of them at that time.

All 11 windows were open and when it came to my turn, I was treated with grace and efficiency, given instructions on when to return and asked if I had any questions. I was out of there at 10am exactly.

I was seriously impressed.

Michele Zehnder, North Balgowlah, NSW

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