JUST IN CASE
Traveller - my favourite breakfast reading which is always interesting and informative - had a story regarding airports. I would like to know whether anything is being done about the luggage carousel problem? I once had the embarrassing and inconvenient experience of picking up the wrong teal-coloured suitcase. Surely there could be a quick and easy way to link a bag to a passenger and avoid this issue.
Ruth Hoskin, Forest Hill, VIC
I refer to the list of annoying things at airports such as long lines, security checks, duty free and airport apps featured in your airports story (Traveller, October 9). When international travel opens again I will embrace all these things as it will signify I can travel again. I will welcome the jet lag that has enabled me to travel across to the other side of the world in under 24 hours. I will be happy to wear a mask for the duration of the flight. I will be happy to line up at my destination as I would have been sitting long enough anyway. Basically, I won't be annoyed by any of these trivial things.
Joanne Lloyd, Wagga Wagga, NSW
LETTER OF THE WEEK
Syangboche Airport, Nepal. Photo: Alamy
You call that a knife? In the October 9 print edition of Traveller, the "Where On Earth" section featured a photo of Tenzing-Hillary Airport, Lukla in Nepal. This 527-metre airstrip, at altitude 2860 metres is routinely rated as one of the world's most dangerous. It is also the starting point for treks to Everest base camp. However, about two days along from the base Camp trek is the market town of Namche Bazaar and above the town, at an altitude of 3780 metres, is Syangboche Airport with its short, unsealed 405 metre airstrip. The airport, which I saw on my last one overseas trip before the pandemic, was opened with a test flight by Royal Nepal Airlines on June 1, 1973 and it is the closest airstrip to Mount Everest. Now that's an airstrip.
Michael Jones, Richmond, Vic
WE ARE NOT OK. OK?
'Are you OK?' Ben Groundwater's friends were prompted to ask, after seeing photos of him partying in Spain. Of course he was. He was travelling. Friends, now is the time to be asking those questions. We travellers are not okay. This week marks two years since I have left Australian shores. Pre-COVID, 12 months was an eternity to spend at home. The year began with the collective hope of travel bubbles - New Zealand, Singapore and Fiji. Slowly though, our expectations have eroded, and even interstate travel has been scrubbed. Instead of passport stamps and postcards, all we have to show for 2021 is a long list of credit voucher codes. The end of lockdown and opening of borders cannot come quickly enough for us travellers. If you don't hear from us in 2022, know that we are okay, as long as we're somewhere else in the world.
Stu O'Brien, St Kilda VIC
Ben Bradley's letter (Traveller Letters, October 9) is a good reminder to us all to check the cancellation policy of any accommodation we book. I have planned a trip to Tasmania for April and May next year and booked most of our accommodation through Airbnb. However, this time I made sure that every place had a flexible cancellation policy so I could cancel without penalty a few days before our arrival. I can't believe that in the current climate hosts still have cancellation policies that only allow a free cancellation 48 hours after booking. I assume that any host who has this rule in place, given the current circumstances, is hoping to make money for nothing and deserves to have no bookings at all.
Debra Miniutti, Ashbury, NSW
I read with interest the problems that various travellers have with getting refunds from Airbnb operators. Yes, I'm sure they have lost a lot of money during the pandemic, as have many unfortunate businesses and individuals, and I hope they are able to survive. However as your reader wasn't able to get a refund, and was ostensibly a guest of the Airbnb in question, I hope he is able to write a suitable review so I am forewarned. That seems only fair.
Narelle Niven, Tumbi Umbi, NSW
For every one host like the one referred to by Ben Bradley in Traveller Letters, there are hundreds of others who have bent over backwards for their guests and will again. As an operator, I've spent dozens upon dozens of hours phoning Airbnb to ensure refunds are given to each and every guest. Have some consideration for your host as many have had no government help at all. If I stopped hosting after every bad guest I'd have left the business years ago, though fortunately the good greatly outweighs the bad. If you don't think you've more than made up for it in cost savings compared to hotels over the years at other Airbnbs then maybe you do need to go back to those expensive hotels
Kevin Cameron, Meaney's Rest, Hawker, SA
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