I know this looks like a first-world gripe, but why do airlines feel the need to include advertising during the in-flight entertainment? On a long haul, such as Melbourne to Paris, if you decide to binge watch a TV series, you will see the same ads over and over.
I'm sure the airline is happy to have the extra income but it seems overkill to include the ads before each episode of a series. Sure, once at the beginning of a flight, but after that seems excessive. Perhaps it's different at the pointy end of the plane. I wouldn't like to think that a business class fare prevents the intrusion.
Michael Nicholls, Ascot Vale, VIC
LETTER OF THE WEEK: BITTER EXPERIENCE
As an Australian traveller who is an absolute Italophile, I cannot even begin to think rationally about Aperol spritz (Traveller, October 19). So many times in Italy, in town and country, I have been assessed for what I am: a bumbling Aussie wanderer, without any knowledge of the niceties of local bar service and when ordering my favourite midday refresher, I order a Campari spritz, only to be short changed with an Aperol spritz. Instant tantrum follows. I prefer the Campari colour, the bitter taste, even the beautiful bottle. Too many times on "the boot" attempts have been made to dupe me with the much less expensive, petrol-coloured alternative, so I ask your readers to be as vigilant as I am now. One day I may try an Aperol but not this year or next.
Dominic Maunsell, Paddington, NSW
HUNGRY FOR BUDAPEST
"Bridging the Gap" (Traveller, November 2) warmed my heart immeasurably as my son and I spent six days in Budapest in 2015. In 1956 his father escaped during the revolution. Consequently, Budapest was not only wonderful but of great significance to us. My best memory: wandering with my son about 5.30am with the sun just washing over the silent streets, looking up and revelling in the changing colours of the ornate walls. Three lads rolling home from a good night out seemed right in place. I often extol the beauties of Budapest. Now I've learnt that Hungary has such an interest in Australia. That makes it even more special.
Judy Hardy-Holden, Doonan, QLD
I have just returned from an overseas trip to the UK and Italy. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed my travels in both countries, I was astounded by the cost of regional trains and bus and tube transport in the UK. Train tickets from London (St Euston) to the Lakes District return, plus a one-way trip from St Pancras to Gatwick airport, cost me $A500.
My tickets were purchased six weeks in advance and were second class non-reserved and off-peak – and this is supposed to be the cheapest option. Unsurprisingly, the UK train system is privatised, no doubt this accounts for these exorbitant prices. My single ticket to Windermere cost about $A200; by comparison, I can travel from Sydney's Central Station to Bomaderry on NSW's South Coast (a three hour journey, as is Windermere from London) for $2.50 on my senior's Opal Card.
Susan Lenne, Clovelly, NSW
Warwick McKenzie claims there are "real" aboriginals who had no concern about him climbing the rock (Traveller letters, November 2). Was age his only evidence of "realness"? I wonder why he ignored the polite and respectful signs requesting visitors to Uluru not climb it? I flew around the rock in a spectacular helicopter ride, walked the base of the rock in a peaceful and fascinating tour and traversed the Kata Tjuta Valley of the Winds. None of these moving and wonderful experiences were against the wishes of the "real" owners of the land on which I was a respectful guest.
Anni Browning, Clovelly, NSW
I was not aware, until I read the letter "View from the top" by Warwick McKenzie that only some Aboriginal people were actually "real". I can only assume the others must be "pretend" with a "real Aboriginal" being an Aboriginal person who agrees with his view regarding the climbing Uluru.
Kaylene Henry, Lennox Head, NSW
EDITOR'S NOTE Not unlike the climb itself, correspondence on this subject is now closed, with both sides of the argument having expressed their viewpoints.
In your article on hybrid-powered cruising (Traveller, October 19), Damian Perry, the Asia-Pacific managing director of cruise line company Hurtigruten said "the technology to run a battery-powered ship didn't exist 12 months ago". This is not correct. The world's first fully electric ferry, the MS Ampere began commercial operation in May 2015. It makes 34 trips per day across Sognefjord between Lavik and Oppedal in Norway, and can carry 360 passengers and 120 cars.
It has decreased emissions by 95 per cent and operating costs by 80 per cent. It has been so successful that Norway wants its entire ferry fleet to be all-electric by 2023 and the Norwegian Parliament has mandated that from 2026 only fully electric, zero-emission ships will be able to enter Norway's world heritage fiords.
Then in August this year, the world's largest all-electric ferry "Ellen" made its maiden voyage between the island ports of Fynshav and Søby in southern Denmark. Electric ferries are also planned for New York and Canada next year. If only Australia was planning to dump its diesel ferries, too.
Brendan Jones, Annandale, NSW
I was concerned after reading a letter two months ago referring to the surly manner of the crew on Air Canada. Last week we returned from Vancouver on Air Canada and I would like to confirm that nothing has changed. During the flight I ventured to seek some assistance and found the entire crew sitting in the galley engaged in deep conversation. I'm afraid my intrusion was not appreciated. Our first and last flight with Air Canada.
Judith Deitz, Bowral, NSW
When we read some of the Traveller letters concerning bad service on Air Canada we thought "what have we done" as we'd already booked our flights with the airline. However, we travelled from Brisbane to Vancouver in late July and back in August on Air Canada and it was great. It was a full flight both ways and really the crew couldn't have been nicer. We are ordinary travellers and don't expect the world, but it was excellent as far as our needs were concerned.
Jim Marchant, Goonellabah, NSW
EDITOR'S NOTE The great Air Canada debate has well and truly run its course and we hereby declare it also closed.
I do so agree with Jill Dupleix in the views expressed in her art of the souvenir article. Having previously come home with so many souvenirs from the 56 countries I have visited, I now only buy a fridge magnet of their flag, and if I can find it, a bear dressed in national costume. It's not always possible, and I have some camels, deers, etc. in my collection. but gives me a purpose in souvenir shops, and I love my fridge and bear memories.
Judie Pedersen, Kelso, NSW
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