TOO MUCH CHOICE

Watch out reserving enterprise class flights with Qatar in the mean time. They’ve three completely different costs, typically they embrace alternative of seat, typically embrace enterprise class lounge entry, typically the fare contains neither of these items, normally a given in enterprise class fares. And in addition watch out with their supposed full refund with no charges as a result of they don’t refund the $70 cost they place on using a bank card for every ticket. We paid further for seat choice and that was solely refunded after I complained, nonetheless no Visa charges. To be honest, Singapore Airways didn’t refund their $70 bank card charge on unusable COVID tickets booked final 12 months both, however their airfare was refunded inside 48 hours. I’ve queried Qatar as to why this bank card cost was not refunded as I’m informed by my financial institution that they refund the bank card charges to Qatar if the cost shouldn’t be processed. I’ve had no response on that but so I do not suppose I will maintain my breath for $70 from both airline.

Terry Fletcher, Colac, VIC

LETTER OF THE WEEK

ALL IN THE MIND

Even simply studying the experiences of Japanese journey so evocatively described by Michelle Waterproof coat and Steve Huge in your story was enriching and calming (Traveller, April 30). Amid our busy lives, most of us are enticed by silence, easy rituals, and reference to nature. Along with dreaming of absorbing the gorgeous experiences of aware journey in Japan, the bonus lesson right here is in looking for to seize the Japanese philosophy of “ma” in our on a regular basis lives. That’s to reside with simplicity and in concord with our pure world.

Amy Hiller, Kew, VIC

MONUMENTAL AS ANYTHING

Sicily, a spot of monuments and mosaics, (Traveller, April 21), a spot the place over the centuries civilisations have collided and settled, a spot of the Mafia and Montalbano and now a vacation spot for African refugees. A spot to drink Marsala in its namesake metropolis, or to have a glass of nero d’avola with dinner earlier than watching a puppet present telling of a legendary battle between a Crusader knight and an infidel (in all probability not politically right these days). Nowhere else in Europe has a historical past like this Mediterranean crossroads island.

Lee Palmer, Albert Park, VIC

STATES OF FRUSTRATION

My spouse and I took a two-week Intrepid Journey tour of Iran in 2011 so now we should get a particular visa to go to the US (Traveller Letters, April 30). We had deliberate to satisfy pals in Hawaii in September. We accomplished the tortuous paperwork, paid $448 after which utilized for an interview spot to get our visas. None have been obtainable. The entire thing appears ridiculous, particularly since we visited New York two years after our journey to Iran on an ESTA visa-waiver and airfares have been purchased. Since then the Trump administration modified the foundations.

Russell & Mitty O’Shea, Brucknell, VIC

EDITOR’S NOTE: These guidelines have been really launched by US Congress in the course of the Obama administration.

Additional to Ben Adamson’s letter relating to prolonged wait occasions for US visa interviews in Melbourne, a number of years in the past I used to be additionally confronted with impossibly lengthy wait occasions for a US visa and interview. Nevertheless, I recommend that Ben do as I did and regularly test on-line for the following obtainable interview time on the US Consulate in Melbourne. I discovered that there have been many cancellations and the prolonged wait time may very well be circumvented comparatively simply

Garry Meller, Bentleigh, VIC

ELEVENTH HEAVEN

I first visited Sri Lanka in 2007 on the peak of the civil warfare, not lengthy after the 2004 tsunami. I’ve since returned 10 occasions, together with in the course of the 2019 Easter bombings. Like Deb Riedel (Traveller Letters, April 30), I’ve all the time discovered the individuals pleasant and welcoming. It is a lovely tropical island with a lot to see, and such nice meals. I elaborated on this in my e-book Solely In Sri Lanka, revealed in 2015. The present financial disaster will go and will not deter me from my 11th go to this 12 months.

Gloria Meltzer, Chewton, VIC

GIVE ME A (COFFEE) BREAK

In the course of the course of my day as a Sydney tram driver, getting a fast espresso between runs at Central Station was a welcome break. I used to be horrified to find that now there are not any cafes open within the Central concourse. The Switchman kiosk, and the 2 bigger cafes, at the moment are additionally closed. What kind of look is it for our worldwide guests, commuters (and, for that matter, tram drivers) to have a concourse devoid of cafes? Many closed due to COVID however is there somebody on the market who may revive a minimum of considered one of these Central establishments? Certainly a good cafe needs to be a part of the panorama of any busy Central Station.

Margot Pope, Lewisham, NSW

EDITOR’S NOTE A spokesman for Transport for NSW tells Traveller that a number of retailers at Central, together with these on the concourse stage the place regional and interstate trains depart, have certainly been closed or “solely partially operational since COVID lockdowns”. This has been resulting from diminished public transport patronage.

NO CALL CENTRE

I am scripting this as a warning to anybody who plans to e-book a flight on-line with Flight Centre. Go right into a retailer as a substitute. All we’re making an attempt to do is redeem credit to go to Western Australia. The common time on maintain is one hour. After 5 makes an attempt, here’s a abstract: somebody solutions, appears up our particulars, says they should test with a supervisor or the airline, takes my cell quantity and says they’ll name again. That hasn’t occurred and I am not foolish sufficient to anticipate it. A few occasions the decision has dropped out. I’ve known as a number of occasions throughout their regular working hours solely to get a message that claims the workplace is closed and can re-open at “7 am tomorrow”. Ours is barely interstate journey. I really feel horrible for individuals who are attempting to make use of credit for abroad bookings or have misplaced cash fully. Who’s utilizing this cash? In every other business would not somebody be sacked for poor service and holding on to cash that is not theirs?

Cheryl Luther, Baulkham Hills, NSW

BE PREPARED

I’m not certain what number of occasions Kevin Hunt (Traveller Letters, April 30) has travelled however after we do any travelling as of late (and never a lot airplane travelling within the final two years), we gown and carry solely what we have to, as we all know what it’s wish to undergo safety on the airport. Most individuals journey in informal garments as of late, so no belts should be used and informal footwear could be worn and simply put all these extras (watches, telephones and free change) in a purse, manbag, or small carry-on. I might have thought that most individuals know that one doesn’t take an aerosol on a airplane. This could all be completed earlier than even going by customs. That saves time on the safety checkpoint and does not maintain different travellers up.

Lynn Bock, Carlingford, NSW

Kevin Hunt, nice concept for explanatory indicators at screening factors which may very well be additional simplified if all the most important airports in Australia had the identical screening guidelines.

Jeremy West, Woollahra, NSW

READER TIP OF THE WEEK

STICKER SHOCK

Sure, many vacationers get caught for not having a road-usage sticker for Austria (Traveller Letters, April 30). You want it if you wish to drive on the Autobahn motorways. They’re available at any gasoline station, tobacconist and motorway restaurant nicely earlier than you cross the border from any neighbouring nation. The necessity for this sticker, known as “Autobahn vignette” (asfinag.at) was nicely and clearly marketed alongside the way in which, as is the necessity for headlights on in the course of the day. For Austria, it’s potential to get a “digital vignette” on-line. The system will register the licence plates and work as quickly as it’s downloaded and paid for. Nice to be used on rental vehicles. By the way, Austria shouldn’t be the one nation requiring a toll sticker as Switzerland and Slovenia additionally make vacationers pay up, although Austria appears to be the most cost effective. And do not forget that many scenic roads and motorway tunnels price further however, once more, this will probably be clearly signposted.

Gerhard Engleitner, Hurstvile, NSW

APPY DAYS

A UK good friend launched me to Revolut (revolut.com), a banking service app, which we lately used broadly in France. If you register you’re allotted an Australian account with BSB and account quantity. Switch Australian {dollars} into that account then use your telephone to pay at any credit score terminal that permits faucet and pay. Financial institution transfers take round 30-minutes to reach in your Revolut account. We used it broadly in France and solely a few occasions the place the seller’s terminal could not settle for faucet and pay and we reverted to inserting a bank card. It’s nice for French motorways and any buy. Plus you get an immediate message confirming the quantity paid within the forex of the nation you are in and an up to date steadiness. You should utilize Revolut in most nations.

Greg Twemlow, Manly, NSW

ALL IN THE TIMING

The current feedback regarding renewing an Australian Passport appear to point a lack of know-how when the renewal must happen. If a passport was issued on or after January 1, 2006, as an illustration, it may possibly usually be renewed at any time on-line after it expires. If you’re not travelling within the foreseeable future there isn’t a want to begin the renewal course of till the really useful lead time. The current really useful lead time by the Passport Workplace is six weeks.

Paul Foley, Caringbah South, NSW

WIN A SET OF THREE HARDIE GRANT TRAVEL BOOKS

The Letter of the Week author wins Hardie Grant journey books price greater than $100, together with Mindfulness Journey Japan by Steve Huge and Michelle Waterproof coat; Paon, Actual Balinese Cooking, by Tjok Maya Kerthyasa and I Wayan Kresna; and Plume by Tania McCartney.

See hardiegrant.com

SHARE YOUR TIPS AND WIN THREE LONELY PLANET TRAVEL BOOKS WORTH $100

The Tip of the Week author wins a set of three nice Lonely Planet journey books, together with Australia’s Finest Journeys, Finest Day Walks Australia and Connoisseur Trails Australia and NZ.

See shop.lonelyplanet.com

HOW TO WRITE TO US

We give desire to letters of 100 phrases or fewer and so they could also be edited for area, authorized or different causes. Please use full sentences, do not use textspeak and do not embrace attachments. E-mail us at travellerletters@traveller.com.au and, importantly, embrace your title, deal with and telephone quantity.





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