I recently arrived home at Sydney International Airport - what a joke! It was like stepping back about 100 years after visiting a number of wonderful airports overseas. There were only two choices, at 7am, to get a bite to eat. At Gloria Jean's, a staff member refused to change $5 for a customer, telling him to go to a money changer. McDonalds is the other option and does not even sell french fries until 10.30am. I do not blame Macquarie Bank for not investing money in the airport. It is time the federal and state governments bit the bullet and built a new international airport, as the current one is an embarrassment. It is 30 years since Badgerys Creek was purchased and nothing has happened.
- Kev Cummins
BREATHS OF FRESH AIR
I recently became very ill on an AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne and needed oxygen from soon after takeoff and through the rest of the flight. The AirAsia attendants ensured I had a staff member with me at all times to replace oxygen cylinders and to ensure my condition remained stable. They also had another medical emergency, causing the flight to divert to Perth in order to evacuate a seriously ill young man. In what must have been a very stressful flight for the crew, they continued to attend to the other passengers in a courteous and good natured manner. I do not think I could have had better attention from a full-priced airline and I commend AirAsia and their obviously excellent training of their staff.
- Carol Shirley
LETTER OF THE WEEK
As a school teacher with many years' experience, I consider myself "cheated" on the deals available for other holiday makers. Almost every time I see a holiday package or deal in which I am interested, I go on further to read the fine print, and guess what? Not available in school holidays. Those in the teaching profession seek deals just like everyone else, and we often have kids of our own just like other families. It would be great if we could also snap up a deal when we're on holidays instead of paying premium rates every time. Yes, we do get more holiday breaks than other professions, but we also complete lots of work in our own time, including school holiday time. So, come on airlines and resorts, give teachers a break.
- Rosemary Young
STEPS BACK IN TIME
Memories flooded back reading Leisa Tyler's Sacred Steps (Traveller, September 21-22). We walked part of the Kumano Kodo last year and found the Kii Peninsula to be everything (and more) she claimed it to be. Walking in early September, we found it a bit too hot but the advantage was having accommodation, onsen and the path almost to ourselves. Highly recommend Oxalis Adventures (now www.okujapan.com) who provided maps, tickets and authentic accommodation - all efficiently organised online. A word of warning about the path leading to Nachi-no-taki, which was dangerously mossy and slippery after rain. I came home nursing a torn medial ligament and disappointed at not seeing the waterfall up close. Overall the trip was unforgettable for the unspoilt views, hospitality at the ryokan and the amazing food that our hosts provided.
- Lesley Heyward