Last week's Travel editorial, 'Tales from the flying vomitorium', brought forth a bagful of readers' stories of inflight tummy trouble and one handy tip.

The worst weren't fit to print, but suffice to say Robbie can consider himself unlucky to encounter extreme turbulence on the short hop from from Sydney to Canberra. And unluckier still that the cabin crew had just served the passengers crackers and a potent "Texas-style chilli" moments before the turbulence hit.

"Once the first couple of passengers vomited the small plane was filled with the less-than-delightful aroma of vomit and chilli, and freshly vomited chilli," said Robbie.

"It was not long before this smell combined with the ongoing turbulence caused most of us (including the poor cabin crew) to make use of our 'barf bags'."


At least a plane flight is relatively short. Back in the early 1970s, Steve survived a steerage class journey from Sydney to Naples on an Italian ocean liner by lying down and reading The Lord of the Rings while his cabinmates brought him bread rolls.

"As long as I didn't get up, [the bread rolls] didn't come up."

But there's hope for those offended by the stench of a neighbour's sickbag. Reader AB, whose grim story involved three hours of bumpily circling a dust storm near Melbourne, has a solid recommendation.

"My friends and I used my strawberry Chapstick, smearing it under our noses to get away from the smell. Worked like a charm, amazingly."

Slash and bubbles

The launch of Sofitel's luxury hotel on the waterfront brought one of the world's great grog traditions to these shores: opening a champagne bottle with the back of your sabre.

Napoleon's cavalry perfected the art of whipping the back of the blade along the length of the bottle, sending the cork - and the glass from the tip of the bottle - soaring through the air. It's not a million miles away from the technique your dad and uncles once displayed with a fish slice and a 750ml brown bottle of beer.

Sofitel's bar Sabrage celebrates the technique and gives you a chance to try it for yourself.

Welcome back

It's a small blip on the radar, but yesterday's reopening of the Christchurch Museum is the sort of tiny step upon which the Canterbury tourism industry will build its post-quake recovery.