Through your very interesting and informative publication I would like to bring to people's attention the importance of identifying luggage when removing from the baggage carousel.
In December, I arrived back in New Zealand on a flight from Sydney and proceeded to the baggage retrieval area to await my suitcase. I have to say I was a little unsettled when I saw a suitcase of exactly the same size and colour as mine (not black but a rusty colour) but very clearly not mine, as this one was festooned with black ribbons and three padlocks, doing the circuit of the carousel. When eventually (some 45 minutes later) it was the only suitcase doing the rounds, I was resigned to the fact that my suitcase was now in the company of someone else and they had left me theirs. I approached the Air New Zealand Baggage Service desk and was told by the helpful gentleman on duty that this is a daily occurrence as unfortunately travellers are too often so distracted by their phones that they forget to check they are taking the correct luggage.
Why bother tying on ribbons, etc, if you're not going to check they are still on your bag when you collect it? My bag had no added paraphernalia other than my luggage label clearly stating my contact details. The staff member eventually managed to contact the passenger who had taken my bag, only to find she was well on her way to Hamilton. Meanwhile, I had a connection to make, although that didn't seem to worry the other passenger, who seemed concerned only about the inconvenience of having to turn around and return to the airport and how long it would take to retrieve her bag when she got back to the airport. Long after my connection had left without me and I had hastily booked a nearby hotel for the night, my bag was returned to the airport (after a second call to the passenger, as I had been waiting for a couple of hours).
This passenger obviously didn't give a jot about the inconvenience and extra costs she had caused me, even though the problem was caused wholly and solely by her lack of care and consideration.
It is really just common sense and courtesy to check your label when you remove a bag from the carousel and how hard is it? As the Air New Zealand staff member said, this happens every day, so every day passengers are being inconvenienced by other's inconsideration.
Code share should share alike
A travel bug: Our daughter booked in July a ticket on Air New Zealand from London to Auckland to arrive in December.
Because of code sharing she had to travel Singapore Airlines all the way and also because it was code share she could not reserve a seat in advance so ended up in the middle seat right at the back of the plane on an airline she didn't book even though she is Silver Star status.
Also I think if you are on a code-share flight you cannot upgrade using Air New Zealand points or the Air New Zealand lounge.
It seems wrong that you choose to book on a particular airline and end up on another that treats you as a second-class passenger.
Regards, Jane Parlane
Passport woes flabbergasting
I read with much disappointment the letter from Lesley Gardner regarding "Passport alert" [Travel, January 9].
Surely it is just so easy when you are going to the trouble of booking an overseas trip to simply go to wherever you keep your passport and check to see that you have the required amount of time remaining on it.
I am flabbergasted at the continual and often increasing "requirement" that people seem to "need" the government to run their lives for them. Looking after oneself (and that includes the checking of one's passport for goodness sake) seems in so many cases to be a thing of the past.
When on holiday you need to be self-reliant for so many things ... safety included, checking your own passport before leaving home is a good place to start.
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Winter is Coming
A new hotel in Lapland is offering the ultimate Westeros experience to Game of Thrones cultists. HBO Nordic and Lapland Hotels SnowVillage used professional ice sculptors to build the snow-and-ice inn in Kittila, 200km above the Arctic Circle. Its 24 rooms feature ice figures related to the TV show, including a recreation of Braavos' Hall of Faces and the Iron Throne, guarded by Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane. A villainous White Walker with blue lit-up eyes, is one of the stand-outs. Temperatures reach -5C inside, so guests are given high-quality thermal sleeping bags and are advised to stay only one night. The hotel will be defrosted on April 30.
It takes more than terrorism and civil unhappiness to scare travellers, if the UN World Tourism Organisation's 2017 statistics are anything to go by. France is still the world's most visited country while Spain took second position from the US. France attracted 82.6 million tourists; Spain was only a few jumbo jets behind with 82 million. Spain's numbers grew 9 per cent, its fifth record year in a row, despite the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks and demonstrations over Catalonian independence. International visitors to the US shrank 5 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 and 3 per cent in the second quarter of Donald Trump's presidency.
Congestion in the skies
The most crowded flight path on Earth, according to aviation analyst OAG, is the 450km hop from Seoul Gimpo to Jeju International with 64,991 departures between the two airports in 2017 — about 178 a day. Second is Melbourne-Sydney (54,519); third Mumbai-Delhi (47,462). The busiest international routes: Hong Kong-Taipei (29,494 departures), followed by Kuala Lumpur-Singapore (29,383). Europe's busiest service is Dublin-Heathrow.
Why we're loving Jeju Island
So, where is Jeju, and why are so many rushing to see it? The capital of South Korea's Unesco-listed Jeju Island is Instagram gold, with dramatic volcanic landscapes, underground caves, tramping trails and scenic beaches. Boring: top attractions are casinos for Chinese travellers and Jeju Love Land, a sex-themed park featuring phallus statues, interactive exhibits on the "masturbation cycle" and sculptures of humans in flagrante. Love Land apparently came about because Jeju is a popular place for honeymooners. Newlyweds would arrive knowing next to nothing about the birds and the bees so hotel employees would offer to give them a hand. Or a leg-up. Or ... (Enough. — Travel Editor)
The arrival of Panhead Quickchange in the Koru Lounge
at Auckland International Airport.
We don't like
Catching other people's germs when travelling by plane.
Especially on the departing flight, meaning you get sick while on holiday. The indignity!
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