A weekly ode to the joys of moaning about your holidays.


I have a simple rule: no drinking in the morning. Alongside other immovable laws for life, like thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal and thou shalt not ever sing Living On A Prayer at karaoke (a karaoke cliche, plus it's too high for approximately 99.9 per cent of all males), thou shalt not drink alcoholic beverages in the morning remains a trusty mantra. I don't even understand the idea of champagne breakfasts. Everyone pretends they're this great treat; like some sort of luxurious indulgence, and yet surely they're just a recipe for a tired, groggy day that must involve a serious percentage of naptime.

Even if it's only the one glass at a champagne breakfast, I still think, "why bother"? Most of us are trying to lose a kilo or nine so save yourself the calories. And besides, IT'S THE MORNING. Which brings me to the bugs part of this Travel Bugs column: people who insist on drinking alcohol before international flights, even when it's 8am.

Every time I'm in the airport awaiting a morning flight, I decide to get a bit nosey and judge-y and see how many fellow passengers are having bottles of beer, glasses of wine and cocktails instead of coffees, muffins and scrambled eggs. I never fail to spot at least a couple of people applying the old, "Oh well, it's 5 o'clock somewhere", line and I always want to go up to them and ask what the deal is. As in, "are you going to keep drinking the whole flight too?", or, "do you traditionally consume mojitos for breakfast?"

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It's like there's this expectation that if it's your big annual overseas holiday — your one escape from work and kids and grey, windy days — that you have to mark the occasion with a few beverages before take-off. Which is fine if it's anytime from midday. Noon is the marker and that's surely better than figuring out where in the world is currently 5pm.

Which, to the couple throwing back the wines at Auckland Airport about a month ago at 8am — yes, 8am — your "5 o'clock somewhere" destination was actually pretty cool: eastern Brazil, including Rio de Janeiro. I was kind of hoping it might be somewhere less sexy (say South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands), but alas.

Call me by some other name

I had correspondence regarding a recent column about a booking made under the name "Tim Roxborogh" instead of "Timothy Roxborogh" and how it almost stopped me getting on a flight. As I explained, there's a three-letter leeway rule and "othy" was one letter too long.

One of the emails I received was from Deidre who wrote that she doesn't go by her first name, hence the difference from the booking made for her and what's on her passport.

Deidre writes: "Never let a friend book flights for you!! This was some years ago but finally common sense prevailed as the name booked was on the passport, just not the first [name]." When Deidre was finally able to board she says there were "Bloody Marys all round when the drinks trolley turned up!" She didn't mention if it was morning or not, but it was bound to be 5 o'clock somewhere.

● In last week's Travel Bugs, I referred to "Waiting in line for 40 minutes at Customs to declare the food you're carrying is a sealed box of . . . chocolates". It is, of course, the Ministry of Primary Industries that is responsible for biosecurity, not Customs.
Tim Roxborogh hosts Newstalk ZB's Weekend Collective and blogs at RoxboroghReport.com