Travel Trouble

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Family’s shock over $27,500 hospital bill

<p>A South Korean family holidaying in the United States were shocked to receive a bill for over US$18,000 (NZD$27,500) after they took their baby son to the hospital.</p> <p>Jang Yeo-im was visiting San Francisco with her family in 2016 when her eight-month-old baby Park Jeong-whan fell off the bed and hit his head in their hotel room.</p> <p>The distressed family called an ambulance which took the family to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="https://www.vox.com/2018/6/28/17506232/emergency-room-bill-fees-health-insurance-baby">Vox</a></strong></em></span> reports.</p> <p>To their great relief, the doctors said Park was fine, and after a quick nap and some formula he was discharged just three hours and 22 minutes later.</p> <p>The family soon forgot about the incident and continued enjoying their holiday.</p> <p>However, two years later they received a bill for US$18,836, including a hefty $US15,666 fee for “trauma activation”.</p> <p>The “trauma activation” fee is applied when hospitals gather a team of medical professionals to meet patients with potentially serious injuries in the emergency room. However, the fee application varies across different hospital in the US.</p> <p>“It’s a huge amount of money for my family,” Jang told Kaiser Health News. “If my baby got special treatment, OK. That would be OK. But he didn’t. So why should I have to pay the bill? They did nothing for my son.”</p> <p>Unfortunately, while the family did have travel insurance, it would only cover $5000 of the bill — leaving them facing huge financial strain.</p> <p>A spokesman for the San Francisco hospital told Vox that while Park didn’t require extensive treatment, being trauma-ready is expensive; hence the sky-high bill.</p> <p>“We are the trauma centre for a very large, very densely populated area,” the spokesman said. “We deal with so many traumas in this city — car accidents, mass shootings, multiple vehicle collisions. It’s expensive to prepare for that.”</p>

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Couple on first overseas holiday together forced to fly home after just 30 minutes

<p><span>A couple, who were about to enjoy their first holiday together, were forced to fly home after just 30 minutes because their passports were lost on the plane.</span></p> <p><span>Lewis Munday and Kimberley Floyd, both 27, travelled to Greece from the UK excited for their $2500 getaway.</span></p> <p><span>During the flight, the pair tucked their passports into the magazine pockets of their seats as they watched a movie to pass time on the four-hour flight.</span></p> <p><span>However, when the couple stepped off the plane on the Greek Island of Kos, they realised they had forgotten the important documents in their seats.</span></p> <p><span>A member of the cabin crew then searched the plane, but their passports could not be found.</span></p> <p><span>The disappointed couple were then told they weren’t allowed to enter the country – and within half an hour were sent on a return flight to the UK.</span></p> <p><span>Lewis said: “We were supposed to be sunning it up in Greece but instead ended up at Stansted (Airport).</span></p> <p><span>“There’s no sign of our passports and we’ve had no help, no compensation, nothing. We’ve done everything we could, but no one seems to care.</span></p> <p><span>“It was a nightmare, the biggest you could imagine.”</span></p> <p><span>The couple were moments away from enjoying a week-long holiday to the five-star Atki Hotel, flying with TUI and booked through travel operator First Choice.</span></p> <p><span>Kimberley said: “I realised as soon as we got off the plane, it could only have been two minutes tops."</span></p> <p><span>“They told us we couldn’t get back on the plane and the made us wait by the door to the airport while someone went to look but they said there was nothing there.</span></p> <p><span>“We were waiting for about 30 minutes for a flight back, we had to wait by the door. They tried to move us somewhere else, but I refused.</span></p> <p><span>“There were people watching us like we were criminals.”</span></p> <p><span>The pair have contacted First Choice and TUI but have been unable to locate their passports or receive any compensation.</span></p> <p><span>A TUI UK spokesperson said: “We’re sorry to hear of Mr Mundy and Ms Floyd’s very rare experience on their flight to Greece."</span></p> <p><span>“As a result of not having their passports they were not allowed into the country and were flown back to the UK.</span></p> <p><span>“After searching the aircraft thoroughly, we can confirm their passports were not found.</span></p> <p><span>“We would like to remind customers, as we generally do before they leave the aircraft, to ensure they have all their personal possessions with them and to take responsibility of their personal items at all times.”</span></p> <p><span>What is your worst travel story? Let us know in the comments below. </span></p>

Travel Trouble

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Couple on first overseas holiday together for

<p>A couple, who were about to enjoy their first holiday together, were forced to fly home after just 30 minutes because their passports were lost on the plane.</p> <p>Lewis Munday and Kimberley Floyd, both 27, travelled to Greece from the UK excited for their $2500 getaway.</p> <p>During the flight, the pair tucked their passports into the magazine pockets of their seats as they watched a movie to pass time on the four-hour flight.</p> <p>However, when the couple stepped off the plane on the Greek Island of Kos, they realised they had forgotten the important documents in their seats.</p> <p>A member of the cabin crew then searched the plane, but their passports could not be found.</p> <p>The disappointed couple were then told they weren’t allowed to enter the country – and within half an hour were sent on a return flight to the UK.</p> <p>Lewis said: “We were supposed to be sunning it up in Greece but instead ended up at Stansted (Airport).</p> <p>“There’s no sign of our passports and we’ve had no help, no compensation, nothing. We’ve done everything we could, but no one seems to care.</p> <p>“It was a nightmare, the biggest you could imagine.”</p> <p>The couple were moments away from enjoying a week-long holiday to the five-star Atki Hotel, flying with TUI and booked through travel operator First Choice.</p> <p>Kimberley said: “I realised as soon as we got off the plane, it could only have been two minutes tops."</p> <p>“They told us we couldn’t get back on the plane and the made us wait by the door to the airport while someone went to look but they said there was nothing there.</p> <p>“We were waiting for about 30 minutes for a flight back, we had to wait by the door. They tried to move us somewhere else, but I refused.</p> <p>“There were people watching us like we were criminals.”</p> <p>The pair have contacted First Choice and TUI but have been unable to locate their passports or receive any compensation.</p> <p>A TUI UK spokesperson said: “We’re sorry to hear of Mr Mundy and Ms Floyd’s very rare experience on their flight to Greece."</p> <p>“As a result of not having their passports they were not allowed into the country and were flown back to the UK.</p> <p>“After searching the aircraft thoroughly, we can confirm their passports were not found.</p> <p>“We would like to remind customers, as we generally do before they leave the aircraft, to ensure they have all their personal possessions with them and to take responsibility of their personal items at all times.”</p> <p>What is your worst travel story? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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Travellers reveal the strangest things they've ever seen on a cruise

<p>Travellers have revealed the most bizarre things they’ve ever seen on a cruise on a popular internet forum.</p> <p>From stumbling upon inappropriately dressed passengers to family who wore their life jackets for the entire trip, commentators on Cruise Critic’s forum didn’t fail to deliver when answering: “What's the strangest thing you've ever seen on a cruise?”</p> <p>1. “Maybe not so strange but we were a little surprised one morning when a family came to breakfast in their PJs. Didn't bother us, after all, it's their vacation and we thought it was kinda cute.”</p> <p>2. “I ended up on a cruise with a group of Goths on a convention. They came fully equipped with their own Evil faery (the DJ). Some (heck most) of the costumes were very different. There was one guy with his teeth filed down, wore dragon wings, and contacts in the shape of snake eyes. One good thing, we never had a problem getting a chair in the sun by the pool. They had a couple of events that were open to everyone. It was my sister's first and last cruise. I guess it was too much for her!”</p> <p>3. “Getting off the ship in Tobago, observed a man leaving proudly wearing his tighty whiteys and nothing else.”</p> <p>4. “I was on my balcony watching some dolphins. I noticed my neighbour, who was also our dinner tablemate, was also leaning on the rail watching the dolphins. I started to say hello then realised that he wasn't wearing anything. I was much more embarrassed than he was. At dinner, his wife said that she told him not to go out on the balcony undressed.”</p> <p>5. “I stuffed my pair of jeans with towels, shoved them under the bed and put my shoes at the bottom, to make it look like a person was under there. Our cabin steward, his assistant, and their manager were the best we’ve ever had. It did scare them, at first, what I left them but we all got a great laugh out of it.”</p> <p>6. “A crew member was cleaning the drink station in one of the buffet dining rooms late in the evening (around 10pm). He did this by standing on top of the counter and using his shoe and a rag to wipe the counter. I definitely reported that to corporate.”</p> <p>7. “I saw a dad dipping his diaper clad kiddo in and out of the hot tub like a tea bag.”</p> <p>8. “'We saw a group of four who wore their life jackets everywhere. This went on for at least several days, possibly the entire cruise. We wondered if they slept in them as well.”</p> <p>9. “Our two-year-old granddaughters were walking around the stores in their PJs just before bed. A woman, who was slightly drunk, says, ‘I thought I was seeing double when one twin ran through another!’ We still laugh over that one.”</p> <p>What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen on a cruise? Share your experience with us in the comments below. </p> <p><strong>Related links: </strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="/travel/cruising/2016/06/how-i-discovered-the-10-rules-of-cruising/"><em>How I discovered the 10 rules of cruising</em></a></strong></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="/travel/cruising/2016/06/just-how-much-does-each-day-on-a-cruise-cost/"><em>Just how much does each day on a cruise cost</em></a></strong></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="/travel/cruising/2016/06/things-not-to-pack-on-a-cruise/"><em>5 things NOT to pack on a cruise</em></a></strong></span></p>

Travel Trouble

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7 things making you sick on your cruise

<p>Watch out for these common dangers.</p> <p><strong>1. Other passengers</strong></p> <p>The problem with being surrounded by (potentially) thousands of other people is that they bring with them plenty of germs. Respiratory illnesses or stomach bugs can quickly spread throughout the ship, so you’ll need to take extra precautions.</p> <p><strong>2. Food</strong></p> <p>Buffets are notorious sites for food poisoning, so you’ll want to choose your meals carefully. Avoid uncooked things like salads or fruit (if you really want these, go to the a la carte restaurants instead) and stay away from rare meats. You should also use common sense and skip anything that looks less than fresh or that has been touched by other passengers.</p> <p><strong>3. Dehydration</strong></p> <p>It’s amazing how much of an impact water has on your body. Away from our normal routine we tend to consume less than we should. Add to that excess alcohol, sunshine and rich foods, and you’re headed for disaster. Try to drink at least two litres a day.</p> <p><strong>4. Poor hygiene</strong></p> <p>The bugs are out there, so you need to do everything you can to protect yourself. Wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water, use hand sanitiser when necessary and practice good food hygiene. If you do get sick, do the right thing and quarantine yourself in your cabin until you recover.</p> <p><strong>5. Overindulgence</strong></p> <p>When you’re on a cruise, endless food and drink are available 24 hours a day. One day you’re eating Cornflakes for breakfast, the next it’s a full fry up every day – followed by half a dozen creamy cocktails. Your body isn't going to react well to a change like this, so remember to eat a vegetable every now and then.</p> <p><strong>6. Stress</strong></p> <p>What could be stressful about a cruise? The problem here starts before you board. Very often, you will have been very stressed before sailing day trying to organise last minute details, finalise any work commitments and get your group to the dock on time. Remember to relax, get as much sleep as you can before departure and arrive in tip top shape.</p> <p><strong>7. The ocean</strong></p> <p>Seasickness can bring you to your knees and make for a really miserable cruise. If it's your first time, there’s no real way to tell if you will be susceptible but you can prepare. Look into over the counter medications or gadgets like seasickness bands. Keep an eye on the horizon, take it easy on the booze and try to get your sea legs in the early days.</p>

Travel Trouble

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Family kicked off flight for having "noisy" children

<p>A family has been kicked off a flight in the US for having “rowdy” children. Craig Schilling and his wife, Erin Gatling, took to Facebook Live to share their thoughts on the incident in a video that’s gone on to rack up over 40,000 views around the world.</p> <p>The pair, who live in Los Angeles, were informed by Southwest Airlines that they could not continue on their route home from a family vacation because their children, three-year-old Gunner and 16-month-old Paige, were being too “rowdy”.</p> <p>Schilling explained that a dozen police officers were brought onto the flight along with a crime dog, simply because his children were being too “noisy” on the flight.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FKCschilling%2Fvideos%2F10101088807483004%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=267" width="267" height="476" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>“They did not cry or scream at all during the flight,” Gatling wrote in an Oct. 9 Facebook post.</p> <p>“My biggest frustration is that no one will tell me what ‘being a disturbance’ means. The only further explanation was ‘running up and down the isle and jumping on tray tables.’ First, we never opened our tray table so jumping on them didn’t occur (though I will admit my oldest has tried to stand on them on previous flights, just not this flight) and we were in the isle only one time.”</p> <p>Gatling also thinks the fact she let Paige walk solo in the aisle was problematic.</p> <p>Per her Facebook post, “I got up to take my oldest to the restroom. We sat 3-5 rows from the rear, as always. We walked out of the restroom my husband let my 16 mo old walk to me. Is a baby walking 3-5 isles by herself to her mom not ok????”</p> <p>But it doesn’t end there. Shilling contends a flight attendant stepped on his wife’s foot, causing her to “cry in pain”.</p> <p>Gatling explains, “I went to grab (my daughter) and an attendant stepped between me and her, literally stepping on my foot. I said ‘excuse me ma’am, you just stepped on my foot’ and then shrugged it off as I reached around the attendant and picked her up and went to our seats. We never got up again. What the heck is happening?”</p> <p>When Schilling was accused of “bumping” someone with a stroller that was the final straw and the family which led to his arrest and the family being booted from the flight.</p> <p>However, he wrote in a comment, “I never bumped anyone with our stroller. I didn’t get out of my seat the whole flight or order any refreshments. The kids were better behaved then usual and nobody from the airline talked to me about anything during the flight.”</p> <p>Schilling reportedly has a court case in November.</p> <p>Southwest Airlines responded to the incident with the following statement:</p> <p>“In addition to providing legendary customer service to each customer onboard, our flight attendants are responsible for enforcing regulations as well as our policies to ensure the safety of those traveling with us. Our reports indicate customers traveling onboard flight 102 were not following inflight instructions.</p> <p>"A Southwest supervisor met the customers upon arrival at their connecting city, Chicago, to discuss the events that occurred onboard. The customers were unwilling to be approached by our employees in the airport and when the situation escalated, local authorities became involved.”</p> <p>The statement continues: “We made the decision to issue a refund to the customers based on the reaction to our attempts to discuss safe travel to their final destination. The safety and wellbeing of our customers and employees is of the utmost importance to all of us at Southwest Airlines, and we are disheartened by the way this situation unfolded.”</p> <p>What are your thoughts? Do you think this is an overreaction from Southwest Airlines? Or are Schilling and Gatling only giving a pretty skewed version of the story?</p> <p><em><strong>Have you arranged your travel insurance yet? Save money with Over60 Travel Insurance. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://elevate.agatravelinsurance.com.au/oversixty?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=content&amp;utm_content=link1&amp;utm_campaign=travel-insurance" target="_blank">To arrange a quote, click here.</a></span> Or for more information, call 1800 622 966.</strong></em></p>

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Airline refuses to refund dad with cancer for cancelled flight

<p>After being diagnosed with rectal cancer in December 2015, Manchester man John Bigland desperately wanted to spend this Christmas with his three-year-old son, Sonny, in Dublin, Ireland.</p> <p>To do so, he booked three flights – one to Dublin, so he could spend three days with Sonny and his ex-partner Amy, then fly back on December 27. Next, he would fly to Ireland on January 2 to fetch Sonny and bring him to Manchester to spend time with his grandparents. After three days there, John would then escort his son back to Dublin on January 6 and take a flight home the next day.</p> <p>A few weeks after booking the flights, John was called in for emergency surgery on December 18 to remove a build-up of tissue in his pelvis caused by radiation burns to his bowels. The recovery period meant his Christmas plans were ruined.</p> <p>In mid-January, he applied for a refund, sending airline Ryanair a letter from his surgeon explaining he had been discharged from hospital on Christmas Eve, including a photo of his scar as proof he was unfit to fly.</p> <p>Ryanair reimbursed John for the first set of flights (December 27) and the last set of flights (January 6) but refused a $113 refund for the middle flights (January 2).</p> <p>“I can’t fathom why they rejected one of the refunds,” he told <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5437746/ryanair-refused-to-refund-cancer-suffering-dads-flight-to-see-his-son-three-after-important-surgery-over-christmas/" target="_blank"><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Sun</span></strong></em></a>. “The evidence I gave them for all three was the same and it’s frustrating because you can’t even talk to a human.</p> <p>“It’s not even the amount. I know that £65 ($113) is not a lot to most people but that’s not the point. I was only going to use it to book another flight.”</p> <p>In an email to the airline, titled “Third attempt at a refund” and dated January 25, John wrote, “I am still recovering from 7 hours of surgery. This matter is causing me a great deal of stress, not to mention loss of money, which I haven’t got due to being on disability living allowance.”</p> <p>Ryanair's response? “Whilst I sympathise with your view, I regret that our position as set out in the letter dated 17/12/17 remains unaltered.”</p> <p>Ryanair said any requests for refunds must be accompanied by “appropriate medical documentation,” but that in John’s case, it was “provided for two different claims ... but not the third.”</p> <p>Tell us in the comments below, have you ever had difficulty getting a refund from an airline? Do you think John is right to be upset at Ryanair’s response?</p> <p><em>Image: The Sun.</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-insurance/?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=travel-insurance&amp;utm_medium=in-article-banner&amp;utm_content=travel-insurance" target="_blank"><img src="http://media.oversixty.com.au/images/banners/Travel-Insurance_Website_GIF_468x602.gif" alt="Over60 Travel Insurance"/></a></p>

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“Horrific” $10 eggs on toast airport breakfast slammed

<p>An Aussie traveller’s post has gone viral after he shared a photo of an airport breakfast he purchased in England.</p> <p>Reddit user M1BG shared a picture of the $10.21 (£5.70) “eggs on toast” that he bought from fast-food outlet Friska at Luton Airport in England.</p> <p>Instead of a delicious breakfast, the traveller received three watery eggs and two triangles of warm bread in a cardboard box.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="499" height="710" src="/media/7819423/1_499x710.jpg" alt="1 (162)"/></p> <p>“Tbh I was hoping a little more effort would have gone into my £5.70 eggs on toast breakfast from Friska at Luton Airport,” he wrote.</p> <p>The appalling breakfast immediately started to gain attention on the internet, and one user jokingly dubbed the meal “eggs near toast”.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="500" height="378" src="/media/7819424/2_500x378.jpg" alt="2 (97)"/></p> <p>The traveller claimed the word ‘toast’ did not come close to describing what he received in the cardboard box, and said it was nothing more than “dried bread”.</p> <p>Some users also claimed that the traveller’s first mistake was going “anywhere near Luton” in the first place.</p> <p>“I live here, not at all worth it,” wrote one Reddit user.</p> <p>Another user agreed: “Having expectations in Luton will only lead to disappointment.”</p> <p>However, most people were outraged at the expensive price of the lacklustre meal.</p> <p>One person empathised that the traveller had wasted $10. </p> <p>Despite calling out the fast-food outlet for the disappointing meal, the traveller never revealed if he still ate and finished his breakfast.</p> <p>Friska co-founder, Griff Holland, told <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/6620064/bloke-shares-photo-of-his-appalling-5-70-luton-airport-breakfast-and-everyone-is-fuming/" target="_blank"><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Sun Online</span></strong></em></a>: “I can totally understand why the person who posted the picture felt disappointed by the presentation of the poached eggs on toast they were served this morning.”</p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p>Griff continued, “They didn’t look as they should’ve done and I am working with the franchise operator to make sure that the presentation of all our dishes is always up to scratch.</p> <p>“Mistakes sometimes happen when you are serving over 7,000 people per week and we’d love to invite the customer back for a breakfast on us to win back their trust in what we do and how we do it.”</p> <p>How would you react if you were served this breakfast? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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What to do when airline apps let you down

<p>How the mighty had fallen: One night I was stretching out across a super-king bed 12 stories up the Intercontinental Ljubljana and the next I was being instructed to wander around the central city in a snowstorm at midnight and take shelter wherever a host would have me – hotel, hostel, under a bridge.</p> <p>All it took was a little bit of harsh weather back in London to set off a disruptive chain of events to ruin a weekend - totally beyond the airline's control of course, it said ... But it was the elements within the airline's control: a glitchy airline app, an understaffed call centre and an over-reliance on agency staff which really riled our fellow passengers.</p> <p>"Your attention please, the Easyjet flight 8-2-4-4 to London Gatwick has been cancelled, please make your way back to the check-in desks for further assistance," muttered the algorithm.</p> <p>We were primed for this confirmation as some aviation geeks had been tracking our inbound flight from the UK to Slovenia and noticed that it was still parked up in London about 10 minutes before it was due to arrive in the former Yugoslav state.</p> <p>Back through security and border control we trudged, goodbye to any hope of returning home to our beds that night. I immediately got on the phone to the airline call centre, while also queuing up to speak to some agency staff. The Easyjet app remained largely useless and had yet to tell us the flight status was cancelled. I grew tired of the call centre wait music (Imagine Dragons, <em>Whatever It Takes </em>– ironic given the airline was pretty keen to shirk its duty of care).</p> <p>We made it to the front of the queue only to be handed an A4 sheet outlining our rights under EU law (which are fairly generous) yet the agency staff were powerless to actually help us achieve them.</p> <p>"Can you book us onto new flights," I asked.</p> <p>"No, sir. Use the app," I was told.</p> <p>"Can you give us the hotel voucher?"</p> <p>The response: "No, sir. Use the app".</p> <p>I said through gritted teeth: "The app isn't working."</p> <p>Nothing.</p> <p>I asked why everybody was queuing for customer service staff who offered no customer service.</p> <p>A shrug. "I don't really know, sir".</p> <p>I get it. Bad weather sucks. Many companies use websites, apps and outsourcing to save money – these cost-cuts give us lower airfares. But I can't help but think they missed a trick in not empowering agency staff to do more with stranded customers than hand out paper.</p> <p>In stressful travel situations it helps to have staff guide you through a process. Instead I had a bright orange app now offering replacement flights three days later and still no hotel voucher.</p> <p>Easyjet, for what it's worth, this week told me third-party agency staff "absolutely can and do help passengers to rebook although I'm sorry if that doesn't tally with your experience".</p> <p>As was my right under EU law, I took matters into my own hands and booked new flights from nearby Trieste airport, transfers to get there and a crummy hotel room where we could grab a grand total of three hours sleep and a lukewarm breakfast.</p> <p>More than seven weeks later I await Easyjet to reimburse me as promised although its scripted reply reiterates that it "understands how delays and cancellations can be frustrating". </p> <p>The airline said: "Should customers incur any reasonable expenses Easyjet will reimburse them fully ... We have a team of 150 people managing customer claims and Typically we process claims within between five and 15 days. We also have plans to further improve this payment processing time."</p> <p>Plans that can't come soon enough.</p> <p>Have you ever used an airline app?</p> <p><em>Written by Josh Martin. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

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Why travellers love to hate hotels

<p>I love hotels. Most of the time. It should be very obvious why you pay more than a rental apartment or roadside motel: think plush pillows, great service, spotless bathrooms and a bed more luxurious than your own. But it's not always like that, is it?</p> <p>Thankfully in the last decade, the consumer has regained some power in this transactional relationship: yes, the online review that is TripAdvisor (and its rival sites). Isn't it great to have somewhere to vent and hopefully lead to an improvement in service.</p> <p>Although recently, we've heard the industry say <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/news/97355307/got-a-complaint-about-the-travel-industry-its-got-a-complaint-about-you-too" target="_blank">they've had just about enough of our collective moaning</a></strong></span>, I say rant loud and proud.</p> <p><strong>Hidden fees and extras</strong></p> <p>I've had to shell out extra for everything from a daily electricity charge in France to a dental kit in a four-star hotel in England. Backpackers on the Banana Pancake trail will be well aware of Southeast Asia's love of charging for rooms with air conditioning.</p> <p>All of the above should surely be included in the rack rate right? Wrong. The ridiculous resort fee in many US hotels, which 'covers' amenities like the communal pool needs to be boycotted. Holding fees or deposits against things like the minibar are far less common, but still out there.</p> <p>Some of these are unavoidable (and in the case of my forgotten toothbrush, I could have just waddled down to a nearby shop), but all should be made obvious before booking.</p> <p><strong>Showers for short people only</strong></p> <p>The average human height is about 160-odd centimetres, however it seems the average hotel shower that I step into struggles to extend to 155cm. I'm exaggerating, but only just a little. I can't understand why when installing a new bathroom kit, hotel operators wouldn't try and satisfy all guests by allowing the shower head to reach a height of two metres and save a lot of us having to contort unnecessarily just to wash ourselves clean of a hard days touristing. Just a thought.</p> <p><strong>That's if you can get it to work</strong></p> <p>I don't know where hotel companies buy their showers, air conditioning units, TVs, even kettles from – but it's not from the electronics shop down the road. Because if that were truethey wouldn't take a good 30 minutes of trial and error to figure out how to turn them on and make them work.</p> <p>I'm a millennial, a "digital native" so why is this so hard? And if staff know that their everyday contraptions are complex, couldn't the porters and check-in staff be a little more helpful?</p> <p><strong>Put a sock(et) in it</strong></p> <p>If you're like my party-of-two you're likely to be carrying around four or five pieces of electronic kit: laptop, chargers, kindle, hairdryer et al. It's the way of the world. Except if you're a hotel room designer and you think electronic sockets are ugly so you hide them in silly places or just disregard them at all.</p> <p><strong>Those infrequent frequent shuttles</strong></p> <p>You opted for a quieter resort beyond the rabble of the main city, confident that you could rely on the hotel's free shuttle to town or the airport "every 30 minutes" transport they proclaim on their website. What's not to love: more peace and quiet, larger rooms that old buildings downtown – and then you're told the shuttle is actually once an hour, or only in peak season, or out of order.</p> <p>Well, can you at least pay my bus fare since I booked this room on the basis of free transport for the weekend? No.</p> <p><strong>The six hour window of nothingness</strong></p> <p>You know who wants to get up unnecessarily at 9am on holiday to check out before 10am (along with 200 other guests)? Nobody. The worst destinations that follow this rule are Australia and New Zealand. I feel like I'm demanding their first-born child just to be granted a sleep-in on holiday and check-out before noon.</p> <p>I know there will be rooms to clean (although it's unlikely that all guests will be checking out that day) but why then the need to keep us from checking in until 4pm? Local hoteliers more frequently have check in times of 2pm or 3pm. In Europe it can often be as late as 4pm.</p> <p>Either way it seems an awfully lenient to the cleaning staff and barely lets you make the most of the hotel's outdoor facilities in the heat of the day.</p> <p><strong>Hair, there, everywhere</strong></p> <p>If I wanted to wipe away anonymous hair from bathroom counters and sinks I would have stayed home at my flat. Anywhere offering to host you a night – whether a pit-stop motel on SH1 or a swanky 5-star – should be completely free of manky, unknown or pubic hair.</p> <p><strong>You pay for the service, but you don't get any</strong></p> <p>If I was lazy, I'd say this comes down to the host nation culture, with some anecdote about fantastic service standards in Asian cities and lazy, grouchy service along the Med. A cliche that is often correct.</p> <p>But sadly, you find crap service the world over. Staff who would rather be anywhere else and owners who lost their passion for the industry years ago.</p> <p>That being said, unlike physical problems like a blocked drain it's rather hard to confront a manager or wait staff and say: "You're incompetent and your service is an embarrassment". I can't imagine that wins you favours or (shock!) an apology – which is probably why aggrieved guests turn into keyboard warriors on TripAdvisor later.</p> <p>What are your thoughts?</p> <p><em>Written by Josh Martin. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

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Passengers terrified after Qantas flight in free fall nosedive: “We were all lifted from our seats"

<p>A Qantas jet suffered a terrifying 10-second nosedive toward the Pacific Ocean, which left hundreds of passengers fearing for their lives.</p> <p>On Sunday, QF94 was travelling from Los Angeles when the nosedive occurred. It is believed to have been caused from the plane entering a wind vortex from “wake turbulence”, caused by another Qantas plane.</p> <p>Channel Nine TV personality Eddie McGuire was on-board the flight and compared the incident to a rollercoaster freefall.</p> <p>"Somebody described it as the feeling of going over the top of a rollercoaster, slightly, not the fall – just a little, 'What's going on there?' There was a little bit of turning of the plane as well and a little bit of downward," he said on his Triple M radio show.</p> <p>“It was one of those ones that got your attention... Then it levelled off.</p> <p>"I thought the Qantas staff were fantastic. The captain of the aircraft got on and told everyone immediately, 'This is what happened, relax. That was something a bit different, we've run into these things at the moment, we're now talking to air traffic control and we're going to get a different flight path – we should be right from here.'"</p> <p>Passenger Janelle Wilson told <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/aviation/wake-turbulence-suspected-in-qantas-jets-sudden-dive/news-story/6d9a6296793cf38280055059aef4449b" target="_blank"><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Australian</span></strong></em></a> that she believed the plane was going to crash when the frightening ordeal occurred.</p> <p>“It was between 1½ and two hours after we left LA and all of a sudden the plane went through a violent turbulence and then completely up-ended and we were nose­diving,” Ms Wilson told newspaper yesterday.</p> <p>“We were all lifted from our seats immediately and we were in a free fall. It was that feeling like when you are at the top of a rollercoaster and you’ve just gone over the edge of the peak and you start heading down.</p> <p>“It was an absolute sense of losing your stomach and that we were nosediving. The lady sitting next to me and I screamed and held hands and just waited but thought with absolute certainty that we were going to crash. It was terrifying.”</p> <p>The plane landed safely in Melbourne 30 minutes late and thankfully, not one passenger was injured.</p> <p>A Qantas spokeswoman told <em>The Australian </em>there was no breach of separation standards because the Qantas aircrafts were understood to be apart by 20 nautical miles and 1000 feet in altitude.</p> <p>“We understand that any sudden turbulence can be a jolt for passengers but aircraft are designed to handle it safely,” Qantas Fleet Safety Captain Debbie Slade said in a statement.</p> <p>“As the Captain explained to passengers at the time, this A380 experienced a short burst of wake turbulence from another A380 flying ahead and above it.</p> <p>“There are a lot of safeguards in place to reduce the likelihood of wake turbulence encounters, but it’s hard to eliminate.”</p>

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Plane makes emergency landing after threatening note discovered in toilet

<p><span>A flight travelling from Rome to Chicago was forced to make an emergency landing after a note, which reportedly made reference to a bomb, was discovered in one of the plane's toilets.</span></p> <p><span>The United Airlines flight UA971 made an emergency landing in Ireland on Monday.</span></p> <p><span>Passengers on the flight have had to offer samples of their handwriting to police who are investigating the incident.</span></p> <p><span>The Irish Times revealed that the note was reportedly scrawled onto the surface of one of the toilets.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">United Airlines Boeing 767-322 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UA971?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UA971</a> flight from Rome to Chicago was diverted to Shannon Airport in Ireland on Monday after a hand writing message referred to a bomb on the plane was discovered on board <a href="https://t.co/VmmuUCpxDV">pic.twitter.com/VmmuUCpxDV</a></p> — Manu Gómez (@GDarkconrad) <a href="https://twitter.com/GDarkconrad/status/1006253511280128000?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 11, 2018</a></blockquote> <p style="text-align: center;"><span> </span></p> <p><span>The plane was carrying 214 passengers and crew when it safely landed at Shannon Airport.</span></p> <p><span>Irish police immediately searched passengers and their hand baggage while handwriting samples from each person were handed over to authorities.</span></p> <p><span>Luggage in the cargo was also examined by police.</span></p> <p><span>The United States government is also investigating the incident, comparing the handwriting on the toilet to similar written threats that have been left on aircrafts, reported Reuters.</span></p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p><span>United Airlines said the plane was diverted due to “a potential security concern”.</span></p> <p><span>“After assessing the situation, our crew made the decision to divert to the nearest available airport,” a statement from the airline read.</span></p> <p><span>“Additional security screenings will be performed on all customers and baggage.”</span></p>

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Airport officers under scrutiny after prolonged pat-down of 96-year-old woman in wheelchair

<p><span>A daughter has recorded the moment her 96-year-old wheelchair-bound mother was subjected to a prolonged security pat-down at a US airport.</span></p> <p><span>The video, which has over 9 million views, shows Evelyn LaBrier being searched at Dulles Airport in Washington DC.</span></p> <p><span>Evelyn’s daughter, Jeanne Clarkson, becomes irritated throughout the search and is heard saying: “What the hell do you think she’s going to do? Set off a shoe bomb?</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjeanneclarkson%2Fvideos%2F10211494393131675%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=264" width="264" height="476" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe><br /></span></p> <p><span>“I was just shocked. I’ve travelled with her before, I’ve been in a wheelchair myself unable to walk through the machines and I’ve never had that kind of a pat-down ever,” Jeanne said.</span></p> <p><span>"I couldn’t believe they were doing this to my 96-year-old mother. It was just shock and frustration because they would not talk to me. I felt helpless.”</span></p> <p><span>In the footage, a Transportation Security Administration officer is seen manoeuvring the woman’s arms to search her.</span></p> <p><span>Another TSA officer moves in front of Jeanne, blocking the phone camera and her view.</span></p> <p><span>“She didn’t know what to say. She does not want to fly again ever,” Jeanne said.</span></p> <p><span>“She didn’t know what they were looking for. She was scared.</span></p> <p><span>“She was just following directions. She said she didn’t know what to do.”</span></p> <p><span>Washington Dulles Airport released a statement in response to the controversy surrounding the viral video.</span></p> <p><span>“Many of you have reached out to us to express concern over a video of a security screening taking place at Dulles International Airport. Security screening at our checkpoints is directed and conducted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). We have shared customer comments with the TSA for their immediate review and appropriate action,” the airport said.</span></p> <p><span>Many who viewed the footage expressed their concerns over the treatment of the elderly woman.</span></p> <p><span>“This was a 96 year old woman, who was searched repeatedly over and over. I think my concern would have been to treat this elderly woman more kindly with Compassion, not subjecting her to this uncalled body search.”</span></p> <p><span>Another said, “That lady looked like she was going to cry!! That is BEYOND harassment... to give her bad memories like that!”</span></p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p><span>However, some viewers did not think there was anything wrong with the way the TSA officers conducted the search.</span></p> <p><span>“I know I will probably receive a lot of backlash, but it seemed to me that they treated her with nothing but respect. Their job is to keep people safe. And sometimes that includes searching people,” a Facebook user wrote.</span></p> <p><span>Do you think there is anything wrong with the way the elderly woman was searched? Let us know in the comments below.</span></p>

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Cruise disaster as water floods passenger ship

<p>Dozens of passengers have been left horrified after their cruise holiday was ruined by gallons of waters flooding corridors.</p> <p>Footage that was uploaded to YouTube, showed the water gushing from ceilings and walls on the Carnival Dream ship.</p> <p>Crew members on the ship, which was travelling around the Western Caribbean, rushed to fill large tubs with water in an attempt to clear the disaster.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="500" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1uwqg09TRuQ?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>In the aftermath, passengers were forced to sleep on yoga mats as at least 50 rooms were destroyed.</p> <p>Passenger Marla DeAnn Haase took to Facebook to ask others to “pray for us all”.</p> <p>“Um ... FB folks ... this is a rare moment of internet connection ... we are flooding on a cruise,” she wrote.</p> <p>“We heard the violins and the silverware all came crashing down. What in the world ... say a prayer for (us) all.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="499" height="375" src="/media/7818101/2_499x375.jpg" alt="2 (73)"/></p> <p>In a later post, Marla explained that her brother-in-law’s machine to help him sleep had caught fire.</p> <p>“We have been relocated to the floor in the spa to sleep on yoga mats on the floor.</p> <p>“Mark Haase — brother-in-law — laid down, put in c-pap machine on, started to fall asleep and it caught on fire!</p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p>“The transformer was submerged in water too long so medical folks on board checked it out and said it was fine ... thankfully we were not asleep when it went up in flames. No alarms went off again.”</p> <p>Carnival Cruise Line told Fox News, “Our on-board teams began clean-up immediately related to this clean water from a fire suppression system.</p> <p>“We appreciate our guests’ understanding and sincerely apologise for this disruption. We also thank our crew members for their quick action and hard work.”</p> <p>The cruise line said that most of the affected guests had been able to return to their rooms after the clean-up operation.</p>

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Young woman wins $455K cruise payout

<p>A family holiday turned into a nightmare ordeal for a girl who was injured by pieces of ceiling that fell on her during a P&amp;O cruise.</p> <p>Montana Smith, from Wollongong in New South Wales, was 14 years old when the incident occurred on the Pacific Jewel in 2011, just two days after Christmas.</p> <p>Montana, now 21, was struck on the head and shoulder by three ceiling panels – each about one metre long and 15cm thick – while she was standing on a staircase on the ship.</p> <p>The NSW Supreme Court has ordered P&amp;O to pay more than $400,000 in damages to Montana, who says she still suffers to this day with ongoing pain.</p> <p>“While my friends’ biggest decisions were what they were doing on the weekend, or what subjects they were picking for school, my decisions were focused around what painkillers I had to have every day to manage my pain to a level in which I can sit my exams, or when to have four needles injected into my spine, whilst I was awake, in an attempt to lessen the pain,” Montana told the <em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/i-was-shocked-cruise-ship-ceiling-falls-on-montana-s-head-20180603-p4zj74.html">Sydney Morning Herald</a>.</strong></span></em></p> <p>“My whole teenage years were altered completely and I was dealing with regular teenage things such as the HSC, as well as my eight doctors, a legal case, 12 painkillers a day, the psychological effects of suffering an injury like this at 14, and accepting that I will live with pain most probably for the rest of my life.”</p> <p>The falling panels caused injury to Montana’s cervical spine – the neck vertebrae – and have so far costs more than $8000 in medical treatment, including painful injections, which have not been able to alleviate her pain. She is still likely to need surgery.</p> <p>The court heard Montana was a gifted athlete and dancer prior to the injury. She still managed to finish her HSC and is currently studying at the University of Sydney while working part time.</p> <p>“Although she has done well in life so far, I accept that it has not been easy for her and that she has needed help and consideration to achieve what she has so far,” Supreme Court judge Stephen Campbell told the court.</p> <p>“Doubtless her own determination is a credit to her.”</p> <p>P&amp;O admitted it breached its duty of care and Justice Campbell ordered the company to pay $445,000 in damages, including the cost of likely surgery to her spine.</p> <p>Montana told the Herald she was now focused on her upcoming surgery.</p> <p>“Nothing will ever make up for what happened, the ways in which is altered my life, and the fact that I have been in pain every day since I was 14 years old,” she said.</p> <p>“However, I am glad that the legal side of things are over.</p> <p>“Now I can concentrate on moving towards having my neck surgery and recovering from that.”</p>

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How to enjoy wildlife without harming it

<p>The next time you want to take a selfie with a tiger, ride an elephant or swim with dolphins, stop to consider the consequences.</p> <p>That's what animal welfare groups have been saying for a long time. Now, more and more tour operators, online travel agencies and social media sites are starting to listen.</p> <p>Wildlife tourist attractions account for 20 to 40 per cent of global tourism, which produces more than US$1 trillion a year, according to a report from PLOS One, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.</p> <p>But advocacy groups say many animals - especially endangered species - end up being exploited to entertain their guests.</p> <p>"Well-meaning people are often duped by 'wildlife' attractions, unaware of the cruelty that animals endure in captivity," says Ben Williamson, senior international media director at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Williamson advises travellers to steer clear of any venue that lets you "ride, hug, or take a selfie with an elephant, tiger, dolphin, or other wild animal".</p> <p>There is still disagreement around the world about engaging in certain wildlife tourist activities. For instance, elephant rides continue to be offered in Thailand, India and many other countries.</p> <p>But in the US, online travel agencies TripAdvisor and Expedia no longer sell experiences that involve the unethical treatment of animals. Instagram late last year started flagging particular wildlife-related hashtags and notifying users of the abuse some animals experience when being posed for photos. Other travel companies such as Trafalgar and Worldwide Expeditions have also altered their policies.</p> <p>TripAdvisor, parent company of Viator travel agency, introduced its new animal welfare policy in late 2016, removing ticket sales for attractions that put travellers in physical contact with wild captive animals and endangered species.</p> <p>Earlier this week, the company revised its policy to include a ban on certain types of animal shows that it considers demeaning to animals, such as dressing up orangutans as boxers in Asia.</p> <p>"There isn't really a universally agreed to criteria on what's on the right side or wrong side of the line," says James Kay, associate director of TripAdvisor. "We needed to say where we stood and where the line was for us."</p> <p>The line for Williamson is clear. He recommends that people be cautious of animal mistreatment when considering camel rides at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, donkey rides at Blackpool beach in the United Kingdom, and horse rides at Taal Volcano in the Philippines, to name a few. Sometimes the animals are not given enough food or water, or suffer other forms of physical abuse.</p> <p>Even zoos and circuses have come under fire for the way they handle animals. In 2016, SeaWorld ended its orca, or killer whale, breeding program. That same year, Ringling Brothers stopped parading elephants and sent them to a Florida conservation centre.</p> <p>The treatment of elephants, in particular, has disturbed the animal welfare community. A World Animal Protection report last year found that more than 3/4 of nearly 3000 elephants used for entertainment in Asia are kept in cruel conditions.</p> <p>Many elephants at tourist attractions were typically kept chained day and night. They had poor diets and got limited veterinary care, the report found.</p> <p>The problem has become more visible in the digital age. Taking a selfie is often considered innocuous, but for many animals, it can cause stress and suffering, according to another World Animal Protection report. The animals are often beaten, taken away from their mothers and kept in dirty environments, the report said. There is also an illegal trade involving poachers going into the wilderness to capture exotic or endangered animals.</p> <p>Elizabeth Hogan, campaign manager for oceans and wildlife at World Animal Protection, advises that travellers think about the circumstances that led to the animal ending up in a photo op.</p> <p>"This is a wild animal," she says. "Your actions, your desire for that photo, that selfie means that animal is not engaging in its natural behaviour. If you're holding a two week-old tiger cub and feeding it with a bottle, where is that animal's mother?"</p> <p>Instagram revised its policy last year after a World Animal Protection report found that there was a 292 per cent increase in the number of wildlife selfies posted on Instagram between 2014 and last year. More than 40 per cent of those were "bad" selfies, showing someone hugging, holding or inappropriately interacting with a wildlife animal.</p> <p>"Social media is definitely playing a role here in shaping the way people are seeing wildlife," Hogan says.</p> <p>That's not to say that all wildlife tourism outside of wild lands is bad. There are plenty of wildlife sanctuaries around the world that let animals live as naturally as possible without physically encountering visitors.</p> <p>While not all zoos and aquariums are accredited, those in the US and across the world that earn it have to undergo rigorous standards. In the US, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums requires the facilities to participate in conservation and research activities. The American Humane Association also sends independent audit teams into zoos and aquariums.</p> <p>Christopher Dold, chief zoological officer at SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, says the the mission of any zoo or aquarium is to expose people to animals they have never seen before as a way to make them care enough to want to keep that species alive.</p> <p>"Those opportunities are critically important for conservation," Dold says. "Can we engage as much of the public, as much of a society to care for and understand and know about these animals as much as possible?"</p> <p>Still it's hard for a traveller to discern what is the right thing to do when it comes to wildlife when tour companies around are still offering excursions such as swimming with dolphins.</p> <p>Williamson, of PETA, says the best way to take the guesswork out of planning is to book your trip through an agency that specialises in animal-friendly travel, such as Humane Travel.</p> <p>Many of the travel companies that have adopted new animal welfare procedures also have educational components to them. Activities that involve any animals on TripAdvisor and Viator have paw print icons affixed next to them that send users to an education portal.</p> <p>The portal includes articles from the dozen or so animal advocacy groups TripAdvisor consulted with when first introducing its new policy. They include Global Wildlife Conservation, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Oxford University WILDCRU, Think Elephants, and Sustainable Travel International.</p> <p>"Where we can have the greatest impact is having consumers as informed as possible and having them making ethical choices they are comfortable with," Kay says.</p> <p>Do you agree with this?</p> <p><em>Written by Nancy Trejos. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz.</span></strong></a></em></p>

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Inside Australia's filthiest 5-star hotel

<p>A luxury hotel owned by one of Australia’s largest accommodation chains has been slammed online by furious guests who compared the 5-star hotel to a highway motel.</p> <p>A room at the QT Port Douglas, located near the Great Barrier Reef, costs more than $400 per night in the high season.</p> <p> The QT chain markets itself as “luxury design hotels with a touch of quirk” and when the QT Port Douglas, formerly a Rydges, opened in 2012, it billed itself as “boutique luxury hotel … a tropical paradise for the way you are”.</p> <p><img width="467" height="262" src="https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/8c1cd7af18aa76d072d686fbf03b5e3c?width=650" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p>But angry patrons have condemned the top end hotel, with one saying they “wouldn’t stay here again if you paid me”. Customers have complained that bed linen was stained, furniture broken, showers were cold, cutlery dirty, rotting food left in room and extremely poor service.</p> <p>On TripAdvisor, photo proof of complains have been uploaded of mouldy sun loungers, pillows streaked with dirt and squashed bugs in uncleaned rooms.</p> <p>“The decor is cheap; lampshades broken and lopsided; there are stains and scuffs all over the floor, walls and decor; grease on the handles of the cupboards; stains on the pillows; batteries were corroded in the TV remote which made it unusable and there was an out of date Snickers in the minibar,” said one angry customer.</p> <p><img width="464" height="260" src="https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/c7b99b1ef8d72b88e914883f68bf7d31?width=650" alt="… versus what it is claimed they got. Mould ridden loungers. Picture: TripAdvisor" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p><img width="466" height="262" src="https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/5df58caf249c500a89463cffaddd34f0?width=650" alt="The mirror crack’d. Picture: TripAdvisor" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p>“We felt like we were in a cheap run-down motel,” one guest commented.</p> <p>“If I could rate this zero stars I would,” was another.</p> <p>When it came to the food, “a Bunnings sausage would be better,” a customer said.</p> <p><img width="452" height="254" src="https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/3355b30d367ba8354c7d150214bfbb49?width=650" alt="A toilet at the QT Port Douglas hotel. Picture: TripAdvisor" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p><img width="450" height="253" src="https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/2ac2ceebe0735db51406de1c5a3798d0?width=650" alt="Items in the room looked to be mouldy at the QT Port Douglas. Picture: TripAdvisor" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p><img width="461" height="259" src="https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/0da11a6201adda87c2f870d74f777a25?width=650" alt="Squashed roach on a towel. Nice. Picture: TripAdvisor" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p>A spokeswoman for QT’s parent company told news.com.au they were “always sorry to hear that some guests have been disappointed” and that the resort was now on the market and would be sold.</p> <p>Owned by Event Entertainment and Hospitably, QT is part of the same group as Rydges hotels and the Thredbo ski resort, as well as Event and BCC cinemas.</p> <p>Norman Arundel, Event’s Hotels Operations Manager told news.com.au the hotel was now up for sale.</p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p>“While QT Port Douglas has been a much loved part of the QT family, the property is on the market following an asset review in 2017. QT Port Douglas is still open for business and we will continue to deliver great guest experiences synonymous with the brand,” he said.</p> <p> </p>

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Grandmother furious after 12-year-old grandson served alcohol on flight

<p>A grandmother has revealed how horrified she was after her 12-year-old grandson was mistakenly served alcohol on a Jetstar flight from Brisbane in Queensland to Denpasar in Bali.</p> <p>Taking her grandson – who lives with her – on the trip of a lifetime, after saving up to fly business class on his first overseas trip, Debra Pettigrove did not expect her young grandchild to be served alcohol during the Boxing Day flight last year.</p> <p>Her grandson Dean was allegedly served what she described as a double gin and squash by cabin crew, in what was reportedly a mix-up after the plane hit turbulence during the business class flight.</p> <p>Debra claims her grandson suffered an allergic reaction and was constantly sneezing after being served the beverage by accident, which was intended for another passenger on the flight.</p> <p>“Dean said, ‘This tastes yuck,’” Debra recounted to <a href="http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/confidential/glitter-strip-bare-gold-coast-news-and-gossip/news-story/b9aebe574835410f31a393a513b72d75">The Courier Mail.</a></p> <p>“I thought it must have been lo-cal squash or something … the furthest thing from my mind was that it had alcohol in it.”</p> <p>Debra continued to recall: “I had a swig and, no joke, it burnt my throat – it tasted like metho (methylated spirits). I thought, ‘What the hell is this?’ I went straight for the head guy (cabin steward) and said, ‘What in God’s name is in this drink? Get me a water ASAP.”</p> <p>The concerned grandmother went on to explain, “He [Dean] had a headache and was in a lot of discomfort. It was terrible.”</p> <p>She added, “I was horrified, I couldn’t believe it. You pay for business class airfares and you’re supposed to get business class service, not this.”</p> <p>Debra has since called in lawyers to help her seek compensation from the airline. While Jetstar did offer her a $400 flight voucher, she has hired national litigation firm Shine Lawyers to take on her case.</p> <p>The firm’s travel law manager, Thomas Janson, said, “Our client paid a premium price to have the best care for her grandson on his first international flight, and this has tarnished his experience.</p> <p>“Jetstar have a duty of care to every passenger, and that duty was undeniably breached in this instance,” Thomas added.</p> <p>Jetstar claims the cabin crew manger on duty at the time of the incident did apologise to the family and served them complimentary drinks, as well as checking on the 12-year-old throughout the remainder of the flight.</p> <p>A Jetstar spokesman confirmed, “We are in contact with a family after a mix-up of drinks occurred on a flight six months ago which resulted in a child having a few sips of an adult customer’s drink, according to our crew on-board reports.</p> <p>“Nothing was mentioned to our crew on board the flight about the child feeling unwell,” the airline’s spokesman added.</p> <p>Have you ever experienced a food or beverage mix-up on a flight before? Tell us in the comments below.</p>

Travel Trouble

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The brazen way airport thieves are targeting us

<p>A security guard, who has worked for one of London’s major airports for more than 10 years, has revealed to the <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5773091/Thieves-stealing-valuables-UK-airport-security-trays.html">Daily Mail</a> the cunning new criminals preying on stressed out or tired passengers at “chaotic” airport security areas.</p> <p>Thieves are reportedly booking cheap seats on flights, so they are permitted through to the security screening areas, then deliberately targeting trays filled with valuables.</p> <p>The security worker said thieves snatched anything from wallets to laptops, and once even managed to take off with widow’s bag containing her deceased husband’s ashes.</p> <p>“They tend to be middle-aged men who work in groups,” the security officer revealed.</p> <p>“They prey on passengers in the early morning, when people are half asleep, or at peak times when they’re stressed, and target families who are likely to be distracted by children.”</p> <p>While the criminals are caught on CCTV and police are contacted immediately after complaints are made, the security guard admitted often charges weren’t brought forward because passengers were in too much of a hurry to catch their flights.</p> <p>“Until around eight years ago, passengers would be dealt with by one officer – now officers have to deal with four passengers at a time,” he said.</p> <p>“The trays often emerge quicker than the person going through the body scanner. Passengers get caught in a backlog and there’s nobody to watch for thieves.”</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble