Travel Trouble

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Get ready for the worst heatwave in 8 years – horror conditions

<p>Experts have issued a warning against the extreme horror heatwave that has hit parts of the country this week, as they say there is “no reprieve” from the record-breaking temperatures.</p> <p>Sydney is forecasted for an intense 40C on Wednesday, which is just a small taste of the 45C expected to hit the city on Friday. Canberra may reach tops of 41C today while regional New South Wales should prepare themselves for 45C.</p> <p>On Tuesday, Hay, in western New South Wales, almost reached an extreme 48C.</p> <p>And the heat does not discriminate, as forecasters have warned people about the risk the heat poses as even those who are healthy can be severely affected by the hotter-than-normal temperatures.</p> <p>The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has stated that the coming week will see “oppressive conditions”, and while you may say that these conditions are expected for summertime, these temperatures are something entirely different.</p> <p>According to the NSW Health Department, this is the worst heat the state has experienced for a long period of time since 2011, when a heatwave was responsible for a mortality rate of 13 per cent and an increase in hospital admissions by 14 per cent.</p> <p>With Adelaide reaching a maximum of 40C today, Melbourne and Tasmania will be cooling off, as a breeze coming from the sea will provide some relief from the burning conditions.</p> <p>But despite the comfortable weather in Melbourne, not every area of Victoria will experience the same luck, as Bendigo is expected to hit 43C today.</p> <p>Perth can expect a forecast of 40C towards the weekend.</p> <p>Diana Eadie, meteorologist for BOM, claims the majority of the country should expect an intense heatwave.</p> <p>“Temperatures are expected to climb into the low to high 40s – that’s eight to 12 degrees above average.</p> <p>“We’ve already seen some January maximum temperature records fall and we’re likely to see many more before the event is over,” she told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/recordbreaking-conditions-as-extreme-heatwave-conditions/news-story/e85681a6b3417fcf6ee642fe41649218" target="_blank">news.com.au</a>.</em></p> <p>“The humidity will lead to really oppressive conditions.”</p> <p>Authorities have reminded everyone on the importance of staying hydrated during these extreme conditions and to make sure to check in on vulnerable friends, family and neighbours.</p> <p>They have also warned to not leave children and pets in hot vehicles.</p> <p>South Australia has issued a Code Red heat emergency for Wednesday. The system provides an increased amount of funding for those who are homeless and will also enforce a check up on the elderly and those who are vulnerable to the extreme temperatures.</p> <p>What will you be doing to stay cool during this extreme heatwave? Tell us in the comments below. </p>

Travel Trouble

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The Jetstar rule that's costing travellers $135 – have you been caught out?

<p>Flying is now easier than ever, with affordable airline tickets and special offers. However, it still comes with a lot of complex rules and hidden costs – you might be liable to certain fees if you’re not careful.</p> <p>Some of the trickiest, most complex rules for air travel is focused on luggage. On domestic trips, budget carriers such as Jetstar and TigerAir have the cheapest fares, but they come with strict limitations on luggage.</p> <p>In general, each passenger is allowed to bring up to 7kg of <a href="https://www.finder.com.au/carry-on-luggage-sizes-australian-airlines">carry-on baggage</a> for free, according to <a href="https://www.finder.com.au">Finder</a>.</p> <p>You can boost this baggage allowance by pre-purchasing the top-up. The costs may vary according to the trip length. For example, in flights from Sydney to Melbourne, Jetstar will charge $18 to increase your carry-on limit to 10kg, while TigerAir will cost you $17 to go up to a 12kg limit.</p> <p>Checked baggage is also a great option, especially if you are unable to travel light. For a 20kg allowance, you will pay $18 at TigerAir or $23 at Jetstar.</p> <p>However, it is important to remember that these pricings only apply if you add the extra weight allowance at the time of booking. If you only realise your luggage is way over the limit when you get to the airport, the fees for adding some extra kilos will go up significantly.</p> <p>For instance, Jetstar will demand $30 at the gate for the 10kg carry-on option, while TigerAir will take $36 for 12kg cabin baggage.</p> <p>If you have bigger suitcases and need to check in on the spot, the costs will go up even more. Checking in a 20kg baggage at TigerAir will cost you $85, while Jetstar will ask for $135 – almost six times more expensive than the pre-booked price!</p> <p>Planning ahead will help you avoid these fees. Research the baggage limits for your airline and pack accordingly wherever possible. If you are going on a shopping spree or travelling with heavy items, it is recommended to pay upfront for excess baggage when making your booking.</p> <p>Invest in a portable luggage scale, so you can weigh your bags before heading to the airport. With both Jetstar and TigerAir, you can add baggage to an existing booking via their website or customer contact centre – the charges will sting your wallet a little still, but they won’t be as expensive as the airport prices.</p> <p><span>Have you ever been stung by these charges when checking in? Tell us in the comments below.</span></p>

Travel Trouble

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What you should never say to an air hostess

<p>For many, the thought of having a job that pays you to travel around the world is a dream come true.</p> <p>We look at flight attendants and envy their lifestyle, with them waking up in one country and sleeping in another.</p> <p>But despite the glamorous façade, one flight attendant penned a note to those who think they know the requirements of the job better than those actually working in the field.</p> <p>Originally posted on Facebook and then picked up by<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/garystoller/2019/01/08/think-twice-before-you-say-just-a-flight-attendant/#19e995b26ecb" target="_blank">Forbes</a>, the anonymous post reveals what you should never say to an air hostess who is just trying to do her job.</p> <p>“Dear Passenger in 5A,” the post begins.</p> <p>“Yesterday, when I wouldn’t let you come to the front of the aeroplane because the pilots were going in and out of the cockpit, you informed me I was ‘just a flight attendant’. I’ve had some time to reflect on that and decided to educate you on a few facts regarding this flight attendant.</p> <p>“First, let’s review my training and requirements for this job. I know how to fight fires while 35,00 feet in the air; I can perform CPR, do first-aid - basic, all the way up to inserting an IV; I know how to identify guns and weapons; I know how to identify bombs and then move them to a location on the aircraft that will hopefully cause the least damage should they go off.</p> <p>“I know basic survival skills for land and water; I know how to disarm people brandishing a gun; how to actually kill someone if need be; how to prepare an aeroplane for an emergency landing so every person aboard has the best chance of survival, and how to then evacuate the aircraft in under 60 seconds.</p> <p>“While smiling, I have been taught how to deal with people from many different cultures, people who are disgruntled, and people who are downright rude. I received excellent training for all these things and every year have to go through refresher training and learn new skills.</p> <p>“Second, I’d like to share with you some of the personal experiences I’ve had in the last 20 years as a flight attendant. I’ve held the hand of a grieving mother who was flying across the country to claim her 21-year-old son’s dead body. I have given my personal clothes to a passenger who threw up, although I had nothing else to put on. I have been poked in my arm and sides many times by people who can’t wait for me to finish with one person before they get their drink.</p> <p>“I have held babies while their parent went to the bathroom. I have been yelled at for not having the exact food a person wanted. I have prepared an aircraft for an emergency landing, and, while you were arguing with me about not wanting to turn off your computer, I was hoping I would be able to see my children one more time.</p> <p>“I stood with tears in my eyes in the door of an aircraft while the remains of a US soldier were lowered in a flag-draped coffin. I have had the honour of flying US troops into foreign deployment areas. I missed Christmas Day with my family so you could get to your family. My work schedule is constantly changing, and there are times I go five to six days without a real night’s sleep.</p> <p>“I watched the events of 9/11 in horror, heartbroken from what my colleagues went through that day. I was scared to go back to work, but I reassured my child that I would come home — all the while knowing it could happen again. I watched a man die in front of me, because the CPR we performed didn’t revive him. Then I tried to reverently place his body on the aeroplane floor for the remainder of the flight, and, when we landed, I sat with his body for over an hour until the coroner could pick it up.</p> <p>“Please know that I do love my job, and I choose to do it. I have a college degree, am a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a human being. So the next time you look at me and think, ‘Just a flight attendant’, I hope you quickly remember who is trained and willing to get you out of a crashed aeroplane, save you from hijackers, perform CPR on you if need be and — the easiest part of my job — give you food and drinks.”</p> <p>What do you think? Do you agree with the flight attendant’s letter? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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This airline has just instructed "obese" employees to lose weight

<p>Pakistan’s national flag carrier has reportedly told “obese” flight attendants to lose weight or risk being grounded.</p> <p>The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) issued a memo to its 1,800 staff that cabin crew with “excess weight” will have six months to slim down or they will not be given clearance to fly.</p> <p>Aamir Bashir, the airline’s general manager, said any crew found to be above 30 pounds from the “desired weight” after January 31 will be grounded and referred for medical evaluation and treatment until “weight is reduced up to desired standard/BMI”. The excess weight limit will then be cut down by 5 pounds per month.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Lose weight, or lose your job: Pakistan International Airlines 'tells overweight cabin crew they need to shed up to 30lbs by July or face being grounded' <a href="https://t.co/iGf0sUgKVM">pic.twitter.com/iGf0sUgKVM</a></p> — ABC (@farhanjamil1975) <a href="https://twitter.com/farhanjamil1975/status/1082252961747734528?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">7 January 2019</a></blockquote> <p>PIA also issued a suggested weight chart according to the crew’s height. For example, the guide for a woman of 5 feet 7 inches height (1.7m) is 133 to 147 pounds (60 to 67 kilograms).</p> <p>Around 100 of the crew will need to lose all the excess weight by July 1 to avoid being grounded, according to PIA spokesman Mashhood Tajwar.</p> <p>He told CNN that the policy was to ensure that the cabin crew remain “slim, smart and fit”, following apparent complaints about “obese” flight attendants. “No one would like to have shabby crew in the aircraft,” said Tajwar.</p> <p>This is not the first time an airline has applied weight standards for its aircraft employees. Air India grounded its flight attendants in 2006 and 2015 for being overweight. In November, India’s aviation regulator set a Body Mass Index (BMI) norm of 18 to 25 for pilots and crews.</p>

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Aussie passenger embarrassed after Jetstar's "shameful" treatment of him

<p>A qualified pilot was told to move seats on his Jetstar flight from the emergency row due to his arm and lack of thumbs.</p> <p>James Hall-Thompson was travelling from Ballina, northern NSW, to Sydney when the flight attendant asked him to move after he was seated.</p> <p>"We had just buckled up when she came up and started talking to me, then said, 'I'll sit down so this doesn't look so rude'," the qualified pilot explained.</p> <p>"She said the cabin manager had noticed my arm and needed me to move.</p> <p>"I told her that there's never been an issue before and I am fit, willing and able to move the hatch if needed. She just said, 'I need you to move,'" he told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/news/pilot-and-professional-athlete-slams-jetstar-for-i/3615359/" target="_blank">news.com.au. </a></p> <p>Mr Hall-Thompson was born without a radical bone in his left forearm and he’s missing a left thumb.</p> <p>"I also don't have a left thumb but my arm and hand aren't impaired," he elaborated. "On my right, my arm is normal but I've got a slightly crooked right thumb. That's it.”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fphoto.php%3Ffbid%3D10208050029268582%26set%3Da.2258352978367%26type%3D3&amp;width=500" width="500" height="380" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>Whilst trying to explain the situation, it fell on deaf ears as the cabin manager had already found a replacement for his seat. </p> <p>“As a pilot, I'm all about safety. I would never sit there if I couldn't remove the hatch."</p> <p>His arms were not an issue with the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority as they’ve issued him a Class 1 medical licence.</p> <p>When asked how he felt about the whole experience, Hall-Thompson explained:</p> <p>"At first I was a bit angry. To be frank, I was on the verge of tears, which is very unusual for me. I had to stand up and move when everyone had already sat down. I felt like I was put on show a little bit. I was embarrassed. It's shameful."</p> <p>However, when he tried to reach out to Jetstar in order to let them know what happened, things took an odd turn.</p> <p>"I outlined what happened and the man who took the call said he needed me to agree on a recording that it wasn't discrimination but a procedure.</p> <p>"It's not for him or me to decide that, but he said he needed me to agree to it for a recording, he wanted to record me saying it."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Hard to believe this isn’t discrimination by Jetstar. Wonder if CASA will issue some definitive instructions : James Hall-Thompson slams ‘shameful’ emergency exit row treatment <a href="https://t.co/JUXnHBVo5h">https://t.co/JUXnHBVo5h</a></p> — John Lindsay (@bigjsl) <a href="https://twitter.com/bigjsl/status/1081385547531087872?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 5, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>After being told that he would receive a response within 10 business days, Hall-Thompson received a phone call less than half an hour after news.com.au had contacted Jetstar. The phone call was from the airline’s chief of customer complaints and advocacy.</p> <p>The organisation has also addressed the incident in a public apology.</p> <p>"We sincerely apologise for Mr Hall-Thompson's experience and are reaching out to him directly," the spokesperson said in a statement.</p> <p>"There are strict safety requirements regarding exit rows which are mandated by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority, however we are looking into what took place in this situation."</p>

Travel Trouble

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Flight attendants reveal the strangest things people do on planes

<p>The flight crew at Qantas are known for being a friendly bunch, but oh boy, do they have stories to share about the travellers they have encountered.</p> <p>These stories are shared by flight attendants under an alias name to conceal their identities and to keep their jobs.</p> <p>First off, the attendants revealed one specific category of flight passengers, “we call them the ‘Gimme, Gimme, Gimme’ travellers,” shared a flight attendant using the alias ‘Martin’.</p> <p>“These are the passengers who if it’s not bolted down, will try to take it,” he elaborates.</p> <p>The second flight attendant by the alias of ‘Melissa’ explained, “With some passengers, if they see something is available, they want it – no matter what it is. Some are out for everything they can get.”</p> <p>On a rest between two long trips, Martin and Melissa compared stories of passengers which fell into the “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme” category and came up with some hilarious and shocking stories.</p> <p>The first story Melissa shared is one of humour. A lady on a flight quietly asked Melissa for a sanitary pad, and she discreetly passed the item to the passenger. Meanwhile, the man sitting next to the woman observed the exchange and asked for a sanitary pad too.</p> <p>“I said quietly to him, ‘Sir, it’s a sanitary [pad], you don’t need one of those,’” apparently the man was not impressed by this response and demanded “whatever it is, I also want one right now”.</p> <p>So, Melissa went and fetched another sanitary pad before handing it to the man, who without hesitation, unwrapped it, put his seat in recline and placed the pad over his eyes as an eye mask.</p> <p>Martin added, “That happens all the time, we do our best not to laugh as we walk through the cabin seeing men with sanitary [pads] across their eyes. They actually think that’s what they are for!”</p> <p>The next story, shared by Martin, was an experience before landing in Sydney, Martin had a man come into the galley and ask for a glass of water.</p> <p>“We had a tray of refreshments out, so I said to him, ‘Sir, please help yourself to whatever you can find in here,’ then I turned my back to stack up a trolley.”</p> <p>The passenger however, took this invite very seriously and began removing the galley curtains from to hooks.</p> <p>“I rushed over and asked him to stop, as this was part of the actual plane,” Martin explains. “The man then said to me, ‘But you said I could have whatever is in here, and I can use these on our window at home.’”</p> <p>The absurdity of passengers on flights continues. Melissa has observed some weird things in her time as a flight attendant and usually these observations occur towards the end of the flight, as passengers and flight crew are preparing for landing.</p> <p>Passengers usually shove bits and pieces into their carry-on bags in a frenzy although one woman caught Melissa’s eye.</p> <p>The woman was struggling to shove the plane cushion of her seat into her bag.</p> <p>“I said, ‘Madam, you can’t have that – it’s part of the plane and you’ll need to sit on it for landing,” Melissa said whilst attempting to get the cushion out of the bag.</p> <p>The woman responded, “You have so many of these on the plane, surely you won’t miss just one. I want it for my sofa.”</p> <p>That’s not all passengers have tried to sneak into their bags. According to Martin toilet rolls are a prized possession on flights and are usually the first things to disappear.</p> <p>“There are flights when before we’ve even taken off, passengers raid the toilets for every roll of toilet paper they can find, and stuff the lot into their bags,” Martin reveals.</p> <p>“So, we sometimes have to return to the toilets throughout the flight to replace the paper, roll by roll. I remember one occasion where everything ran out, as it had all disappeared into carry-on luggage.”</p> <p>Additionally, international travellers are fascinated by mini soft drink cans.</p> <p>“We have many international passengers who are obsessed with little cans of soft drinks,” Melissa says. “They like to stockpile them in their bags, asking for can after can, but always insist we leave them unopened. We see them later stuffing the cans into their bags.”</p> <p>Martin shares his belief into this extreme interest: “There are passengers who plan to party later in their hotel rooms and want to save a few dollars on buying mixers.”</p> <p>As they continue, Martin and Melissa shared that it is easy to spot a regular Jetstar flyer “as they will fight over the blanket at the end of a flight,” Melissa revealed.</p> <p>The difference being, when a blanket is purchased on Jetstar, the customer can keep it and take it home with them after the flight. Although Qantas doesn’t have the same protocol.</p> <p>“When we ask these passengers to leave the blanket behind, they get annoyed and respond, ‘But I can do this on Jetstar – why is Qantas so mean?’” Melissa says.</p> <p>“Why anyone would want to use an airline blanket again is beyond me!”</p> <p>The final story to be shared involved the luxury of business class. When flying business class with Qantas an amenity kit packed with designer creams is a prized perk that passengers love.</p> <p>Although one woman loved it a bit too much as she gathered every single kit before other people had attended their seats.</p> <p>“She had her arms full as we explained there were now none for the other passengers – something that didn’t seem to faze her,” Martin recalled.</p> <p>“We attempted to get back as many kits as we could, but almost had a tug of war erupt as she was not giving up without a fight.”</p> <p>What is the weirdest thing you have ever seen someone do on a flight? We would love to hear it in the comments below.</p>

Travel Trouble

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Christmas nightmare: Aussies fear they will lose thousands after budget travel website collapses

<p>Aussie travellers are fearing they will be left stranded over Christmas and thousands of dollars out of pocket after a budget travel website collapsed.</p> <p>Yesterday, the Australian Federation of Travel Agents revealed that Bestjet had gone into liquidation.</p> <p>The travel website has been put under the administration of Brisbane-based accounting firm Pilot Partners.</p> <p>The collapse of the company comes just six weeks after it was sold to McVicker Investment Group, according to<em style="font-weight: inherit;"> Travel Bulletin</em>.</p> <p>At the time of the purchase, McVicker told the bulletin: “I see great opportunities to employ additional staff members within the company to expand the business further.”</p> <p>Bestjet was founded by the wife of former Air Australia boss Michael James, whose airline company collapsed in 2012.</p> <p>Mr James was prohibited by ASIC from managing a corporation for three years after Air Australia went into $97 million worth of debt.</p> <p>A year-and-a-half-ago, Bestjet was stripped of its industry accreditation.</p> <p>The travel website has been smeared with controversy, receiving severe criticism from its past customers.</p> <p>Customer Holly Matthews purchased tickets through Bestjet for her family’s holiday getaway overseas.</p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk"><strong><em style="font-weight: inherit;"><u>Daily Mail Australia</u></em></strong></a>, she said: “The holiday was for February for my dad's 50th.”</p> <p>She now has no clue if her family will be able to go on the trip or if they will be refunded for their tickets.</p> <p>“We booked tickets to Thailand with Singapore Airlines,” she said.</p> <p>“There is seven of us, so [we spent] just over $7,000 for all our flights.”</p> <p>Following the announcement of Bestjet’s collapse, Holly has been in contact with the airline.</p> <p>Singapore Airlines told her the tickets had been cancelled and refunded to the travel website.</p> <p>Holly said that she had contacted Bestjet but received no response.</p> <p>The liquidation of Bestjet follows the recent folding of another travel company, <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/hugely-deceived-aussies-caught-in-new-scam"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Hotel Quickly</strong></span></a>.</p> <p>The dodgy hotel booking website left thousands of families out of pocket after dropping their reservations.</p> <p>The company sent customers an email saying that their bookings had been cancelled but claimed they would be provided with vouchers for credit on their site.</p> <p>Hotel Quickly blamed the cancellations on an “unforeseen issue” and said they were “working very hard to come up with a manageable solution”.</p> <p>However, customers have not received any updates from the company. </p> <p>Have you booked flight through Bestjet before? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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“I’ve never been more angry or shaken”: Waleed Aly reveals horrific experience

<p>Waleed Aly has shared details about his “horrific experience” after he was searched and detained while leaving an airport in Israel.</p> <p>Aly, who prefers to keep his private life out of the public eye, gave a rare admission on <em>The Project </em>after a segment on strip-searches being performed by NSW police went to air.</p> <p>The number of strip-searches in NSW have more than doubled from 2016-2017, with 11-year-old children also being forced to take part in the intrusive activity.</p> <p>The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission has launched an inquiry into the matter.</p> <p>Panellist’s on the show interviewed Rachel Evans, an activist who spoke about her feelings of violation when she was strip-searched, to which Aly revealed his own experience.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Rachel (about being strip searched) "They didn't give us any justification... there was no charge, there was no explanation as to why" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheProjectTV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheProjectTV</a> <a href="https://t.co/yrJy5rp2Ir">pic.twitter.com/yrJy5rp2Ir</a></p> — The Project (@theprojecttv) <a href="https://twitter.com/theprojecttv/status/1075294257106153477?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">19 December 2018</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Waleed: (about being strip searched) “The thing about it is – you don’t know where it’s going to end and they explain nothing… the power imbalance is horrific… I’ve never left a situation more shaken or angry” <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheProjectTV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheProjectTV</a> <a href="https://t.co/Yby0HS3Y33">pic.twitter.com/Yby0HS3Y33</a></p> — The Project (@theprojecttv) <a href="https://twitter.com/theprojecttv/status/1075295513069514752?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">19 December 2018</a></blockquote> <p>“I’ve only experienced it once, and it wasn’t here it was overseas,” he said. “I was trying to leave Israel and as I was leaving, they just picked me out and just took me aside and it just went for hours basically.”</p> <p>And despite Aly stating that his experience was not as extreme as what Ms Evans was forced to face, he still had to “undo my jeans and all sorts of stuff".</p> <p>“The thing about it is you don’t know where it’s going to end, and they explain nothing … you’re just in this situation, you don’t know why, the power imbalance is horrific, and you have no idea where it is going,” he said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">One of the most powerless experiences of my life was being searched at LAX because my hip replacement set off detector. Very public. Very physically intrusive. To protest was to risk being refused entry to USA.</p> — Melanie-Anne Holland (@MelanieAnneHoll) <a href="https://twitter.com/MelanieAnneHoll/status/1075309236492460032?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">19 December 2018</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Very intimidating.. huge power imbalance.. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheProjectTV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheProjectTV</a></p> — Linda (@silver1212) <a href="https://twitter.com/silver1212/status/1075295335843389440?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">19 December 2018</a></blockquote> <p>“I’ve never left a situation more shaken or angry than that particular thing. We don’t need more of that.”</p> <p>Do you think strip-searches are a form of violation? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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“Hugely deceived”: Aussies caught in new scam

<p>Thousands of people planning to travel abroad this upcoming holiday season have been scammed after a popular hotel booking website cancelled their reservations.</p> <p>Listed on TripAdvisor, booking tool HotelQuickly has 640,000 followers on its Facebook page, but despite the large number and the seemingly trustworthy façade, the company sent customers an email telling them their booking has been cancelled, and they will receive a credit voucher as compensation.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FHotelQuickly%2Fposts%2F2123120357711214&amp;width=500" width="500" height="242" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>The travel company blamed the incident on an “unforeseen issue”, and said they were “working very hard to come up with a manageable solution” – but customers who have spent their thousands with the company are yet to hear back from them.</p> <p>Speaking to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6502761/Hundreds-Christmas-holidays-ruined-online-hotel-site-folds-without-refunding-cent.html" target="_blank"><em>Daily Mail Australia</em></a>, school teacher Debbie Hamilton shared how she and her husband had plans to travel over New Year’s and used the booking website to nab two luxury resorts.</p> <p>“I booked one hotel in August and another in September – one in Chang Mai and one in Phuket,” she said.</p> <p>The mother-of-one was excited to take a relaxing holiday away from home, but it fell short, as on December 9, she woke up to find that her bookings had been cancelled.</p> <p>“I rang both hotels and they both said the booking had been made but cancelled on December 6,” she said.</p> <p>“They said they hadn’t received any money from them and hadn’t heard from them.</p> <p>“I frantically rebooked straight away but had to pay an extra $400 [as well as the original price] all up for the booking, as it was peak time.”</p> <p>For a short while, Mrs Hamilton felt at ease once she was refunded her $1200 in credit vouchers by the holiday booking site, but it didn’t take long for her to discover that the vouchers were nothing but a broken website link.</p> <p>Mrs Hamilton immediately got in touch with her bank and sent through every email, including the “vouchers” that had a broken link.</p> <p>The mother-of-one said the entire ordeal has left her crushed.</p> <p>“I was in tears that whole Sunday,” she said.</p> <p>“My husband said to me when I settled down: ‘I haven’t seen you in tears for years – I didn’t know what to do.'"</p> <p>“I felt like someone had come in and burgled me. I felt very vulnerable and I was panicking that the bank wouldn’t come to the party.”</p> <p>And it turns out, Mrs Hamilton isn’t the only one affected, with many customers losing a lot more than she has.</p> <p>One man claimed the company cancelled his booking just as he was about to board his flight, with others left thousands of dollars out of pocket.</p> <p>Another man by the name of Gill Fernando wrote on the company’s Facebook page that he had booked and paid for his accommodation in August, only for it to be cancelled in December.</p> <p>Many frustrated customers took to Trust Pilot, a review website, to give a low rating to the company. A shocking 87 per cent of the 943 reviews rated HotelQuickly as “bad”.</p> <p>The reviews reveal how several people have been left in debt due to the incident.</p> <p>A spokesperson for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) told <em>Daily Mail Australia</em> that this isn’t the first time they have been notified of the company’s dodgy behaviour, as they have received “so many” complaints in the past.</p> <p>They have also advised those affected to get in contact with their bank immediately.</p> <p>“People who have been impacted by the HotelQuickly cancellations should talk to their bank about getting a credit card charge back or contact their state consumer affairs authority if they are having issues getting a refund,” they said.</p> <p>“It is always a good idea to research online deals to determine if they are legitimate, including checking directly with the accommodation provider.”</p> <p><em>Daily Mail Australia</em> reached out to HotelQuickly and received a response from a spokesperson via email: “I will escalate this to my manager and he will do the necessary [sic] to escalate this to the top management.”</p> <p>“Please bear with me and I will be contacting you with the person who can provide you with appropriate information.”</p> <p>The company did not reach out.</p> <p>Do you know someone who booked their holiday with this website? Tell us in the comments below.</p>

Travel Trouble

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Cruise couple's costly mistake leaves them stranded in foreign country

<p>Kevin Rohrer and his girlfriend were enjoying their Caribbean adventure as they explored the culturally enriching city of Havana in Cuba.</p> <p>But the good times were cut short after they returned to the dock where their cruise ship was supposed to take them on the rest of their four-night voyage – only to realise the ship had already left without them.</p> <p>The Norwegian Sky cruise was listed on an itinerary to leave Havana at 5pm, so the couple arrived at the dock at 3:30pm, ready to go, but the ship had left earlier than scheduled.</p> <p>“It was a frightening situation. We were devastated,” says Mr Rohrer in a complaint issued to the cruise company.</p> <p>“We exchanged money and we took a taxi to the airport. American Airlines told us they wouldn’t take a credit card and quoted us 472 pesos (A$646). We didn’t have that much money.”</p> <p>After putting all their money together, the American couple were able to book a flight home for two but were not thrilled about their cruising experience being cut short.</p> <p>It also wasn’t comforting to know that the cruise company left them in a foreign country to fend for themselves, and considering the itinerary said the ship will depart at 5pm, the pair had no idea as to how it could have happened.</p> <p>But regardless of the frustration and countless complaints, Mr Rohrer and his girlfriend were not going to be given compensation for their experience, according to Michelle Couch-Friedman from consumer rights group Elliott Advocacy, who Mr Rohrer reached out to for help with his case.</p> <p>Speaking to Elliott Advocacy, Mr Rohrer revealed that after the cruise line had departed, it was then the couple discovered the time to have changed from 5 pm to 2pm. According to him, the company “made no effort to inform travellers of the change".</p> <p>Ms Couch-Friedman obtained a copy of the cruise itinerary, which was booked through a third party. Turns out Mr Rohrer was correct, as it clearly stated the cruise departure time to be 5pm.</p> <p>But in a newsletter sent to the couple prior to their journey from the company, it stated all passengers in Havana should be “all aboard (the ship) at 1:30pm.”</p> <p>The cruise line had changed the itinerary and passengers were informed through their daily newsletter.</p> <p>But Mr Rohrer stood his ground as he said he never had the opportunity to look over the newsletter before the incident occurred.</p> <p>“I provided that figure showing the time of ‘all aboard’ news flyer that was sent to our cabin while we ate breakfast on the boat the third day (second day for Cuba),” he said.</p> <p>“But I didn’t get to read it at the time of the discovery (we had a tight schedule with the Cuban Tour Advocacy). I had folded that flyer and put it in my pocket during our disembarkment from the ship. I read that flyer while waiting for a flight out of Cuba.”</p> <p>But the cruising company did not budge, as they pulled out the terms and conditions, which read: “In all ports of call, it is also the guest’s responsibility to be back on-board the ship no later than one (1) hour prior to the ship’s scheduled departure time. Please be aware that shipboard time may differ from the port of call and it is the guest’s responsibility to follow the shipboard time. In the event a guest misses the ship, it will be the guest’s responsibility to pay all expenses incurred to rejoin the ship.”</p> <p>After an investigation by Ms Couch-Friedman, the cruise company claimed that all passengers were informed a month before of the time change through e-documents.</p> <p>“Additionally, the day before calling into Havana, the Cruise Director announced the new time repeatedly throughout the day and additional signage was placed on the gangway for all those disembarking to see,” the company said.</p> <p>But Mr Rohrer says that he was not notified of any changes to the schedule.</p> <p>But despite the circumstances, Ms Couch-Friedman said that the cruise company's contract of carriage was stated clearly during the time of booking, as timings on the itinerary were never guaranteed.</p> <p>“In the event of strikes, lockouts, stoppages of labour, riots, weather conditions, mechanical difficulties or any other reason whatsoever, Norwegian Cruise Line has the right to cancel, advance, postpone or substitute any scheduled sailing or itinerary without prior notice,” Norwegian’s terms and conditions read.</p> <p>“Norwegian Cruise Line shall not be responsible for failure to adhere to published arrival and departure times for any of its ports of call.”</p> <p>Ms Couch-Friedman advised passengers to remain alert as cruise itineraries could change at short notice.</p> <p>“This is especially important if you have booked your own shore excursion,” she said.</p> <p>“It may cost a little more money to book the excursion through the cruise line, but you can be certain that the boat won’t sail away without you during your adventure.</p> <p>“In the end, it’s the traveller’s responsibility to know when to be back on-board that ship. If you miss your cruise home, unfortunately, there’s no one to turn to for a refund or reimbursement.”</p> <p>Do you think the passengers were in the wrong or the cruise company? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Travel Trouble

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Don't get caught out: Stranded couple’s huge travel mistake on cruise

<p>An elderly couple was kicked off a cruise ship and left to fend for themselves in South Korea over a simple but major error they made, costing them thousands of dollars.</p> <p>Michelle Couch-Friedman from consumer rights company Elliott Advocacy advised everyone to learn from this lesson, as she failed to get the company to compensate the couple.</p> <p>Originally from the US, William Coates and his wife had booked a 14-day getaway to Japan, South Korea and China with Holland America Line on the Westerdam cruise ship only last month.</p> <p>“This is a trip we had planned for a long time. At 71 years old, we were looking forward to this adventure,” Mr Coates said, speaking to<em> <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.elliott.org/" target="_blank">Elliott Advocacy</a></em>.</p> <p>After taking a flight to Japan and boarding the ship at Yokohama, the pair began their journey to South Korea.</p> <p>Everything was running smoothly, until the third day of their voyage as a staff member revealed that the couple would be asked to leave the ship once it reached Pusan in South Korea.</p> <p>They were told to pack up their things and leave, marking the start of their travel woes.</p> <p>“She (the staff member) told us that it was our responsibility to get ourselves home. We couldn’t believe it,” said Mr Coates.</p> <p>But the reason why was clear, as Mr and Mrs Coates had failed to acquire the necessary visas required to enter China before embarking on their cruise holiday.</p> <p>Just like Australians, Americans must travel with the appropriate visas when visiting China and other entry points of the cruise.</p> <p>And just as Aussies need visas when entering China, so do Americans, as authorities “strongly enforce penalties for entry and exit visa violations,” states the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.</p> <p>But according to Mr Coates, they were unaware of the rule until after they boarded the ship.</p> <p>“Holland America removed us from the ship. They left us, literally on the dock,” he said.</p> <p>“It was up to us to find our way to the airport and then pay $US2400 ($A3320) for additional airfare to get home.”</p> <p>Holland America responded with its own side of the story, saying the company made an attempt to arrange emergency visas for the couple and had even got in touch with Chinese officials telling them the couple would not leave the ship once it stops in China.</p> <p>“The Chinese border patrol rejected all of the alternatives,” said the cruise line company.</p> <p>But Mr and Mrs Coates believe it was Holland America’s duty to inform them of any required visas.</p> <p>“Getting thrown off the ship was the most embarrassing and difficult experience for us,” they told Elliott Advocacy.</p> <p>“Our loss is approaching $US9000 ($A12,460). Holland America should have alerted us to our missing travel visa and the stringent requirements. No one did.</p> <p>“We think that something this serious would be part of the travel professional’s responsibility.”</p> <p>But Mrs Couch-Friedman said that claim is false, and if Holland America did fail to provide them with the appropriate information, then they may have won their case.</p> <p>But in an itinerary sent by Holland America in January, the company had informed the Coates about visa requirements.</p> <p>The terms and conditions read: “It is the guest’s sole responsibility to obtain and have available when necessary the appropriate valid travel documents. All guests are advised to check with their travel agent or the appropriate government authority to determine the necessary documents.</p> <p>“You will be refused boarding or disembarked without liability for refund, payment, compensation, or credit of any kind if you do not have proper documentation, and you will be subject to any fine or other costs incurred by the carrier which result from improper documentation or noncompliance with applicable regulations, which amount may be charged to your stateroom account and/or credit card.”</p> <p>Holland America also stated that prior to the cruise, the company had sent two extra alerts to the couple, reminding them to apply for their visas.</p> <p>The Coates claim that they did not have a computer with them for the past few months so were unable to see those emails, but their argument was shut down and they were unable to win their case.</p> <p>Mrs Couch-Friedman advised everyone who plans on travelling in the near future to read the terms and conditions and arrange your own visas.</p> <p>“Before you set off on any cruise, it’s imperative to read the contract in its entirety,” she said.</p> <p>“Remember that your entry requirements are unique to you, and it’s your responsibility to obtain all necessary documents.</p> <p>“In the end, Holland America refunded the couple for their unused return airfare as a gesture of goodwill but declined any other refund.”</p> <p>Arranging visas is the responsibility of the traveller and not their booking agent or travel company.</p> <p>Do you think the Coates deserved a full refund? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

Travel Trouble

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Wild weather not over yet: More flash flooding is coming

<p>While Sydney has already seen over a month’s worth of rain in two hours this morning, the wild weather is not over yet – with more flash flooding, damaging winds and hail expected to wreak havoc on the afternoon commute.</p> <p>A severe thunderstorm is currently making its way to Sydney from the Hunter region, and a number of train lines are not running on the North Shore, including the T1 line between Gordon and Hornsby. </p> <p>It was forecast the torrential downpour from early this morning would continue throughout the day, with an expected forecast of rain and thunderstorms up till Wednesday evening.</p> <p>Sadly, today's wild weather has turned deadly, after one man died in a two-car collision at Thornleigh in Sydney's north shore. Two police officers also suffered injuries today after a tree toppled on top of them at North Ryde. </p> <p>Early on Wednesday, a severe thunderstorm warning had been issued for those living in central NSW coast from Moruya to Newcastle, including Sydney and Illawarra. Flooding has also taken over parts of the city.</p> <p>This morning, in the time span of two hours, 90mm of rain fell on Sydney’s weather centre smashing the 67mm November average.</p> <p>Half of that number fell in 30 minutes, with the wet weather only predicted to get worse as the day continues.</p> <p>Sydney airport is currently in chaos with only one runway in operation. One passenger described the scene, saying “everything on lockdown, no flights in or out”.</p> <p>Speaking to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/wild-wetnesday-torrential-rain-expected-to-lash-sydney-and-surrounds/news-story/1385a57d99fde7796d39324aa1d40b5b" target="_blank">news.com.au</a></em>, Cait Tynan, an airport spokeswoman, advised those flying out today to check with their carriers before making the journey to the airport. “The airlines are the ones that make decisions about delays,” she said.</p> <p>Other commuters have taken to social media to share their frustrations as many are stuck on flooded roads and blacked out train stations.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">A wet commute at Brookvale. Thanks for sharing Brett Downie. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SydneyStorm?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SydneyStorm</a> <a href="https://t.co/GLUOqwTdul">pic.twitter.com/GLUOqwTdul</a></p> — ABC Sydney (@abcsydney) <a href="https://twitter.com/abcsydney/status/1067522382254923776?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 27, 2018</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">A tree has fallen on a car in Leichhardt. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SydneyStorm?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SydneyStorm</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ABCemergency?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ABCemergency</a> <a href="https://t.co/1kvscSbZ20">pic.twitter.com/1kvscSbZ20</a></p> — ABC Sydney (@abcsydney) <a href="https://twitter.com/abcsydney/status/1067517868567220224?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 27, 2018</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Rain is pouring out of the walls at Woolworths Town Hall. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SydneyStorm?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SydneyStorm</a> <a href="https://t.co/XirhFmZ01i">pic.twitter.com/XirhFmZ01i</a></p> — James Lemon (@jameslemon) <a href="https://twitter.com/jameslemon/status/1067504206611771392?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 27, 2018</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sydneystorm?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sydneystorm</a> currently demonstrating that previously I have over-used the phrase “tipping it down”.<br /><br />Here’s what it really means:<br /><br />**actual bucketfuls of water landing around you without gaps in them** <a href="https://t.co/h2RbFx3KX5">pic.twitter.com/h2RbFx3KX5</a></p> — jonathan jb webb (@jjbw) <a href="https://twitter.com/jjbw/status/1067508134048985088?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 27, 2018</a></blockquote> <p>Fire crews are on the scene as they have rescued several people in the past few hours.</p> <p>Those travelling to work have been advised to “work from home” and remain off the roads as authorities have issued a severe storm warning for Sydney.</p>

Travel Trouble

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Aussie woman opens up about cruise ship horror: “My partner tried to push me overboard”

<p>A woman, who was lucky to survive a five-day cruise, has bravely discussed the terrifying moment her partner attempted to throw her off their balcony.</p> <p>Kim and her partner David James Fysh, 46, saved up to cruise from Sydney to Tasmania on Radiance of the Seas for almost a year before they embarked on their holiday.</p> <p>However, less than 48 hours after departing on October 16, their getaway quickly turned into a nightmare, reported <em style="font-weight: inherit;">A Current Affair.</em></p> <p>Kim claimed David was uninterested in the cruise they had worked so hard to experience, focusing his time on drinking and sleeping instead.</p> <p>She also alleged that her fiancé packed Valium for the cruise.</p> <p>After growing frustrated by his disinterest, Kim confronted him before the pair got into an argument about him wasting the holiday.</p> <p>Kim then said the argument took a violent turn.</p> <p>“He locked me outside on the balcony and pulled the room out looking for them (Valium) and then when he couldn't find them, he came outside on to the balcony,” she said.</p> <p>“Had me by the back of my arms and was trying to push me overboard and I was just screaming.”</p> <p>When asked if she thought she was going to die during the <em style="font-weight: inherit;">ACA </em>interview, Kim replied with an emotional: “Yep.”</p> <p>“I was screaming, 'Please don't kill me, please don't kill me, please don't throw me overboard.’”</p> <p>Remembering the terrifying ideal, Kim said her partner didn’t say much as he allegedly held her over the balcony.</p> <p>She explained that she managed to free herself because she was wearing a silky robe and “slipped out of his grip like a ninja”.</p> <p>After escaping from her attacker, she locked him on the balcony and called cruise staff immediately.</p> <p>David was arrested and charged with attempted murder after the cruise docked in Hobart.</p> <p>Police allege that David tried to throw Kim from the cruise balcony by grabbing her under the arms at 3:30am.</p> <p>Kim claimed that passengers in nearby rooms heard her piercing screams.</p> <p>In the emotional interview, Kim said her relationship with David had been volatile and she felt guilty she let the abuse get as far as it did.</p> <p>David pleaded not guilty at Hobart Magistrates Court on October 19 and bail was not granted.</p> <p>In February, the case will appear before the Supreme Court.</p>

Travel Trouble

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Bad news if you're flying in or out of these Aussie airports

<p>Thousands of passengers have been left stranded at two major airports due to damaging winds currently facing the region.</p> <p>Crowds of frustrated travellers are currently facing cancelled or delayed flights at Sydney and Melbourne airports.</p> <p>Sydney Airport only has one runway out of three operating due to the intense winds, which are travelling up to 69km/h, causing trouble for planes during take-off and landing.</p> <p>The extreme weather has seen international and domestic flights cancelled or delayed, with a Qantas plane travelling from Los Angeles being forced to divert elsewhere because of strong winds.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">⚠ 🌬 Due to strong winds, single runway operations are currently in effect. International and Domestic terminals are experiencing some flight delays. Please contact your airline for more information.</p> — Sydney Airport ✈️ (@SydneyAirport) <a href="https://twitter.com/SydneyAirport/status/1065704035485806592?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">22 November 2018</a></blockquote> <p>“International and domestic terminals are experiencing some flight delays. Please contact your airline for more information,” tweeted Sydney Airport earlier this morning.</p> <p>Melbourne airport has also been affected, as the number of incoming and outgoing flights have been reduced.</p> <p>Flights from Brisbane to Sydney have been cancelled or delayed until further notice.</p> <p>Also affected are passengers from Hobart, who planned to travel to Sydney and Melbourne. Some services from Canberra have also been cancelled.</p> <p>Qantas and Virgin Australia have advised passengers of the delays.</p> <p>“Sydney and Melbourne Airports have reduced the number of flights allowed to arrive and depart each hour, which is impacting all airlines,” said Virgin Australia in a statement.</p> <p>“This may also affect flights arriving and departing into other destinations across the network.</p> <p>“Virgin Australia is working hard to minimise delays for passengers and get everyone on their way as quickly and safely as possible.”</p> <p>Qantas asked passengers to make sure their contact details in their flight booking was correct in case there were changes to their journey that they needed to be contacted about.</p> <p>Angry passengers took to social media to vent their frustrations as they wait for updates on their flights.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Its mental!! <a href="https://t.co/BcuPIQMCku">pic.twitter.com/BcuPIQMCku</a></p> — leo (@lenman74) <a href="https://twitter.com/lenman74/status/1065714556427657217?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">22 November 2018</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">What the hell us going on with <a href="https://twitter.com/VirginAustralia?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@VirginAustralia</a> at <a href="https://twitter.com/SydneyAirport?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SydneyAirport</a> ?? What a joke there must be 1000 people queuing <a href="https://twitter.com/7NewsSydney?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@7NewsSydney</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/9NewsSyd?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@9NewsSyd</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/10NewsFirstSyd?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@10NewsFirstSyd</a> <a href="https://t.co/XtewdXVKWb">pic.twitter.com/XtewdXVKWb</a></p> — Katie M (@holykatie) <a href="https://twitter.com/holykatie/status/1065706550709248000?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">22 November 2018</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">At Sydney airport to fly to Melbourne when met with crowds &amp; chaos. Zero announcements for 45 minutes, no staff in the queue &amp; then once my flight closed I’m told to wait in a v long line to get rebooked or call reservations?! <br />Not cool <a href="https://twitter.com/VirginAustralia?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@VirginAustralia</a></p> — Zaahir Edries (@zaahir_edries) <a href="https://twitter.com/zaahir_edries/status/1065712684513996800?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">22 November 2018</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Chaos at domestic <a href="https://twitter.com/VirginAustralia?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@VirginAustralia</a> bag drop this morning. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sydneyairport?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sydneyairport</a> <a href="https://t.co/Tn9VxORHcG">pic.twitter.com/Tn9VxORHcG</a></p> — Stephen Mudd (@muddhism) <a href="https://twitter.com/muddhism/status/1065704014182895616?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">22 November 2018</a></blockquote> <p>Those who are travelling today are advised to contact their airline before reaching the airport.</p>

Travel Trouble

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Passenger mocked for “cheap” move on flight

<p>An airline passenger has been accused of being “cheap” after complaining about receiving a cup of ice instead of water from a crew member.</p> <p>Gene Goh was travelling from Singapore to Japan with budget airline Scoot when he asked for a cup of water while waiting for take off.</p> <p>“I asked for just a cup of plain water but was told by your airline staff that only bottled water is available for purchase,” he wrote on the airline’s Facebook page.</p> <p>Gene said he was given a cup of ice and told to wait for it to melt so he could drink it.</p> <p>“All I am asking is just a cup of water, I wouldn’t care if it was from the tap,” he said.</p> <p>“I hope that there could be some sort of care for passengers, not being unreasonable over here.”</p> <p>However, Gene received little sympathy from other social media users, with many saying he was lucky to even receive the ice.</p> <p>“Dude, budget airline. Got money to go to Osaka, no money to buy water huh? If you want free things don’t travel. Entitled youth,” one person said.</p> <p>“Just few dollars for a mineral water. Don’t tell me you couldn’t afford it. Stop making yourself cheap … Well done cabin crew! You did the right thing,” another said.</p> <p>Some believe that Gene should’ve been charged for the plastic cup.</p> <p>Do you think passengers should be able to order free water when flying? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Travel Trouble

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How not to behave on a plane

<p>Flying economy, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact we’re all in it together.</p> <p><strong>1. The Armrest Warrior</strong></p> <p>They dominate the shared armrests and can provoke an in-flight turf war.<br /><strong>Strategise:</strong> Sharing is best, or one ‘outside’ rest for window and aisle seats and both for the middle. If someone’s obsessed with claiming ownership, it may be worth retreating peacefully for a more relaxing journey.</p> <p><strong>2. The Recliner</strong></p> <p>Their seat goes back as soon as the plane levels out and stays there until landing, making it impossible for those behind to work or eat.<br /><strong>Strategise:</strong> On a short flight, reclining is frowned upon. On longer flights, keep your seat straight until it’s acceptable to recline – generally once meal trays have been collected.</p> <p><strong>3. The Hygiene Offender</strong></p> <p>It’s a long flight, so they took a long run beforehand, then covered up with the strongest deodorant available. <br /><strong>Strategise:</strong> While most of us arrive at the airport fresh and clean, the close quarters of a plane mean that normally pleasant smells like curry and fragrance can affect other passengers. On long-haul flights, pack wet-wipes for an inflight wash and a change of socks, top and underwear.</p> <p><strong>4. The Chatterer</strong></p> <p>These flyers can’t wait to talk your ear off for the duration of the flight. <br /><strong>Strategise:</strong> Have headphones or a laptop ready to show you’re busy. Nervous flyers may need you to chat to calm them; remind them planes are statistically the safest way to travel.</p> <p><strong>5. The Overhead Storage Hog</strong></p> <p>They get on early and stuff every available overhead locker with their excess carry-on.<br /><strong>Strategise:</strong> Store heavy items under the seat in front of you, then look for free space in the overheads, accepting you may not get it above your seat.</p> <p><em>Written by Jackie Middleton. This article first appeared in <a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/flights/How-Not-to-Behave-on-a-Plane"><span>Reader’s Digest</span></a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V">best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Travel Trouble

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Aussies warned of deadly mozzie disease

<p>Australians travelling to Bali have been issued a warning after a deadly mosquito-born brain disease is spreading throughout the popular tourist destination.</p> <p>The health ministry of Indonesia says that an increased amount of Japanese encephalitis cases has been brought to light as of recently.</p> <p>The disease, which is considered to be life-threatening, can cause blindness, weakness and movement disorders.</p> <p>If the viral brain infection is contracted, the symptoms include fever, headache, neck stiffness, tremors, paralysis and convulsions, especially amongst younger children.</p> <p>The disease can also send those affected into a coma or ultimately death, and those who are lucky enough to survive the deadly disease are usually left with neurological impairments that last throughout the course of their life.</p> <p>According to The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC), the disease is currently spreading throughout Asia with countries such as India, Pakistan and Japan reporting an increased amount of cases.</p> <p>With 30-50,000 cases reported per year, the ECDPC says that number has been seeing a decline due to vaccinations and an improvement in agriculture.</p> <p>While the disease is most likely to occur from mosquitos, it can also be transmitted through birds, bats, cows and pigs.</p> <p>The ministry is currently monitoring the disease in Bali, North Sulawesi and Manado but so far, Bali is the worst affected area.</p> <p>“To intervene with (the spread of) this disease, we have been introducing vaccinations in Bali with pretty good results. We are intervening with immunisation,” said Vensya Sitohang, the Ministry of Health Director of Surveillance and Quarantine to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/warnings/australians-warned-about-travelling-to-bali-amid-spike-in-japanese-encephalitis-cases/news-story/e255ca32f524bcbdae9d1ee1f7e3a429" target="_blank"><em>news.com.au</em></a>.</p> <p>Children who are aged between nine months old to 15 years are eligible for vaccination as they are considered to be the most at risk when it comes to contracting the infection.</p> <p>According to the ministry, 979,953 people have been vaccinated so far.</p> <p>“The hope is that it prevents it early, so no physical disability is reached,” said Ms Sitohang.</p> <p>Signs and symptoms occur within five-15 days after being bitten by the infected insect.</p> <p>Those who are travelling to Bali or Asia are advised to remain covered up and regularly apply mosquito repellent to avoid getting bitten.</p> <p>“A Japanese encephalitis vaccine is available for people aged 12 months and older and is recommended for travellers spending extended one month or more in rural areas of high-risk countries for JE,” the NSW Health website reads.</p> <p>Contact your GP for further information on the vaccine. </p>

Travel Trouble

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Cruise descends into "pure chaos" as ship loses its balance

<p>It was supposed to be a relaxing five-day cruise trip to the Caribbean, but instead, passengers were faced with their worst nightmare after a malfunctioning switchboard forced the ship to tilt to its side.</p> <p>The Carnival Sunshine cruise liner left Port Carnaveral on Sunday, October 28, and it didn’t take long for problems to start arising as the unbalanced cruise ship caused chaos with passengers flying out of their seats and plates and glasses falling to the ground in pieces.</p> <p>Those on board compared the incident to the Titanic, with one person claiming that water was seeping into the ship during dinnertime.</p> <p>“We were actually at the table where the window broke and the water came in,” said a passenger to Orlando news station WFTV.</p> <p>“Next thing we know, the whole boat tilted … we were literally hanging on for our lives, dangling … it was really like a scene from the Titanic.”</p> <p>David Crews, a passenger on board the doomed ship, said he didn’t think the back and forth rocking of the ship was a problem until he saw others crying and screaming for help.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">This is the inside of the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship on Sunday evening. <a href="https://twitter.com/CarnivalCruise?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CarnivalCruise</a> says the ship listed (tilted or leaned) because of a technical issue just hours after leaving <a href="https://twitter.com/PortCanaveral?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PortCanaveral</a>. <br /><br />(H/t to David Crews for the pictures) <a href="https://t.co/usSaQsZBzG">pic.twitter.com/usSaQsZBzG</a></p> — Clay LePard (@ClayLePard) <a href="https://twitter.com/ClayLePard/status/1057717193968943106?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">31 October 2018</a></blockquote> <p>“Plates and silverware started sliding off the tables. Then the tables themselves started to slide. Glasses and plates started to fall and shatter. At this point, it was pure chaos. Screams. Cries. Panic.”</p> <p>Speaking to <a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/cruise-descends-pure-chaos-ship-loses-balance-005339076.html" target="_blank"><em>Yahoo Lifestyle</em></a>, a spokesperson claims that everything was under control after a minute into the chaos.</p> <p>“There was never any issue with the safe operation of the ship and our officers quickly intervened to correct the situation,” said the spokesperson, as they also admitted to some passengers walking away with minor injuries.</p> <p>The day after the incident took place, the captain issued a note to each guest to explain what went wrong.</p> <p>“We have identified that an electrical switchboard malfunction impacted the use of the fin stabilisers,” it said.</p> <p>“It’s important to note that fin stabilisers are not a safety feature; they are deployed solely for guest comfort to minimise any potential ship motion while at sea. There was never any issue with the safe operation of the ship, and our officers quickly intervened to correct the situation.”</p> <p>Although the cruise line offered compensation of $50 to each guest, many were not impressed and chose to end their journey after the terrifying event. </p>

Travel Trouble

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Women thrown off flight for what she tried to smuggle on board

<p>Although it’s an option to transport your pets with you when you fly, most pet owners will leave their furry friends behind when they go on a trip.</p> <p>But one woman thought she’d try a sneaky way to smuggle her cat on board a British Airways flight from Glasgow to London Heathrow Airport. In the American’s hand luggage, her cat was stored inside a box with the passenger claiming it was necessary for “emotional support,” reported <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/woman-thrown-off-flight-tried-smuggle-luggage-002404191.html" target="_blank">Yahoo 7</a></em>.</p> <p>The unidentified woman had somehow made it through airport security with the feline in her carry-on luggage. According to the <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6310577/American-passenger-kicked-British-Airways-flight-trying-smuggle-CAT-onboard.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em> an airport insider claimed that the security scanner “would not have picked up the cat as being alive, dead or stuffed".</p> <p>Needless to say, she was removed from the October 21 flight, but not before the woman became panicked when she was asked to store the bag in an overhead locker as she was seated at an emergency exit.</p> <p>It comes after some even more bizarre incidents of passengers attempting to smuggle “emotional support” animals on board flights. One woman was removed from a Frontier Airlines flight in the US earlier this month when she tried to bring a squirrel with her on her voyage, according to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/british-airways-emotional-support-cat-passenger-kicked-off-a8600941.html" target="_blank">The Independent</a></em>.</p> <p>And earlier this year a United Airlines passenger wanted to stowaway her “emotional support peacock” named Dexter on a flight to Los Angeles, even attempting to buy the bird a ticket.</p> <p>Speaking of the latest incident, a British Airways spokesman told <em>The Independent</em> that while cats weren’t allowed in plane cabins, assistance dogs were “very welcome".</p> <p>“Cats cannot travel in the cabin but recognised assistance dogs are always very welcome and travel completely free of charge alongside their owners on board,” they said.</p> <p>“Other animals will need to travel in the hold but will be just as comfortable in a carefully controlled environment," the spokesman added. </p> <p>What's the strangest thing you have seen a passenger bring on board a flight? Tell us in the comments below. </p>

Travel Trouble

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Couple's creepy discovery in cruise ship cabin: "Is that what I think it is?"

<p>A US couple from Florida made a creepy discovery in their cruise ship cabin during what was supposed to be a relaxing holiday.</p> <p>Chris and Dana White were enjoying their three-day Carnival cruise to the Caribbean last October before they found a device pointed in the direction of their bed.</p> <p>When they went to have a closer look, they realised it was a video camera that was intentionally placed in between their TV wires.</p> <p>Speaking to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.insideedition.com/" target="_blank"><em>Inside Edition</em></a> Mr White said, “We were just really flabbergasted that there’s a camera in the room and it’s plugged up and it’s working.”</p> <p>“I just immediately felt like we had been invaded,” Mrs White added.</p> <p>“Our privacy has been invaded.”</p> <p>After making the shock discovery, the pair informed the cruise company who then asked an employee to remove the camera from the premises.</p> <p>After launching an investigation, the company said that a “video transmitter” was found by the staff on the ship but did not mention if the device was connected to a power source or if it was able to record, according to a report by <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.usatoday.com/" target="_blank"><em>USA Today</em></a>.</p> <p>Carnival has alerted US Customs and Border Protection and has also given the transmitter to the FBI for a more detailed analysis.</p> <p>The incident comes after a young couple came across a <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/the-terrifying-moment-a-couple-make-an-eerie-discovery-inside-their-airbnb" target="_blank">video camera in their Airbnb</a> while visiting Canada. The camera was built into an alarm clock. </p> <p>Has anything like this ever happened to you on holiday? Share your story with us in the comments below. </p>

Travel Trouble