What’s really important when it comes to airline crew?

The CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, has caused outrage in some circles by calling American airline flight crew “grandmothers”, and pointing out that his staff have an average age of 26.

(Qatar Airways)

I don’t really wants to give too much oxygen to his ageist and, by implication, sexist comments. Continue reading What’s really important when it comes to airline crew?

It’s time for a inquiry into internet data roaming prices

Telstra, the Australian telecommunications giant, has just announced a A$10-a-day roaming package for travellers to 57 countries.

Before we break out the champagne to celebrate such a groundbreaking deal, can I be allowed to point out — in fact, shout out — that this is still outrageous and unacceptably high given what’s on offer?

Continue reading It’s time for a inquiry into internet data roaming prices

I’m back, and based in Bangkok

There’s a good reason for the absence of fresh posts on this blog for the past week. I’ve been busy relocating myself from Brisbane to Bangkok (via Taipei).

Here are a few pictures of where I’ve been in recent days. Words will follow in due course (translation: when I get the chance to write them.)

Continue reading I’m back, and based in Bangkok

A serendipitous day in Taipei

I really should pay attention to landmarks. I spent far too long walking the wrong way today, all because I confused Metro exit 5 and 8.

National Palace Museum exhibit ok

But I also visited the National Palace Museum during the day and I’m writing this from a very nice bar I spotted while I was walking the wrong way.

Continue reading A serendipitous day in Taipei

Up, up and away … this time I’m off to Taipei

For reasons that will become clearer in future posts, I have to be in Bangkok by the last week of this month.


I checked my Qantas frequent flyer points* with the view to making a direct flight from Brisbane. But I discovered that for about the same number of points I could go first to somewhere I’d never been before — and I’m always up for that.

Continue reading Up, up and away … this time I’m off to Taipei

Five reasons why your next holiday should be a cruise

Cruising is said to be the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry. It’s no surprise why.

Explorer of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)
Explorer of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)

In case you have reservations about making a reservation on a ship, here are some good reasons why sailing is the answer.

Continue reading Five reasons why your next holiday should be a cruise

Do you really want to get away from it all?

In this age of constant connectivity, we’ve all had to adapt in all aspects of our lives.

Because our bosses, our families and our friends expect us to be instant,y contactable, that means the dream of sailing away to a deserted island and truly switching off may never again be achievable.

Continue reading Do you really want to get away from it all?

Travel by numbers

A former colleague of mine has travelled to more than 100 countries. I don’t know if it’s his aim to visit them all, as others have done, but it’s a fairly impressive tally nonetheless.

We don’t all travel in the same way,

And, as far as I know, he doesn’t just dash in and out. He takes his time to see the sights, meet people and go off the beaten track. My country tally is about half of his, but I don’t see it as a competition.

We all approach travel in our own way.

Continue reading Travel by numbers

Be alert to travel dangers

The terrible events in London have once again brought terrorism to the forefront.


Those who commit these acts choose their targets carefully: they want to disrupt the daily lives of residents and to persuade would-be visitors to stay away. Their aims are to inflict immediate damage and to create long-term economic harm.

Continue reading Be alert to travel dangers

The show’s the thing

People take cruises for many reasons. So, apart from the niche players in the market who cater to very specific interests, cruise companies have to design their ships to provide something for everyone.

That means paying close attention to the menu, the shore excursions, the amenities and, crucially, the entertainment program.

Continue reading The show’s the thing

The price isn’t right

As a solo traveller who likes cruising, I’m always desperate to find a fair deal in a market that’s clearly geared towards groups of two or more.

I understand why there has traditionally been a bias towards catering for couples and families, but times are changing and more people — young, old and in the middle — are travelling on their own. With this in mind, I sometimes get riled when a see “deal” that is patently biased against solo travellers.

Continue reading The price isn’t right

Peaceful, picturesque Port Vila

I’ve rarely felt more welcome than I did in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, an island nation in the South Pacific about 1900 kilometres east of  Brisbane, Australia.

The people I met were friendly and very proud of their country. Taxi and bus drivers eagerly volunteered information and pointed out interesting sights.

Continue reading Peaceful, picturesque Port Vila

Pacific Aria: first impressions

I’ve arrived onboard P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Aria for a seven-day journey  from Brisbane to New Caledonia and back.

Ship’s webcam view of port in Brisbane

I’ll be blogging when I can, and posting updates on social media. In the meantime, I’ve undertaken a reconnaissance mission and here are some pictures of the ship and the port.

Continue reading Pacific Aria: first impressions

Passengers are powerless

Another week, another horror story about customer service on airlines. This time it’s about a woman who says she was told by United Airlines cabin crew to urinate in a cup.


Of course, there are different ways to interpret the story, but it does — once again — highlight an important issue: exactly how much control airline crew have over their passengers.

Continue reading Passengers are powerless