Travel

Hit’s ya right in the awwwww

Discovery Channel Employs well known Arts, Travel and Fitness Blogger David Farrar

David’s so excited, the Discovery Channel have employed the much slimmer and fitter David Farrar as its new travel blogger.

Here’s a preview of his new show!

Read more »

Maybe they feel sorry for us

ŠĒ• Sydney Morning Herald

Australians need to realise New Zealand isn’t actually that bad….and Kiwis can always use Clendon Park and Otara.

There’s a common refrain from people who don’t think about these things the same way I do. It’s something like this: “Why would you travel all that way just to look at poor people?”

On the face of it, it’s not a bad question. Why would you? Why would you leave a place like Australia that’s perfectly safe and well-off for a country like India, where there’s poverty on a mass scale shoved in your face, sometimes literally?

 

Tagged:

Bringing classy back

ŠĒ• Herald on Sunday

Kerre Woodham looks to be a convert to Malaysian Airlines with their new restriction on kids on the upper levels of their A380s, she suggests they extend the ban from children:

But a quick poll among my talkback listeners revealed that there was way worse to endure than crying kids.

Obese people who demand that the armrest be raised so they can wedge themselves in are a pet hate; as are stinky people who seem to have an aversion to deodorant or indeed any form of personal hygiene.

One person told me he saw an Auckland Airport official take a smelly passenger away for a shower before they could board their flight, and if that’s true give that man or woman a medal.

Being stuck by the toilets and seated next to people trying to join the mile-high club were all considered worse than a crying baby.

Still, the stance by Malaysian Airlines is a start. Today restrictions on screaming babies, tomorrow the obese, next week the smelly. Let’s bring classy back to international travel.

 

Campaigning on the taxpayer?

MP travel expenses have ballooned last quarter:

The domestic travel and accommodation costs of MPs and ministers totalled $3.7 million from October to December – 51 per cent higher than for the same quarter in 2010 when it was $2.4 million. It equates to an average of an extra $10,000 on travel for each MP over the three month period.

The figures do not include accommodation costs for MPs’ bases in Wellington.

The sharp spike in travel was likely caused by the election campaign and the Rugby World Cup.

MPs have unlimited domestic travel, including for campaigning and personal use as well as work-related.

Yep it is outrageous that representatives are able to extort the taxpayer to fund their election campaigning.

Have a look at these three examples from the latest figures:

Trevor Mallard, Katrina Shanks, Charles Chauvel and Gareth Hughes…all are Wellington based MPs. There should be precious little excuse, particularly for electorate MPs like Mallard for excessive


Party Member Accommodation Domestic travel Total
Wellington Out of Wellington Air Surface
Green Hughes, Gareth - 1,421 13,325 3,805 18,551
Labour Chauvel, Charles - 1,525 9,658 3,475 14,659
Labour Mallard, Trevor - 253 10,126 7,667 18,047
National Shanks, Katrina - 312 2,188 1,479 3,978

It certainly looks like Labour’s campaign strategist was taking the piss on travel and using the taxpayers funds to cart his carcass around the country. Gareth Hughes is a terrible spender, enjoying large amounts of air travel for dubious purpose.

Mates and Not Mates

When the earthquake struck Christchurch it devastated the central city, has killed hundreds and left many people without homes, relatives and busineses. It is a time for mates and a time for stepping up.

Air New Zealand stepped up. They immediately put on 747s and charged bare minimum prices to get people home or out of the region. They are a good corporate citizen. They are our Mates.

Our nearest neighbours Australia reacted immediately sending rescue folk, troops and Police from across the country.

From my sources on the ground I hear that the Australian cops have been extremely professional and effective in Christchurch. Great people doing an excellent job. Australia has fronted up above and beyond. We tried to help Queensland where we could and when you do send help you hope that one day, should it be needed that the help is reciprocated. Australia has delivered, they are so generous and supportive. You can’t speak higher of them. 300 plus cops AND the USAR teams, who are world class. The Australian military support has been brilliant too. I understand we have also¬†received¬†donations from all Aussies states. Give Gillard her due, she has fronted. They are our Mates.

They are heroes and mates that we salute.

However we now turn to Not Our Mates.

Qantas and Jetstar reacted far differently.

Jetstar has decided that people travelling to and from Christchurch with a bag (and it has to be an evac) is $99. Anyone else is normal fares. I think it is fair to say that we can call that profiteering.

Jetstar’s owner Qantas also seems to have¬†forgotten¬†how many customers come from NZ. They made a $1000 a ticket getting the outstanding Australian cops into Christchurch. The spirit of ANZAC and mateship does not apply to Qantas. In the darkest day, you remember. Qantas made their views known and we accept their decision.

Qantas has failed to recognise that have a choice of airlines to cross the Tasman. ¬†“Anyone But Qantas” is the new call.

We remember our mates and Qantas are not our mates. That’s fine, you made the call Qantas, now take the lumps.

Apart from not being our mates, they are idiots and the shareholders should be annoyed.

Option A : Stick a pack of cops on a plane for three hours.

Glory of press statement and stories across your home markets saying:

“Qantas makes plane available at short notice to help Christchurch”

“Qantas has been flying to Christchurch for X years. It is an important part of our network. Qantas was proud to help 120 top Aussie cops to keep the people of Christchurch safe. Kiwis cops have been working tirelessly for the community. In the spirit of Australia, we were proud to help give them a break. We put on a free flight for the police. We also took x pallets of bottled water to help out Christchurch in its darkest days. Qantas is there for Christchurch”

Result : Glowing Trans-Tasman media stories, endorsment and brand enhancement by a major factor. Whaleoil endorsement. Major political figures in NSW and NZ say “good guys”. Customer base takes pride in their airline.

Value : Millions. Kiwis talk for years about Qantas being “our mates”. NSW Government pleased. Australians proud of their airline.
Cost : A$120,000

Option B : Be a pack of tight bastards.

Value : A$120,000
Cost & Result : Crap media across Australia and New Zealand. Immeasurable brand damage. Make an enemy of Whaleoil. Negative Media. NSW Govt has to ask Federal Govt for cash, embarrassing both Govts.

Message to Shareholders of Qantas : Seriously? You let these clowns look after your money? REALLY????

Remember folks, remember well who our mates are in times of need and then when you make a choice for where you will spend your dollars, spend it with our mates. As we hear more of donations and assistance I will create a Mates and Not Mates list. Qantas is now Not our Mate.