The sacred cows of travel: user pays (and pays)

Sacred cows (Photo: Belle Jackson)

*Warning: this post contains mild ranting and mentions children*

It seems our fair country is in the midst of a
tussle between ideologies of socialism and capitalism, once again.

The government sells off more energy sources to foreign
countries, and we pay for exactly what we use (oh, and how we pays). Yet at the
same time, it’s setting up the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which has
its principles in the idea that society looks after all its members – as one
commentator said recently, some members of our society want to have a shower
more than twice a week…

Back in travel, with the increase of Tiger Airways and the
arrival of Scoot, and the growing tightness of Jetstar, we’re becoming accustomed to paying for
everything from seat allocations to food. And while infants once flew free,
we’re now being charged for the luxury of those babies sitting on our laps in
the low-cost carriers. I forecast this will extend to the financially
strapped so-called full-service airlines before too long. Don’t tell me it’s
not on their financial planners’ whiteboards.

So it should come as no surprise to me that hotel rooms are also
charging for cots. Now, Jnr Jackson and I have knocked up a few miles already,
even though she’s still under the magical 24-month milestone, when she gets to
start paying at least 25 percent for her airline seat. We’ve messed up some of
the best hotel rooms in Fiji, Indonesia and Australia. Even so, I’m obviously
still a novice at learning what the hotels and carriers can dream up to charge
us.
I suspect this learning curve will continue, and the direction is skyward.

About the author

Fear is found on a creaking glacier in the Caucasus mountains and joy is encapsulated in the perfect Shanghai dumpling. And while I love a $500-a-night hotel room (who doesn’t?), sometimes the best stories are found in a $20 guesthouse. With an eye always out for good markets and great street eats, I write the travel news and features for the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age newspapers, and features for whoever else asks. I have a particular soft spot for the wilds of the Middle East, scarves and carpets. My articles and photographs have been published in a range of consumer magazines and newspapers in Australia and abroad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *