Beware duty free regulations when transiting in Bangkok

FULL BOTTLE

I would like to warn all travellers, especially flying from Europe, who have bought duty-free liquor in Europe and transit through Bangkok airport not to do so. We recently got caught when having bought two bottles of limoncello [Italian lemon liqueur] duty-free in Rome, all perfectly sealed.

After passing all security checks at Bangkok airport, there was a last check at the boarding gate for our flight to Sydney. We were told that due to "Australian security regulations" only duty-free liquor bought at Bangkok airport would be allowed onto the plane.

After much discussion and frustration, our bags of lovely limoncello joined at least 15 other duty-free bags - destined to heavens knows where. I understand that this policy applies to all airlines as was confirmed by a friend who had the same unfortunate experience.

Brigitte Hunt, Killara, NSW

If you are planning to take trains in Switzerland, be sure to download the app SBB Mobile. This excellent app helps you plan your journey, particularly if it involves several train changes or alternative routes.

During a recent visit to Switzerland, my husband and I needed to take the train from St Moritz to Wengen in one day. This necessitated six different trains.

We both had a medium suitcase and backpack to handle, but we easily managed it, thanks to the app which accurately predicted the platform and arrival time for each change, along with the departure time and platform for our next train.

We found the SBB Mobile app more user-friendly for planning than the SwissTrains app.

Lynne Hutton, Castle Hill, NSW

EURO SCEPTIC

I recently bought euros before travelling to Europe. The currency firm provided ???500 notes. Beware - flying to the moon is less difficult than transacting ???500 notes.

Retailers despise them. Banks won't change them unless you have an account. Fortunately, a lovely B&B operator negotiated them via her personal bank account and relieved our stress.

Geoff Watkins, Kalorama, VIC

FAX OF THE MATTER

I couldn't help empathising with Gary Fitzpatrick and his adventures in Paris (Tip-o-meter, October 22). My wife and I have recently returned from a trip that included a couple of weeks in Europe, which was organised by a Melbourne tour group using international sub-agents. Being met at airports and hotels by designated drivers certainly made transfers less stressful - when they turned up.

Our real problems arose when we began receiving faxes delivered to our room the night before scheduled tours with information contradictory to our original tour schedule.

We ended up with tours scheduled 15 minutes apart in Rome meaning a choice had to be made which we did, only to find out too late that our selection left from a different destination 30 minutes earlier than we had been advised. Obviously we had then missed out on both tours and are awaiting a response from the agents for a claim.

Finally, our train ticket to Florence from Rome clearly stated "Rome to Florence" but it was actually Rome to Torino and we were to get off at Florence. One hundred euros later, plus ???20 at the other end for a cab, and we were there.

Put it down to experience.

Simon Goodale, Staghorn Flat, VIC

STANDARD RESPONSE

My wife and I recently travelled to Scotland and had pre-booked from Hertz, in Edinburgh, a Ford Focus or similar. We were delighted when we were given a small diesel Volvo instead.

The car was fitted with very low profile tyres which are great for handling on good roads but not on the very narrow but picturesque back roads of Scotland, most of which have overgrown rough verges. The damage I did to two tyres and alloy rims cost us hundreds of pounds but still less than the car insurance excess.

I would therefore suggest requesting a rental car with standard tyres when travelling in Scotland as this would most likely have eliminated the above problem.

Wayne Stokes, South West Rocks, NSW