/ Parenting, Travel & Leisure

Your comments this week – tickets, tenants & techie toddlers

Do you book flights for value or convenience? Is your toddler better with an iPhone than you are? And would you like to see the speed limit raised? We’ve been talking about these issues and more this week.

The cheapest day to fly

Do you prioritise the price of plane tickets over convenience? Schnookie said cheaper isn’t always cheerful:

‘Getting a taxi to/from an airport between midnight and early morning is always more expensive, and waiting for hours after you have been kicked out of your room before you can get your flight home is really not joyful – quite wearing in fact.’

Rarrar finds that very early flights work best:

‘We have an early flight from Manchester coming up, so we’re staying in a hotel at the airport and getting a very cheap train to the airport the evening before. The biggest pro is the low stress level of this arrangement – I have all night to get to the airport so no worries about road or rail delays.’

Most people admit to breaking speed limits…

We asked if current speed limits should be raised. Martin Lancs was firmly in favour:

‘The 70mph limit on motorways is self-evidently out of date. It is in total disrepute with the majority of the motoring public – try driving at 70! The sooner it is raised to 80mph the better.’

But PeterW doesn’t think it’s a good idea:

‘80mph may presently appear to be a “sensible” upper limit on motorways in good conditions and light traffic. But it’s doubtful the increase from 70mph would be worth it. The world will soon be running out of cheap fossil fuels and the priority – and financial imperative – will be to drive economically.’

Complain for change: do bigger brands treat customers better?

We wondered if big brands were better at customer service. Digiconvs shared his thoughts:

‘Customer service is the most important part of any business in this day and age. Sometimes bigger brands do an exceptionally good job with respect to customer service but this may not be the case to generalise.

‘Some smaller businesses may not be offering good customer service simply because they probably don’t know how, and they don’t have access to training and courses widely available to larger businesses.

‘Sadly customer service is misunderstood by most businesses and to fix this we need commitment and transparency from businesses; it is a cultural thing which needs changing if brands care about long term reputation.’

Scotland slams the door on ‘rip-off’ letting agent fees

As Scotland puts a stop to letting agents charging upfront fees, we asked if the rest of the UK should follow in its footsteps. Geoff Fimister said:

‘This should remove a real burden from tenants who generally have no choice but to pay and may already be under financial pressure. It sets an example to the rest of the UK.’

However, commenter M firmly disagreed:

‘The industry needs regulation, not destruction! Of course there are rogue agents, just as there are rogue solicitors, bankers. MPs etc… Why punish a whole industry for the misdeeds of a few?

‘Tenants need protection, as do landlords (there are more bad tenants than bad landlords, but we hear little about them). The reasons for using a letting agent is because the law is now so complex, the majority of tenants and landlords have no idea what their rights and obligations are.’

Are tech savvy toddlers putting you to shame?

When we asked for your stories of tech-savvy kids, Nfh told us theirs:

‘When I told my six year old daughter that there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, she responded that she would use Google Earth to find it!’

Sophie Gilbert also shared her theory and gets our Comment of the Week:

‘One of the reasons children are generally so tech savvy (at a basic level anyway), is that they haven’t told themselves yet that they aren’t good at IT – a self-fulfilling psychological barrier I have seen lots of friends and colleagues put up themselves. Children don’t tell themselves either that they aren’t good at drawing, singing, languages, dancing…’

Comments have been edited due to length, so make sure to read them in full on their relevant Convos (by clicking on the red title link).

Paul Beale says:
23 November 2012

I think passports should have an extra 6 months included since most countries will not allow you to travel with less than 3 months remaining, so given that they know this why don’t they add the extra 3 or 6 months to compensate for this.

The number of pages in a passport now is getting less, my passport is usually full within two or three years, surely this should be replaced free of charge as my original has not expired its simply not containing enough pages. In the old days the blue passports could have twice as many pages now its half as many pages, so in theory the price on the number of pages has doubled not to mention the price increases over the years.

Children’s passports are valid only for 5 years should these not be free of charge or at least half the price after all they are only valid for 5 years and not 10 years.

In my opinion the cost of a passport is expensive and these costs need to be reduced especially for a large family. Before the invention of he passport we could travel freely without any restrictions.