Youth lost male tourist


Student Flights' strangest travel questions of 2013

Published December 30th, 2013

Perplexed by passport requirements?  Confounded by cruising or dumbfounded by international destinations?  You’re not alone, but you may be surprised by some of the questions fielded by travel professionals from some would-be Aussie travellers. According to consultants from Student Flights, there are no stupid questions with many seeking advice on their first trip overseas, however there are some reoccurring queries that have customers stumped.


Some travellers are confused by geography with one client wanting to trek Mexico’s world-famous Inca Trail, while travel to our New Zealand neighbours or to our own Apple Isle is surprisingly baffling. Others are prepared to bargain with their in-flight comfort, and sometimes that of their family’s, to bag a cheaper airfare. Time zones are another source of uncertainty, with some mystified by the International Date Line and even unsure what day Christmas is celebrated overseas. In an effort to clear up the confusion, Student Flights consultants have looked back over the year to expose 2013’s five most mystifying travel queries.




1. Map mix-ups - Getting from A to B is not always as easy as it sounds.


  • How long will a bus from Melbourne to Los Angeles take?
  • How much for a flight from Los Angeles to California?
  • How far is Miami to Florida?
  • I want to go to Mexico, the part where the Inca Trail is.
  • How long does it take to drive from Honolulu to Los Angeles?
  • Can I get a beachside hotel in Bangkok?
  • Is Africa a country? Where in Africa is South Africa?
  • Where am I able to obtain currency for Tasmania?
  • Why do I need a passport for New Zealand when it’s only a domestic flight?
  • How much is a bus fare from Perth to Auckland?
  • How far is it by taxi from Uluru to Alice Springs, and how does that compare to making the journey by car?


2. Cruise Confusion – It’s not always smooth sailing for some potential passengers.


  • If I get an inside cabin on my cruise, will I still be able to walk around on the ship outside like I see in the movies?
  • What celebrities will be on my Celebrity Cruises cruise?
  • Will my outside cabin be above water?
  • Will I still be able to leave the ship if I don’t buy a shore excursion?
  • Can I take my fishing rod so my boyfriend and I can fish from the ship? – After consultation with the ship’s captain – Yes, but on catch-and-release basis only. Sadly, not all fish would survive being reeled up 11+ decks...


3. Plane puzzles – Luggage allowances are the least of their worries.


  • If I have a seat that goes down flat in Business Class, can I still lay on my side or only on my back?
  • How much seafood can you take on a flight?
  • Will my life size teddy bear get its own seat?
  • From a Queensland-based client - Can I get a flight from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane? (to those in the know, it’s an hour’s drive)
  • How do I know if I'll have enough oxygen on the plane? Can I take my own oxygen?
  • Can I take a fold up toilet seat on the plane? I don’t do public toilets.
  • Why does it take 2.5 hours to fly Brisbane to Sydney but only 30 minutes to fly Sydney to Brisbane? (daylight savings time)
  • How much would it cost to fly my child unaccompanied – mother of newborn baby
  • Can I order a fruit platter for breakfast from the flight attendant? - Economy class traveller
  • Will my flight be cheaper if I don’t have a seat?
  • If the rest of my family flies in the cargo hold, do I have to buy more than one ticket?
  • In response to explanation about the fuel surcharge – But don’t planes run on solar power?


4. Perplexing Passport – Note to Australian travellers everywhere, domestic travel does not require a passport.  Even when flying to Tasmania.


  • If I have served time in prison for attempted murder, can I still get a passport?
  • On my quote it says Miss Jane Smith, but I don't have MISS on my passport.  Does that matter?
  • When asked how their name is as per their passport – I don’t know how it appears.  It’s probably...
  • When it says ‘case sensitive’ for my online booking code, does that mean I can only use it once?
  • Do you need a passport to go to Tasmania?


5. Date and time zone – Crossing the line into the unknown


  • Does Christmas fall on December 26 in France?
  • I am departing from the UK on the 24th... is that London 24th or Sydney 24th?
  • Is New Zealand the same as us, or do we have to get a New Zealand calendar to work out which date to be there?
  • When it’s summer in Australia, what season is it in New Zealand?


OTT travel requirements – Some of the strangest requests put to Student Flights consultants in 2013.


  • Can you get the tour bus to leave earlier and stop less often so I can get to Berlin in time to meet my friends?
  • I know it’s wet season in Thailand, but can you please send me during a week when it won’t be raining?
  • If they don’t speak English in Nigeria, can I get my money back?
  • For travel over Grand Final Weekend – Can I get a cheaper flight to Melbourne because I don’t like football?
  • Can you guarantee that when I’m in France there will always be someone who speaks English available to help me?
  • Why didn't you tell me how poor people in India are?
  • Do I need a letter from my wife to say that I'm not kidnapping our kids if she's not travelling with us?




Laura Carlin

Give me big cities and culture over nature and wide open spaces any day, with the exception of a white sandy beach of course. Consider me a traveller with champagne tastes on a beer budget; I'd love my time overseas to be more glamorous than it often is. When in a new city you'll find me exploring the back streets to discover hidden gems by day and chatting with the locals with a drink in hand by night.