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Worrying pattern of cancellations shows Australian TV's grim future

<p>As the future of free-to-air Australian television continues to be more and more "uncertain", a worrying pattern of dozens of cancelled programs show how the industry has been in trouble for quite some time. </p> <p>In recent years, dozens of seemingly popular shows have been axed across three major networks with thousands of people across the industry preparing themselves for further cancellations, pay cuts, job losses and career changes.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/exclusive-34-axed-aussie-shows-revealed-as-future-of-free-to-air-tv-uncertain-224725084.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Yahoo Lifestyle</em></a>, 34 shows across Seven, Nine and Ten have either been axed, put on an indefinite hiatus, or quietly removed from TV schedules with no mention of it again over the last five years. </p> <p>Many Aussie TV staples such as <em>Millionaire Hot Seat</em>, <em>The Bachelor</em>, and <em>Australian Ninja Warrior</em>, which were all once the highest rated shows on television, have been binned due to declining viewership and dwindling ratings. </p> <p>Channel Ten's <em>The Masked Singer</em> has also become a casualty in the TV wars, as host Dave Hughes <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/hughesy-spills-the-beans-on-major-shows-set-to-be-axed" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shared</a> that he simply hadn't received a production schedule for the new season of the show, only to discover it had been shelved. </p> <p>In an attempt to breathe new life into the channels, newer shows like Shaynna Blaze’s <em>Country Home Rescue</em> or Kate Langbroek’s <em>My Mum, Your Dad</em> premiered, but have only survived for single seasons after failing to grab an audience. </p> <p>Even revived classics like <em>Big Brother</em>, <em>Celebrity Apprentice</em> and <em><a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/channel-10-axes-another-show-amid-ratings-crisis" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Gladiators</a></em> haven’t been able to survive as they now face growing competition from streaming giants like Netflix and Stan.</p> <p>As the list of cancelled shows continues to grow, one seasoned lighting director, who asked to remain anonymous, told Yahoo Lifestyle that job insecurity for casts and crews is a major concern. </p> <p>They said, “Every year the breaks between jobs are getting longer and longer to the point a lot of us (crew) are now leaving the industry. Ten years ago we’d be booked consistently with jobs locked in 12 months in advance for all of the networks, now everyone’s scrambling to try to get on a three-day pilot shoot. Everything is so uncertain.”</p> <p>Below are all of the free-to-air shows from the last five years that haven’t been renewed.</p> <p id="channel-seven"><strong>Channel Seven</strong></p> <p>Big Brother (2001-2008, 2012-2014, 2020-2023)</p> <p>SAS Australia (2020-2023)</p> <p>This Is Your Life (1975-1980, 1995-2005, 2008, 2011, 2022-2023)</p> <p>Blow Up (2023)</p> <p>Million Dollar Island (2023)</p> <p>We Interrupt This Broadcast (2023)</p> <p>The Voice: Generations (2022)</p> <p>Big Brother VIP (2021)</p> <p>Holey Moley (2021)</p> <p>Ultimate Tag (2021)</p> <p>Wife Swap Australia (2012, 2021)</p> <p>House Rules (2013-2020)</p> <p>Plate of Origin (2020)</p> <p>Pooch Perfect (2020)</p> <p id="channel-nine"><strong>Channel Nine</strong></p> <p>Millionaire Hot Seat (2009–2023)</p> <p>My Mum, Your Dad (2022-2023)</p> <p>The Beach House Escape (2023)</p> <p>Rush (2023)</p> <p>Snackmasters (2021-2022)</p> <p>Australian Ninja Warrior (2017-2022)</p> <p>Beauty and the Geek (2009-2014, 2021-2022)</p> <p>Celebrity Apprentice (2011-2015, 2021-2022)</p> <p>Country Homes Rescue (2022)</p> <p>This Time Next Year (2017-2019)</p> <p>Australia’s Most Identical</p> <p id="channel-ten"><strong>Channel Ten</strong></p> <p>Gladiators (1995-1996, 2008, 2024)</p> <p>The Bachelor (2013-2023)</p> <p>Studio 10 (2013-2023)</p> <p>The Masked Singer (2019-2023)</p> <p>The Traitors (2022-2023)</p> <p>Would I Lie To You? Australia (2022-2023)</p> <p>The Real Love Boat (2022)</p> <p>The Bachelorette (2015-2021)</p> <p>Bachelor In Paradise (2018-2020)</p> <p><em>Image credits: Ten / Seven </em></p>

TV

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Boomers vs millennials? Free yourself from the phoney generation wars

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bobby-duffy-98570">Bobby Duffy</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/kings-college-london-1196">King's College London</a></em></p> <p>Generational thinking is a big idea that’s been horribly corrupted and devalued by endless myths and stereotypes. These clichés have fuelled fake battles between “snowflake” millennials and “selfish” baby boomers, with younger generations facing a “war on woke” and older generations accused of “stealing” the future from the young.</p> <p>As I argue in my book, <a href="https://atlantic-books.co.uk/book/generations/">Generations</a>, this is a real shame. A more careful understanding of what’s really different between generations is one of the best tools we have to understand change – and predict the future.</p> <p>Some of the great names in sociology and philosophy saw understanding generational change as central to understanding society overall. <a href="http://dhspriory.org/kenny/PhilTexts/Comte/Philosophy2.pdf">Auguste Comte</a>, for example, identified the generation as a key factor in “the basic speed of human development”.</p> <p>He argued that “we should not hide the fact that our social progress rests essentially upon death; which is to say that the successive steps of humanity necessarily require a continuous renovation … from one generation to the next”. We humans get set in our ways once we’re past our formative years, and we need the constant injection of new participants to keep society moving forward.</p> <p>Understanding whether, and how, generations are different is vital to understanding society. The balance between generations is constantly shifting, as older cohorts die out and are replaced by new entrants. If younger generations truly do have different attitudes or behaviours to older generations, this will reshape society, and we can, to some extent, predict how it will develop if we can identify those differences.</p> <p>But in place of this big thinking, today we get clickbait headlines and bad research on millennials “<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-hate-napkins-2016-3?r=US&amp;IR=T">killing the napkin industry</a>” or on how baby boomers have “<a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/boomers-are-blame-aging-america/592336/">ruined everything</a>”. We’ve fallen a long way.</p> <h2>Myth busting</h2> <p>To see the true value of generational thinking, we need to identify and discard the many myths. For example, as I outline in the book, gen Z and millennials are not lazy at work or disloyal to their employers. They’re also no more materialistic than previous generations of young: a focus on being rich is something we tend to grow out of.</p> <p>Old people are not uncaring or unwilling to act on climate change: in fact, they are more likely than young people to boycott products for social purpose reasons.</p> <p>And our current generation of young are not a particularly unusual group of “culture warriors”. Young people are always at the leading edge of change in cultural norms, around race, immigration, sexuality and gender equality. The issues have changed, but the gap between young and old is not greater now than in the past.</p> <p>Meanwhile, there are real, and vitally important, generational differences hidden in this mess. To see them, we need to separate the three effects that explain all change in societies. Some patterns are simple “lifecycle effects”, where attitudes and behaviours are to do with our age, not which generation we are born into. Some are “period effects” – where everyone is affected, such as in a war, economic crisis or a pandemic.</p> <p>And finally, there are “cohort effects”, which is where a new generation is different from others at the same age, and they stay different. It’s impossible to entirely separate these distinct forces, but we can often get some way towards it – and when we do, we can predict the future in a much more meaningful way.</p> <p>There are many real generational differences, in vitally important areas of life. For example, the probability of you owning your own home is hugely affected by when you were born. Millennials are around half as likely to be a homeowner than generations born only a couple of decades earlier.</p> <p>There is also a real cohort effect in experience of mental health disorders, particularly among recent generations of young women. Our relationship with alcohol and likelihood of smoking is also tied to our cohort, with huge generational declines in very regular drinking and smoking. Each of these point to different futures, from increased strain on mental health services to declining alcohol sales.</p> <p>But lifecycle and period effects are vitally important too. For example, there is truth in the idea that we grow more conservative as we age. One analysis suggests that this ageing effect is worth around <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0261379413000875">0.35% to the Conservatives each year</a>, which may not sound like a lot, but is very valuable over the course of a political lifetime.</p> <p>And, of course, the pandemic provides a very powerful example of how period effects can dramatically change things for us all.</p> <h2>Reaching beyond the avocado</h2> <p>When there is such richness in the realities, why are there so many myths? It’s partly down to bad marketing and workplace research – that is, people jumping on the generation bandwagon to get media coverage for their products or to sell consultancy to businesses on how to engage young employees.</p> <p>This has become its own mini-industry. In 2015, US companies spent up to US$70 million (£51 million) on this sort of “advice” <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/helping-bosses-decode-millennialsfor-20-000-an-hour-1463505666">according to the Wall Street Journal</a>, with some experts making as much as US$20,000 an hour. Over 400 LinkedIn users now describe themselves solely as a “millennial expert” or “millennial consultant”.</p> <p>Campaigners and politicians also play to these imagined differences. Our increasing focus on “<a href="https://www.kcl.ac.uk/policy-institute/assets/culture-wars-in-the-uk.pdf">culture wars</a>” often involves picking out particular incidents in universities, such as the <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-45717841">banning of clapping</a> at events or the <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-57409743">removal of a portrait of the Queen</a> to exaggerate how culturally different young people today are.</p> <p>Maybe less obviously, politicians such as former US President Barack Obama repeatedly lionise coming generations as more focused on equality, when the evidence shows they’re often not that different. These assertions are not only wrong, but create false expectations and divides.</p> <p>Some have had enough, calling on the Pew Research Center in the US, which has been a champion of generational groups, to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/07/07/generation-labels-mean-nothing-retire-them/&amp;data=04%257C01%257C">stop conducting this type of analysis</a>. I think that misses the point: it’s how it’s applied rather than the idea of generations that’s wrong.</p> <p>We should defend the big idea and call out the myths, not abandon the field to the “millennial consultants”.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/167138/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bobby-duffy-98570">Bobby Duffy</a>, Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Policy Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/kings-college-london-1196">King's College London</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/boomers-vs-millennials-free-yourself-from-the-phoney-generation-wars-167138">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Mind

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Man books 58 flights for free

<p dir="ltr">A Jetstar passenger has become locked in a legal battle with the Aussie airline after exploiting a promotion to get 58 flights for free. </p> <p dir="ltr">Lawyer Tyrone Barugh was one of many travellers who made use of Jetstar’s promotion that offered people a free return fare.</p> <p dir="ltr">Barugh booked a flight from Auckland to Sydney for $260 and received the free return, although he soon cancelled the outbound flight and was given credit with the airline. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, he did not cancel the return trip. </p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Barugh then used the credit to book another flight, before doing the same thing a further 57 times.</p> <p dir="ltr">The would-be passenger told <em>n</em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/travel/man-locked-in-tribunal-battle-with-jetstar-after-booking-58-free-flights/news-story/1e3f67324c952ce232f3a583575d7ddc"><em>ews.com.au</em></a> that he had not planned to board any of the flights, and has taken Jetstar to the Disputes Tribunal of New Zealand, claiming he is entitled to approximately $4,500 in taxes owed on the flights.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They’re [Jetstar] not out here with the most saintly of intentions,” he said. </p> <p dir="ltr">“They have terms and conditions that are designed to potentially avoid having to do the right thing by a lot of their customers and limit their liability to their customers, and they’re pretty happy to pull those out when it suits them.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He claims he is owed the money as he has paid the Passenger Movement Charge,  which is a $60 fee the Australian Government collects when a person leaves the country. </p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Barugh says he would accept a settlement of a “small flight credit and a toy plane”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There is a spirit of larrikinism,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">A spokesman for Jetstar declined to comment on the case, saying, “As this is a matter before the Tribunal, we won’t be making any comment.” </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Quiet beach town offering $450k job with free house and car

<p>A picturesque beach town in Western Australia has found a creative way to bring jobs to the area: by offering a range of enticing bonuses. </p> <p>The town of Bremer Bay, south-east of Perth, is desperate for healthcare providers to join the small town and have offered a range of persuasive perks to a doctor who would be willing to leave a big city for the job in the regional location. </p> <p>Bremer Bay is next to the Fitzgerald River National Park and nearly 40 minutes away from the closest town. Currently, they only have one temporary doctor; the next permanent GP is in Albany, almost 200 kilometres away, and the town is looking for the "Swiss army knife of doctors" to step up.</p> <p>According to the job listing on Seek, the successful applicant will be granted a rent-free five-bedroom house and a four-wheel drive, on top of a salary of up to $450,000 a year.</p> <p>"Live rent-free in a scenic location, experiencing the true essence of rural Australia," the advertisement reads.</p> <p>"We offer a competitive 70 per cent of Billings or a generous Salary, based on your preference. In addition, you'll enjoy the convenience of a beautiful new 5-bedroom home and 4X4."</p> <p>Applicants must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and be willing to train as a rural generalist.</p> <p>According to the <a title="Australian Institute of Health and Welfare" href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/rural-remote-australians/rural-and-remote-health" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australian Institute of Health and Welfare</a>, people living in rural and remote areas have higher rates of hospitalisations, deaths and injury compared to city-dwellers, while also having poorer access to primary health care services.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Jetstar celebrates 20th birthday with "return for free" flights

<p>Jetstar is celebrating its 20th birthday with massive sales and “return for free” flights across Australia and the world. </p> <p>The budget airline is offering over 200,000 “return for free” flights to 64 domestic and 33 international destinations, including popular holiday spots like Japan and Thailand. </p> <p>“Since launching in 2004, Jetstar has enabled hundreds of millions of Australian passengers to travel to more places, more often for less,” Jetstar Group CEO, Stephanie Tully, said.</p> <p>The 20th birthday sale will run for 48 hours, starting at 12.00am AEST on Wednesday, May 1, and end at 11.59pm AEST Thursday 2 May.</p> <p>The travel dates will vary according to the route, but for domestic flights dates include mid-January to late March 2025 and mid-June 2024 to late March 2025 for international services. </p> <p>Club Jetstar members will have 12 hours of exclusive early access from midday Tuesday.</p> <p><strong>A few of the destinations included in the offer can be seen below: </strong></p> <p><strong>Domestic:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Sydney to Ballina Byron from $86</li> <li>Melbourne (Tullamarine) to Launceston from $87</li> <li>Sydney to Gold Coast from $99</li> <li>Newcastle to Melbourne (Tullamarine) from $124</li> <li>Gold Coast to Melbourne (Tullamarine) from $125</li> <li>Perth to Gold Coast from $262</li> </ul> <p><strong>International: </strong></p> <ul> <li>Gold Coast to Wellington from $243</li> <li>Brisbane to Auckland from $266</li> <li>Perth to Bangkok from $309</li> <li>Perth to Phuket from $329</li> <li>Adelaide to Bali (Denpasar) from $349</li> <li>Melbourne (Tullamarine) to Singapore from $399</li> <li>Sydney to Honolulu from $449</li> <li>Brisbane to Seoul (Incheon) from $479</li> <li>Sydney to Osaka from $548</li> </ul> <p>A complete list of all the destinations and details can be found on the <a href="https://www.jetstar.com/au/en/deals?pid=mainnav%3Adeals&amp;flight-type=2&amp;adults=1&amp;origin=SYD#deals-content" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Jetstar website</a>. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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If you squat in a vacant property, does the law give you the house for free? Well, sort of

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cathy-sherry-466">Cathy Sherry</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p>Nothing excites law students like the idea of a free house. Or alternatively, enrages them. It depends on their politics. As a result, academics condemned to teaching property law find it hard to resist the “<a href="https://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/MelbULawRw/2011/28.html">doctrine of adverse possession</a>”. The fact that a person can change the locks on someone else’s house, wait 12 years, and claim it as their own, makes students light up in a way that the Strata Schemes Management Act never will.</p> <p>The idea of “squatters’ rights” has received a lot of media attention recently amid the grim reality of the Australian housing market. It fuels commentators such as Jordan van den Berg, who <a href="https://www.instagram.com/purplepingers/">critiques bad landlords</a> on social media. Casting back to his days as a law student, <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/article/jordan-was-fed-up-with-australias-empty-houses-his-proposal-has-led-to-death-threats/stx6rv6fl">he’s promoting</a> the doctrine of adverse possession as a way of making use of vacant properties.</p> <p>As interesting as the doctrine is, it has little relevance in modern Australia. While it is necessary to limit the time someone has to bring legal proceedings to recover land – typically 12 or 15 years, depending on which state you’re in – most people don’t need that long to notice someone else is living in their house. If a family member is occupying a home that someone else has inherited or a tenant refuses to vacate at the end of a lease, owners tend to bring actions to recover their land pronto.</p> <p>So where did this doctrine come from, and what has it meant in practice?</p> <h2>Free house fetching millions</h2> <p>In unusual circumstances, people can lose track of their own land.</p> <p>Just before the second world war, Henry Downie moved out of his house in the Sydney suburb of Ashbury. Downie died a decade later, but his will was never administered. At the time of his death, a Mrs Grimes rented the house and did so for a further 50 years. Downie’s next of kin did not realise they had inherited the house or that they were Grimes’s landlord.</p> <p>Grimes died in 1998 and Bill Gertos, a property developer, saw the house was vacant. He changed the locks, did some repairs, then leased the house and paid the rates for the next 17 years. He then made an application under <a href="https://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/rpa1900178/s45d.html">NSW property laws</a> to become the registered proprietor. At this point, Downie’s next of kin became aware they may have been entitled to the property and disputed Gertos’s claim.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2018/1629.html">court held</a> Gertos had been “in possession” of the property since the late 1990s. The next of kin had a legal right to eject him, but they had failed to do so within the statutory time limit of 12 years. Gertos had the best claim to the house. He <a href="https://www.domain.com.au/6-malleny-street-ashbury-nsw-2193-2015821514">promptly sold it</a> for A$1.4 million.</p> <p>Outrageous as this may seem, the law encourages caring for land. If you fail to take responsibility for your land, and someone else does, you can lose it.</p> <h2>An old English tradition</h2> <p>Gertos’s jackpot was unusual, and adverse possession has always been more relevant in a country like England.</p> <p>First, for much of English history, many people did not have documentary title (deeds) to their land. People were illiterate, parchment was expensive, and documents could disappear in a puff of smoke in a house fire. The law often had to rely on people’s physical possession of land as proof of ownership.</p> <p>Second, as a result of feudalism, vast swathes of England were owned by the aristocracy. They and their 20th-century successors in title, often local councils, had a habit of forgetting they owned five suburbs in London.</p> <p>In the post second world war housing crisis, thousands of families, and later young people and students, <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b017cfv4">squatted in vacant houses</a> owned by public and private landlords who lacked the means or motivation to maintain them.</p> <h2>A sign of the times</h2> <p>In contrast, in Australia, for most of our settler history, governments of all political persuasions actively prevented the emergence of a landed class.</p> <p>But now, courtesy of tax policies that <a href="https://www.quarterlyessay.com.au/essay/2023/11/the-great-divide">encourage investment</a> in residential real estate, we have a landlord class of Baby Boomer and Gen X investors. That has caused housing market stress as younger people cannot make the natural transition from being renters to homeowners. They are outbid by older, wealthier buyers whose tax benefits from negative gearing increase with every dollar they borrow to buy an investment property.</p> <p>Money flowing into the market then means that landlords’ greatest benefit is capital gain rather than income, and thanks to John Howard, investors pay <a href="https://theconversation.com/stranger-than-fiction-who-labors-capital-gains-tax-changes-will-really-hurt-109657">no tax</a> on half of that gain.</p> <p>Finally, an almost exclusive reliance by government on the <a href="https://australiainstitute.org.au/post/for-more-affordable-housing-we-need-more-public-housing/">private sector</a> to provide new homes – which it will only do if it is making a profit – has left many people in deep housing stress.</p> <p>While squatters in Australia are likely to find themselves swiftly subject to court orders for ejection, van den Berg’s rallying cry indicates just how inequitable the housing market has become. Baby Boomers and Gen X should be on notice – young people want their housing back. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/227556/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cathy-sherry-466"><em>Cathy Sherry</em></a><em>, Professor in Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/if-you-squat-in-a-vacant-property-does-the-law-give-you-the-house-for-free-well-sort-of-227556">original article</a>.</em></p>

Legal

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Flight attendant reveals how to score a free upgrade

<p dir="ltr">A flight attendant has shared her number one trick for securing an upgrade on your next plane journey. </p> <p dir="ltr">American flight attendant Cierra Mistt revealed the one question you should ask at check-in to score an upgrade to first class, with the hack working almost every time.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mistt started her now-viral video by saying her hack to get a free upgrade was top secret. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Let’s look at the big picture. Everyone is flying right now, and no one is more excited about that than commercial airlines,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The majority of airlines are overbooking every single flight they have.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“It comes from the last month of me trying to get home and not even being able to get on standby because every single flight has been oversold,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I am not talking about one or two seats. I am talking about 10-30 seats that have been oversold.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mistt said this overselling of flights presents an opportunity to travellers.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If everyone does show up, including the extra passengers that were oversold their tickets, the airlines have no choice but to financially compensate,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The flight attendant shared that airlines “normally start off with vouchers for $500 or something”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Normally they say a voucher but you can ask for it in cash,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Depending on the flight and how desperate they are, they will go up to, like three, four, five thousand dollars.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is where the free upgrades come in.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mistt said not only could you ask for a free upgrade in such circumstances, but you could “also ask for other incentives”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“For example, drinks, dinners, breakfast, even a hotel if you have to stay overnight until the next flight,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And, yes, you can also ask to be upgraded to first class.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Her video received more than a million views, with people praising the hack and sharing how it has worked for them. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I got upgraded to first class by doing this,” said one person. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: TikTok / Getty Images </em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Tips

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How much sport will you be able to watch for free under proposed new Australian broadcast rules?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-fujak-290599">Hunter Fujak</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-rowe-16403">David Rowe</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p>Watching sport on television and other screens is integral to the <a href="https://researchdirect.westernsydney.edu.au/islandora/object/uws%3A57259">cultural lives of many Australians</a>.</p> <p>This is why, in 1995, the anti-siphoning scheme was introduced to ensure sport “<a href="http://www.tandfebooks.com/isbn/9780203758397">events of national importance and cultural significance</a>” would not be captured exclusively by pay TV at the expense of free-to-air coverage.</p> <p>There have been enormous <a href="https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780429402265-5/television-tony-bennett-modesto-gayo-david-rowe-graeme-turner">changes in television</a> since and this analogue-era legislation is increasingly out of step with the modern digital media landscape.</p> <p>Critically, under current definitions, streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon fall outside a scheme restricting subscription broadcasters like Foxtel.</p> <p>The federal government <a href="https://anthonyalbanese.com.au/media-centre/labor-will-support-local-tv-free-sport-in-the-streaming-age">promised</a> before its election in 2022 to review the anti-siphoning scheme. Its subsequent <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r7132">Communications Legislation Amendment (Prominence and Anti-siphoning) Bill 2023</a> is designed to close the “<a href="https://theconversation.com/streaming-platforms-will-soon-be-required-to-invest-more-in-australian-tv-and-films-which-could-be-good-news-for-our-screen-sector-198757">regulatory gap</a>” that has emerged within media law since Netflix’s launch in Australia in 2015.</p> <p>The Senate referred the bill to its Environment and Communications Legislation Committee. Its report has just been released and will help shape Australians’ access to sport media content.</p> <h2>The importance of prominence</h2> <p>“Prominence” refers to the discoverability of individual media applications, such as Netflix or 9Now, on the user homepage of smart televisions.</p> <p>The federal government is troubled by overseas services like YouTube and Amazon being immediately visible on smart televisions through commercial licensing agreements, effectively “burying” Australian free-to-air TV.</p> <p>Public service broadcaster SBS, for example, <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/anti-siphoning-prominence-laws-australia-free-to-air-tv-channels/87bc8ddd-4120-4542-864e-2c84a781411e">claimed</a> during Senate hearings that one television manufacturer demanded both a placement fee and a 15% share of revenue to feature on the television’s homepage.</p> <p>Prominence is crucial in sport because anti-siphoning legislation is based on the principle that, although in <a href="https://www.thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2023/03/06/tv-habits-australia">general decline</a>, free-to-air TV is still the most effective, <a href="https://accan.org.au/files/Reports/ACCAN%20Research%20Snapshot%20How%20Australians%20Watch%20TV.pdf">low-cost, readily-accessed</a> vehicle for delivering premium sport to a majority of Australian households.</p> <h2>Anti-siphoning</h2> <p>While often criticised by <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/have-your-say/anti-siphoning-scheme-review">subscription media companies and many sports</a> as anti-competitive, anti-siphoning legislation is significantly responsible for the continued abundance of free major sport on our televisions.</p> <p>In a portent of the risks ahead, <a href="https://www.cricket.com.au/news/3807634/amazon-prime-video-secures-icc-broadcast-rights-in-australia-t20-odi-world-cup-world-test-championship-2024-27">International Cricket Council</a> World Cups will disappear from free-to-air television between 2024 and 2027, after the world governing body signed an exclusive four-year deal with streaming platform Amazon.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/afl-boss-flies-to-us-for-talks-with-media-companies-20220425-p5ag16.html">AFL</a> also reportedly met Amazon in 2022 as part of its media rights negotiations.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/regardless-of-the-rules-sport-is-fleeing-free-tv-for-pay-and-it-might-be-an-avalanche-154640">Loopholes</a> in the scheme are also being increasingly exploited. This problem was exposed in 2018 when <a href="https://www.cricket.com.au/news/3296093/tvs-antisiphon-list-and-cricket-explained">Australian one-day international cricket matches</a> went behind a paywall, despite being listed as free-to-air events.</p> <p>As <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/streaming/nrl-calls-for-technologically-neutral-overhaul-to-sport-broadcasting/news-story/31fc06ab986e12c7e6f720df33d23ad1">Foxtel</a> told the Senate hearing, both Nine (Stan) and Ten (Paramount+) are now hybrid networks, able to move acquired sports from free-to-air broadcast to behind a streaming paywall.</p> <p>At present, free-to-air networks cannot be compelled to acquire the rights to any sport, broadcast them if they do, or refrain from on-selling them to a pay platform.</p> <h2>What are the implications for sport and other viewers?</h2> <p>The majority Senate report broadly supported the federal government’s existing <a href="https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/rowland/media-release/exposure-draft-prominence-regulations-released">exposure draft</a>.</p> <p>Regarding prominence, this means free-to-air channel “tiles” will be highly visible when you turn on a new smart TV. A 12-month phased implementation of a prominence framework was recommended by the committee – and would only apply to new televisions.</p> <p>The committee also broadly accepted the draft bill’s anti-siphoning provisions, which will affect what and where sport is viewed by fans.</p> <p>First, the listed events will be expanded by 30% and incorporate more women’s and parasports. They include the AFLW and NRLW finals, NRLW State of Origin, and the Summer Paralympic Games.</p> <p>To provide counterbalancing benefits to subscription broadcasters, sport events not acquired by a free-to-air broadcaster will become more quickly available to subscription platforms (12 months before an event starts, rather than six months before). This provides subscription platforms with greater lead-in times to plan, organise and promote their content schedules.</p> <p>The most controversial recommendation related to the scope of anti-siphoning laws, affecting how Australian viewers can access sport in the medium term.</p> <p>It supported the government’s position, on grounds of excessive competitive advantage, that anti-siphoning should only apply to terrestrial broadcasting. This excludes digital rights for live streaming through broadcast video on demand apps such as 9Now, Seven+, iView and SBS On Demand.</p> <p>Commercial free-to-air broadcasters called this a “<a href="https://www.mediaweek.com.au/industry-reacts-to-prominence-and-anti-siphoning-findings/">nightmare scenario</a>”, as they <a href="https://www.freetv.com.au/access-to-local-tv-services-and-free-sport-under-threat-unless-laws-are-strengthened/">estimate</a> 50% of households will be watching TV online by 2027.</p> <p>For viewers without televisions connected to aerials, this could make major sport events on free-to-air TV unavailable. Although terrestrial TV is still the most <a href="https://intellectdiscover.com/content/journals/10.1386/jdmp_00098_1">universally available screen sport vehicle</a>, aerials are no longer routinely installed in new housing developments.</p> <p>Research by the <a href="https://www.acma.gov.au/television-research">Australian Communications and Media Authority</a>, though, indicates that free-to-air network claims about disappearing TV aerials are somewhat exaggerated. Nonetheless, as modernisation was a central justification for the anti-siphoning reforms, the strategic compromise over broadcast video on demand apps will inevitably be scrutinised.</p> <p>Notably, in a dissenting minority report, the Greens were unhappy the bill did not go far enough in either prominence or anti-siphoning. They reserved their right to reject it unless suitably amended to guarantee global corporations could not capture Australian sports rights.</p> <h2>What happens next?</h2> <p>The amended bill must pass through Parliament to become law, and its final shape and the fate of any amendments are as yet unknown.</p> <p>While it is widely, though not universally, acknowledged action is needed to protect free screen sport viewing, intense disagreement remains among competing interest groups over what is to be done now and in the future.</p> <p>To safeguard their viewing interests, Australian sport fans will need to watch these formidably technical debates as closely as their favourite sport contests.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/226499/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-fujak-290599">Hunter Fujak</a>, Senior Lecturer in Sport Management, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-rowe-16403">David Rowe</a>, Emeritus Professor of Cultural Research, Institute for Culture and Society, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-much-sport-will-you-be-able-to-watch-for-free-under-proposed-new-australian-broadcast-rules-226499">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Do parolees really ‘walk free’? Busting common myths about parole

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/monique-moffa-1380936">Monique Moffa</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alyssa-sigamoney-1375881">Alyssa Sigamoney</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/greg-stratton-161122">Greg Stratton</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jarryd-bartle-441602">Jarryd Bartle</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michele-ruyters-18446">Michele Ruyters</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>Parole is a hot topic in politics and in the media at the moment, fuelled by several high-profile parole applications.</p> <p>Recently, <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/no-parole-for-convicted-baby-killer-keli-lane/xoykrtvxe?cid=testtwitter">Keli Lane’s</a> attempt to be released on parole after years in jail for the murder of her baby daughter was unsuccessful. <a href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/truecrimeaustralia/police-courts-victoria/how-frankston-serial-killer-paul-denyer-will-apply-for-bail/news-story/4613d1b3fced1f4aeaa9c4e08e8b81e0">Paul Denyer</a>, known as the “Frankston Serial Killer” for murdering three women in the 90s was also denied parole.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Snowtown accomplice <a href="https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/truecrimeaustralia/police-courts-sa/bodies-in-the-barrels-helper-mark-haydon-released-on-parole/news-story/fdfbbbe7b59267d8009c6910249de585">Mark Haydon</a> was granted parole with strict conditions, but is <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-04-01/snowtown-accomplice-mark-haydon-still-in-custody-after-parole/103653934">yet to be</a> released.</p> <p>Some media coverage of such well-known cases is littered with myths about what parole is, how it’s granted and what it looks like. Here’s what the evidence says about three of the most common misconceptions.</p> <h2>Myth 1: people on parole walk free</h2> <p>Parole is the conditional release of an incarcerated person (parolee) by a parole board authority, after they have served their non-parole period (minimum sentence) in jail. This isn’t always reflected in headlines.</p> <p><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/snowtown-murders-bodies-in-barrels-murders-mark-haydon-release-south-australia/f4b62a72-ec3d-4238-94d2-64697fbcdef3">Some coverage</a> suggests people on parole are released early and “walk free” without conditions. This is not true.</p> <p>According to the <a href="https://www.adultparoleboard.vic.gov.au/what-parole/purpose-and-benefits">Adult Parole Board of Victoria</a>: "Parole provides incarcerated people with a structured, supported and supervised transition so that they can adjust from prison back into the community, rather than returning straight to the community at the end of their sentence without supervision or support."</p> <p>Parole comes with strict conditions and requirements, such as curfews, drug and alcohol testing, electronic monitoring, program participation, to name a few.</p> <p>People with experience of parole highlight its punitivism and continued extension of surveillance.</p> <h2>Myth 2: most parolees reoffend</h2> <p>Another myth is that the likelihood all parolees reoffend is high. Research over a number of years has consistently found parole reduces reoffending.</p> <p>For example, <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0004865815585393?journalCode=anja">a 2016 study in New South Wales</a> found at the 12 month mark, a group of parolees reoffended 22% less than an unsupervised cohort.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/Publications/CJB/2022-Report-Effect-of-parole-supervision-on-recidivism-CJB245.pdf">2022 study</a> by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research found parole was especially successful in reducing serious recidivism rates among incarcerated people considered to be at a high risk of reoffending.</p> <p>More recently in Victoria, <a href="https://www.adultparoleboard.vic.gov.au/system/files/inline-files/Adult%20Parole%20Board%20Annual%20Report%202022-23_0.pdf">the Adult Parole Board</a> found over 2022–23, no parolees were convicted of committing serious offences while on parole.</p> <p>In contrast, unstructured and unconditional release increases the risk of returning to prison.</p> <h2>Myth 3: parole is easy to get</h2> <p>While the number of parolees reoffending has dropped, so too has the total number of people who are exiting prison on parole.</p> <p>Over a decade ago, Victoria underwent significant parole reforms, largely prompted by high-profile incidents and campaigns. In just five years following Jill Meagher’s tragic death in 2012, the Victorian government passed <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10345329.2018.1556285">13 laws reshaping parole</a>.</p> <p>The result is the number of people on parole in Victoria has halved since 2012, despite incarceration numbers remaining steady.</p> <p><iframe id="maNRy" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/maNRy/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>These reforms have made it more difficult for people convicted of serious offences to get parole, as well as preventing individuals or specific groups from being eligible for parole (such as police killers, <a href="https://theconversation.com/no-body-no-parole-laws-could-be-disastrous-for-the-wrongfully-convicted-191083">“no body, no parole” prisoners</a>, and certain high-profile murderers).</p> <p>Similar laws can be found in other states. For example, no body, no parole was introduced in all other Australian states and territories, except for Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.</p> <p>As a consequence, more people are being released at the end of their full sentence. This can be detrimental not only for the incarcerated person but the wider community, because they are not receiving the reintegration support parole provides.</p> <p>Aside from restricted access due to political intervention, parole is facing a new crisis, which has nothing to do with eligibility or suitability.</p> <p>Last year, 40% of Victorian parole applications were denied, often due to reasons <a href="https://www.adultparoleboard.vic.gov.au/system/files/inline-files/Adult%20Parole%20Board%20Annual%20Report%202022-23_0.pdf">unrelated to suitability</a>.</p> <p>Housing scarcity played a significant role, with 59% of rejections (or 235 applications) citing a lack of suitable accommodation as one of the reasons parole was denied. This is playing out <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-08-11/women-on-bail-parole-increased-risk-of-homelessness-qld/102717002">across the country</a>.</p> <p>Parole is vulnerable to community and media hype, and political knee-jerk reactions in response to high profile incidents involving a person on parole. Because of the actions of a few, parole as a process has been restricted for many.</p> <p>While the wider community are active in advocacy efforts to restrict parole from certain people or groups (for example, this petition for <a href="https://www.change.org/p/lyns-law-no-body-no-parole">Lyn’s Law in NSW</a>), public efforts to restrict parole seem at odds with its purposes.</p> <p>Despite this, research suggests when the public are educated about the purposes and intent of parole, they are more likely to be <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3125829">supportive of it</a>.</p> <p>The susceptibility of parole to media and community influence results in frequent, impactful changes affecting individuals inside and outside prisons. Headlines such as “walking free” have the potential to mislead the public on the purpose and structure of parole. Coverage should portray parole beyond mere early termination of a sentence by accurately reflecting its purpose and impact.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/226607/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/monique-moffa-1380936">Monique Moffa</a>, Lecturer, Criminology &amp; Justice, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alyssa-sigamoney-1375881">Alyssa Sigamoney</a>, Associate Lecturer in Criminology and Justice Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/greg-stratton-161122">Greg Stratton</a>, Lecturer - Criminology and Justice Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jarryd-bartle-441602">Jarryd Bartle</a>, Associate Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michele-ruyters-18446">Michele Ruyters</a>, Associate Dean, Criminology and Justice Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/do-parolees-really-walk-free-busting-common-myths-about-parole-226607">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Might we see child-free zones on flights?

<p>Ah, the joys of air travel. The excitement of jetting off to exotic locales, the thrill of new adventures, and of course, the endless possibilities for unexpected entertainment. And what's more exhilarating than finding yourself seated next to a rowdy toddler or an inconsolable infant? It's the stuff of dreams, truly.</p> <p>Picture this: you're settling into your seat, envisioning a serene journey ahead, perhaps catching up on your favourite Netflix series or finally finishing that novel you've been meaning to read.</p> <p>But wait, what's this?</p> <p>A couple with a baby approaching your row.</p> <p>You can already hear the distant wails of despair echoing through the cabin. Your heart sinks as you realise that your peaceful flight just took a nosedive before it even began.</p> <p>Yes, it's the age-old dilemma of child-free travellers everywhere. Whether it's the cacophony of a crying baby or the rhythmic drumming of tiny feet on the back of your seat, flying with children nearby can be an experience like no other. And let's not forget the classic game of "Will they or won't they?" as you anxiously await to see if the parents will be able to tame their pint-sized companions or if chaos will reign supreme at 30,000 feet.</p> <p>But fear not, dear passengers, for there may be a solution on the horizon. Could child-free zones be the answer to our airborne woes? According to a <a href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/planes-should-there-be-child-free-zones/d463b299-5258-418f-831c-f5fb218f1d77" target="_blank" rel="noopener">recent poll conducted by Nine News</a>, a whopping 73 per cent of respondents were in favour of such a proposition. Finally, a sanctuary where one can escape the unpredictable antics of tiny humans and bask in the tranquility of uninterrupted inflight bliss.</p> <p>Of course, implementing such a scheme may prove to be a tad challenging. After all, how does we go about segregating the child-rearing masses from the child-free elite without inciting a riot at the boarding gate? It's a logistical nightmare that even the most seasoned airline execs would hesitate to tackle.</p> <p>So, for now, it seems we child-free flyers will have to make do with our trusty noise-cancelling headphones, our steadfast eye masks, and a healthy dose of empathy for our fellow passengers. After all, parenting is no easy feat, especially at 35,000 feet.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Pilot pitches in to free passenger stuck in plane bathroom

<p>A pilot has been forced to abandon his post at the cockpit to rescue a passenger trapped in the bathroom of a plane. </p> <p>While onboard a Delta Airlines flight from Salt Lake City to New Orleans, a father of two named Brent became stuck in the bathroom for 35 minutes during the short domestic flight. </p> <p>When it was discovered that Brent was not breaking out of the bathroom by himself, the cabin crew, including the pilot, stepped in to free the 34-year-old dad. </p> <p>After being refused a refund by the airline's customer service, Brent's dissatisfied partner shared a video of the moment the staff all rallied to heave the door open. </p> <p>Recounting the tale on Reddit, the woman suggested that her husband had fled to the bathroom to have a break from his two young kids. </p> <p>She wrote, "After 5 minutes, I wondered what was going on. Was he using this time as a much-needed break from my children’s whiney demands and frequent tantrums? I didn’t blame him."</p> <p>Brent's partner went on to explain that it wasn't until she heard another passenger say the word "stuck" did she realise her husband's predicament. </p> <p>She turned around to see two members of the crew yanking at the door to the rear cubicle as she watched on while she kept one eye on her young kids. </p> <p>The flight attendants enlisted the help of a male passenger who also failed to provide the magic touch, before the pilot emerged, 20 minutes into the ordeal, to have a go.</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZWOyr4J2OBo?si=FSdSkXFv4WlClKXB" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <aside> <p>"It wasn't until Brent kicked the hell out of the door while the pilot was pulling as hard as possible that Brent finally made his escape," she wrote. </p> <p>Finishing off the post, the woman concluded that Delta asked her not to share the footage, filmed by another passenger who was closer to the end of the plane, but after not receiving a refund for their "terrible" journey, the mother decided to post them online. </p> <p>The post racked up hundreds of comments, with many people actually siding with the airline for not issuing a refund, suggesting that the author's response was not proportionate to what actually happened. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Reddit</em></p> </aside>

Travel Trouble

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Why is gluten-free bread so expensive? A food supply chain expert explains

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/flavio-macau-998456">Flavio Macau</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a></em></p> <p>Before the cost of living hit Australian families hard, a group of consumers were already paying top dollar for their staples. Whether it be gluten free, dairy free or lactose free, people with special dietary requirements are used to spending more at the supermarket checkout.</p> <p>A 2016 study from the University of Wollongong found that Australians were <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1747-0080.12171">paying up to 17% more for a gluten-free diet</a>.</p> <p>Current examples are easy to find. A <a href="https://www.coles.com.au/product/coles-white-bread-650g-4901345">white sandwich loaf at Coles</a> costs A$2.40 (or A$0.37 per 100g), whereas <a href="https://www.coles.com.au/product/coles-i'm-free-from-white-loaf-500g-3216673">the cheapest gluten-free option</a> costs $5.70 (or $1.14 per 100g). That’s over three times as much. Prices are closer comparing Coles Full Cream Milk at A$1.50 per litre with Coles Lactose Free Lite Milk at A$1.60, the exception that confirms the rule.</p> <p>So why are allergen-free products more expensive?</p> <h2>Is it the ingredients?</h2> <p>If manufacturers pay more for ingredients, this is usually reflected in the price of the final product. Regular and gluten-free bread share many common ingredients, but there is a substantial change where wheat flour is replaced by gluten-free flour. This ingredient may cost manufacturers around two times as much given the uniqueness of gluten-free grains, seeds, and nuts. These special ingredients are not as abundant or easy to process as wheat, and are also a bit more difficult to buy in very large scale.</p> <p>For a simple reference, compare <a href="https://www.coles.com.au/product/coles-white-plain-flour-1kg-5881232">regular</a> and <a href="https://www.coles.com.au/product/coles-i'm-free-from-plain-flour-gluten-free-500g-2478197">gluten-free flour</a> at Coles.</p> <p>Gluten, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jgh.13703">a complex mixture of hundreds of related but distinct proteins</a>, has unique properties. It is a binding agent that improves texture in recipes. Gluten-free bread therefore needs extra help to, literally, hold it together. Additional items such as thickeners, tapioca and maize starches are added to gluten-free recipes to improve viscosity and keep baked items in shape. That means a longer ingredient list and a slightly more complex manufacturing process.</p> <p>So, from an ingredient perspective, gluten-free bread costs more than regular bread. This applies for other allergen-free products as well. But with so many common ingredients, it is reasonable to say that this is not the main explanation.</p> <h2>Is it manufacturing and transporting?</h2> <p>A substantial part of price differences between regular and allergen-free foods comes from <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/economiesofscale.asp">economies of scale</a>. Regular products are manufactured in very large quantities, while allergen-free products involve much smaller volumes.</p> <p>Bulk buying from large suppliers gets you bigger discounts. The more machines in a factory, the cheaper it is to run them. Larger outputs coming from the same place mean smaller costs for each individual product. Given that you have fixed costs to pay anyway, size is king.</p> <p>You pay the same amount for a grain mill regardless of whether you grind one kilo or one tonne of grains a day. Sure, you spend more on electricity or gas, but those are <a href="https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/accounting/fixed-and-variable-costs/">variable costs</a>.</p> <p>Then, there is the need for rigorous quality control. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has a detailed <a href="https://www.fao.org/fao-who-codexalimentarius/sh-proxy/en/?lnk=1&amp;url=https%253A%252F%252Fworkspace.fao.org%252Fsites%252Fcodex%252FStandards%252FCXC%2B80-2020%252FCXC_080e.pdf">code of practice on food allergen management for food business operators</a>, covering harvesting, handling, storage, transportation, packaging, and more. The <a href="https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/food-standards-code">Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code</a> also sets specific standards.</p> <p>Deep cleaning machines, thoroughly checking that standards are met, and scrapping whole batches when they are not makes manufacturing allergen-free products more complex and expensive. The <a href="https://www.health.wa.gov.au/-/media/Files/Corporate/general-documents/food/PDF/DOHComplianceandEnforcementPolicyVersion3.pdf">implications for non-compliance</a> vary in severity, from a simple recall to a costly infringement notice, plus <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10574315/">reputational damage to consumer trust</a>.</p> <p>It is hard to exactly measure the impact of economies of scale and quality costs on the price of allergen-free products. Each manufacturer will have its own challenges and solutions. But it is reasonable to say a considerable chunk of the difference we see when comparing gluten-free bread with its regular counterpart comes from these factors.</p> <p>Transportation costs follow a similar rule. If it is easier and quicker to fill your trucks with regular products, while allergen-free products have a hard time making a full load, there are disadvantages in the latter.</p> <h2>Is it the marketing strategy?</h2> <p>The final consideration on allergen-free food prices has to do with competition and willingness to pay.</p> <p>A quick search on Coles’ website shows 276 results for “bread” once you remove the 42 items that are gluten-free. That means that there are many more brands and products competing for bread consumers than for gluten-free bread consumers. That’s over six to one! This means customers with dietary restrictions are at a disadvantage as they are beholden to the limited options on offer. As noted by the Australian Competition &amp; Consumer Commission, “<a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/business/competition-and-exemptions/competition-and-anti-competitive-behaviour">competition leads to lower prices and more choice for consumers</a>”.</p> <p>Also, fewer allergen-free products make it to the “own brand” list. Australians are <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/costs/coles-woolworths-ownbrand-products-booming-on-back-of-costofliving-crisis/news-story/d0be8b8d6e98c0a6477959cd83da17ad">relying more on these when facing the cost-of-living crisis</a>.</p> <p>There is also the <a href="https://online.hbs.edu/blog/post/willingness-to-pay">willingness to pay</a>, where consumers pay more for products deemed as having higher value. <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/obr.13525">Research</a> shows that on average consumers are willing to pay 30% more for food products that they perceive to be healthier.</p> <p>Manufacturers and retailers more often than not will capitalise on that, increasing their profit margins for allergen-free products.</p> <h2>4 tips for saving money if you have allergies</h2> <p>People with dietary requirements looking to ease the cost of their weekly grocery shop should use the same strategies as every savvy consumer:</p> <ul> <li>research prices</li> <li>buy larger quantities where possible</li> <li>keep a keen eye on price reduction and items on sale</li> <li>consider replacing products tagged “allergen-free” with alternatives from other categories, such as going for rice instead of gluten-free pasta in a dish.</li> </ul> <p>In the long run, if more customers choose allergen-free products it could lead to more volume and competition, bringing prices down. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223648/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/flavio-macau-998456"><em>Flavio Macau</em></a><em>, Associate Dean - School of Business and Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-is-gluten-free-bread-so-expensive-a-food-supply-chain-expert-explains-223648">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Morbid reason why cruise ships throw "free ice cream parties" on board

<p>Dara Starr Tucker, a former cruise ship employee has shared the morbid reason why they throw “free ice cream parties” on board.</p> <p>Tucker, a singer who spent six months living on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean 10 years ago, shared what life was like at sea. </p> <p>In one of her latest videos, she answered one of her follower's question asking whether it was true that if cruise staff started giving away ice cream, it meant that they needed more freezer space for a body.</p> <p>“This is unfortunately often true,” she said.</p> <p>“If the crew suddenly makes a bunch of ice cream available to passengers, ‘Free ice cream party’, it is often because more people have died on the ship than they have room for in the morgue.”</p> <p>She said that most large ships are legally required to maintain a morgue and carry body bags in the event a passenger dies mid-journey and added that she “thankfully” didn't have to deal with the "morbid stuff". </p> <p>“But we were friends with some crew members who did deal with it and they said maybe four to 10 people die every cruise,” she claimed.</p> <p>“There are a lot of older people on ships, and often (out of) a ship that carried maybe 2500 to 3000 passengers on a typical cruise, four to 10 people would die.</p> <p>“So the morgue, I believe they said held about seven people, and if more than seven people died on that particular ship, they would have to start moving bodies to the freezer.”</p> <p>She claimed that if employees would have to "make room for the extra bodies" in the freezer, they would have to take out everything including ice cream. </p> <p>Her video has been viewed over 2.3 million times, with many other cruise ship employees confirming her claims. </p> <p>“Cruise ship medic here. Can confirm the morgue and ice cream correlation,” one said.</p> <p>“Former sailor here — yes, it is accurate. Sometimes space needs to be made in the freezer," another added. </p> <p><em>Image: TikTok</em></p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Why can’t WE do this?! UK company unveils "Grans Go Free" flights

<p>EasyJet Holidays has unveiled their "first of its kind" offer allowing older relatives to travel for free on family bookings to popular European destinations, including Spain, Greece and Italy. </p> <p>The offer was announced during the final week of the easyJet Holidays Big Orange Sale last week, where customers could get up to £400 off. </p> <p>The move was made after a survey they conducted found that half of families have never holidayed abroad with grandparents.</p> <p>From the survey of 2,000 British adults, half of them said they regret not spending more time with grandparents and hoped to travel with them in their upcoming holidays. </p> <p>"We're proud to offer thousands of free kids' places, but we feel it's time to recognise the grandparents," easyJet Holidays Chief Operating Officer, Matt Callaghan said. </p> <p>"This research shows how important grandparent and grandchild relationships are and how much can be learned from making time for them."</p> <p>The tour operator hopes to encourage people in the UK to take a "3G" holiday - the term used for getaways with three or more generations. </p> <p>They found that seventy-seven per cent of the people surveyed agreed that the bond between grandparents and grandchildren is one of the most special relationships within a family. </p> <p>73 percent of these people also said that they would use the holiday opportunity to learn more about their grandparents' lives, and almost half of them want to benefit from their grandparents' wisdom. </p> <p>The most popular destinations for multi-generational holidays abroad are Spain (18 per cent), Italy and France, which both sit at 13 per cent. </p> <p>Limited spaces for the offer were made available and to qualify, the grandparent had to travel as part of a family booking with at least one child, and provide proof of age and relation had to be provided upon arrival at the hotel. </p> <p>The offer ended on the 5th of February, but it does make us wonder, when will Australia follow in their footsteps?</p> <p><em>Image: EasyJet/ Getty</em></p>

International Travel

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"Pathetic": Council slammed after move against FREE health program

<p>A woman who runs a free mental health yoga program has been ordered to pay the council $10,000 because her classes at St Kilda beach in Melbourne have become too popular. </p> <p>The City of Port Phillip Council was slammed for their actions after they told Eliza Hilmer she must pay them hundreds of dollars  per session for her <em>Feel Good Flows </em>classes.</p> <p>Hilmer, who does not make a profit from the classes, said she started the program during the pandemic to help people manage their mental health. </p> <p>“I play by the rules as much as I can,”  Hilmer told <em>Yahoo News</em>, adding that she acquired personal trainer permit as requested by the council. </p> <p>“We’ve been operating as an outdoor gathering for mental health practices more than anything, and it’s been really incredible." </p> <p>The classes, which initially attracted a few people, has gained a bit of traction with around 50 to 80 regular attendees. </p> <p>Hilmer encourages her attendees to leave a donation and provides free hot drinks and a live musician at the biweekly sessions. </p> <p>Because of its popularity, the council have classified <em>Feel Good Flows </em>as a commercial event, as the classes exceed the number of people covered by Hilmer's personal training license, and she was ordered to pay $400 a session. </p> <p>Hilmer was also given the option to cap the sessions at 15 people a time, but she said that "this isn't an option" as “many vulnerable people” rely on the service.</p> <p>With Hilmer having to pay three months upfront to keep classes running, the total adds up to $10,000, and locals are furious. </p> <p>"Another pathetic decision by useless bureaucrats,” one wrote on social media. </p> <p>“This council is being very mean spirited. Leave her alone!!”</p> <p>“Keep on going love don’t bow to the council,” a third added. </p> <p>Despite the outrage and being asked to pay to host her free yoga sessions, Hilmer remains positive. </p> <p>“I don’t want to fight,” she said.</p> <p>“The council can be the solution”.</p> <p>Port Phillip Mayor Heather Cunsolo replied saying that while she was "delighted" to see so many taking part in yoga sessions, "the business needs to adhere to its Personal Training Licence" to "ensure our popular public spaces remain available, safe and enjoyable for everyone." </p> <p>“We encourage Feel Good Flows to look at hosting additional yoga sessions on the foreshore to support its growing popularity," the <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Port Phillip </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">mayor said. </span></p> <p>“Other businesses operating along the foreshore pay a licence fee for the use of public open space and adhere to the 15 person limit per session.</p> <p>"These capacity limits help provide fair access for many businesses operating with a Personal Training Licence, while minimising any potential disruption for visitors to our foreshore." </p> <p>She added that she has been in contact with  Feel Good Flows, and are happy to discuss details further. </p> <p>"If the petition is sent to Council the matter will be heard in the Council Chamber.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Legal

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Jetstar announce “free flight” offer

<p dir="ltr">Jetstar has announced an incredible offer for Aussies travelling overseas, giving holiday goers the chance to see the world without breaking the bank. </p> <p dir="ltr">The budget airline announced that it’ll be launching free flights out of Japan, meaning you’ll just have to pay for the first leg of the journey.</p> <p dir="ltr">The popular ‘Return for Free’ sale, which the airline has run in the past as part of their international travel promotion, means that passengers from most major ports along the east coast can return from Tokyo or Osaka without having to pay for the fare home.</p> <p dir="ltr">The sale, which runs from Tuesday for only 72 hours, requires travellers to book an outbound fare from either Brisbane, Cairns or Sydney and on select dates, can return for free from either Tokyo or Osaka.</p> <p dir="ltr">Some of the cheaper fares start from $337 from Cairns to Osaka one-way where a free return flight is available, or Brisbane to Osaka (Kansai) from just $476.</p> <p dir="ltr">While travel dates are set to vary depending on the route, travellers can book a free return journey anywhere from late February until early December 2024.</p> <p dir="ltr">The sale comes as Japan continues to rise in popularity for Aussie travellers, with Expedia revealing that Tokyo had claimed the title over Bali for Australia’s beloved summer holiday.</p> <p dir="ltr">New data released by <a href="https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.japan.travel/en/au/__;!!F0Stn7g!Fe29fDLHDgEMgFlKEbiGPEaf5wufMPYYfaMxDE_Gh60ZPBhREGiNDxD6KJ9Mf1DYYoS8kJ2q800pKhhl4Za2sacG1pqO%24">Japan National Tourism Organization</a> shows the number of Australians visiting Japan in 2023 came close to matching levels seen in 2019, reaching 98.6 percent of pre-pandemic visitation numbers.</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em><span id="docs-internal-guid-84b6d5b1-7fff-dc6f-6401-07b1a05f2ac8"></span></p>

Money & Banking

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Flight cancelled after parents demand free upgrade for their child

<p dir="ltr">A flight was delayed for hours before being ultimately cancelled after two parents demanded that their child was upgraded to first class for free. </p> <p dir="ltr">A plane in China was grounded for three hours after the parents caused a ruckus with the cabin crew, and were eventually kicked off the aircraft. </p> <p dir="ltr">According to a fellow passenger, the argument kicked off when an unsupervised child began to sob uncontrollably after boarding a flight from Chengdu to Beijing. </p> <p dir="ltr">As it turned out, the inconsolable toddler’s parents were seated in first class but had only bought their child an economy ticket.</p> <p dir="ltr">It was then that the angry dad confronted the staff, demanding that his son be moved to first class at no extra cost.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the <em>South China Morning Post</em>, the irate dad explained that because he had already paid for two first class tickets, his child’s upgrade should be free. </p> <p dir="ltr">In the clip shot by a fellow passenger, the outraged dad began berating a group of passengers, crew members, and security guards as they repeatedly explained why his child isn’t entitled to an upgrade.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Stop swearing at me,” fumed the father. “You have no right to do that.”</p> <p dir="ltr">When a security guard attempts to de-escalate the situation, the parent lays into him, shouting: “What gives you the right to order me about?”</p> <p dir="ltr">This prompts a woman to retort: “You’ve wasted too much of our time and we won’t tolerate it any longer.”</p> <p dir="ltr">After three hours of back and forth, the couple were eventually kicked off the plane, while the flight was cancelled. </p> <p dir="ltr">The entitled passenger has since been rinsed on social media with one commenter fuming, “This man is so selfish.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Others suggested solutions for the father that didn’t involve the airline giving the man an extra first-class seat.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He can switch seats,” advised one person. “Let him sit in economy class, and have the mum take care of the child in the first-class cabin.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Some on social media were quick to chastise the airline for their handling of the situation, with one person writing, “Keeping the quarrel going for hours? The problem-solving skills of the crew are poor.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Twitter</em><span id="docs-internal-guid-dd8af609-7fff-7da2-9017-179b6317cd24"></span></p>

Travel Trouble

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"A free woman": Kathleen Folbigg officially acquitted of her children's deaths

<p>After spending 20 years in prison for the deaths of her children, Kathleen Folbigg has officially been cleared. </p> <p>The 55-year-old was released from jail earlier this year, after she was charged with murder and manslaughter convictions over the mysterious deaths of her four kids, Sarah, Caleb, Laura and Patrick.</p> <p>Folbigg always maintained her innocence, saying her children died of natural causes. </p> <p>On Thursday, Chief Justice Andrew Bell and Justices Julie Ward and Ian Harrison handed down the Court of Criminal Appeal judgement, finding there was reasonable doubt as to her guilt.</p> <p>All of Folbigg’s convictions were quashed and a verdict of acquittal was entered on each count.</p> <p>After the emotional ruling, Folbigg, her best friend Tracy Chapman and her lawyer Rhanee Rego, made a statement outside court.</p> <p>“I’m grateful for the huge efforts of my friends and family, my legal team, scientific professionals,” she told reporters.</p> <p>“The time this has taken in seeing today’s result has cost me a lot, not just financially but emotionally."</p> <p>“For almost a quarter of a century, I faced disbelief and hostility. I suffered abuse in all its forms."</p> <p>“I hoped and prayed that one day I would be able to stand here with my name cleared."</p> <p>“I hope that no one else will ever have to suffer what I suffered. I am grateful that updated science and genetics has given me answers as to how my children died."</p> <div> <p>“However, even in 1999, we had legal answers to prove my innocence — they were ignored and dismissed."</p> <p>“The system preferred to blame me rather than accept that sometimes, children can and do die suddenly, unexpectedly and heartbreakingly."</p> <p>“I think the system and society needs to think before they blame a parent of hurting their children.</p> <p>“My children are here with me today and they will be close to my heart for the rest of my life. I love my children and I always will."</p> <p>In her statement, Rego said Folbigg was finally a “free woman”.</p> <p>“After 24 years, the legal system has finally listened to Kathleen Folbigg,” she said.</p> <p>“Today she is a free woman — a woman who demonstrated courage and resilience to reject the claims made against her."</p> <p>“But this story is about more than just about Kathleen Folbigg."</p> <p>“It is a story about the good in this world, about a large group of people who saw an injustice and did something about it.”</p> </div> <p>Folbigg was first jailed in 2003 after being found guilty of the manslaughter of her son Caleb, maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm, with intent to do grievous bodily harm on Patrick and the murders of Patrick, Sarah and Laura.</p> <p>She was initially sentenced to 40 years in prison, with a non-parole period of 30 years. An appeal later reduced her sentence to 30 years, with a non-parole period of 25 years. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Seven News</em></p>

Legal

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Sir Richard Branson shocks 150 Virgin passengers with free $7000 cruises

<p>Sir Richard Branson has shocked passengers onboard a domestic flight by gifting all travellers a free cruise. </p> <p>There were 150 passengers onboard a flight from Melbourne to Hobart when the Virgin Group founder dialled in via FaceTime to share the exciting news. </p> <p>Speaking over the PA system, Branson told travellers of the arrival of Virgin Voyages' in Australia, with those onboard making the same trip as the upcoming maiden voyage from Melbourne to Hobart on December 11th. </p> <p>“We’re counting down to Virgin Voyages’ arrival Down Under – setting sail the Virgin way with adults-only itineraries across Australia and New Zealand. Sorry kids, you’ll have to sit this one out,” Branson told passengers.</p> <p>“Well, today, you happen to be travelling on the same route as our Aussie Mermaiden Voyage."</p> <p>Branson then shared the exciting news that those onboard the flight would be receiving an incredible gift. </p> <p>“To celebrate this milestone, I’m pleased to gift each adult on board a free Virgin Voyages cruise,” he said.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CzspCI4LyMA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CzspCI4LyMA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Virgin Australia (@virginaustralia)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Each person was gifted a $7,000 cruise voucher to claim on a Virgin Voyages trip anywhere around Australia. </p> <p>Branson continued speaking to those onboard the flight, saying, “The foundations of Virgin Australia were about keeping the air fair and we’re proud to be taking that same mantra to the sea with Virgin Voyages.”</p> <p>He said he wanted to give Aussies the opportunity to have an “affordable, stress-free holiday” where they could take a well-earned break, have fun and get a dose of vitamin sea.</p> <p>A Virgin Australia spokesperson told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-advice/flights/richard-branson-gifts-virgin-passengers-on-a-domestic-flight-a-free-cruise/news-story/57421f325fcffd5634d554c75aedaf5f" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>news.com.au</em></a> the feeling on-board was “electric” with passengers left stunned.</p> <p>“We are committed to creating wonderful moments on-board so it was a real pleasure to see so many surprised faces when Sir Richard finally made the announcement all guests had won a free cruise,” the spokesperson said.</p> <p>“The operating crew were in on the secret and stayed tight-lipped until Sir Richard’s call came through.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Courtesy of Virgin Australia</em></p>

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Free tickets up for grabs to Barry Humphries' state memorial

<p>Australians will have the chance to pay their respects to the late Barry Humphries, with limited free tickets to his state memorial available to the public. </p> <p>Humphries died on April 22nd this year at the age of 89, and will be remembered for his legendary comedic characters such as Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson.</p> <p>His state memorial will be held at the Sydney Opera House at 11am on Friday December 15th, for those who wish to pay their respects to the entertainment giant. </p> <p>"The State Memorial will bring together dignitaries, family, friends and fans of Mr Humphries from across Australia and around the world to celebrate his extraordinary career and achievements," the NSW government said online.</p> <div> <p>Limited free tickets have also been made available to the public through the <a title="Sydney Opera House website" href="https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/state-memorial-barry-humphries-ac-cbe" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sydney Opera House website,</a> with fans able to snag a ticket from 2pm AEDT on Friday November 17th.</p> <p>Each person hoping to get a ticket will be allowed two tickets per customer to give everyone a chance to farewell one of Australia's best-loved entertainers. </p> <p>For those who miss out on a ticket, the memorial will be streamed online and broadcast on ABC, providing an opportunity for audiences everywhere to share in the celebration of Mr Humphries' life.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> </div>

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