Why Are EU Tax Refund Counters So Rude To Asians?

Hello from Brussels Airport! I’m currently sitting down with a beer at the British Airways lounge waiting for my Qatar Airways flight to Doha. And I’m not going to lie – I’m pretty mad.

Two years ago, at the tax refund counter at Munich Airport, I had a borderline traumatic experience where we were mocked and laughed at since we didn’t have our goods out. Following experiences at Zurich and Geneva we assumed we didn’t actually need to take our goods out to show customs, and that backfired on us big-time – not only were we mocked, but we also almost missed our flight, as they were deliberately trying to waste our time by making fun of our inability to read the German on our receipts.

Mentally prepared to face something similar at Brussels Airport, we had prepared everything to show the man at the counter. So instead of leaving traumatised, I was just left…ticked off.

Either way, I’m concerned about the blatant discrimination of Asian-looking people at tax refund counters.

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China’s Next Retaliatory Act On Hong Kong Involves Cathay Pacific

Hong Kong is going through a bit of a rough patch right now (to put it lightly), and China is largely displeased with the way Hong Kongers are rioting against them. In my last post where I described how this weekend’s airport protests would affect those flying in and out of the airport, I talked about how I was in no way a supporter of any violence that was going on, though at the same time agreed that Hong Kong was facing high stakes.

I know that protesters overestimate their ability to overturn the government and lead Hong Kong autonomously, and they think they’re starting some sort of cutting-edge revolution. What they fail to realise is that China has the ability to wipe the entirety of Hong Kong out in a second. As of now, Hong Kong phones are already getting cleared when getting into China, to stop any footage of the protests from getting into the country.

Well, the first of China’s retaliations have hit, and it targets Cathay Pacific. From now on, crewmembers involved in protests will no longer be allowed to operate Cathay Pacific flights overflying Chinese airspace.

Now, how does this work?

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Hong Kong Airport Protests: What Should This Mean For Your Flight?

Update: The protests will start at 1 PM local time on Friday, August 9, and more or less continue until Sunday night.

Update: The allegations of boarding pass checks are correct, and there’s currently a bottleneck at the departures area as most staff are busy manning the arrivals area; those travelling out of Hong Kong this weekend are advised to get to the airport at least 3 hours before departure.

That being said, YTHK is happy to report that most departing travellers have reported that the process lasted under a minute, and posed no risk of missing your flight.

Photo credit: Danny Lee, my friend from SCMP

In this post:

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Which Products Are Next Up On Our Review Roster?

Jason, Ethan, Mallesh and I have all been working on our exams throughout  the past few weeks, so I apologise for the lack of posts. From June onwards, we have some very fun travel planned, which I’m very excited for. I figured it was worth giving an update on which reviews you guys would get to see over the next couple of months.

If you’re new to the blog and stumble upon this post, we’ve done 200+ reviews of countless flights, hotels, and airport lounges, and even have guides of some of our frequently traveled airline cabin products. Here are some of the reviews that we’re most excited about over the next couple of months.

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ACT FAST: Scoot’s New Year’s Flash Sale

I came upon some incredibly low fares on Scoot’s website, as part of a New Year’s flash sale, with highly discounted tickets departing from all of their destinations. I don’t think they will last very long, and are likely to sell out soon, so book ASAP if you are interested! Because of various departure/destination and date combinations, feel free to play around on Scoot’s website. They look like GREAT fares!

Scoot Boeing 787 at Taipei Airport Bound For Tokyo Narita

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Thoughts On Visiting Lindau, Germany

Last month I was able to visit three destinations in Germany that I had never visited before. This included the island of Lindau, the major tourist site Berchtesgaden and the huge city of Munich. I enjoyed visiting all three destinations, and published my main trip report detailing the flights I flew and hotels I stayed at to complete this trip, so hopefully you guys find these reviews useful in the future. However, I figured I’d be doing you guys a disservice without actually reporting back on my thoughts regarding the destinations themselves.

I’m in no position to compile a full guide on things you can do when you’re touring these areas, so in no way am I attempting to do so. Instead, I’d just like to share some of the highlights that I had when visiting these destinations.

Lindau, Germany

Originally we were just planning to visit Berchtesgaden and Munich, since these were two places that I’ve heard good things about and was very intrigued in. However, our friends at Bucher Travel Services highly recommended visiting Lindau, so we were happy to add that to our schedule.

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YAY: Some Airlines Are No Longer Subjected To The U.S. Electronics Ban

Back in March, the United States introduced a rather asinine electronics ban policy that extended to several airlines. I wrote about it at the time – I am always supportive of safety onboard a flight, but you’d have figured that people intending to harm have found other ways to sneak their devices onboard flights by now.

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A while ago the U.S. announced that if airports became compliant with a series of enhanced security measures, large electronic devices would once again be allowed on flights between these airports and the U.S.. I’m happy to say that a few airlines have been compliant with these new safety measures, and on certain airlines, you will once again be able to bring your laptops, iPads and cameras onboard flights.

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Where Should I Go in Australia and How Should I Get There?

Our family is currently in the process of planning a trip to Australia in February, so having some free time (finally!) after exams, I decided to have a look at the possible options. There were many options that were compelling to an extent, though everything was rather pricey (which is expected, as it’s June, where everyone’s starting to book their travels “far” in advance). I’m currently stumped at four options, and I’m really starting to wonder which one’s the best.

Sydney, Australia

I’ll run down my list of options, and I’ll see if consulting y’all can give me a better idea of where our family can go over the summer.

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