Letters: Turned away from hotel after Wotif booking

Turned away at hotel

Recently we booked a hotel in Sydney using wotif.com. We held a confirmation letter and reference from Wotif but when we arrived at the hotel there was no record of our booking and the hotel was fully booked.

Wotif had sent the booking to the hotel's booking agent, who did not send it to the hotel. The lesson, when using Wotif or similar, is to contact the property direct to confirm.

- John Cannon

Passport scan

I usually scan my passport, credit cards and documents when travelling and email them to myself. If there are problems, I can simply access and print out copies wherever I am in the world.

- Nicole Bradshaw

Reverse charges

If a car rental firm makes a dubious charge for damage to a vehicle, try contacting your bank and reversing the payment as an unauthorised transaction on your card. If they wish to pursue the matter they will have to proceed to court and this is most unlikely if it is a dodgy claim.

- John Swanton

Rail discomfort

I can sympathise with Robyn Lewis (Traveller, March 7) about her inability to speak with anyone at Rail Plus after she made an online booking error.

After reserving Japan rail passes online with Rail Plus, I wanted to clarify a couple of points over the phone. I kept a tally of how often I tried its 1300 number (it was 11 times over three days) and every time the recorded message said that all their agents were busy.

After giving up on the phone, I tried the online chat feature. While the good news is there was a response, the bad news is that the agent had little knowledge of the Japan rail pass process and actually passed on some incorrect information.

My suggestion would be to avoid Rail Plus if you want any form of after-sales support.

- Bryan van Eck

Money missing

Last June I booked accommodation in London with Book in Hotels on the internet. The day before I was due to fly I received an email stating that Book in Hotels had lost its contract with the hotel and my booking had been cancelled.

Book in Hotels said the money I paid, $US400 ($440), would be credited to my account. After numerous emails and phone calls to the numbers listed on the website I have been unable to get through and I am still waiting for my money. If anyone knows of another way of contacting this company it would be greatly appreciated.

- Allison McNamara

Just a glass of water

In response to Marcella Lazarus's assumption (Traveller, March 6) that free water should be available where alcohol is sold, including on planes, it should be pointed out that not all states have this legislation.

Victoria, for example, has a guideline that suggests water should be the cheapest item on the menu. So depending on where a liquor licence is registered, there may be no legal requirement for free water.

In addition, Virgin Blue makes it clear that it is not a full-service airline, so you should expect to pay for refreshments - including water. Of course, you can always carry your own bottle on board (as I often do).

- Mark Robinson

British brush-off

I went to the VisitBritain office in North Sydney recently for some information and brochures and found that it was not open to the public.

The lady at the office was surprised to see me but when I said there was nothing in the information online to indicate that the office was closed, she said: "Conversely, there was nothing to say that it was open" and "everyone uses the net". I found her attitude unacceptable - certainly not a welcoming invitation to visit Britain.

- Monica Bray

Left in dark

My husband and I left Honolulu for Sydney, flying with Jetstar on January 23. As we reached altitude the flight attendants closed the shutters and turned off the main lights.

Being in the middle of three seats I had no light above me and I had to spend 10 hours and 45 minutes in the dark. I called the flight attendant but he had no explanation and walked away.

I have not been able to contact anyone at Jetstar to discuss this matter.

- Eva Neeter

Insurance advice

To Dave and Marilyn Bell (Traveller, March 6), your travel insurance company should have what they call "bonus days", which are added on to your term of insurance (probably in your case a few days) so you are covered for the extra days over your one-year term. I was a travel agent for many years and if you look at your policy booklet you should find it mentioned there.

- Patrick Farrell

Elderly flyer

Three times in the past two months my mother, 91, has travelled between Melbourne and Hobart on Jetstar. She has received excellent care each time. A wheelchair (requested in advance) has been provided immediately by staff and the transfer by an external lift in Hobart has gone smoothly. We could not have wished for better.

- Peter Wright

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