Traveller letters: Cathay Pacific sets a high standard for other airlines

LETTER OF THE WEEK

At the end of his first solo trip to Britain recently, our 18-year-old son misread his itinerary and missed his Cathay Pacific flight to Melbourne. Following a four-hour road trip, he arrived at London's Heathrow Airport 24 hours late and in a fairly sleepless and stressed state. Imagine his amazement and gratitude when Cathay Pacific immediately checked him on the next available flight, without question and at absolutely no additional cost. Thank you, Cathay Pacific. What a high standard you set for the other airlines.

- Paul Rickard

GOOD POINTE

I wish to warn readers about websites ripping off the unsuspecting seeking tickets for performances at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre. If you want to attend a performance at the Bolshoi, do be aware that you can and should purchase tickets directly via its official website tickets.bolshoi.ru/en/ without paying exorbitant prices to online sellers. You have to be ready to purchase as soon as tickets are released, usually three months in advance. Pay by credit card and collect at the box office on the day of performance. I managed to get dress circle tickets to Swan Lake last September for 9600 roubles ($302), while some websites sell the same ticket for as much as three times that price.

- Sriyani Perera

PASSING THOUGHTS

I, like Judith Metcalf (Traveller letters, June 28-29), also experienced the death of my father while overseas. As my Baltic Sea cruise had not begun when I learned of the news I was able to return home immediately. A return ticket was included in my initial package, but due to a complication I was forced to buy another ticket for an additional $1400. And because my father was over 90 when he died my travel insurer refunded none of the cost of my $9000 tour. Months later, having received no response to my correspondence about my circumstances from my airline, I sat in its office refusing to leave until the $1400 was refunded. But my travel company and the insurer did not want to know me.

- Raylee Anderson

I travel overseas regularly and like Judith Metcalf I also found most insurance policies do not cover for the death of immediate family members over 85 whether travelling or when there is a need to cancel a trip. On m y travels I'm often accompanied by my 85-year-old mother, and Worldcare has been our policy of choice. Further research this year indicated they would cover my mother if she took out an individual policy, but I would not be covered for cancellation as my family member was not under 85 years old. I found the company InsureandGo.com.au covers for those 100 years and under and has similar benefits to others. Worldcare, meanwhile, I see has recently altered this anomaly.

- Carolyn Flegg

HOMING INSTINCT

My holiday to Tunisia earlier this year was greatly enhanced by my Airbnb experience staying in the Tunis home of Salma, Mohammed and their two lovely sons. Salma went out of her way to help me, sharing her local knowledge. After two weeks of travelling in Tunisia I returned to Salma's place for my final night. It was a homecoming to friends.

- Catherine Thompson

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