CRY FREEDOM I
It strikes me that it is very repressive for a free western democracy to outlaw all international travel with the current federal government Smart Traveller advice being "do not travel". We are all adults, have masks, understand the risks and have not committed any crime. The airlines and airports are addressing health and safety issues, as are many European and Asian destinations.
Even though many countries now welcome us, I expect in a couple of months we will be left far behind most of Europe and Asia. There is no apparent plan for when we will be released.
I have many friends who are either dual citizens or Australian permanent residents on European passports. They would be keen to stay away two or three months and, if the Australian law stipulated, complete two weeks in quarantine at their expense on their return. They would have access to medical care in their European country of birth. They do not want to travel to Far North Queensland, although I know it would be good for the economy. It seems the slack hotel quarantine controls at home of late mean the whole country is being made to suffer.
Stewart Cameron, Sunshine Coast, QLD
CRY FREEDOM II
Today is the last day of our quarantine stay at the Sydney Radisson Blu hotel. Many thanks to the hotel staff, the NSW police and the Australian Defence Force personnel who have looked after us during our stay. Their professionalism, hospitality and positive attitude made a fairly tedious two weeks comfortable and tolerable.
Peter and Sarah Sholl, Palm Beach, NSW
Like Kim White (Traveller letters, July 4) we discovered the Amtrak Red Cap service when departing Penn Station New York for Washington DC. We had exactly the same experience - brilliant. And yes we tipped $20, but really the service was worth more. The Red Cap porter ensured that we boarded the train before the crowd, found us two good seats and stacked our bags close by. It was five star service.
David Adams, Koolewong, NSW
Kevin Davies (Traveller letters, July 4) tries to compare the lack of a refund on travel insurance to cancelled home insurance. Cancellation of travel costs is only one part of travel insurance. Potentially more costly are the items of cover for the actual trip such as medical costs or luggage cover. Why should an insurer (in this case Covermore) and travel agent (Flight Centre) keep 100 per cent of an expensive premium when there was no possibility of claiming under the trip component of travel insurance? At least part of the premium should be refunded.
Polly Seidler, Darlinghurst, NSW
How disappointing of the print version of Traveller (July 4, 2020). What is meant to be a feature highlighting local tours - and rightly so - features five Australian tour options. Of these, two are run by private overseas companies, and one a European specialist now focussing on Australia in its attempt to survive. What an opportunity missed. All the myriad specialist and locally-owned Australian tour companies surely warrant a mention, rather than large overseas owned operators that are suddenly running Australian tours. Where is the Australian spirit of supporting local?
Damian Cerini, Tour de Vines, St Kilda, VIC
EDITOR'S NOTE: Traveller over its more than a decade of publication has a long history of supporting domestic tourism and its operators, as the literally thousands of Australia-related articles on our website traveller.com.au attest.
SIP, SIP HOORAY
Like John Kirby (Traveller letters, July 4) and others, I had booked Emirates flights from Melbourne to Athens, returning in July/August. I recently made myself a coffee, girded my loins for a long afternoon on the phone and called Emirates. Much to my surprise I got straight through (to the UAE, I suspect) and spoke to Hani. I cancelled my flights, confirmed that the "keep your ticket" option suited me, and was all done before my coffee went cold.
Phil McGrath, Neerim South, VIC
You are not the only one Trevor Taylor (Traveller letters, July 4). I also bought a policy from Allianz and paid over $400 on December 20 to cover me for a trip to see my family in the US from July 16 to August 20 this year. Allianz will not take any calls regarding travel insurance and obviously they are taking no risks as it is impossible to travel. In contrast, Travel Marvel have refunded most of the premium I paid for my husband and I to go on a trip in March and April which was cancelled (by the tour company) due to COVID-19. Bad marks Allianz – referring me to your website achieves nothing.
Judith Lowe, Whale Beach, NSW
NO FUN IN REFUNDS
I do understand that there is not a lot going on in the world of travel, but can we now please close the chapter of people not getting refunds for flights, cruises, tours and hotel rooms?
Gerhard Engleitner, Merewether, NSW
My wife and I were booked business class on Cathay Pacific, Melbourne-Manchester return for a June/July 2020 trip, including a tour of Ireland with Insight Vacations and a week in an Airbnb in Manchester. The tour company and airline cancelled the tour and the flights and we cancelled the Airbnb. We have received full refunds from all three providers, no questions asked, the Airbnb within 24 hours. Great service by all , especially Cathay Pacific. We will use them when safe to travel again. We had also booked the flights and tours through our usual travel agent who handled all the refunds for us.
Neil MacLachlan, Taylors Lakes, VIC
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