PLAY THE CARDS
People such as the Tuckers (Traveller Letters, May 15), who are owed money for cancelled travel plans, should pursue a chargeback with their card issuer for a no-nonsense refund. If you pay for a service using Visa or Mastercard (not sure about Amex but I would think so), you are entitled to a refund if the service is not provided, as is the case here. Each case is assessed on its merits, but they are likely to have a strong case and should badger their financial institution until they get their money back. And if they didn't pay using Visa or Mastercard, I suggest they should have for this benefit alone.
Andrew Verlei, Patterson Lakes, VIC
In February 2020 my wife and I flew from our home in Bali to Melbourne for a month (we thought). As the pandemic took hold, circumstances forced us to cancel our Jetstar return flight to Denpasar, for which we were provided vouchers. Still in Melbourne, we were overjoyed when Jetstar opened up flight bookings again from October 31, 2021, and, using the vouchers, immediately booked seats for November 1. Now Jetstar has cancelled flights until further notice, hoping to resume some time in 2022. We were given the option of cancelling our flight and receiving a refund "to the original method of payment". We assumed that this meant our credit card would be refunded for the initial booking, but no. We had "paid" for the November 1 flight using our vouchers, so we would only be refunded via new vouchers. With the new vouchers not offering any prospect of returning home before the middle of next year, we need a full refund so we can pay for an alternative booking with an alternative airline.
Keith Fletcher, Port Melbourne, VIC
LETTER OF THE WEEK
Plan ahead if you want to get something to eat in Port Douglas. Photo: iStock
Having recently returned from our nine-night honeymoon in Port Douglas, we feel it is important to impart our discovery. Due to staffing limitations and the high rate of domestic travel, getting a dinner reservation is almost as likely as finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Even takeaway fish and chips required a 45 minute wait. Our advice is to plan your meals ahead if you wish to dine out, or prepare to self-cater.
Cassandra Ludwig, Welland, SA
What is the point of Brian Johnson's article on the best Broome sights (Traveller, May 22) when there is currently no available accommodation? I love Broome, but his article - like advertisements for Cable Beach Resort - only serves to tantalise when there is no chance of a booking.
Vee Saunders, Weetangera, ACT
HATS OFF TO TRILBY
A big "shout out" to the outbackbeds.com.au website which opened my eyes to a whole new style of accommodation within Australia. It pointed me towards outback station accommodation when travelling in remote NSW and I heartily recommend the experience. We had three relaxing days at the beautiful Trilby Station, the Murray family's sheep and goat station on the banks of the Darling River near Louth, as well as two nights at Bindara Station on the Darling River south of Menindee. Again a relaxing, peaceful experience and with an abundance of bird-life. Barb Arnold is an excellent, hospitable host with a nightly campfire for all her guests. She made us feel like family. Do consider supporting our rural stations. They offer a unique opportunity to view working remote properties, with an abundance of accommodation styles. Our stays on these properties were a definite highlight of our road trip. And yes, with everyone road tripping at the moment, you really do need to book in advance.
Vicki Copping, Oatley, NSW
Like a few other Australians, my wife and I have been on a couple of road trips recently. The drive from Jindabyne to Khancoban is stunning. From there to Albury we followed the Murray River. A geographical highlight was the reward - from a roadside viewpoint, you look back the way you have come and there is a spectacular view of Australia's longest river, leading your eye towards Australia's highest mountain, both in the one camera-clicking vista.
David Eccleston, Molong, NSW
COVID-19 travel restrictions have seen a flood of complaints about the high cost of Australian travel and lack of service from tourist operators. Before the latest Victorian lockdown, we stayed overnight at the Otway Gate Motel in Colac. What a gem. An old style motel complex which has been refurbished, it was fresh, spotless and economical at $115 a night. On arrival, the welcome was warm, friendly and helpful. Good local advice on where to have dinner (Colac RSL Club for a hearty well priced meal) was given. The room came with a kettle, toaster, crockery, cutlery and two small bottles of fresh milk were provided. Located on the main road, it was surprisingly quiet overnight and a comfy bed and pillows made for a good night's rest. What more do you need?
Adair Dunsford, Naracoorte, SA
I thought I'd let your readers know about some excellent accommodation in Warwick, Qld. The Abbey Boutique Hotel was built in Gothic style by the Catholic church in 1891, with cloisters and then educational facilities for primary and secondary students. The building has been beautifully restored and there are many plaques and information cards so guests can wander on all three floors (it even had an attic for some students). Most guest rooms have genuine four-poster beds and appropriate furnishings, even the hen house has a cross on the roof and the hosts are very obliging.
Judith Baker, Bangalow, NSW
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