Traveller letters: Qantas credits for cancelled flights taught me a lesson

LESSON IS MORE

Like Terry Waterson (Traveller Letters, August 15) my travelling companion and I were offered Qantas credits on our flights a number of times. The conditions attached stated that new bookings must be for the same passengers as on the original booking, so we did not accept a credit. Eventually, our flights were cancelled and 17 weeks after requesting them, we received refunds. Among other lessons learnt from this event: have separate booking numbers when travelling with friends; and save a copy of the terms and conditions at the time of the booking, as some companies subsequently alter their terms and conditions.

Sue Davies, Hawthorn, VIC

SHOW ME THE MONEY

In response to Terry Watson's letter (Traveller Letters, August 15) regarding Qantas flight credits; there's good news, but news Qantas has kept very quiet. The following information is from Qantas: "If you were originally booked to travel between March 17 and May 31, 2020, and... either Qantas cancelled or you cancelled the flight and you received a flight credit, just a reminder that your other options include a refund. You can contact Qantas on 13 13 13." Terry, phone Qantas and request a refund. Qantas says it can take eight to 10 weeks, but it's better to get the money and just book future flights at your own discretion.

Bernadette Scadden, Earlwood, NSW

GOTCHA MOMENT

I thought we were fairly experienced with travel insurance. We always go through the disclosure statement in detail looking for the usual traps and clauses (for example, rental motorcycles can even have engine capacity restrictions). But recently we were working to get the unusable element of a Worldcare (Allianz) 12- month policy refunded and we were told that the policy lapsed the moment we touched down in Australia, even though five months validity remained.

We were told we should have taken a multi-trip policy but that wouldn't have suited because there are limits on the duration and number of trips we could take. We were to be travelling in North America over 12 months but with the possibility of unplanned short terms returns to Australia. We understood that we wouldn't be covered while in Australia, but wanted the policy to resume once we left again. If we had continued travelling overseas after we arrived back in Australia as planned, we could have been in a terrible situation if we had a medical issue in the US. We are adding this to our list of the "gotchas" perpetrated on travelling Australians who try to do the right things by their insurers.. By the way, we are still waiting after six months for the partial refund to appear back on our card.

Paul Lewis, Sunshine Beach, QLD

GONG WITH THE WIND

We are a couple of Sydney dwellers who recently had a holiday in Wollongong. It was a delightful surprise, an area packed with wonderful coastal walks, bike tracks and so many "food with a view" options we planned our eating carefully to fit it all in. The Wollongong art gallery was a treat and we exhausted our brains at the hands on, designed for kids, science centre. We will return for the Illawarra museum (which was closed due to COVID-19 restrictions), the walk up to Mount Keira, snorkelling in Bushrangers Bay and to tackle the Great Pacific Walk. Don't miss the Port Kembla heritage walk if you are interested in the impact World War Two had on Wollongong.

Bettina Harris, Hornsby Heights, NSW

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SORRY IS THE HARDEST WORD

I am holding my breath in the hope of an unreserved apology from NSW Premier Berejiklian to the scores of ACT citizens who were grossly inconvenienced by her mismanagement of recent NSW border changes.

Chris Smith, Kingston, ACT

SNOW JOB

I refer to the Traveller article (August 15), about unusual aspects of NSW, and the item in it about the Kiandra Pioneer Ski Club. I find it embarrassing to see it being claimed as the oldest ski club in the world, and I say this as a club member for about 50 years. My understanding was always that the club was established around 1870 (which is a long time ago, just not early enough to be a world-first, and even that date may be wrong - club records were destroyed by fire decades ago). The year 1870 was the club's recognised starting date until 2008 when a self-published book by a club member claimed the club was founded in 1861, without citing any historic record. Frankly, it does not bear scrutiny. The date was also disputed in Australian Skiing: The First 100 Years, a well-researched book by Wendy Cross.Belinda Marshall, Mosman NSW

EDITOR'S NOTE There are records of ski racing in Kiandra from the 1860s, but Traveller acknowledges the dispute over the date of the club's foundation.

WHAT'S IN STORE

In response to Daniel de Vries' "Plane confusing" letter (Rants & raves, August 22), Singapore Airlines is sending some of their aircraft to Alice Springs because they intend to use them again when the airline industry recovers. Qantas is sending older aircraft to California because they are retiring those aircraft early due to the downturn in the airline industry. You could say that the older aircraft are going to "aeroplane heaven" if they are on-sold or "aeroplane hell" if they are broken up. Qantas has also used Alice Springs for storage and is using many other airports in Australia as well. Singapore, as a small inland nation, has a relatively small storage availability.

Ken Simpson. Chatswood, NSW

NORTH VERSUS SOUTH

Be informed that Mount Rushmore is in the US state of South Dakota, about 50 kilometres from Rapid City, the second largest city in that state. Trust me - I've been there.

James Maney, San Antonio, Texas, US

EDITOR'S NOTE Thanks to James and all of our others readers who pointed out this error in last week's Traveller Quiz, which we, of course, regret. The mistake was quickly corrected as soon as it was pointed out to us. Award yourselves an extra point.

LONDON RECALLING

Having spent three weeks in London last November (now a fading memory), we were encouraged to visit lesser-known sights. On some of our meanderings we discovered a couple of Banksy artworks without even trying. One was on Camden Lock while we visited the markets, the other in the grim Barbican on a dark London evening while looking for The Jugged Hare pub for a genuine pub meal. While walking around looking at other things it was "oh, there is another Banksy!"

Michael Copping, Oatley, NSW

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