In relation to the letter by John Ward (Traveller Letters, December 12), who wanted to know if anyone could beat his delay in getting a refund from Qantas, I can confirm that I can. My travel agent sought a refund for my international travel tickets on April 15. They have advised me they are still waiting. This is very unfair of Qantas. How about a Christmas present from Qantas to everyone who has waited most of the year for their money to be returned?
Cathy Parsons, Queanbeyan, NSW
Regarding John Ward's seven month wait for a refund, I've been trying to get a refund since March. Two weeks became 12 and at 14 weeks they found the job number from August. In November, they said the wait time would be about six months. If this date is met, that will be almost 18 months for a refund. At this point I've initiated a chargeback to see if the banks have any better luck.
Lap Nguyen, Melbourne, VIC
I am in the unfortunate position of having beaten John Ward's seven month wait for an airline ticket refund. It's been eight months since Royal Brunei Airlines promised me a refund for cancelled flights and I am still waiting. Great airline, pity about the poor customer service.
Geoff Selby, Moorooduc, VIC
John Ward's unpaid Qantas refund from April has probably been forgotten. With so many staff being laid off at Qantas it is time to ramp up your refund quest. Contact Alan Joyce, Qantas' chief executive, and let him know of your annoyance in having been given the runaround from disingenuous staff.
Alan Young, Sanctuary Point, NSW
Yes, we need to travel within our own country but our hospitality industry lags well behind overseas in the area of service. Anyone familiar with an average four star hotel or resort in Asia or even Europe knows what good service looks like. They don't expect the guest to carry their bags to the room and service is spot on. They know your name when you pick up the phone and nothing seems to be too much trouble. Good service of this standard is available in Australia but you have to work hard to find it. Read reviews carefully before booking.
Lance Sterling, Burwood, VIC
My rant is about travellers who rant about the lack of "gold-plated" service in the places they visit in Australia (Traveller Letters, December 19). Among your correspondents' litany of complaints included the fact that their room service order wasn't wheeled in so they had to put the tray on the bed. Oh dear. The steak knives were missing and they had to go to the hotel restaurant to get one. Poor things. They had to hang up the clothes they washed in their room all by themselves? How awful. There were no antiques in their room? Terrible. Sounds like a serious case of entitlement to me.
Kerrie Wehbe, Blacktown, NSW
When we travel on our own a lot of services will incur a single supplement cost. Mostly it is imposed if we use an accommodation room, on a cruise ship, on a train or in a hotel. This does annoy me but I have got used to it and now accept it as part of my holiday cost. I live alone, have done so for years, and am not going to have a disturbed night sharing a room with someone. And some overseas destinations do advertise a single room at a reduced cost which is helpful. I enjoy travelling alone, it lets me make instant decisions without consultation. Don't let being on your own stop you from having an overseas trip, you will love it, give it a go.
Dudleigh Oakes, Bribie Island, Queensland
DON'T TAKE THE MICKEY
In regards to your cover story about the outlook for travel in 2021 (Traveller, December 19), please be aware that a large proportion of Australians were born overseas and travel, not just for leisure, but to visit friends and family. We read with great interest your answers to questions like "when will we be able to travel to the US or UK again?'" not because we want a frivolous "Disneyland holiday'" but because we are desperate to see elderly relatives.
Alice Klettner, Sydney, NSW
THAT'S THE SPIRIT
Earlier this year we booked a trip to Cape York in Far North Queensland with Outback Spirit. We had travelled with them before. After COVID-19 hit, the trip was postponed. We agreed to the delayed date, but after some time our situation changed. We sold our house because the arthritis didn't like the stairs. The trip seemed unlikely, so we requested a refund. Outback Spirit was very understanding and a full refund was paid. We live in hope that we will one day visit Cape York with Outback Spirit. Thanks to Outback Spirit. A great company to choose.
Gerry Danckert, Armstrong Creek, VIC
HOMEAWAY SWEET HOMEAWAY
Thank you for publishing my letter about border closures and cancellations (Traveller Letters, December 12). There has been an update that I should report. I complained (politely) to Homeaway about the unfairness of their 30 day cancellation policy. After an exchange of further correspondence, Homeaway has seen fit to offer me a credit for a change of dates to a time in the future. Well done to the landlord and well done to Homeaway. A little goodwill goes a long way to restoring my faith.
Jim Andrews, Ballina, NSW
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