Traveller Letters: Travellers expect better than what Australians offer

SHE'LL BE RIGHT IS WRONG

During the lockdown in Victoria, my wife and I realised we have enjoyed 45 overseas holidays in the US, Europe, and Asia. When restrictions allow, we will travel within Australia but we realise it will cost us twice as much as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, and without the wonderful service. We understand the higher costs involved within the local industry, but there is a need to understand that discerning world travellers expect a higher standard of service. The "she'll be right mate" attitude won't be acceptable anymore.

Lance Sterling, Burwood, VIC

THE YOUNG AND THE FECKLESS

In response to the letter about millennials being cool on travelling in their own country (Traveller Letters, September 26), as someone who's travelled extensively in Australia and abroad, both as a gap-year university student and as a middle-aged person, I have the following to say. Due to globalisation, the world is a smaller place now. These days you can experience a lot of the world in your own country.

Furthermore, with the advent of technology, you're never far away from help, or someone's blog explaining how to get around, so a lot of overseas travel has become sanitised and very easy.

Youth talk of adventure. Try hiking through the Arthur Range in south-west Tasmania or biking in Cape York, rather than travelling by Eurail in Europe, or getting on and off buses all organised by your hotels in south-east Asia. This is hardly "adventurous" in my book. Let's be honest.

Youth are addicted to social media and taking a selfie in front of a wheat silo in the Mallee doesn't have the appeal as standing in front of the Eiffel Tower. It's all about bragging, seeking attention and a lack of maturity.

Cameron Birch, Melbourne, VIC

LET THERE BE NO LIGHT

The special Qantas sightseeing flight to Antarctica sounds fantastic. I just hope they don't force passengers to close their window blinds like they do on their regular flights.

Jane Fowler, Marrickville, NSW

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See also: 'Is this a joke?' Qantas sightseeing flights slammed

BORDER BLUES

We booked return Jetstar flights from Brisbane to Uluru for a four-day family celebration. The Queensland border closure, due to COVID-19, means we cannot access Brisbane Airport as we reside in northern NSW. Jetstar have refused my request for a refund of some $2000 as our flights have not been cancelled. But if we are not permitted to cross the Queensland border, our flights are effectively cancelled to us. Give us our money back, please.

Yvonne Corrigan, Ballina, NSW

DOG GONE

We have the car, the time and the travel budget – and two small dogs. We would love to travel around country NSW taking our time seeing, experiencing and undoubtedly spending. But planning a holiday that includes two dogs which we wouldn't contemplate leaving behind is a big problem. Should we hire a campervan and hit the road that way? Do we look for pet-friendly motels and use our own pet-friendly car? The planning is too much to bear. Some hints about pet-friendly, NSW travel would be appreciated. . I'm always puzzled that there are not more options for baby boomers with time and money whose caring responsibilities include four-legged hairy kids. I'd wager that there are lots of regional economies that would welcome our ilk. A business opportunity for some enterprising person to offer planning services for such travellers?

Jo O'Sullivan, Mittagong, NSW

GIVING THE KIWIS THE PIP

Francis Sal's letter (Traveller Letters, September 26) reminded me of a similar incident several years ago on arrival at Rotorua airport from Sydney. I was approached by a female security officer accompanied by a dog. She stated that the dog had detected that I was carrying fruit. I was taken aback and denied this. But she insisted on inspecting my handbag, out of which she pulled a small Tupperware container. I realised that on the aircraft, after consuming a few cherries which I had brought from home, I returned the pips to my container and put it back in my bag. She informed me that I should have left them on the aircraft.

Fortunately she allowed me to keep my container, having disposed of the pips in a bin, and let me go with a stern warning that my details were now on record and next time I would receive a hefty fine. Although I regularly fly to New Zealand to visit family (prior to COVID-19 of course) I have been very diligent in not repeating a similar mistake.

Helen Hines, Elanora Heights, NSW

ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE

I took out insurance with COTA in November last year, for travel in October this year. When I saw in the fine print that claims would not be paid in the event of a pandemic I thought my money was gone. Nevertheless I wrote to them asking if I could have at least a partial refund and I got the full amount. I suggest people don't assume they will not get anything back, but simply ask.

Maureen Goldie, Blackwood, SA

CLAIM GAME

My insurance company, InsureandGo, tells me that I can only file a claim for travel cancellations if the travel provider does not offer alternative travel arrangements. I was booked on a fully-paid Pitcairn Expedition cruise that was cancelled and replaced with a similar cruise in February 2021. This cruise has also been cancelled. The cruise operator, Aranui Cruises, now offers me the option of a refund, at a "fee" of $330, or re-booking on a similar cruise In the second half of 2022, at a higher fare. This is just one more example of how some travel insurers are managing to avoid COVID-19 related claims and how some travel providers are trying to stay afloat.

Kirsten Walla, Vaucluse, NSW

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