Traveller Letters: What's the actual point of a frequent flyer card?

WHAT'S THE POINT?

Unlike Rod McCallum (Traveller Letters, March 20) I don't think it would worry me if I lost my Qantas frequent flyer membership card. These days I earn FF points in many ways and places such as credit card purchases, transactions at service stations, pharmacies, non-card financial services and even a health app just for walking day in, day out.

I know where my card is, however, I can't recall when I last had to produce it. There's an image of it on my phone if really needed. The days of having to produce a plastic card are fading fast.

Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW

LETTER OF THE WEEK

PUTTING THE "OUCH" IN VOUCHERS

Congratulations to the Victorian government for the concept of regional travel vouchers. I hope each lucky recipient maximises their spend in order to give some hope of recovery to those affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

No accolades to the government, however, for the method of awarding these vouchers. They're fine if you can sit on the computer at precisely 10 am, have a short name (like Joe Blow), a simple address (like 1 Box Street, Box Hill), a simple email address, a driving licence bearing a simple or no middle name (details were to be exactly as on the licence, so if only a middle initial appears on your licence then time is lost as you ponder what to put), have great eyesight, finger dexterity, a super fast computer, and of course a mobile phone number and great presence of mind.

My five minute challenge ended abruptly in failure. I realise the method adopted may be cost effective, but surely giving adequate time to register and then a ballot would be much fairer.

Russ Riseley, Newhaven, VIC

GONDOLIERS PARADISE

I admired your great cover shot of Queensland's Gold Coast (Traveller, March 27) showing the huge apartment complexes right on the beach. With climate change causing ice-caps to melt and sea levels to rise, we should be able to have gondola trips around and through them in a hundred years time.

John B. Quin, Avoca, VIC

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POWER TRIP

Thanks to the NRMA's "future-proofing" of its NSW community by installing judiciously placed (and free to users) electric vehicle fast chargers along the regional highways, we have been able to make some enjoyable road trips in our long range (450+kms when fully charged) Hyundai Kona.

Most recently, we headed to a beautiful houseboat in the border town of Moama on the MUrray River, travelling via Jugiong with its stylishly refurbished old Sir George Hotel and Wagga Wagga with its rambling Murrumbidgee riverside walk, glorious Glass Art Gallery, and delicious dining at the Magpies' Nest Restaurant.

After exploring Moama (when the car was trickle-charged thanks to prior arrangement with the very obliging hosts) and Echuca across the border, we stayed at Albury's charming old Waverley B&B while wandering through the wonderful, bird-filled Wonga Wetlands and stunning riverside Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk, and enjoying very fine food at the 2640 Restaurant.

Last but not least was the delightful little town of Gundaroo (a hop and skip from the Yass charging station), with its collection of evocative old buildings and the great Grazing Restaurant. It was two great freewheeling weeks.

Anne Ring, Coogee, NSW

EDITOR'S NOTE We'd love to hear from our Victorian readers about their own favourite road-trips around the state.

PINING FOR NORFOLK

For those looking for an "overseas" experience I strongly recommend Norfolk Island. Just under three hours flying time from Sydney, it has much to offer the discerning traveller - history, a large variety of local tours, excellent safe swimming and snorkelling and great food.

The locals are friendly and welcoming and during our visit, a shark-tagging team from Flinders university was in action, which made for some exciting videos. My wife and I spent two relaxing weeks there, wishing it had been longer. Even Captain Bligh might have a wry smile if he visited today

Ashley Berry, Toolijooa, NSW

GONE IN 60 SECONDS

During the COVID-19 crisis, I banked a credit of $444 with Virgin Australia. However, when I went to make a booking using that credit over the weekend, I found the credit had magically disappeared. It is not possible to phone Virgin Australia about this issue and the minimum response time for emails is 21 days.

Kevin McQuillan, Melbourne, VIC

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

At the end of January, 2020, when COVID struck, I reluctantly cancelled my fully-paid holiday to Italy and the UK, including business class flights with Qantas. Last Sunday I finally received a refund from Qantas, after a lot of work by my travel agent. Hooray.

Barbara Grant, Castle Hill, NSW

BEAT THE RUSH

I refer to Peter Hansford's letter, "Parting Shots" (Traveller Letters, March 27) regarding 10 am check-out times. We often pay for an extra night's accommodation so that we do not have to rush out by the 10 am check-out time. That way we can still enjoy a full final day of the weekend, take a leisurely stroll along the beach, enjoy the day surfing, maybe have a nice lunch and finish with dinner. We make our way home after dinner when there is usually very little traffic to deal with.

Cristiane Barber, Marrickville, NSW

DRIVE YOUR DOLLAR FURTHER

Planning our Easter trip to Tasmania starting on Good Friday, it was with some concern that I looked into car hire for the seven days, having read of hire car shortages and higher prices in Traveller Letters. The original price with Avis was steep but acceptable for the vehicle type.

Remembering that I had free membership with Avis Preferred (not having booked with it for over two years) I logged in via membership. The same vehicle type was 25 per cent cheaper and included an additional driver for free. The total was now less than I would have expected to pay, even in Sydney. Sometimes "membership has its privileges"

Anthony Roseworn, Canberra, ACT

Send us your travel-related tips, opinions and experiences.

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WIN A NAVMAN MICAM EXPLORE

The writer of Letter of the Week wins a Navman MiCam Explore,designed for travellers wanting to discover new places with confidence. With a large 7-inch (18cm) "pinch and zoom" screen, dash cam and GPS device, the MiCam provides visual and verbal navigation, including off-road 4WD tracks, speed, traffic and safety alerts.

RRP $499. See navman.com.au 

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