Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Home and happier

The much anticipated holiday was a disaster.
Some people and companies are so incredibly nice and others ...

Flying to Sydney I became ill on the plane. Qantas were absolutely wonderful and took care of everything. I can not praise them enough.
Not getting paid for this,
but I am so glad I was flying Qantas.
It just so happened that a doctor was on the plane and he assisted me. I think it was really generous of him to attend to a complete stranger at short notice with no chance of financial reimbursement. The chief steward on the flight was also extremely competent and made sure everything went smoothly.
Qantas arranged for an ambulance to take me and my husband to St George's Hospital in Sydney, and they took care of the luggage as well. The hospital was great. Doctors, tests, food, drink, and the best attention possible. It is a huge hospital but really calm. There was some question about whether I had suffered a heart attack or had a clot in a lung. In the end there was no evidence for either so I was allowed to continue on my way.

Behind this desk I found people
who can fix almost anything.
Not paid for this either!
Meanwhile our luggage was delivered to our hotel. Phone call from Qantas. We had no reservation there. It seems the trusty (?) travel agent had cancelled our reservation only a few hours after we had made it. Arrrgh! The hotel fixed everything and we enjoyed our stay there. The hotel was the Travelodge on Philip Street. It is just a few steps along from the famous Lindt Café in Martin Place.

And so the pattern of highs and lows continued. We had a meal in a restaurant in Sydney where we were charged $9.50 each for glasses of tap water! Ridiculous! Glad I live far away.

Arrived in Vancouver and was promptly told I had the wrong visa. Turn around and leave please.

I am following this up with the travel agent. I contacted Consumer Affairs again and spoke to a different person who was very helpful, unlike last time. I also spoke to the compliance manager of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents.
The consumer laws have changed but I believe I am still entitled to a refund from the travel agent. She make the booking and took my money even though she had the professional knowledge and experience to know I would not be able to use the services and goods she sold me. This is deceptive behavior and is possibly fraud.
I need to be careful about making unjust accusations but I am angry with the travel agent.

I am also feeling quite supported because of a few kind comments from people who read about my travel problems a while back. Anyone can fall into a set of unfortunate circumstances. Truly, it does not take much for courage to turn into a handful of problems. (Maybe something like this is happening to my travel agent and that is why she is making a mess.) But I think I need to stand up for myself much more than I have done in the  past. I have received some sincere support from complete strangers recently and I owe it to them not to waste that.

So now I am home and trying again. As you know, some people can be very trying.

5 comments:

  1. Oh golly, I am so sorry to hear about you falling ill on your vacation, and that the whole trip had to be aborted in the end. I remember what trouble you had with the travel agent from the very beginning. surely they could have given you another visa? It sounds as though the whole trip was horrendously expensive and in fact you achieved nothing. I do hope you get compensation/ refund - you certainly deserve it. It sounds as though there have been a few saints along the way, thank heavens.

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    1. Thank you for your kind thoughts and words. The worst is over now and I am a lot wiser.

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  2. What a nightmare! I hope you get some joy from Consumer Affairs. That travel agent sounds like they should not be in business!

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    1. Thank you Vireya. I was inspired by your suggestion about contacting The Checkout. That was a bit too confronting at the time, but I have followed your general idea.

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  3. Quantas seemed to be the best agency in the whole affair once you left the hospital. What a nightmare. Glad you are home safe and can rest.

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