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Sadly returning to Australia

Old Mar 20th, 2020, 02:15 AM
  #1  
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Sadly returning to Australia

It is with a lot of sadness, disappointment, and anger that we have booked fares to return home on 27 March. We are sad for the people whose lives have been changed forever by this awful virus, and disappointed for ourselves that we can no longer continue travelling around this beautiful country. We canít see the travel restrictions being lifted anytime soon, and the thought of only being able to either go to the shops, or a 30 minute walk for several weeks is difficult, not only for us, but for others as well.

The anger is purely reserved for insurance companies.

Despite being told two weeks ago that as we purchased top cover insurance in July 2019, flew on 25 September 2019 that we are now not covered for anything that is related to this pandemic. That means the new airfares at Ä4,000, the car hire $9.000, and any other cancellations will not be covered. Apparently all things changed when the Government raised the level. This also means that as of the date the level was raised, we havenít had the health coverage. I personally think we are just as much at risk on the flight. Anyway, while our daughter, son in law, and family are disappointed for us, they are happy we are returning.
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 02:56 AM
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Have you been out of Australia since September 2019? My travel insurance only covers for trips maximum length of 31 days, thereafter have to buy a policy extension but it does cover CV. I would have thought that's what the insurance is for, to cover the unexpected which includes being called back to home country on advice of your government.
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 03:32 AM
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Yes we have been out of Aus since September. As part of the long stay visa, we were required to have health insurance for 12 months.
The advice to Australian citizens from the smart traveller notice uses words ‘ if you wish to return to Aus’ and not you must return. Big difference in the word wish and must. Pandemics are not covered.
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 04:01 AM
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Cheska15, I am so sorry. I treated myself this morning to reading your report from Nimes and really enjoyed it.

Safe travel home.

Regards
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 04:16 AM
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Am so very sorry you have to cut short your stay cheska, I can imagine how upsetting this must be, especially with the added cost implications of flights and other cancellations. Your decision is the sensible one.

Remember you had a wonderful six months and delighted countless others with your journal, Nimes will always remind us of you! I am sure there will be more trips in the years to come, hopefully we will soon be able to fight this pandemic and come out on top.

My best wishes for a safe trip home, your family too will be happy to have you back. Bon voyage et bonne continuation...😊
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 04:18 AM
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I think that a lot of insurance companies will have to relent sooner or later or a lot of insurers will be hanging on ropes from the lightpoles around the world.
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 04:36 AM
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cheska, I share your disappointment. The latest limitations on movement certainly have put an end to any possible enjoyment you might have found in Blois. .I wish you two a safe trip home and that you and all your family and friends stay well.

Please stay in touch with your friends here on Fodors somehow. At least let us know when you've arrived home.

All of us wish you well.

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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by cheska15 View Post
Yes we have been out of Aus since September. As part of the long stay visa, we were required to have health insurance for 12 months.
The advice to Australian citizens from the smart traveller notice uses words Ď if you wish to return to Ausí and not you must return. Big difference in the word wish and must. Pandemics are not covered.
Hopefully the insurance company will reconsider, my travel insurance would have covered it, you can claim to come home early if the area you are staying in is locked down due to CV or if your official government advice changes while you are away. I don't think any advisory will ever say "must" return. I would try to take this further, it does not seem a very satisfactory answer.
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 08:25 AM
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Hi Cheska15: Are you booked to go home soon?
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 10:16 AM
  #10  
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OReiilly we are leaving 27 March
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 10:46 AM
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Cheska, even though Australian customs rules are super strict, I hope you will be able to repatriate a few goodies from France in jars and tins.
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 10:49 AM
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I’m so sorry. What a huge disappointment. And just keep fighting the insurance company. This is such a new situation and the rules change constantly, but don’t give up!

safe travels home!
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 12:41 PM
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"In the nightmare of the dark,
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And every living nation waits,
Each sequestered in its hate;"

WH Auden


Thin🛒
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 02:51 PM
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I am so sorry it has had to end like this. You have had a wonderful time and given all of us lots of enjoyment as we followed you on your adventure. I will admit to an occasional twinge of envy !! You will have some great memories of your time in Nimes and hopefully when the situation improves you can return to France for another stay.

Best wishes for a safe trip home.
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 04:57 PM
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Oh, I'm so sorry it had to end this way, and with such a terrible exercise of a loophole by the insurance company (and the car rental as well)
Have a safe journey home!
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 06:59 PM
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I'm very sorry to see your trip conclude on this note and I hope that at least your insurance company will come up with some remuneration for you. It will be a small comfort but it would be something. I wish you all the best, Cheska, and hope you will continue to follow your dreams in spite of this turn of incredibly bad luck.
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Old Mar 20th, 2020, 09:08 PM
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It is very sad that you can't continue your travels, I really hope you'll be able to return to France in the not too distant future.

I have a very low opinion of insurance companies. In my experience if they can wriggle out of paying, they will. They make me want to spit. Insurance is supposed to cover something unforeseen happening. Did anyone see this virus happening? Grrr...

Safe journey home.
Kay
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Old Mar 22nd, 2020, 10:49 PM
  #18  
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The last few days have been some of the most stressful days we have had. At 12.30 am Saturday we received a text from qantas advising our return flight on Tuesday was cancelled. That was ok just rebooked another flight on Friday from Paris, London, Singapore Sydney.

We received a smart traveller alert advising Singapore was closing its airport. We ring Qantas and they have no idea that the Singapore Airport is closed. The very aggressive person my husband was talking to advised Qantas has not cancelled the flight. As the Singapore Government has not formally advised Qantas no decision can be made. While Qantas can see the advice on the Internet they are sticking to their process of flying until advised otherwise. We ask what happens when we get to the airport. Her response is you will not allowed to board the flight. if we cancel, sorry no refund. We ask about other flights and we are told about a flight to Sydney stopping at Doha. We will have to pay the difference. We have already paid €4.900 for PE why do we have to pay more we ask. Because the cost of the difference in fares. Despite their being no PE seats the fare us more expensive. Work that one out. After going round in circles, and the person not listening we end the call.

After 10 minutes two e- tickets arrive for the original flight, plus a flight including a stop over at Doha. So on the phone again, this time we get a lovely person. After one hour we get cut off. We are concerned about charges on our credit card so ring them back, and go through the whole story again. Next minute mu husband’s phone rings and it is the lovely person ringing back. After what seems ages of being on hold, she agrees to a full refund with no fees, and we have to find another flight home. Seems every five minutes we are receiving emails advising another airline closing.

We eventually find a flight on BA book with as the flight is from London to Sydney. Tickets arrive we check and there is a stopover at Singapore. We absolutely panic as we know there are no stops at Singapore. We ring BA and the phone is answered quickly and the lovely person advised it is only a refueling stop, and no one is allowed off the plane.

We opened a bottle of Prosecco with our shop bought quiche, and we are both in tears, and exhausted.

On a positive note the wonderful owner has offered us a house to stay in if we need it at 40 euros a night, that is the same that we are paying for the apartment. We decline his generous offer. He has offered to help us anyway he can.

On my walkthrough to the Boulangerie, I acknowledged the neighbours who are stripping their shutter, explaining my French is limited. He shrugs his shoulders, and I tell him we are Aussies. Next thing he takes to me in good English, thinks it is great we have been here for six months, and suggests we get home to Aus quickly. Then when my husband went out yesterday they have a chat. Another example of how welcoming the French have been to us, and makes me cry. I know that when we come back as ordinary tourists we probably won’t have that experience.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2020, 12:58 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Cheska, I have been wondering how you are getting on. Your stress levels must be through the roof. I hope it all works out..
It is getting serious here now as I am sure you are aware. In typical laid back Aussie fashion, some people are not taking it seriously. One surfer at Bondi called it all bull**** and a press beat up.
It is depressing. Our family is lucky at this stage with no job losses, but our daughter ( on maternity leave ) rang up with concerns today about what is in store. Their jobs may not so secure long term.
We are just sitting at home wondering if we will have any money left in our super by the time it ends. We may not get back to France and that makes us very sad.
Bonne chance.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2020, 01:22 AM
  #20  
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rhon it is a nightmare situation for everyone. When I retired last year I took my super as I didn’t have a real lot. This was against all expert advice but after having lost most of my $33,000 from employment in hairdressing in 2009 financial crisis didn’t want that to happen for my 10 years of government super. Also this is how we were going to fund this trip. We are going home with more than half.

I feel so sad for everyone. The tenants in our house are on one income (teacher) and schools close tomorrow in Canberra and I don’t think private schools will be paying full income. I don’t know how people worldwide are going to survive.

We are in quarantine when we get home, and staying at our daughter and son in laws house, while they go and stay with his parents. We now can’t go to Adelaide, where we could have stayed with family, so not sure what we will do accomodation wise.

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