A COUPLE has lost a bid to force Queensland Rail Travel to repay them money outlaid for a trip that was derailed before the epic adventure even started. Lawrence and Irene Mead attempted to recoup almost $2000 for a train trip they had booked from Brisbane to Longreach to Winton which was cancelled due to a derailment at Rockhampton the day before their departure in October last year.The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, in a just published decision, said the couple were notified about the incident and informed that the first leg of the trip would be by bus from Brisbane to Central Queensland town of Emerald.However, the Meads said the change of plan was unacceptable because Mrs Mead had a "medical condition'' that would prevent her from travelling any length of time sitting on a bus.QCAT adjudicator Christine Trueman, in a seven page written decision, said QRT, trading as Queensland Travel Centre, did refund $480 to couple - being the rail fees included in the their $2476 total holiday package.Ms Trueman said the remaining costs, claimed by the couple, was for a bus tour from Longreach to Winton - a round bus excursion of almost 340kms.The tribunal was told Mrs Mead informed QRT of her medical condition and provided an ''MRI lumbar spine report'' from her doctor as proof of her back injury."Mr and Mrs Mead stated ... that they only agreed to take the tour based on the fact that the train sector of the tour meant that they could book a sleeper carriage so that Mrs Mead could lie down if sitting on the train became too painful or uncomfortable for her,'' she said."(The couple) alleged that they were not given any alternative options for their travel plans and were therefore forced to cancel the trip due to Mrs Mead not being able to cope with her medical conditiona and travelling on a bus to Emerald ... estimated to take 12 hours.''The tribunal was told the couple stated they received advice about taking out travel insurance, but opted against it in the belief Mrs Mead's pre-existing back condition would not be covered.They also claimed they were not aware of QRT's "conditions of travel.''Ms Trueman said a QRT representative provided a statement saying the Meads booked a tour, called the "Great Value Outback Escorted Rail Tour'', and were offered travel insurance for $67.She said the representative, upon learning of Mrs Mead's back ailment, offered to fly the couple directly to Longreach."Mr and Mrs Mead declined to accept the offer and said that they were 'not interested in flying'.''Ms Trueman, in dismissing the Meads claim, said the couple had failed to disclose they were given the offer to fly."If Mrs Mead did have a back problem then that might have been a reasonable position to refuse coach transfer, but they did not initially disclose they were offered the option to fly,'' she said."(They) did not offer any reasonable explanation why they refused the offer to fly to Longreach to catch up with the planned tour other than they were not interested in flying."This claim is dismissed.''
"(They) did not offer any reasonable explanation why they refused the offer to fly to Longreach to catch up with the planned tour other than they were not interested in flying."This claim is dismissed.''
I understand their issue, but if travelling on such an inflexible arrangement. Travel insurance would be a better deal next time
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