Ararat's Yvonne Dowie's year hasn't panned out quite how she imagined it.
She had planned a holiday to Singapore in April to see her son and his family - which was to include seeing a grandchild for the first time.
But then came coronavirus lockdowns and her flights - booked on January 27 for flights on April 3 - had to be cancelled.
More than three months later she is still waiting for a refund - a situation which has left her "frustrated".
Mrs Dowie has spent countless hours on hold to Flight Centre - a business she has used to book flights for more than 12 years - and also Qantas, the airline she was the fly with.
"We've always used Flight Centre for any overseas holidays we've booked," she said.
"I am frustrated I've been sent from Flight Centre back to Qantas and back to Flight Centre to secure my refund.
"In March I tried to cancel my flight but I was told I needed to wait until the end of the month."
Mrs Dowie said she was given two options - a credit or a refund.
"There were restrictions surrounding the credit," she said. "In 12 months time, I don't know what the situation will be and what my plans will be. I am in my 70s after all.
"I was advised I could get a refund, minus a $300 booking fee. I agreed to that deal and was told it would take up to 12 weeks."
"Of course everyone kicked up a fuss about that," Mrs Dowie said.
"I wasn't worried about about chasing my refund until the middle of June until the 12 weeks were up.
"At that stage, I was still only dealing with Flight Centre."
Mrs Dowie said her next conversation in late June with Flight Centre provided her with conflicting information.
"I was then told it wasn't 12 weeks, it was three months and it was a full refund," she said.
"I left it until it was three months and one week - a bit more time than I was told to hopefully get some more answers. I was then told a refund wouldn't be likely for three to six months."
Mrs Dowie said she then tried to get in contact with Qantas to find out if they were still holding onto her money.
"I was told I had to deal with Flight Centre," she said.
"I joined a group on social media and a lot of people are trying to get their money back. I was told to ring Qantas again and ask if it's an open ticket or in refund status. I was told my booking was in refund status."
The next day, armed with her growing pile of notes and paperwork, Mrs Dowie rang Flight Centre.
"I was told Flight Centre hadn't received the funds," she said. "All I want to know, who has my money? I was told by a staff member at Flight Centre they had put in a refund request on April 1 - which was more than 16 weeks ago."
Mrs Dowie said she confirmed all the information with both Flight Centre and Qantas before she spoke with the Stawell Times-News.
"It's not specifically the money," she said.
"Yes, I would like it back. What bugs me is the attitude to lack of communication to their customers. Some of the stories I have heard there are outstanding amounts of more than $100,000 in holidays."
The Stawell Times-News contacted Flight Centre and asked for the most updated refund procedure and process for flights and holidays booked.
A spokesperson said a generalised response could only be given without knowing the customer's details.
"We are communicating with customers waiting on refunds each fortnight however there are several reasons why delays may be occurring and in most instances, this is a result of the severe impact of coronavirus travel restrictions on suppliers, like QANTAS, who have been forced to stand down many of their staff and therefore have limited staff available to process many thousands of customer refunds," the Flight Centre statement read.
Mrs Dowie said she had initiated all contact with the business.
Qantas was contacted for comment.
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