Coffs families in Bali are safe

TWO Coffs Harbour families holidaying in Bali ? Ron and Robyn Goddard and Michael Simmons and his family ? have contacted relatives and friends to assure them they are safe and well.

Kelly Travel consultant, Dawn Smith, said the agency's principal, Paul Kelly, had spent Sunday in the office making contact with the 35 Coffs Coast clients who were in Bali at the weekend and had been able to assure himself they were all safe.

She said travel to Bali was 'huge' with Coffs Coast travellers because of the tempting packages available.

Mrs Smith, who currently has a number of clients travelling in Bali, said most people were undeterred by the travel warnings which had been in place and which she had been passing on to clients ever since the last Bali bombings in 2002.

"The majority of people take the attitude that they could also go out their front door and be hit by a bus," she said.

Four Australians including a 16-year-old boy from WA and a 48-year-old woman from NSW are among the 26 people killed in the bomb blasts which targeted restaurants in Bali on Saturday night and injured more than 100 people.

Indonesian police believe the bombings were carried out by three suicide bombers.

The ABC said the most seriously injured victims had been flown to Darwin in an Australian Defence Force Hercules, with others arriving on commercial flights out of Bali, while one couple had flown in on a jet chartered by an insurance company.

Qantas organised special flights from Bali to Sydney on Sunday to bring home Australians wishing to leave Bali and Australian Airlines and Qantas have implemented a special waiver and refund policy for travel to Bali and Indonesia.

The chief executive officer of Qantas, Geoff Dixon, said customers would not pay any penalty if they wanted to amend, defer or cancel their travel plans to Bali or Indonesia.,

Kelly Travel consultant, Dawn Smith. said in similar situations in the past, travel wholesalers had joined forces to waive transfer fees for a nominated time for clients wanting to change destinations.

She said agents would be hoping to hear today from wholesalers if there were special arrangements in place, especially for those who had booked Bali packages with Indonesian and Balinese carriers Garuda or Air Paradise.

Qantas says inquiries about flights to Denpasar or Jakarta can be directed to Qantas on 131 313. Customers in Bali can contact 001 8036 1786.

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