back to top

20 Actual Requests By Australian Travellers Abroad

No, DFAT can't feed your dogs, pack your bags, provide armoured cars, or guarantee first class seats when evacuating you from a disaster zone.

Posted on

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has released a list of calls taken by Australian consular staff.

1. A traveller who was destitute but wouldn’t return to Australia because he couldn’t bring his pet bird with him


2. A mother who wanted the embassy in Bangkok to book accommodation and a return ticket to Australia for her son, then provide an embassy driver to take him to the airport

3. A request from an Australian traveller for DFAT to feed her dogs while she was away

4. A request for the High Commission to do a risk assessment of an overseas city and provide some armoured cars: “We only need them for a week.”

PT Merantau Films / Via

5. Multiple enquiries to embassies overseas as to the closest pub televising the State of Origin game

6. An Australian who had his laptop stolen oversea requested that embassy staff pick him up from the airport, loan him a laptop and provide him with office space for a few days

20th Century Fox / Via

7. A traveller who asked whether the sand in Egypt would affect her asthma

Alphaville Films

8. Panicked callers regularly reporting Australian travellers missing overseas, after not hearing from them within the first few hours of arriving in country (consular officers usually explain that getting through customs and immigration can take time)

9. “Why won’t the Australian Embassy come and pack my bags for me? I’m an 80-year-old architect travelling by myself and too old to pack my own bags.”

10. “I left some items on an aircraft when I changed flights. Can the embassy collect it from the airline’s lost property?”

11. “Can the Embassy obtain prescription medicine from Australia and send it to me so I can continue my holiday?”

12. Requests for embassies to store luggage, hold mail, provide banking facilities or arrange tours for Australian travellers

13. “I’m going on a cruise. What will the food be like? Can you drink the water on the ship?”

The Love Boat Company

14. “What is the best way to get a polecat out of your roof?”

15. Some travellers evacuated from the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami made seat requests (including for first class)

Apatow Productions

16. A caller to DFAT’s 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre wanted to know the average salary for an expat to expect in Thailand


17. “Does the Embassy know if there are any hotels in Phnom Penh with vacant rooms?”


18. “Can the embassy tell the local police that I have an excellent driving record in Australia and should not have to pay those outstanding speeding fines?”

Kennedy Miller Productions / Via

19. “What is the best hotel in Phuket?”

The Lonely Island / Via

20. “On my last trip to the Philippines I had some trouble with the law. What is the number of the Embassy in Manila so I can call them to get me out of jail when I go back?”

20th Century Fox / Via

Top trending videos

Watch more BuzzFeed Video Caret right