Australia’s consumer watchdog has welcomed Flight Centre’s decision to stop charging customers for cancelling flights due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Flight Centre will refund thousands of customers who, from 13 March, were charged $300 per person to get a refund for a cancelled international flight or $50 for a domestic flight.
However, any fees charged by Aunt Betty, Travel Associates, Student Universe, Universal Traveller and Jetescape Travel (trading as Byojet Travel) will be cancelled, as these are part of the Flight Centre group.
It comes after weeks of pressure on the travel agency from customers and regulators.
The health crisis has seen borders shut down, airports closed and flights reduced to a skeleton coverage across the world as countries attempt to prevent the importation of COVID-19.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it had been prepared to take Flight Centre to court, but that this decision would provide faster relief for customers.
“This is a very welcome move made by Flight Centre for thousands of customers impacted by COVID-19 travel cancellations,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
“We are continuing to discuss issues in relation to refunds and cancellations with the travel sector, and encourage travel providers to treat consumers fairly in these exceptional circumstances.”
The ACCC has received more than 6000 complaints from customers dissatisfied with travel companies’ refund policies and cancellation fees.
Thousands more have contacted local state and territory fair trading agencies.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and are used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.