From June 2018 to June 2019, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says Australians made a record 11.3 million trips overseas – double the number of trips just 10 years ago. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of Australians have been forced to cancel or alter their international travel plans. This has left many Australians struggling to get refunds from travel providers. Flight Centre was charging $300 in processing fees per person, in some cases leading to fees that cost more than the value of the refund, until the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission stepped in and threatened legal action, causing the company to waive fees for trips cancelled by travel providers. The ACCC also warned travel providers against retroactively changing their cancellation policies after tour companies including Topdeck and Intrepid attempted to retrospectively apply updated refund policies that would force customers to take credit rather than cash for cancelled trips. Many frustrated customers are now faced with rebooking or losing their holidays, despite an uncertain outlook, or accepting notes of credit from companies whose futures look shaky. But those who have managed to secure cash refunds or pulled the plug on planned trips prior to booking have experienced… Read full this story
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