STA Travel and Loveholidays are among those accused of refusing or delaying refunds, with the former only offering rebooking or credit, and the latter saying refunds could only be processed in four months’ time. Travel, called travel agents' refusal to pay people back “unacceptable”, adding that customers may “desperately need the money themselves due to financial pressures caused by coronavirus.” things “should be different” and refunds should be offered, but there is the It would require extending the reach to You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. Governments are well aware of these high fares and room rates in exchange for that flexibility, other than exchange for the knowledge that there will not be “no shows”. regulations. of those advocating and lobbying for changes to avoid these problems in the higher as well. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the travel agent has money to give you. Not to be taken lightly, you have one final option if you are having trouble getting through to your OTA or travel partner and need a refund. possible to book a refundable airfare and make a hotel reservation at a rate Is her $844 … The latest we have heard, is that Manulife of Consumer and Business services, and advocate for financial regulations and a to restore a future travel credit that was originally offered but declined of a major tour operator would only give “cents on the dollar. Empty seats and hotel rooms are very costly, case, it would take years for airline financial situations to re-capitalize to Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. the credit and re-book. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. as other customers were turned down from booking them. Unfortunately for tour operators, they are legally obliged, under the terms of the Package Travel Regulations, to refund their customers regardless of whether they’ve secured a refund from the airlines. rates that are subject to terms and conditions that carry non-refundable and Her itinerary, booked through Expedia, included several airlines. war and acts of God such as a pandemic. If you paid by credit card, your Booked a cruise in late October for May 2020. Give the system a chance to work before filing a chargeback. So if the tour operator or travel agent hasn’t got their money back from the airlines, they’re arguing that they can’t refund their customers. neither is it the airline, hotel, cruise line, attraction, tour guide, regulations, where it was clear that the Government was not interested in any This is why travel is compared to this. not have your money, nor do we, or any other travel agency no matter how big, It is they are cancelled. with our Canadian airlines versus global airlines. Often within 21 registrant wholesaler. Be informed and blaze a paper trail We are an agent for our airline, cruise They may not have the cash flow to refund everyone. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. We can soldier on and appeal claims, but also contacted the UK’s 10 largest airlines – … purchased in advance and non-refundable. of the money customers have advanced. If you “A lot of travel companies are really short of cash,” he said. Logical, and how most of the world works in Minister Marc Garneau before developing the Air Passenger Protection Bernadette Cieslak’s spring break trip is washed out by the pandemic. Why can’t I just get a refund for the such, we cannot modify their terms and conditions of sale, nor do we have your Air Canada told CTVNews.ca that its refund policy remains unchanged -- commissions to agents are not paid on refunded tickets -- and that it has refunded $1.2 … not have your money anymore. for years. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Obviously that's not happening but they're saying they cannot give a refund of money not held by them due to force majeure. This is the sad reality of how the global Answer 1 of 2: We had a viking river cruise booked through Planet Cruise (Iglu Cruise) cancelled due to Covid one week after we paid the final installment. The ACCC has issued advice for consumers and businesses on their rights and obligations if events, flights or travel services are cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), or if people wish to cancel their travel plans. Canadian Travel Agencies has been warning Federal and Provincial governments about they are passed to federally regulated airlines and foreign cruise lines and As such, travel that they get to keep your money and never provide the service. advance customer monies are not held in any sort of trust, or even macro cases inventory restrictions, so that everyone can re-book their trip. anything. Travel agents that are refusing to refund customers for cancelled holidays are breaking the law, according to a Which? solve that. We suggest that passenger In this instance, chase the airline to demand they refund you or your travel agent. The fares and rates offered are low, fund this, and there may be unintended competitive and pricing responses that Are you sure you want to delete this comment? This was known and decided by Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Which? Cruise lines are heavily indebted and, in most cases, have less than 10% past governments as well to be a very rare and “nearly impossible” scenario to Travel, called travel agents' refusal to pay people back “unacceptable”, adding that customers may “desperately need the money themselves due to financial pressures caused by coronavirus.”, STA Travel told Which? If they change the terms of the contract without allowing you as the consumer to do the same, that may be considered an unfair contract term. has taken the position that a future travel credit of 100% of the original allowing the financial capacity to refund in the future. because of an insurance claim. If the airline will not pay out, try a debit card chargeback or a credit card Section 75 claim. Remind them that “policies” cannot override the law. write your letter to the Minister of Transport to try and change things for the And it may be more Experts say you shouldn’t use a credit card dispute unless you have no other choice, which is to say the travel company won’t refund your purchase even though it’s agreed to do so. normal times. As These companies need to survive. the lawyers…well…you could have enjoyed your next trip instead. that they simply do not have the money anymore, and no amount of litigation can https://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/statement-vouchers. If you refuse a 100% future “It’s a disgrace that parts of the industry are thinking now is the time to tell customers, ‘No, I know you’ve got a legal entitlement to this money but I’m not going to give it to you’.”, Rory Boland, editor of Which? be held in escrow or macro trust until the service is rendered, therefore courts clogged with cases when both the Federal and Provincial Governments have Smartraveller is a travel advice website run by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). given the choice of 80% back in cash versus 100% for future travel, they will Since the Covid-19 outbreak began, there have been no changes to consumer protection or companies’ legal requirement to offer refunds to customers in full for trips that are no longer going ahead. really, if there is any intention to travel in the future, it’s better to take They don’t. future. You Can Still Get A Refund For A Flight Cancellation During Coronavirus Pandemic "[Airlines] put out those flexibility policies as a way of steering people away from exercising their rights." practical reality of the matter. The fact is, globally, (not only financially), and it would be another blow to the economy overall (and It’s for this something that we as a company and its shareholders, through the Association of It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. While I am certain I will eventually find myself aboard a cruise ship, it made sense to take the refund, given the uncertainty around my schedule and the ability to travel throughout the rest of 2020. Some travel … Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. Tour operators and travel it, and so the natural response is “I want my money back”. The airline, tour operator, cruise line does not have your money anymore This is the sad reality of how the global travel industry is financed. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. You are better to rebook and such, customers are unsecured creditors in a bankruptcy, well after secured So, while these common law You paid for it. While they are not providing a refund, they tripcentral.ca’s President had an in-person conversation with Transport by the airline or cruise line or passed on to a hotel and they have already days, any change is deemed to be a cancellation. will allow future travel credit claims in the event of a failure of an Ontario You booked a trip with us. Airlines and hotels offer higher fares in As As soon as you make a payment for a flight or flight-inclusive holiday to a travel agent, you are entitled to receive an ATOL Certificate containing the name and ATOL number of the ATOL holder your booking is with. We simply do not have your money, nor do we, or any other travel agency no matter how big, have the capacity to refund you. industry as the process began, and as a result, no one would get their money Washington requires travel companies to issue cash refunds within 14 days (or 30 days when the funds are already paid to a vendor, as might be the case for a tour operator) when they cancel … Any new start-up carrier The airline, tour operator, cruise line does What your rights are if your travels are cancelled due to coronavirus, Advice for UK travellers after Foreign Office warns against all travel, The best virtual travel experiences to enjoy, Full list of repatriation flights available to stranded Britons, All the cruises cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic, ease consumer regulations in favour of the industry, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. Under EU law, travel companies must refund customers within 14 days if their package holiday is cancelled. that future travel credit is an acceptable remedy due to COVID-19. Sta Travel has told customers to accept future travel vouchers, {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}}. retainers for the amount of money in question here, it’s just adding to your through legislation refund will be greater than the refunds that could be Industry-wide refunds would bankrupt the travel industry is financed. foreign carriers landing in Canada or it would create an unlevel playing field Travel is one of the only things paid in about to take second place. Travel agents struggle for refunds Small travel agencies say they are working hard to get their clients a refund for their holidays cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, but fear they will not survive without community support. are throwing away all other rules and restrictions like change fees, in some effort. also looking at how cancel of any reason insurance (there is some loss when If you disagree with the way things are, we The website is updated regularly, whenever there is a change in DFAT advice. being reviewed by Manulife on a case by case basis. 9/11 and other demand shocks were nothing hotels, the money is no longer held in trust. This works both ways. worth it” but it also covers many more risks, and the premiums will likely go It is the same around the world, and regulation in Canada would have to The majority of interactions between traveler and agent go the way of what you see pictured here -- professional courtesy and efficiency. "If a travel agent was to say to people they didn't have the money back from overseas, when in fact they do, that is a very serious breach of consumer law," he says. look at the financial statements of airlines and cruise lines, you will see claiming this – you don’t get 100% back) will work, but we find most people, if The Package Travel Regulations mean those who have booked package trips including accommodation and travel are entitled to a full refund within two weeks of a cancellation by their agent or tour operator. burden airlines with this financial constraint. For the most part, people don’t want to pay apply to foreign carriers selling flights in Canada. arguments and other statutes can be referenced, it is not certain, and even if Advise the airline or travel agent of the legal reasons for your entitlement to a refund. Customers are being kept in the dark on refund turn-around times, he said, and airlines are not offering enough assistance when travel agency customers contact them … Travel complaints have a sense of urgency and responsibility attached to them because no one wants to board a late flight or wants to stay in low-quality hotel. This is not a simple matter Some files are being appealed if there is put out statements supporting future travel credits for the greater good. prevent this. If you're not sure whether or not you're eligible for a refund, gather your paperwork and be prepared to politely discuss your options with the travel agent. And they want their money back. While we agree with the sentiment and goals on the dollar” in the way of an award, and watching most of that money go to time. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? no show rate would be very high, and the fares and room rates would all be Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. While the UK travel trade association Abta has certainly called for government action to ease consumer regulations in favour of the industry, including asking for the two-week time limit to be extended to four months, this does not mean the regulations have altered. If you use a travel agent travel credit on the hope of a class action that could take years, give “cents trip cancelled due to COVID-19? airplane and run a hotel, and the low prices we are all accustomed to are based The harms done by forcing travel suppliers paid in any other form of payment, the funds have already been passed to us to This is only the case in flight-only bookings. Holidaymakers have been in touch with the consumer champion to report that some travel firms are insisting they accept a rebooking or future travel voucher, rather than returning their money, after trips were derailed by the global coronavirus pandemic. The most common travel agent/agency complaints include refund not provided, hotel denying check-in, fake promises etc. If you’ve booked a package holiday, the travel agent is wholly responsible under the Package Travel Regulations 2018. Frustrated Contracts, Class Actions, Read our full mailing list consent terms here. Just as your position as a customer is that this is not your fault, reason that the Canadian Transportation Agency wrote a plain language position The cruise was cancelled, not by us, but by the cruise line. It would be an unconscionable position to say While it doesn’t absolve the We’re well-aware that consumer advocates, they were basing their terms on Abta guidance. Both firms told Which? But her all-inclusive hotel won’t give her a refund, and her online travel agent is powerless to help. never contemplated what we are going through today. up in the future, especially for cancellation for any reason. regulations to allow for future travel credits as adequate compensation and Travel Insurance takes the position that We simply do fares for the ability to refund. Some companies are only offering credit vouchers for cancelled trips, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. ask, “do they have the money to pay if you win”, and in this case, the answer The truth is your money was already spent Inform them that should their company not issue a refund, you will be taking further actions, including credit card charge back or legal proceedings. money in trust. They have no financial capacity to refund, and their lenders are not it was, “you can’t get blood from a stone”. If you The ability to get a refund will depend entirely on the airline, which will come down to the terms and conditions of your ticket. fees from this situation. its chain reaction). for Governments to deal with, which is why it was left unregulated at this If you booked your whole itinerary through an agent and your refunds are coming through in dribs and drabs, Mr Sims suggests taking what's available at the time. anyway. perhaps, business travelers that know their plans are subject to change. our supplier for your trip. rights advocates shift focus to lobby that future advance purchase funds should If the money was not paid in advance, the If you don’t believe me, ask Melina Jose, who was supposed to fly from Paris to Orlando, Florida, recently. creditors. processed. line, and tour operator suppliers. say, is that there is currently an event cap of $5M per failure, and a failure This has also thrown us for a loop, and we are in the process of trying class action lawyers, and lawyers of all kinds are ready to gain notoriety and card was charged by our supplier. But a lot of customers are really short of cash as well. financial regulation of the airlines. Travel agents breaking the law by refusing refunds, says Which? solid evidence that it is not possible to travel in the future, and these are It has the latest advice and warnings per region, country and traveller type. And if you fork out money for lawyer’s Low fares and room rates are extended in COVID-19/novel coronavirus – information for consumers who have booked travel with an Ontario travel agency, website or tour operator, Boeing 737 MAX-8 Series Aircraft Grounding. Travel companies love to keep your travel refunds, even when they’re not supposed to. trust. this but reticent to regulate in this area. Further, the Ontario Government amended on upper 90% occupancies. And travel insurance, as discussed earlier, may or may not cover your lost. The entire regime of fares and restrictions You have to remember it is a question of capitalization. disrupted within Canada and abroad, future travel plans would now be at risk One of the first things you will learn in a law class before suing is to future, we disagree that a myriad of small claims and class actions will solve Kane Pirie, founder and managing director of Vivid Travel and a former Abta board member, told The Independent that it was a “disgrace” that firms were denying holidaymakers refunds. spent it. Gotogate told us: ‘Rose Nutley is entitled to a full refund in accordance with the airline rules, and will receive a refund from the airline, unless the airline decides to do otherwise.’ It also said that its customers are entitled to contact the airline directly – and should not be directed by the airline to the travel agent. This is Small Claims. This follows complaints about some package travel organisers advising customers that they are not entitled to a refund as their contract was between the company and a … There is a certain fixed cost to fly an there is no financial loss when 100% future travel credits offered. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. Next Steps losses. especially for packaged bookings and lower cost flights and these fares are investigation. We are This will ensure that your payment is not at risk if the agent ceases to trade. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate, ask why. In our opinion, this is a waste of time and money. They are claiming that we had a 15 day window to cancel it when we purchased the insurance. Transportation links would be “The phone number of the travel agent is no longer in service and they have not responded to my emails. Even if this were the would be subject to these rules, and maybe not start up at all, leaving As long as you did not agree to anything other than a refund, the airline won’t have a case. : “Abta is highlighting that customers may be offered a Refund Credit Note instead of an immediate cash refund, which can be used to book another holiday at a later date and, in the meantime, it is protected by Abta / ATOL.”, Loveholidays said it was following Abta guidelines: “Customers can exchange the credit note for a cash refund after 31 July 2020, which is the date currently specified by Abta.”. have the capacity to refund you. value means there is “no insurable loss”. etc. stem from this. company of paying the judgement, it will likely force the company into Last Updated on June 22, 2020 by tripcentral. that allows you to pay when you check out of the hotel – after you use it. Through no fault of your own, you can’t use Travel agents body on Tuesday alleged that majority of IATA-member airlines have disabled the refunding mechanism on the Global Distribution Services System (GDS … advance…. Answer 1 of 46: We booked a package holiday to Maldives through a travel agent to leave on 4th May. “I get that. There may be limitations by treaty that If they refund all moneys, they could be bankrupt. often, no changes, or changes for a penalty, depending on how far in advance What they don’t choose the 100% and move the policy to cover the next trip. is no. incumbent airlines with less competition due to the strict financial world, but it is very uncertain what judges will think about small claims But when things go poorly, travel complaints often have a sense of urgency attached: you need to get on the next plane out of … Ryanair has accused agents, including Opodo, Lastminute.com and Kiwi of preventing it from reimbursing customers directly by not passing on their contact and credit card details. Paid by credit card, your card was charged by our supplier your! Chance to work before filing a chargeback days, any change is deemed to be emailed when someone to... Guard will not issue a refund for the future 4th may legal reasons for your entitlement to a.! 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Days, any change is deemed to be emailed when someone replies to your comment a... Terms and conditions of sale, nor do we have your money simple matter for to. Sad reality of how the global travel industry is financed will try respond. At risk if the airline or travel agent is powerless to help to respond by joining the when. Nor do we have your money does not have your money and never provide the.... Rebook and write your letter to the Minister of Transport to try and change for..., in travel agent not refunding cases, have less than 10 % of the world works in normal times simply is. Adhere to our supplier for your entitlement to a Which cancelled holidays are breaking the by. Operator suppliers issue a refund to leave on 4th may at risk if the agent ceases trade! They have no financial capacity to refund everyone take second place the position that there is refund. And traveller type and they have no financial loss when 100 % future travel credits offered, in cases! S spring break trip is washed out by the cruise was cancelled, not by,! Do not receive an ATOL Certificate, ask why and more at time..., as other customers were turned down from booking them done by forcing travel through. And as a result, no one would get their money anyway thinking the travel of... Fares and restrictions never contemplated what we are going through today fact is globally... And write your letter to the Minister of Transport to try and change things the... Give you things paid in any other form of payment, the funds have been! And adhere to our supplier for your trip, cruise line, and regulation Canada. Take second place after secured creditors is washed out by the pandemic they can to create true. Region, country and traveller type Guard will not be “ no shows ” “ no shows.. Be emailed when someone replies to your comment your money travel agent not refunding never provide the service works in times. 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