Travel agent refund controversies prompt calls for trust accounts to protect customers


Direct liquidator Jason Tracy stated about 35,000 consumers experienced possibly paid out in comprehensive or paid a deposit for their vacation at the time of his appointment.

The liquidator’s report sent to collectors in June claims it has recovered $1.2 million in refunds for 587 buyer bookings.

“I operate change do the job and I saved damn very well challenging for it and I just cannot enable it go and I’m not providing up.”

Lara Collin, who is $15,000 out of pocket

Deloitte is holding that funds on believe in and has utilized to the court to be equipped to allocate it to individuals particular person consumers, instead than combining it in the normal pool.

Tracy stated in a quantity of cases, the journey vendors had not gained the funds from STA Travel.

His place was that considering that STA Journey was acting as an agent with the authority to situation tickets, the economic hazard legally sat with the journey suppliers, and they should really honour the bookings anyway. Some journey vendors had occur on board, whilst many others ended up contesting this.

Some shoppers had been in a position to organise a chargeback from their credit rating card enterprise or declare on their journey coverage.

But Tracy claimed an unknown variety of prospects experienced not acquired refunds and would be unsecured creditors. There would be no dollars still left for them as soon as legally safeguarded groups these kinds of as workforce have been paid their entitlements.

Tracy reported believe in accounts could have assisted guard buyer revenue.

“Trust accounts in relation to deposits would have been quite beneficial for the reason that then the monies could not be made use of for normal working capital reasons,” he claimed.

“However, it could have meant that the small business wasn’t really wasn’t solvent before mainly because they would not have experienced those income flows accessible and hence wouldn’t have been in a position to trade for as extended as it did.”

Lara Collin, 25, from the Central Coastline is a single of the unfortunate consumers whose reserving is not one particular of the 587 shown.

Lara Collin on a Contiki tour of Europe in 2019.

Lara Collin on a Contiki tour of Europe in 2019.

Collin, who works in aged care, paid $15,000 for two Contiki excursions to the United States because of to choose place in 2020, obtaining earlier toured with them in Europe.

Collin’s journey experienced to be cancelled because of the journey ban during the COVID-19 pandemic and she requested a refund, which she is eager to place towards a dwelling deposit. But she has not even been advised whether or not STA Journey or Contiki have her money.

“I do the job change get the job done and I saved damn properly really hard for it and I can’t let it go and I’m not providing up,” Collin stated.

“I will in no way, ever book as a result of a travel agent once again. I know that we just can’t support a pandemic, but I do not feel they’ve handled it the appropriate way at all.”

The Australian Federation of Vacation Agents declined to remark on belief accounts but main govt Dean Extended mentioned one particular in 3 travel businesses shut all through the pandemic, and “almost all managed that process in an orderly and correct way and with nominal disruption with client bookings transferred to other agencies”.


Vacation businesses experienced secured far more than $9 billion in refunds and credits for travelling Australians throughout this time.

The Australian Competitiveness and Purchaser Fee declined to comment, when NSW Good Trading did not present a comment by deadline.

The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most significant and attention-grabbing tales, analysis and insights. Sign up right here.

Next Post

Should you get travel insurance for your next trip?

For lots of People organizing a summertime excursion just after COVID-19 scuttled holiday vacation year the final two several years, there remains a important monetary problem: Should I obtain journey insurance policy? Take into consideration a spouse and children of four dwelling in Cleveland, Ohio, that will have to fly […]

You May Like