COVID-19 April Travel Update
April 10, 2020
A quick update in regards to the latest impact on travel and what travel providers are advising.
As I’m sure you’re aware, international travel is completely shut down with the exception of the odd repatriation flight, and domestic travel has been dramatically reduced to cater for travel for essential services and urgent family matters with compulsory 14 day quarantine in most states.
Once deemed one the world’s busiest routes, QANTAS and Virgin have reduced their Melbourne-Sydney flights to just once a day during the week!
You can keep up-to-date with the commercial policies of airlines, cruise-lines, tour providers and hotels by following this link.
You can also click on the videos below, for some quick tips and information regarding using your Qantas credit, the principle is also the same for many other airlines.
With so much of peoples travel plans either cancelled or postponed, the main issue that has arisen over the last week or so is whether the travel providers will provide a refund or a credit.
As an agent, I will always act on behalf of our clients and try obtain the best possible outcome in accordance with their wishes for a refund or a postponement. However there are currently many travel providers are only offering the option of a credit rather than a refund.
The obligations for suppliers to refund in the current environment may be validly limited by suppliers through their booking conditions or general legal principles. These suppliers are not refunding because they would have likely also incurred expenses, and may not have a legal obligation to refund where travel is cancelled due to unexpected and extraordinary events outside of their control. You may hear suppliers talk about Coronavirus being an ‘event of force majeure’, which basically means that the performance of their contractual obligations is impossible due to current events associated with the pandemic – i.e, border closures.
So as I mentioned I will always approach them with your best outcomes in mind, but we also ask you for your patience and understanding as well. Refunds, where we are able to get them are generally taking quite a while, up-to several months in some case, to process due to the unprecedented volume of requests to suppliers.
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