Booking a holiday
Under the Australian Consumer Law a range of guarantees apply to goods and services including travel.
Travel agents must:
- ensure that their promotional material and other information is not false or misleading
- inform consumers of any increase in costs or changes as soon as possible
- quote accurate prices and ensure optional surcharges are clearly displayed.
When booking travel with an online provider consumers should:
- research the business first
- check the browser bar when making payment, includes basic security features, such as a padlock symbol or address starting with 'https://'
- paying by credit or debit card gives consumers extra protections with chargeback options through their bank.
- check you have the business' contact details, so you can contact them if things go wrong
- read terms and conditions
- consider taking out travel insurance
Booking with an agent
When booking travel with an agent consumers should:
- look for an Australian Federation of Travel Agents' Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS) accredited agent. To find an accredited agent, visit the ATAS website.
- book with an agent who advertises their services clearly
- get advice from family and friends
- consider how you will pay for it
- read the terms and conditions
- ask the agent if they have insolvency insurance
- consider taking out travel insurance.
When a flight is cancelled
Consumers may be entitled to a refund. This depends on:
- the reason for the cancellation
- the terms and conditions of the contract with the airline
- the travel insurance policy
- the airline's ability to organise alternative flights
- the airline's refund policy.
If you do not get what you paid for
Consumers should always try to resolve the problem with the business first. If the business is not able to help resolve the issues then consumers should:
- If an ATAS-accredited agent was used, the business should have a complaint process in place. Otherwise consumers can contact ATAS.
- If consumers booked with a credit card or selected 'credit' on their debit card, they should contact their bank or credit card provider to apply for a chargeback.
- If the problem is with an airline, the Airline Customer Advocate (ACA) may help, visit the ACA website.
- Check your travel insurance policy.