Flight Centre has decided to stop charging customers for cancelling trips due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It comes following mounting pressure from the consumer watchdog, who received a large number of complaints from Australians about the cancellation fees.
The ACCC today welcomed the announcement by the travel agent, revealing their next step was to take court action if Flight Centre refused to change its position.
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“This is a very welcome move made by Flight Centre for thousands of customers impacted by COVID-19 travel cancellations,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
“We are continuing to discuss issues in relation to refunds and cancellations with the travel sector, and encourage travel providers to treat consumers fairly in these exceptional circumstances.
“While we know some consumers are very concerned about getting a refund or credit for their cancelled travel plans, we do ask people to be mindful of the significant impact that this pandemic has had on the travel industry.”
Flight Centre will now refund thousands of customers who, from 13 March, were charged $300 per person to get a refund for a cancelled international flight or $50 for a domestic flight.
This policy will also apply to cancellations fees charged by Aunt Betty, Travel Associates, Student Universe, Universal Traveller and Jetescape Travel, which are part of the Flight Centre group.