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PeterM • 6 months ago

Their is no rule book nor guidelines to refer to during this astonishing period in our lives and we have no idea when it will finally be at an end. When it does will anybody travel to France Spain Italy USA or China, probably but not for quite some time and I forecast a few years away. The rewritten insurance policies will be worthless pieces of paper. The traditional cancellation conditions do not apply here as the supplier is withdrawing their services - the client is not cancelling. Aircraft are not flying - transfers will not take place and hotels are closed. '' so '' why no refund. Nobody pays cash save for a debit card - a full refund MUST be paid without question to that debit card. Credit cards are borrowed money and the service provider can hold the money for up to 63 days - their is an argument here not the pay at all.
Ryanair cancelled my flight to Prague and as I paid by debit card I was refunded within 7 days. That's how its done.
Take your voucher to Tesco - M&S - Sainsbury's etc and you will probably be admitted to the local institution.

Patrick Doyle • 6 months ago

It goes without saying there are a lot of consumers feeling livid that they are getting an IOU instead of their cash back. ABTA is in the middle trying to save jobs and companies going bust, and at the same time making sure that clients will get refunds albeit at a later date. So poor old ABTA is getting it in the neck from all sides. I can understand were (Shocked traveller) is coming from, he is venting his spleen at the travel industry as a whole, Down the years we have seen failure after failure in our industry, but in the final analysis thanks to ATOL, Bonds, Trust Funds, and so on the majority of people got refunds. The last major disaster to hit the travel world was the Thomas Cook failure, believe me on this forum we saw the venting of spleens on an industrial scale. In the end however all the clients were refunded. It has been said before, we are going through the most extraordinary of times and people are hurting no doubt about it. However calling hard working staff in the travel world liars is not helpful. I am seeing wonderful things in this world in regard to this virus, people putting there lives on the line and so on. We are all frustrated I understand that, but a little more understanding and patience and consideration and be temperament in regard to language will go a long way, “what is the motto we are all in this together”.

Shocked traveller • 6 months ago

Respect works both ways and unfortunately I’m seeing little respect for the consumer in what I have observed. I am sure this is only w partial representation of the industry but unfortunately it’s the one that leaves the bitter aftertaste.

*Some* Companies are lying and I’m afraid that’s the truth. I agree that language is important and I don’t use the term lightly. Telling a consumer you are not entitled to a refund as the PTRs do not apply and then telling them they have 3 days to rebook or they lose their rights to even a refund credit note is dishonest - however you dress it up in different language.

I will leave here and not post any more. I obviously realise it’s a trade magazine.

Simon Lewis • 6 months ago

Shocked Traveller sounds like an employee of Vivid Travel. Come on now take a chill pill.

Shocked traveller • 6 months ago

Day by day, I get more frustrated and disgusted that the consumer has no voice. I will never trust ABTA again. Some Companies are sitting on millions and millions of reserves - are paying their execs +200k salaries and they still won’t refund. Many have had the airline refunds too in a lot of cases but won’t pass on. It’s an absolute joke.

We all know in July/March 2021 - whenever ABTA is now suggesting we can get our money back as they give us one message and lobby for another - Companies will still drag their feet and not refund. It’s highly unlikely if any of these Companies are close to the edge - a few months delay in repayments due is going to help. They’re not going to get future bookings in the present climate easily and the majority who are wronged by them will wait it out. I’m not sure what it will achieve other than angering consumers - yet clearly no one is bothered about that.

It’s an absolute disgrace. I will never book with any of these ‘offenders‘ again. I will pay more and book with an ethical operator who has done the right thing. I actually thought that booking via Co-op travel I was booking with a principled Company. I appreciate it’s the tour operators not passing the refunds on to the agent yet I naively assumed the Co-op would try to support the consumer in the face of any difficulty.

It’s opened my eyes to the pointless use of a travel agent - and I’ve read that on many forums etc. I will admit, I didn’t read the t and c of co-op travel before I booked in 2018 - my fault entirely. I assumed I was protected by ATOL and that was that. I didn’t realise the travel agent has no liability. I also wasn’t even given the terms and conditions of the tour operator, they’re not on the invoice - I’ve since found them and they obviously cover the PTRs.

I’ve certainly learnt a lot about the travel industry, legislation and ABTA these past few weeks:

I will never use a travel agent again.
I don’t trust ABTA
I will book last minute to limit opportunity for things to go wrong
I’ll probably book direct as package holiday security is meaningless or I will use a Company who uses a travel trust
I’m fed up of the word unprecedented being an excuse to squash my rights
A lot of operators/Companies are actually liars - something that has truly shocked me the most!

Jarety • 6 months ago

Unfortunately us useless travel agents are in the same boat as you.
We can't get a refund on our own bookings either at a time when our industry is on its knees and potentially jobs at risk.
I do have the respect though that without these changes many tour operators / airlines / agents won't see it through this crisis which would have a much bigger impact in the long run.
Yes it's inconvenient, covid 19 is inconvenient, having to walk 2 metres apart, not see family and friends. We all need to stay safe, not be selfish, respect each other and our industries and we will come out the other side much better people and society.
Money and refunds are irrelevant at the moment when people are dying of this awful disease. Priorities !

ChrisJ • 4 months ago

You know the industry is scraping the barrel when the rationale for not fulfilling their legal obligations is that people are dying. That is the lowest of the low. Disgusting excuse.

Shocked traveller • 6 months ago

Sorry but I don’t think money and refunds are irrelevant. You are allowed to be concerned about the state of the world and the virus yet still want your money back. The two are not mutually exclusive. Many people need their money back. Many will rebook instead.

I have no objection to the government helping out the industry providing the large players who have the financial resource just lack the will - use their reserves first. Why have some Companies inc airlines got no reserves yet are taking millions out for their shareholders and to fund massive exec pay and bonuses? They also should have insolvency insurance. They need to be held to account.

If the industry wanted the consumers backing then ABTA have gone the wrong way about it. Respect works both ways.

All the laws should be enforced so the money is recouped down the chain.

We have all had our lives changed as a result of the virus - no doubt forever. Many people have lost their jobs all over in a range of industries. The government is offering loans and furlough payments which although won’t help all - do help a great deal of people in the travel industry. Look how many jobs are now furloughed.

Do you think it is right that agents and operators are lying to consumers? They are already telling them/us they are not entitled to a refund. Honesty and integrity goes a long way.

I realise my arguing is pointless in a trade publication. Customers are being ignored.

My priorities are in perfectly the right order thank you.

Simon Lewis • 6 months ago

You clearly work in the trade and hiding behind the name 'shocked traveller'!

Ha, ha I - assure you I don’t. I’m a genuinely shocked traveller. Are you Mark Tanza in disguise?

Agent • 6 months ago

Customers by the vast majority of ABTA members are not being ignored and the agents are doing their best to look after clients in a horrific situation that none of us have experienced before. This includes some who are working unpaid from home because the furlough scheme wont allow them to help. Every company is operating with few staff resources at a time when there is a huge amount of work. It is going to take time.
The systems for payments etc between operators / agents etc can not cope with the volume. People are worried about their jobs and companies going bust and I can assure you that many will.
If one agent or operator has misled you then complain in line with the ABTA code of conduct but you can't blanket every single agent or company with the same.

Speakthetruth • 6 months ago

Abta and the Travel Industry needs to ask the UK Government whether the current lockdown cure is more deadly to our future economic and social wellbeing than the Coronavirus disease itself. What is the UK Government's exit strategy from the lockdown? Parliament should be recalled to ask these crucial questions.