Is your booking safe?

CHOICE has claimed your money’s not secure if your travel agent isn’t insured.

Is your booking safe?

Consumer group CHOICE recently published an article that points out that your money may not be secure if your travel agent isn’t.

Titled, Protect your holiday savings when using a travel agent, the report bluntly states “as it stands, there is no travel insurance policy that covers the collapse of a travel agent.”

The most recent travel insurance review claims that less than a third of insurers provide cover, albeit limited, for the insolvency of a travel services provider, such as an airline, hotel, bus, or car rental agency, none currently cover the collapse of a travel agent.

The reliability of travel agents is under increased scrutiny after CTS Travel Services in Melbourne went under, leaving consumers high and dry and owing thousands of dollars that the customers may never see again.

Pointing out that consumers are often surprised to find out that travel insurance doesn’t cover the collapse of a travel agent, CHOICE reports that “some travellers are out of pocket thousands of dollars following the collapse of three travel agents so far this year.”

So what can you do to make sure your holiday booking is safe? CHOICE suggests there are two actions to take if your travel agent goes belly-up however, as with most things in life, the best protection is precaution.

Credit card chargebacks and the Travel Compensation Fund can both help, but the safest option is to ensure you ask your travel agent if it has consumer protections in place, such as insolvency insurance, to protect you if it goes broke.

You can find out more about the report at CHOICE.





    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    4th Jul 2015
    10:08am
    I always worry about travel agents but mostly book with reliable operators rather than small shop ones. Tough on the little guy but given the failure of all of our regulators in this country what else can one do. I also do due diligence by googling the business and checking it out on Tripadvisor to convince myself that I am not going to be done. And when I book flights I check with the airline whether or not the flight has been booked and paid for. This normally happens automatically although Qantas does not do this as I found out recently. So I rang and confirmed.
    We most self plan and do not use the travel industry as it ends up costing two or three times what the trip is worth and you can plan as good an itinerary using the framework of commercial tours as any agency can do for you. It just takes research, time and perseverance. The trick is book hotels near a railway station, find out if buses run to what you want to see and what alternatives arrangements cost. Not that hard....although a bit stressful in places like Tokyo if you are going to have a go at their subway. We did and at the end felt a sense of achievement. The 3.5 million people who pass through Tokyo station were of course confronting but it is doable, even in places like this. Out of the way destinations are normally a pushover.
    Tom Tank
    4th Jul 2015
    1:06pm
    Good advice Mick. A large part of the pleasure and satisfaction of travel is the planning as this involves getting a handle on the destination, its history and its culture. I have so often been surprised, both overseas and also in our own newspaper travel section letters, at the ignorance of travelers about their destination.
    "Professor" Google is a treasure trove on information and intelligent use of such sites can yield information that can lead to serious cost savings.
    MICK
    4th Jul 2015
    4:29pm
    I have to confess Tom that my knowledge is probably minimal as I do all the research and organising. I leave the finer details to my better half and that way get to sit on the plane, bus or ship and get a travel spiel. It seems to work.
    The planning for the last trip was horrendous but it went off well and we cannot believe that two little Aussies pulled it off. Readers of this website should try it.


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