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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: About Qantas refunds...

My name is RUSS MASTERTON and I have been an independent travel agent owner for 32 years in Victoria.

I have always been a supporter of local business and Australian companies. I have always booked Qantas and admired the airline and the service it offers.


I’m struggling to come to terms with the painful stalling, which Qantas currently has in place on refunding customer tickets.


I’m sure this is just going to sound like a big whinge, but when you have run out of options to get your customers a refund, we are left with no choice - as an industry - but to at least try to put pressure on Qantas to refund our customers' money.


Our office has been waiting over six months for refunds now and we are certainly at a point where logic does not prevail.


Qantas jumped on the refund bandwagon early in the COVID-19 pandemic as a gesture of goodwill to all of their loyal customers. They have not been able to operate any of the international services that we are now awaiting refunds for, yet they claim they are only up March 2020 for processing refunds.


In addition to the frustrating delays, the airline is constantly changing its goal posts by saying that they will only refund if the sector was UN when the refund request was sent to QF.


AFTA [Australian Federation of Travel Agents] has received many complaints from agents, which we are told they are trying to flag with Qantas.


Jetstar, a member of the Qantas Group, is refunding with 14 days and customers are very happy with the goodwill there.


Airlines such as Emirates, Qatar and Singapore are also right on the mark with their refunds and have been very prompt and fair with getting funds back to customers.


Why are we waiting for Qantas? The changing of conditions and processes is unhelpful. The customers want their money back and if refunds have been offered, surely it is best to process them as quickly as possible to ensure goodwill.


We are asked time and time again to buy Australian and support local companies. I will, when Qantas refunds the 100+ tickets back to my clients, so they can start saving for their 2021 and 2022 holidays.


I'm sure our industry grows tired of the negativity, but it makes it very difficult when one of our key partners won't support us and simply won't take our customers into consideration when it comes to refunds.


Qantas, the stalling needs to stop. Do we really need to resort to highlighting how unhelpful you have become in industry press?


Russel Masterton of Destination International Holidays in Melbourne.



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Written by: Russel Masterton
Published: 20 October 2020

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