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December 21, 2018 Business News No Comments

The holiday chaos surrounding the collapse of online travel agency days before Christmas has highlighted the importance of using trusted travel retailers, Flight Centre Travel Group said today.

Flight Centre brand general manager Tom Walley said the company sympathised with the many thousands of travellers who faced uncertainty following the collapse.

“ has been plagued with problems for some time, like many other aggregator sites before it,’’ Mr Walley said.

“News that it has now ceased trading sends a strong warning to customers about the risks of using particular Online Travel Agencies (OTAs).

“Their model of trimming service and reducing prices at all costs is not without consequences, as many travellers are unfortunately finding out the hard way.

“We estimate that as many as 10,000 customers will have their Christmas holiday plans thrown into disarray,’’ he said.

Mr Walley said travellers should look beyond the lure of low prices offered by online travel agencies as costs and stress levels can skyrocket in the event of something going wrong.

“There are ways of ensuring you are getting the best value airfares without the risk of using faceless online operators where there is nobody to speak to when a problem arises,’’ Mr Walley said.

“For example, Flight Centre offers Price Drop Protection so that if a customer’s airfare drops in price before they fly, they are able to notify us and get the difference back,’’ he said.

“If people want their holiday protected, we strongly recommended they use trusted, fully-accredited retailers.

“Flight Centre’s model is based on caring about customers’ security, whether they visit us in our stores or online.

“Our message to anybody left stranded by is to contact any of the 5,000 Flight Centre consultants Australia-wide to find out how they can help,’’ Mr Walley said.

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