Cancellation Process

As your travel adviser, Travel Associates works with a comprehensive network of travel partners and suppliers to deliver your personalised travel experience. Below is an illustration of how the cancellation process works in the travel industry.

When you request a booking cancellation with us, we contact the individual suppliers to cancel each segment of your travel experience.

Our comprehensive network of third party travel partners and suppliers are there to deliver your individual travel experience. Each of those suppliers has their own policy regarding refunds and cancellations.

The supplier processes the cancellation request and sends the credit or refund back to us (excluding credits that remain with the supplier). The timeframe for suppliers to process cancellation requests can depend on a number of factors but generally takes around 8-12 weeks. This may also be impacted by the volume of requests, the location of the supplier and method of refund back to Travel Associates. As an example, most cruise suppliers send international cheques which can take several weeks to post and additional weeks to clear.

Once the refund clears into Travel Associates' bank account we process the refund back to your original method of payment. Or, if you opted for a credit, we will issue you with a credit voucher to use with your next booking.

In a normal trading environment, this process happens quickly, however, due to the effects of Coronavirus, all suppliers have been inundated with requests leading to long wait times of more than 12 weeks in some instances. We understand that these delays can be very frustrating and we want to assure you that we're working closely with our suppliers to expedite your request.

My Options

We understand that it's difficult to make decisions around future bookings at this time.  If your travel isn't scheduled to depart within the next 3 months you can hold off from changing your booking until there is more clarity.

There are 3 options available:

Travel date changes

We are happy to move your booking forward to a new date in the future or alternatively you can choose to keep funds on file as a Travel Associates credit (less any applicable supplier cancellation fees).

Travel Associates Credit

  • Credit voucher is valid until 31 December 2021.
  • There is no Travel Associates cancellation fee charged for a credit kept on file.

Refund

In the situation where a third party supplier cancels its service and the holiday or travel experience does not proceed, we will help you cancel your booking and will apply for your refund, which is also subject to the supplier's T&Cs.
The Travel Associates cancellation fee will be waived for bookings where:

  • The supplier has cancelled their service, OR
  • The supplier has updated their Coronavirus cancellation terms and conditions to include our customers departure date, OR
  • Government restrictions (in line with Smartraveller) are saying, “COVID-19 AND TRAVEL: Do not go overseas. A travel ban is in place.”
  • Based on these Government restrictions, we will apply this cancellation policy for bookings up until 31 October 2020 and we will continue to review in line with Smartraveller.

The Travel Associates cancellation fee may apply for bookings outside of these conditions.
For bookings with Travel Associates franchisees and independent contractors, the cancellation processing fee has not been waived. See your booking terms and conditions for fee details or contact our Travel Associates adviser for more information.

Refund processing times:
Due to the global impact of Coronavirus, we are currently experiencing long processing delays. We do apologise for these delays and we thank you for your patience. We are working hard to return your funds to you as quickly as possible.

Booking and Cancellation FAQ's

Urgency related

If you are in a country that has closed its borders or introduced travel restrictions and you are unable to leave, please follow the advice of local authorities and the Australian Consulate.

If you need assistance with booking travel home, please contact Travel Associates for advice by phoning 1300 135 177 from within Australia OR +61 7 3011 7825 from outside Australia.

For further information related to travel restrictions please visit Smartraveller and the World Health Organisation websites.

Cancellation related

Please contact your personal travel adviser or nearest Travel Associates office.

If your booking has been cancelled by the travel provider or supplier due to Coronavirus, you can choose one of the following options:

Supplier credit

Some suppliers are only offering credits that will remain on file with them however we can certainly assist you in rebooking using this supplier credit when travel opens up once again.

Or

Travel Associates credit

Where possible, we can issue you with a Travel Associates credit which will be valid until 31 December 2021, a date that will continue to be reviewed in line with travel restrictions. In this instance where the supplier has cancelled the travel, we will not charge a Travel Associates cancellation processing fee. If you haven’t yet used the credit by 31 December 2021, you can choose to be refunded, and we will process without any Travel Associates cancellation fee.

Or

Refund

In the case where suppliers are offering refunds, we will return your money as soon as we have received the refund from the travel supplier and we have recently streamlined our own processes to ensure we can do this as quickly as possible, once the refund has come through from the supplier.

If the supplier has cancelled the booking, we will waive the Travel Associates cancellation processing fee under the following circumstances;

  • If the supplier has cancelled their service, OR
  • The supplier has updated their Coronavirus cancellation terms and conditions to include your departure date, OR
  • Government restrictions (in line with Smartraveller) specify the following “COVID-19 AND TRAVEL: Do not go overseas. A travel ban is in place.” Based on these Government restrictions, we will not charge a Travel Associates cancellation processing fee for bookings up until 30 October 2020. We will continue to review our cancellation fee policy in line with Smartraveller.

 

The Travel Associates cancellation fee may apply for bookings outside of these conditions.

If your travel supplier has yet to cancel their service and you choose to opt for a refund, Travel Associates’ cancellation processing fee policy will apply.

To minimise the impact of our cancellation fees, it may be better to wait until the travel supplier has cancelled your booking (this usually occurs closer to your scheduled travel date). Please be aware that supplier policies change constantly and vary widely. Details regarding supplier cancellations and their terms and conditions can be found on each supplier website, or your travel adviser can help with this detail.

If you do choose to cancel your booking and opt for a refund, our cancellation processing policy is as follows:

  • $300 pp for International travel (maximum fee of $600 per booking).
  • $50 pp for Domestic and Trans Tasman travel (maximum fee of $100 per booking).

Credit related

Choosing to take a Travel Associates credit offers the following flexibility:

  • We will waive the Travel Associates cancellation processing fee.
  • The credit will be valid until 31 December 2021, which will continue to be reviewed in line with travel restrictions.
  • If you choose to be refunded after 31 December 2021, we will process the refund and waive the Travel Associates cancellation processing fee.
     

For bookings with Travel Associates franchisees and independent contractors, the cancellation processing fee will not been waived. See your booking terms and conditions for fee details or contact our Travel Associates adviser for more information.

When travel opens up again and you are ready to rebook, we can assist you with redeeming your credit on your next extraordinary adventure.

Your credit can be used at any Travel Associates office.

Travel Associates credits

These credits will be valid until 31 December 2021, which will continue to be reviewed in line with travel restrictions. If you choose to be refunded after 31 December 2021, we will process your request and waive the Travel Associates cancellation processing fee.

Refund related

Your deposit can be refunded for booking cancellations that meet the following criteria:

  • If the supplier has cancelled their service, OR
  • If the supplier has updated their Coronavirus cancellation terms and conditions to include our client’s departure date, OR
  • Government restrictions (in line with Smartraveller) are saying, “COVID-19 AND TRAVEL:  Do not go overseas. A travel ban is in place.” 

 

Based on these Government restrictions, we will apply this cancellation policy for bookings up until 30 October 2020 and we will continue to review in line with Smartraveller.

In a normal trading environment, the refund process happens quickly, however due to the impact of Coronavirus on the travel industry, all of our travel suppliers have been inundated with refund requests, which has led to longer-than-usual wait times of 12 weeks or more. We understand that these delays are frustrating, however we are working closely with our suppliers to expedite your request.

Below is a brief explanation of how the refund process works in the travel industry:

  1. When you request a booking cancellation with Travel Associates, we review your itinerary and contact the individual travel suppliers to cancel each segment of your trip. These are third party travel providers and each one has different processing timeframes and policies.
  2. The travel supplier processes the request and sends the refund back to us (excluding credits that remain with the supplier). The time frame depends on a number of factors including the volume of requests, supplier head office location, and the method of refund transfer used. As an example, cruise suppliers post international cheques which can take several weeks to receive and additional weeks to clear.
  3. Once the refund clears into Travel Associates’ bank account, we will contact you and will quickly process the refund back to your original method of payment. Or, if you opted for a credit, we will issue you with a credit voucher to use on your next booking.

Cancellation fee policy update related

Travel Associates’ standard Terms and Conditions have a cancellation processing fee which covers the cost of booking, amending and cancelling travel, which is a detailed and time-consuming process. We understand that Government travel restrictions and supplier cancellations during the period of Coronavirus have been beyond the control of our clients, and ourselves, however where possible, we are waiving our own cancellation fees, subject to our cancellation policy.

If your booking has been cancelled because the supplier has cancelled its service, then, for bookings with company owned Travel Associates stores, there will be no Travel Associates cancellation processing fee charged as we have opted to waive our fee.  For bookings with Travel Associates franchisees and independent contractors the cancellation processing fee has not been waived, see your booking terms and conditions for fee details.  Click here for a list of all Travel Associates franchisees and independent contractors.

If the supplier has yet to cancel your booking:

If your supplier has yet to cancel their service, Travel Associates’ cancellation fee policy may apply.

To minimise the impact of our cancellation fees it may be better to wait until your supplier has cancelled your booking (this usually occurs closer to your scheduled travel date). Please be aware that supplier policies change constantly and vary widely. Details regarding supplier cancellations and their terms and conditions can be found via each supplier website.

If you proceed to cancel your booking for a refund before the supplier does:

If you choose to cancel your booking on your own accord for a refund, our cancellation policy is as follows:

  • $300 pp for International travel (maximum fee of $600 per booking).
  • $50 pp for Domestic and Trans Tasman travel (maximum fee of $100 per booking).

 

These fees are only charged if you wish to receive a refund on your booking. If you choose to keep the money as a credit with Travel Associates, this credit will be valid until at least 31 December 2021. If at that time you are unable to use the credit and choose to have your money refunded, we will gladly action this, and no fees will be charged.

For bookings with Travel Associates franchisees and independent contractors, the cancellation processing fee has not been waived. See your booking terms and conditions for fee details, or contact your Travel Associates adviser for more information.

 

Yes, your fees will be refunded, and most-importantly, there is nothing you need to do. Your Travel Associates office will process any additional refunds that are owed to you, due to the updated fee policy. Please note that this can take approximately 12 weeks, and we sincerely appreciate your patience while we work through large volumes of client refunds.

Gift Cards, Vouchers & Rewards

If you paid 100% of your holiday using a Travel Associates gift card, the booking value will be refunded back to a gift card for future use.

If you paid a portion of your booking with a gift card, this portion will be returned to the gift card for future use. The remainder will be refunded to the original payment method, but the value that was paid using the gift card, must stay on a gift card.

Your Travel Associates gift card expiry date will be set to 31 December 2021. We will continue to review the expiry date inline with travel restrictions.

The value of your booking that was made with CBA Rewards will be transferred into a Travel Associates credit. This credit will be valid until at least 31 December 2021, which will continue to be reviewed in line with travel restrictions.

Flight Centre Travel Group has recently announced a development that will help overcome the challenges currently being faced in relation to the Coronavirus.

We’d like to reassure those clients who make the decision to leave their money with us, but who may have concerns about the financial health of our business, that we have taken very positive steps to strengthen the company's liquidity position and we are well placed financially to weather a prolonged downturn in demand resulting from restrictions on travel and trading.  In addition to drastically reducing costs in our business, we have also raised an additional $900 million to support our business through a long term hibernation period and we are confident that our company will weather the impact of Coronavirus. For more information on this you can read the ASX announcement.

Travel Associates’ management are determined to ensure the business overcomes the current challenges and, with the support of our clients, we will be here for you when conditions normalise.

Impacted Virgin Australia, Tiger and Qantas Customer FAQs

If you held a booking with Virgin Australia and have cancelled and already received your travel credit, you don’t need to do anything. When you want to re-book travel, just contact us and we will assist you.

If you have requested a cancellation through your adviser and are yet to receive your Virgin Australia travel credit, please be assured we are working on booking cancellations with the nearest departure date and are processing requests as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience as we work through this significant backlog.

For bookings made on or prior to 20 April 2020 and due to travel prior to 30 September 2020, you cannot obtain a refund but are eligible for a credit that will sit with Virgin Australia.

For bookings made on or prior to 20 April 2020 due to travel on or after 1 October 2020, Virgin Australia is unable to offer a refund or credit for flexible fares, however you would be eligible for a Conditional Credit in place of this.

Please note any change or cancellation fees will still apply. You can find out what type of fare you have booked by checking your Virgin Australia itinerary.

If your ticket was booked on or after 21 April 2020 and due to travel prior to 30 September 2020, then you may be eligible for a refund, depending on the fare type you purchased. If you want to make a change, then Virgin Australia will waive any usual change fees, then normal policies will apply.

A ‘conditional credit’ is a form of credit that can be applied to Virgin Australia bookings that were made prior to the company entering into voluntary administration, and has specific conditions that apply to how it can be used.

You can use this specific Virgin Australia credit for domestic travel with both Virgin Australia Airlines or Virgin Australia Regional Airlines during the period of administration, which ends on 15 August 2020.

A conditional credit is non-transferable and cannot be used in conjunction with Velocity Frequent Flyer Points or travel credits belonging to another person. Standard Terms and Conditions and fare rules will apply to any fare booked using a conditional credit, except if your flight is cancelled, in which case you will be provided with another conditional credit.

Please note that some of Virgin Australia’s fare inclusions are currently varied as a result of coronavirus, including the onboard catering offering. Please see the Virgin Australia website for more information.

While Velocity Frequent Flyer is owned by the Group, it is a separate company and is not in administration, so your account and points balance will not be impacted at this stage.

Qantas has made some recent policy changes and customers may be eligible for a refund rather than a credit.

Should you hold a Qantas Credit, we recommend that you contact your Flight Centre agent or nearest store at your earliest convenience to check if you may be eligible for a refund. Your travel agent will be able to review your file and assist you to understand your options as not all tickets may be eligible.

If you are eligible for a refund under a Qantas policy, we must apply for the refund by COB Monday 7 September 2020.

Qantas has made some recent policy changes which may affect customers who cancel their flight before the airline officially cancels its service.

Customers holding a Qantas ticket and waiting to travel should contact their Flight Centre agent or nearest store to review the booking. Our travel agents will review the file and assist customers to understand their options, as not all tickets may yet be eligible.

Customers who are eligible under the revised policy must wait for Qantas to physically cancel the service, before applying for a refund, to avoid any impact to eligibility.

Qantas may not physically cancel the service until two weeks prior to the travel date, even if they have announced the suspension of travel until the of March 2021. As an example, a ticket that is due to depart on 15 January 2021 may not be cancelled by Qantas until 01 January 2021.