Our offices are open for business, however we prefer to book appontment only consultations so that we are able to give you our full attention. Our Australia-wide network of highly experienced travel advisers are able to assist you with all of your travel needs, from the most simple to the most complex itineraries. Although we have had to stand down a portion of our workforce due to the current situation, and your personal travel adviser may be impacted, our remaining network of over 100 exceptional travel advisers are nevertheless available to support the travel needs of all of our clients. As the travel industry recovers, we are hoping to grow this number again.
- To find a store nearest you click here.
- We know many of you love planning your holiday with your personal adviser, however please know that all bookings can be serviced by any of our experienced team.
- Please see our FAQs below for more detail.
If you are unwell, or in self-isolation, please do not come into an office. Contact your local Travel Associates office, or your nearest alternative, if your regular office has closed. Alternatively you can also call 13 70 71 to discuss how we can support your travel needs.
Refund processing timeframes
We know our refunds process has been a bumpy ride and we apologise for the delays. We also want to reassure you we have identified and corrected the process, and are working hard to return your funds to you as quickly as possible.
- Learn more about the cancellation and refund process, click here.
Office Closure FAQs
- Which Travel Associates businesses are closing?
- Travel Associates has stood down some of its employees, what does that mean?
- If my office has closed, what will happen to my booking?
- If my adviser left or was stood down, what will happen to my booking?
- What happens to my personal and booking information when my store closes?
Travel Associates made the difficult decision to stand down a considerable portion of its workforce for an indefinite period of time, and for the immediate future. The decision was made in response to an unexpected stoppage of work, capacity and demand within the travel industry domestically and internationally as a result of the current global climate. Stand down means that there is no work for those employees to do at the moment. This is for the reasons already mentioned which are outside of Travel Associates' control.
Your booking is safe within the Travel Associates network and any of our experienced travel advisers will be happy to assist you with your booking and any future travel plans.
Our Supplier Relationships (and What is a Supplier)
Travel Associates works with a comprehensive network of third party travel partners and suppliers to deliver your individual travel experience. These suppliers range from airlines, to hotels, touring companies, car hire vendors and cruiselines to name a few. There are many different suppliers that we work with, depending on your individual travel needs.
It is important for you to be aware that each of those suppliers has their own policy regarding refunds and cancellations. In the current environment, each supplier has updated it's policies continuously as the global situation has evolved. Travel Associates does not control these conditions however we are able to ensure your booking is protected and that you understand the conditions under which you have booked your travel experience.
As a result of continual changes by suppliers, our travel advisers and support staff are regularly checking for supplier updates (daily and hourly in some cases) in order to ensure the best outcome for our clients, especially as cancellation and refund policies have relaxed and dates for rebooking have been extended. Prior to the global pandemic, our travel advisers may have known all of the usual terms and conditions for every supplier, however in many instances recently, they are needing to constantly update and re-educate in order to achieve the best outcome for clients throughout this period.
Below is a list of our suppliers and links to their webpages where you can find out more about each of their individual policies.
Select a product category:
A number of international flights have been cancelled. All Airlines have their own change and cancellation policies in place. Please refer to supplier table below for further airline information and contact your Travel Associates adviser.
The cruise industry has put strong measures in place for the health and safety of passengers. Most cruise lines are cancelling departures right across the globe. If your cruise has not yet departed, your travel consultant will contact you if there are any major changes or cancellations to your booking. All Cruise Lines have their own change and cancellation policies in place. Please refer to supplier table below for further cruise line information and contact your Travel Associates adviser.
Similar to the cruise industry, Tour Operators are putting strong measures in place for the health and safety of travellers. Many Tour Operators are also electing to cancel departures and/or modify itineraries across the globe. All Tour Operators have their own change and cancellation policies in place. Please refer to supplier table below for further information and contact your Travel Associates adviser.
Business and Supplier Updates
Melbourne Restrictions and Travel Associates office update
Flight Centre prepares its ideal network for open borders
The Flight Centre Travel Group has announced a further change to its Australian leisure shop network as part of the company’s ongoing network management plan to reduce the overlap between shops in higher density areas, particularly in the Flight Centre brand, and to prepare for the return of travel.
About 90 Flight Centre brand shops will close, leaving the company with a strong nationwide network of 332 shops in its flagship leisure brand, along with a variety of other connected channels that customers can use to transact and interact with the brand and its people.
Customers who may be impacted by a shop closure will be contacted directly to introduce them to a nearby store. All bookings, pending refunds and credits will remain easily accessible by customers and our teams.
The closures have also been prompted by the continued domestic and international border closures, which have effectively grounded leisure travel in Australia for the past six months and led to billions of dollars in future travel bookings being cancelled.
FCTG’s Australian managing director, James Kavanagh, said the retained Flight Centre shops had been carefully selected to deliver maximum convenience and effective coverage for customers in the future, with about 95% living within five kilometres of a retained shop.
Airline Refunds Update
As your travel agent, we are your advocate when it comes to securing your credit or refund in the most timely manner possible. Unfortunately, the volume of refunds and credits triggered by COVID 19 has meant many airlines are unable to process these refunds or credits within the ‘normal’ expected timeframe of around 12 weeks.
Nevertheless, we remain in constant contact with our airline suppliers to understand their timeframes and refund or credit processing hurdles. Below, is a list of impacted airlines;
South African Airlines
Unfortunately, we have been informed by the airline that they are currently not processing refunds while the business operations have been suspended. We do not yet have an update on when operations will recommence, however the airline has reconfirmed its COVID refund policy is to provide full travel credits which can be used until March 2022. These credits can also be transferred to another name for use. South African Airways has apologised to all Flight Centre customers for this situation.
The high volume of customer refund and credit requests for Oman Air flights has caused significant delays in processing times. The airline has informed us that they are only able to refund customers after the expiry of the ticket, which is 12 months after the ‘date of issue’, or until October 2020, whichever is the later date. Customers can, however, still take advantage of generous rebooking and credit options which are offered by Oman Air.
Croatia Airlines has also been heavily impacted by the volume of refund requests they are receiving. The airline has informed us that they will be unable to process all refunds until the end of 2020. Croatia Airlines has expressed sincere apologies to all Flight Centre customers for this situation. We understand how frustrating this news is for our customers, and we also apologise for this inconvenience, however at this time, we respectfully ask that you do not call your agent as they will be unable to change the status of this portion of your travel booking.
Due to processing delays caused by COVID 19, Air Portugal has recommended that we inform our mutual customers that it may take between 6 to 12 months for the airline to process customer refunds and credit requests. Air Portugal has expressed sincere apologies to all customers for this situation.
Unfortunately, we have been advised by Aircalin that customer refunds are only possible after the end of ticket validity. In other words, your unused flight ticket will be held in credit until it expires one year after the date you intended to fly. At that point, Aircalin will refund your ticket to Flight Centre and we will immediately return it to you, once the money has cleared into our bank account. We understand this may be disappointing news for customers and Aircalin has expressed sincere apologies. We respectfully ask that you do not call your agent as they will be unable to change this policy.
We have recently been advised by El Al that it will be unable to process refunds until the airline has returned to normal business operations. Unfortunately, we have not been provided with a definite time frame for the resumption of refunds. Flight Centre Travel Group currently has over 500 refunds outstanding with EL AL Israel Airlines and the airline would like to apologise to these Flight Centre customers for this situation. Your Flight Centre consultant will remain in close contact with the airline and will contact you as soon as we begin to receive further information from EL AL Israel Airlines following the resumption of operations.
Update on Flight Centre wholesale travel
Flight Centre and all of the travel service providers (e.g. hotels, etc.) we work with continue to process large volumes of refunds for customers. Unfortunately, in many cases, there are delays in getting the money back to customers for various reasons.
Sometimes the travel service provider may provide a different explanation to customers about where funds are held, and we know this is causing frustration for our customers.
In some cases, funds are paid immediately by us to travel service providers, and in other cases, funds are held until the trip has been taken or ‘availed’. This will depend on when we are contractually required to make payment to the travel service provider.
Due to our contractual obligations, we can only refund customers in accordance with the travel service provider’s cancellation terms and conditions (which for COVID-19 cancellations, may be waived closer to the date of departure), or alternatively, only if the travel service provider has expressly authorised us to process the customer’s refund.
Unfortunately this doesn't always happen in a timely manner. In some cases, a travel service provider’s COVID-19 policy provides for a travel credit only. A travel credit may also be the only available option where a booking is cancelled and attracts cancellation fees (e.g. instant purchase products, and non-refundable products).
Nevertheless, please be reassured that we advocate for the best outcome for our customers, including when cancellation fees are applied by a travel service provider, we work closely with them to seek waivers if we can.
Malindo Air Ceases Refund Processing
Malindo Air has informed Flight Centre that it is unable to process refunds until the company begins to secure income from the sale of flights and cash flow improves. Currently we have received around 10% of the refunds we have applied for from the airline. However, in most cases the airline is offering a credit to customers.
Malindo Air has apologised for this situation and will remain in close contact with Flight Centre. We will continue to communicate with customers as the situation changes and further information becomes available.
Flight Centre announces FY20 results
Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) today released it’s full FY20 results.
Although significant losses were recorded as a result of COVID-19, Australia’s leading travel business has made significant inroads into reducing its cost base to create a long-term liquidity runway to ensure sustainability.
The company will continue to work towards extending this runway in the near-term by increasing revenue through the sale of domestic holidays and experiences, including New Zealand as travel restrictions are lifted or relaxed; and by targeting further cost reductions in its leisure travel businesses.
Extending the runway will allow the company to continue to trade, bringing extraordinary travel offers to Australians as it has for around 40 years, and to prepare for the inevitable rebound that will come when restrictions are lifted and consumer confidence recovers.
Graham Turner, Flight Centre’s Global Managing Director confirmed that COVID 19 has created the most challenging trading environment that the company has experienced in almost 40 years in business.
“We were forced to make some very tough decisions as this crisis unfolded, but we were very fortunate to be able to draw on our strong balance sheet. We also moved quickly to develop a longer cash and liquidity runway and to lower costs in anticipation of a zero or very low revenue environment for an extended period of time.
“Revenue has, to date, exceeded our initial expectations and has been increasing – although the heightened border restrictions in Australia and New Zealand may slow growth this month,” Mr Turner said.
Please click here to view the full FY20 financial results.
Qantas refund delays
Travel Money Oz to Close Physical Stores
Flight Centre Travel Group’s Travel Money Oz business has announced that it will officially hibernate operations while international travel remains off-limits to Australians. The business will resume operations when border restrictions are lifted and Australians are again able to travel overseas.
The Travel Money Oz Currency Pass, Travel Money Transfers and MoneyGram products are all available online so that customers can continue to interact with products until the physical return of the business.
Travel Money Oz will retain a support team to ensure the needs of customers continue to be met via digital platforms and direct enquiry contact via the website and customer contact line.
Virgin to retire Tigerair and convert customer credits
Virgin Australia Group recently announced its decision to retire the Tigerair brand and to support customers by transferring existing Tigerair credits into Virgin Australia credits of equivalent value.
Any customers holding a Tigerair credit will be able to convert and use their credit on Virgin flights from 23 September 2020 (although this date may change) and can be used for booking flights up to 31 July 2022, with travel valid until 30 June 2023.
The Future Flight credit can be used for booking on Virgin Australia operated flights and will also be valid for use on future services that Virgin Australia may operate as the travel market recovers and restrictions ease.
Travel Associates change & cancellation policy update
On 2 May 2020 Travel Associates announced an amendment to our Change and Cancellation Policy for customers.
To support Australians during this very difficult time, Travel Associates and our parent company FCTG has made the decision to completely waive our usual Cancellation Fees for bookings where the travel provider (usually an airline, cruise line or tour operator) has cancelled its service - and you are unable to travel as a result.
The waiver, which is in addition to the other waivers and amendments that we have announced previously, follows ongoing discussions with clients and regulators, including the ACCC, and will apply retrospectively to bookings cancelled as a result of COVID-19 on or after 13 March 2020 for which a Travel Associates Cancellation Fee was charged. Please note this waiver applies to our fees – we cannot waive fees or conditions that airlines and other third party suppliers impose.
We also announced our offer of an additional Travel Associates credit voucher of up to $200 per person to customers who choose to keep their money on file with us. For all information on these updates, please read our FAQs.
Virgin Australia updates
On Tuesday 21st April, Virgin Australia (VA) entered into voluntary administration to recapitalise the business and help ensure it emerges in a stronger financial position.
We understand our clients who have credits or bookings with Virgin Australia may be concerned. On Friday 22 May 2020, Virgin Australia released a policy change offering only 'conditional credit' instead of a refund moving forward for bookings which relate to:
- New tickets issued on/after 21 April 2020.
- Tickets issued on/before 20 April 2020.
- Clients who still have/had confirmed flights on/after 21 April 2020 and wish to cancel.
We will work closely with the administrators to support Virgin Australia through this process, and we will keep our clients informed of any developments and Virgin Australia policy updates as they come to us.
Flight Centre Travel Group business update
On Monday 6 April, 2020 we announced an important development that will help the Flight Centre Travel Group overcome the challenges currently being faced in relation to the coronavirus. We have secured $900 million in additional funding to help ensure that FCTG is strongly positioned for the future. Read more.