Law firm Slater and Gordon believe tens’ of thousands of travellers are being short-changed by major airlines, travel agents and tour companies, who may have breached their legal obligations by putting in place travel voucher schemes.
Practice Group Leader Andrew Paull said the affected customers were now thousands of dollars out of pocket and holding vouchers that they may never be able to use.
Others felt they were forced to cancel plans ahead of airline announcements to get back a portion of their fares, only to be hit with hefty cancellation fees, he said.
“We understand that everyone is doing it tough at present, including the major airlines and travel companies, but that doesn’t give them an excuse to take advantage of their customers,” Paull said in a statement.
“We believe cash refunds should be returned to customers, who almost certainly need that money right now, rather than in bank accounts gathering interest for airline shareholders.”