26 September 2023

Travellers advised to ‘look before you book’

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With Western Australia’s border re-opening, Consumer Protection is advising holidaymakers to ‘Unpack the T&Cs’ before making travel bookings for long-awaited trips or family reunions.

Sharing the timely advice, Executive Director for Consumer Protection, Trish Blake said consumers should carefully read and understand the terms and conditions (T&Cs) for each part of their travel plans and be fully aware of their options if the journey is impacted by COVID-19-related issues such as border closures, restrictions or isolation requirements.

Ms Blake said that while many Western Australians were keen to make travel plans, they needed to have realistic expectations given the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.

“More than ever, it really is a case of needing to look before you book and stay informed about COVID-19 requirements while you are travelling,” she said.

“When the cancellation of travel services is due to COVID-19 Government restrictions, consumers may not automatically be entitled to the same remedy options as they would be in normal circumstances under the consumer guarantees of the Australian Consumer Law.

“It has been pleasing to see the way in which many in the travel, events and hospitality sectors have adapted by offering increased flexibility for consumers to make changes and rebook if needed.

“However, consumers need to make sure they understand what the terms and conditions actually mean before they accept them when making a booking, as in some cases bookings may not be flexible or refundable.”

Ms Blake said travel-related complaints in the past three years had primarily been about refunds, with the top three businesses for complaints being air travel, travel agents/tour operators and accommodation providers.

Further information for travellers, including FAQs, can be accessed on the Consumer Protection website at this PS News link.

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