Flight Cancelled Due to COVID-19 - Should The Credit Note Come from Flight Centre or LATAM Airlines?

Booked flights for mid-this year with Flight Centre, airlines Latam. Flight Centre cancelled due to COVID-19, and they have mentioned that they are happy to provide a credit note valid for bookings in the next 12 months.

However, the note is coming from Latam Airlines and not Flight Centre (even though all dealings were with Flight Centre). Has anyone had experience with a similar situation?

Our preference is to get a credit note from Flight Centre, which would give us more flexibility and (hopefully) flights that are cheaper than what is advertised on Latam's websites (from my experience, agents can sometimes have access to better pricing).

Any thoughts guys?

Comments

  • Latam has your money, they are the ones you have credit with.

    • Agreed, I have credits with Virgin because of Covid-19.

      OP could possible try and use the credits through a travel agent if they want to get cheaper flights? Not sure if it'll work as I've never done it myself, but could be a possibility.

    • Latam has your money, they are the ones you have credit with.

      Except under ACL, flight centre is the retailer and they've taken the payment … Not even clear how latam would figure out the credit amount, given that flight centre probably mark up the airfare and receive a commission.

    • Under Flight Centre’s terms and conditions, they state they hold the money and enter a contract with the airline/hotel. This is being greatly exposed in this environment - Flight Centre are telling people that certain airfares or accommodation is non-refundable. When these people contact the relevant parties directly, they’re often able to get a refund (to Flight Centre, first) and/or are told that Flight Centre have never handed over any money.

      IMO, Flight Centre know they’re going down. They just seem to be holding onto as much money as possible before the ACCC is forced to act, at which point I’m expecting them to turn out some empty pockets and close down, with the funds nowhere to be seen.

      They’re operating like a scammer would, at this time, so I must only assume that it’s what they’re doing.

      • Except that is not how it works. Flight Centre have to pay the airlines every Monday for any tickets issued the week prior, the airline holds the money and not the travel agent. The issuing travel agent holds the ticket and only keeps the commission.

  • I would ask for a full refund from Flight Centre.

    • I too would be contacting Flight Centre and asking for a refund.

    • Yep have done so - no luck at the moment they are saying credit note only.

      How do you rebut that?

      • A friend of mine said in their t&cs you can get a credit, and the credit can be transferred as money. But their FC was trying to say that isn't true, despite it being in writing.

        Have a read and hopefully there is something there for you

      • I believe the consumer law simply states that if the seller cancels the transaction they have to provide a refund to the customer. Credit notes etc will be fine only if the customer accepts them.

        But if they deny your request outright you can perhaps complain to AFTA (they were on Current Affair a while ago) or small claims court.

        My sympathies to everyone involved. Someone will lose money. Travel Agents are under fire as they might go under as everyone demand refunds and some Travel Agent Suppliers refuse to return the money or they have already gone under.

    • Flight Centre is the issuing agents by the airline holds the money. The travel agent can only go by what the Latam policy says and it can be found on Latams website. No mention of refunds.

      • I had to do some digging:

        "Can travel agents keep your money as a credit voucher?

        With the spate of cancellations due to the coronavirus, travel agents such as STA Travel offer rebooking or a credit voucher with the agent. The current ACCC advice for travel cancellations and changes is that you may be entitled to request a refund or other remedy such as a credit note or voucher under the agent's terms and conditions.

        So yes, the current advice indicates the agent could retain the money as a credit voucher."

        https://www.choice.com.au/travel/on-holidays/advice/articles...

        Double yikes :(

  • As what previous comments have mentioned, Latam has your funds and they are the one who decide whether they want to give your money back or not.

    My friend is a travel agent and I have been told that once money is collected, they go straight to the airlines to confirm your booking. She's doing it real tough so I feel their pain.

    I myself have about $800 worth of flights with Virgin I'm probably not getting back.

    Good luck!

  • Did you complete this form, https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSclUn9k0sqE4HIF2Avf..., and ask for a refund?

    EDIT: Just noticed this is BYOJet but FC and BYO are same company. They must have a similar form you can complete to get a refund. Refund gives you most flexibility.

  • Yet another example of the complete lack of transparency in the travel market!

  • Top