From accidentally making money due to currency fluctuations, to paying down debt, for some Australians cancelled overseas trips have had surprising windfalls
From June 2018 to June 2019, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says Australians made a record 11.3 million trips overseas – double the number of trips just 10 years ago. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of Australians have been forced to cancel or alter their international travel plans.
This has left many Australians struggling to get refunds from travel providers. Flight Centre was charging $300 in processing fees per person, in some cases leading to fees that cost more than the value of the refund, until the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission stepped in and threatened legal action, causing the company to waive fees for trips cancelled by travel providers. The ACCC also warned travel providers against retroactively changing their cancellation policies after tour companies including Topdeck and Intrepid attempted to retrospectively apply updated refund policies that would force customers to take credit rather than cash for cancelled trips.