The APT Travel Group Increases Refunds
- Australian Pacific Holdings released the following statement regarding the company’s decision to increase refunds to some of its guests affected by recent suspensions.
- The Group understands the ACCC has a different interpretation of our terms and conditions in relation to refunds, however we have reached a mutually agreed position.
- For some guests affected by imposed suspensions, this means that the refund amount initially advised, paid, or available to them will be increased.
Over the past 12-months, the APT Travel Group (and parent company Australian Pacific Holdings) along with the whole travel industry have been navigating an extraordinary environment, unlike anything seen before.
During this time, we have been working closely with guests who have been affected by national and global travel suspensions to find the best possible outcome for them.
We have also been in discussions with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over the matter of customer refund policy arrangements. The APT Travel Group understands the ACCC has a different interpretation of our terms and conditions in relation to refunds, however we have reached a mutually agreed positon.
For some guests affected by imposed suspensions, this means that the refund amount initially advised, paid, or available to them will be increased.
The adjustment relates to a reduction in the fixed marketing and overhead charges. These charges have now been replaced by a one-off $400 per passenger administration fee. Charges for third party costs that have been incurred will still be deducted from refunds.
As has been the case since April 2020, as an alternative to the refund option, we are offering a Future Holiday Credit of 100% of the value of what was paid, with the Group absorbing all incurred costs. The 100% Future Holiday Credit is valid until the end of 2023, available for use on any of our brands, to any destination globally, and is fully transferable to a family member or a friend.
The APT Travel Group continues to operate within all Australian regulations and requirements, this includes within Australian Consumer Law and our travel agency licensing requirements. Our refund policy continues to be in line with our terms and conditions for force majeure events, such as a pandemic and government enforced border closures. However, the adjusted refund and 100% Future Holiday Credit go beyond our standard terms and conditions.
The APT Travel Group has made constructive steps of its own volition to provide greater scope and clarity around the issue of refund processing.
Throughout this entire period we have also been considering, on a case-by-case basis, providing a full refund to any consumers who can provide evidence that they are experiencing hardship, including medical or financial, arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
We realise this has been a difficult and upsetting time for many travellers. As always, we appreciate the support and patience of all our guests. In turn, we are committed to getting through this period and supporting our guests, staff, global networks, and also the Australian travel industry.
As Australia’s largest family owned and awarded tour company with over 90-years of operation, the APT Travel Group has always been strongly committed to positive customer and guest relations outcomes across our operations. This includes the impact of COVID-19 imposed restrictions on some product offering.
We are working through contacting our impacted guests and they will be communicated with by the 31st March 2021.