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Elderly Australians heartbroken over travel collapse

August 29, 2017 Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

As many as 1200 elderly Australians are reported to be out of pocket, some having lost the money they paid for the holiday of a lifetime, after the collapse of a travel firm that reportedly was still taking payments days before it failed.

The failed company, Victoria-based Reed Holidays Pty Ltd, was behind Seniors Coach Tours, Young at Heart Holidays and Australian Air Travel. See: ‘Consumers impacted’ by wind-up of Vic travel firm

A report in Melbourne’s Herald Sun says thousands of dollars that customers paid for travel later in the year is missing. Some travel packages were valued at AUD 10,000 per person, the report said.

Detail from Seniors Coach Tours site this morning, a week after parent Reed Holidays Pty Ltd was placed into liquidation and had its ATAS membership terminated

Those caught out include pensioners, some aged in their 80s. At least one elderly traveller is disabled. Many find it hard to believe how such a cruel loss could be allowed to happen. The collapse is producing the sort of bad publicity that might be expected.

Given that the failed company had been operating for 28 years, a sad aspect – from consumer and industry perspectives – is that the Travel Compensation Fund would previously have protected the firm’s customers against loss. This in turn would have largely averted damaging consumer media coverage for travel agents and other travel intermediaries.

One out-of-pocket pensioner told the paper: “Travel insurance doesn’t cover insolvency so we have to hope these professionals can find all the money that’s gone missing or that’s it.”

The Herald Sun article quoted AFTA chief executive Jayson Westbury encouraging customers to start to contact banks and authorities.

Westbury told the paper the failure had “come as a complete surprise to us” and wasn’t something foreseen “coming through the natural course of their accreditation”.

“We’ve had situations before where overseas companies have gone broke but for an Australian tour operator to go under like this, that is really rare,” Westbury told the paper.

Reed Holidays described itself as “travel agent friendly”. A couple of years ago, it was offering agents commission on all brands along with a travel consultant booking incentive, with department store gift cards as prizes.

Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) records show that creditors had an administrator appointed to the company on Monday last week, 21 August 2017. AFTA pulled Reed Holidays’ ATAS accreditation soon after.

Interestingly, the websites of some Reed Holidays brands are still active, complete with AFTA, IATA and ATAS accreditation logos on display, more than a week after the firm was placed in liquidation.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Peter says:

    BLAME AFTA FOR DEMOLISHING TCF.

    A CRIMINAL ACT.

    THEY SHOULD BE EXPOSED.

    AND THE REST OF THE INDUSTRY LOOKED THE OTHER WAY.

    SHAME ON THEM.

    ABOUT THE ONLY INDUSTRY PERSON TO SPEAK UP WAS BARRY MAYO.

    AND HE WAS SHOUTED DOWN BY THE SELF INTERESTED LEMMINGS WHO WERE MORE INTERESTED IN SAVING A FEW THOUSAND BUCKS THAN PROTECTING CONSUMERS.

    OR SHORT SIGHTEDLY, PROTECTING THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY FROM FLY BY NIGHTERS.

    SOON CONSUMERS WILL ONLY BOOK THROUGH BIG BRAND RETAILERS LIKE FLIGHT CENTRE, PERCEIVING THEM AS THE ONLY ONES SAFE AND REPUTABLE.

    AFTA IS USELESS AND DELUDED AND LEADING THE CHARGE IN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE SMALLER HIGH STREET TRAVEL RETAILER IN AUSTRALIA

  2. AgentGerko says:

    And the scoreline should be TCF 1, ATAS 0.
    And what does the ATAS website say? ATAS can provide you with peace of mind when purchasing travel. Unfortunately it doesn’t mention that peace of mind might be all you’ll get as you certainly won’t get your money back through ATAS.

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