With consumer losses blowing out ever higher following last week’s collapse of Sky Air Services in Fremantle, news comes that the agency has been placed in liquidation.
As of yesterday, a total of 120 consumers had contacted Consumer Protection in Western Australia, reporting total losses of about AUD 420,000.
The WA Department of Commerce said yesterday that DCS Advisory had been appointed as liquidator for Mirgo Pty Ltd, trading as Sky Air Services – which closed its doors last week. Out-of-pocket consumers have been advised to contact the liquidator so they can be registered as creditors.
What creditors will receive back – if anything – remains to be seen. They certainly won’t be able to count on the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF) to cover their claims – the TCF has gone the way of the dodo. Some AUD 25 million still lies in the TCF’s coffers. Although this money came from the travel industry, it is destined to be swallowed up in state consolidated revenue.
Sky Air Services closed its doors last week after dozens of customers complained the agency had not properly booked the flights and accommodation they had paid for months in advance.
Consumer Protection issued urgent advice about the travel agency on Thursday after customers reported being left stranded in Europe.
Perhaps the most shameful aspect of the collapse is that the same consumers who had their flights and accommodation cancelled received foul-mouthed abuse from a representative of the company on Facebook.
That news has been reported all over the world, including by mass-market online news sites like the Daily Mail, which published the story under the following memorable headline: ‘We can take your 20 dollars and wipe our butts with it’: Travel company’s incredible abusive responses to customers who complained about lousy service
Among Sky Air Services passengers arriving at airports who were were unable to board flights because their travel had been cancelled due to non-payment (or never booked in the first place) was one young member of a water polo team from the Perth suburb of Melville.
The water polo player was stranded at the airport and unable to return from Europe. The club eventually had to stump up AUD 2000 for new flights back to Perth, ABC News reported.
Sky Air Services Fremantle’s Facebook page was taken down on Thursday. The page included some vivid responses from the company.
“You are a f***ing pain in the ass hard maintenance anyways! good riddance and bon voyage!!” the company wrote in response to one woman’s complaint.
Written by Peter Needham