AFTA again rejects fly-by-night fears

AFTA again rejects fly-by-night fears
By admin

Australian Federation of Travel Agents chief executive Jayson Westbury has again been forced to allay fears that a post-Travel Compensation Fund landscape will potentially allow fly-by-night companies to infiltrate the industry.

Responding to questions at the Travellers Choice conference at the weekend, Westbury admitted the TCF does provide a barrier, but he said there were plenty of other "commercial" obstacles.

A “johnny come lately” would need to gain accreditation from the International Air Transport Association or credit from Australia consolidators if they wanted to sell flights, approach a bank to give them a merchant facility, find a landlord willing to rent them space and strike a GDS deal.

“Good luck with (all) that,” he said. “There are plenty of barriers that are commercial orientated.”

Westbury also disputed a belief that Post Offices will start to sell travel.

“They might do some transaction selling, but I just don’t think they will be able to execute it (selling a holiday),” he said. “You all know how hard this is. You need a client base. Walk-ins buying a $10,000 holiday? It’s just not going to happen.”

Meanwhile, Westbury told agents they need to “sub protect themselves” from credit chargebacks by either paying suppliers with a credit card themselves or using the merchant facility of the supplier.

“It’s about being more cunning about how you protect yourself,” he said.

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