Agents endure cruise ordeal

Agents endure cruise ordeal
By admin

Travel agents continue to scramble to the aid of passengers affected by the collapse of Classic International Cruises, as its financial impact begins to crystallise.

Travel Compensation Fund chief executive Glen Wells confirmed that claims continue to flood in from every state in Australia with the value now standing at around $400,000. Some single claims were worth upwards of $18,000, he told Travel Today.

Kim Simpson, owner of Our Travel Agent in Byford, Western Australia, told Travel Today that 11 of her clients had been impacted by the cancellation of the CIC program as the cruise line goes through administration.

She said she has assisted the majority of them with their claims through the TCF, but has been unable to locate a group of clients already in Europe who had been due to board a CIC voyage last Monday.

“I’ve called, I’ve messaged, I’ve tried the hotel,” she said. In addition to the stress of trying to help her elusive clients, Simpson now faces the financial implications of their booking.

“They’ve paid us by credit card, and that’s $14,500,” she said. “They got insurance through their credit card, but that doesn’t cover for insolvency so they’ll do a charge back on us and we don’t have that money.”

While she was hopeful an arrangement could be made, she underlined that such a cost could send many agents “broke”.

“The TCF has got to change,” she said. “We are just the conduit for getting the money from the client to the wholesaler and we’re the ones who stand to lose everything. That’s not fair.”

Meanwhile, Wells confirmed that the TCF was awaiting clarification of whether it would be eligible to any of the funds in CIC Australia’s account, said to be “significant” by administrators Lawler Partners.

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