Agents wait on Air Australia refund

Agents wait on Air Australia refund
By admin

Jetset Travelworld’s in-house air consolidation business is bailing out non-IATA agents after it emerged refunds will be dished out to retailers following the collapse of Air Australia.

Air Tickets said it will process refunds within a week once it receives money from administrators of the carrier, KordaMentha.
It follows an agreement struck between the International Air Transport Association and KordaMentha yesterday that IATA agents will receive a partial refund on Air Australia tickets they sold for flights that did not operate.
“We will devote our service teams to refund all the tickets that qualify,” Air Tickets general manager Russell Carstensen said. “I anticipate refunds will be processed within seven days and we will forward any money due, without Air Tickets fees, once we get it.”
He praised Australian Federation of Travel Agents chief executive Jayson Westbury for his efforts in ensuring agents will get at least some of their money back. Travel Today revealed last week that talks were underway.
Air Tickets had also been “quietly working behind the scenes with AFTA”, Carstensen said.
IATA reached an agreement with KordaMentha for “processing refund applications” filed by travel agents in BSPlink. Agents have until close of business on April 6 to apply.
Exactly how much will be refunded is unclear but what is known is that the refund requests will exceed the cash held by IATA. A fuller picture is likely to emerge next week
According to a report by the administrator, Air Australia had $36 million in advanced sales with industry sources saying approximately $30 million was via credit card payments, with other payment methods, including through BSP, accounting for the $5m-6m balance.
Because IATA forwarded money to Air Australia each month, rather than weekly as with some airlines, IATA is holding three weeks’ worth of remittance.
IATA said any credit card refund requests must be addressed to the airline or credit card companies.
“While this [refund] does not solve everyone’s problems, it will help some agents recoup against refunds that they have had to offer through no fault of their own,” Westbury said. 

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