Online travel agency Bestjet.com has gone into liquidation, potentially affecting thousands of travellers just days before Christmas.
Bestjet’s owners confirmed the business had gone into administration yesterday afternoon after the company’s website disappeared along with their social media channels.
“The owners of Bestjet can confirm that the business has appointed Nigel Markey and Bradley Hellen of Pilot Partners as the voluntary administrators of the Company and its subsidiaries, Wynyard Travel Pty Ltd and Brooklyn Travel Pty Ltd,” the statement said, according to the Courier Mail.
Many customers have taken to Twitter to vent their frustration over purchasing tickets they have not yet recieved.
— mansha (@mansha63805958) December 13, 2018
Hey @BESTJETcom, we're trying to get a refund for my friends cancelled flight done through you, flying virgin, because of the Bali. We've tried calling you guys for FOUR days and every option goes to a voice saying "this call cannot be completed" HELP US
— lauren porter (@Lmayporter) December 1, 2017
I made a booking on 26 Oct (paid in full) but have still not received an e-ticket. Your customer service line always has 25+ people queued …
How do I get my e-ticket? Flying in less than ten days …
— Helen ?? + ?? (@HRC_CupofTea) October 30, 2018
@BESTJETcom 15 weeks and no refund from cancelled flights. British Airways made the refund payment on 27 August yet you still have not paid me. I was advised 3 weeks ago that you had received the money and were processing it. Still nothing. You run a very poor business.
— Susannah (@motty13) December 5, 2018
@BESTJETcom Please help me guys, I have an airline with no confirmation and I need to be with my family this Christmas. Tell me this isn't the usual!
— Daragh Wickham (@wickhmar) December 13, 2018
However, the statement also said tickets issued to customers who have booked and paid through Bestjet will be honoured through the relevant airlines but customers who haven’t received their tickets should contact their financial institution or travel insurer.
Flight Centre’s general manager Tom Walley said the chaos surroundign the collapse has highlighted the importance of using a trusted travel agent.
“Bestjet.com has been plagued with problems for some time, like many other aggregator sites before it,’’ Walley said.
“News that it has now ceased trading sends a strong warning to customers about the risks of using particular Online Travel Agencies (OTAs).
“Their model of trimming service and reducing prices at all costs is not without consequences, as many travellers are unfortunately finding out the hard way.
Walley said travellers should look beyond the lure of low prices offered by online travel agencies as costs and stress levels can skyrocket in the event of something going wrong.
Flight Centre estimates as many as 10,000 customers will have their Christmas holiday plans thrown into disarray.
“There are ways of ensuring you are getting the best value airfares without the risk of using faceless online operators where there is nobody to speak to when a problem arises,’’ Walley said.
“If people want their holiday protected, we strongly recommended they use trusted, fully-accredited retailers.”
Bestjet was acquired by McVicker Investment Group in November from its founder Rachel James in 2012.
James is wife to disgraced Air Australia boss Michael James, which collapsed in the same year Bestjet was launched.
It is not yet clear what caused the collapse or how many will be impacted.
Travel Weekly has reached out to Bestjet for comment but is yet to receive a reply.