Travel Agents

Local travel agency loses defamation case over comment in Facebook group

A Sydney-based travel agency has been forced to pay legal costs after losing a court case against a woman who made negative comments about the company in a Facebook group.

Harris Park-based Price Beat Travel launched defamation proceedings against a woman who criticised the business in 2018 over a booking she made for herself and her 18-month-old daughter to travel to India.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the woman made the allegedly defamatory comments in a post to an Indian mothers group in Sydney called Desi Mums Connect (Sydney), which deleted her post within three days and apologised to the company.

Court documents show the woman’s post to Facebook criticised the travel agency over its alleged failure to ensure she was provided with a bassinet and baby food on her flight to India.

She claimed the agent had “cheated” her and said she would not suggest booking a flight with them.

The documents show Price Beat Travel had to prove it was an independent company with less than 10 employees in order to sue for defamation.

However, District Court Judge Alister Abadee found that the company could not prove it had less than 10 employees at the time due to a partnership with a call centre in India.

On top of this, the woman’s defence pointed out the agency’s website stated it had “over 40 staff members based in Sydney, Melbourne and India”.

“It follows from this that I am not persuaded that at that time, it employed fewer than 10 persons,” the judge said according to court documents.

“The plaintiff therefore does not have the capacity to sue the defendant in defamation in respect of the matters it complains of.”

As a result of the ruling, the agency was ordered to pay the woman’s legal costs.

The judge also said that had the company had the capacity to sue, the woman would have been charged damages of $10,000, as he found the post contained two instances of defamation and rejected her defence of truth.

Travel Weekly has reached out to Price Beat Travel for comment.


Image source: iStock/NiseriN

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Steaks on a plane: TikTok prankster appears to cook steak on aircraft toilet

How does one cook a steak using an airline toilet? Well, you’re just going to have to click on the article and find out, aren’t you?

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Joyce “optimistic” about recovery as Qantas renews trade partnerships

The national carrier revealed it has signed off on new multi-year agreements with 10 of the top 12 agencies, so if your boss was raging this morning, assume you work for one of the two that missed out.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Australia responds to the UK’s emergency approval of Pfizer vaccine

While the UK might be getting the jab as early as next week, the Australian government is holding fast to its original roll-out schedule.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Thailand to stay closed until at least March next year

The country’s Tourism Minister has thrown aside any hope for a comeback during the 2020-2021 peak season. Not that Aussie travellers are under the illusion of travelling overseas during the summer anyway.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

IHG opens two Sydney hotels in one day

The hotel giant’s regional VP of development has been run off his feet lately by all the property openings, so much so that the soles of his shoes are now in need of repair.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Virgin launches 12-hour school holiday sales blitz with more than 60,000 cheap fares

The airline has been on an absolute tear since coming out of administration, having increased its flights, gifted free thongs and now offering heaps of cheap fares.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean Group extends local cruise pause yet again

We haven’t been counting, but we’re pretty sure this is the 1,543,044th time we have reported on an extension of the cruise pause.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

South Australia’s COVID-19 scare scores TravelManagers agent client referrals

South Australia’s recent COVID scare was deja vu for many agents. And, for TravelManagers’ Emma Ross, her hard work has paid off in spades.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Luxury Escapes rejoins AFTA

It appears a trend of online travel companies joining the federation is beginning to emerge.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Wendy Wu launches first-ever tours in Australia and New Zealand

Australia’s China experts are trying their hand at domestic and close-to-home trips with this new collection that promises to showcase local icons.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Dream of 2021: The wonders of Peru’s Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve await

by Sponsored by Promperu

The year that was may have been one to forget. But, when the time comes, the wonders of South America will be awaiting the arrival of international travellers.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Is Ola about to say adiós to Australia?

Ola’s local boss has left, and it has closed its driver centres “until further notice”. No wonder there’s speculation around the ridesharing company’s future Down Under.

Share

CommentComments