We believe that major travel providers, including Qantas and Jetstar, may have breached their legal obligations by putting in place travel voucher schemes rather than providing their customers with a cash refund.
We have identified a number of issues which give rise to possible claims, including:
Issuing ticketholders on cancelled flights with travel vouchers rather than cash refunds.
This may be a breach of the airline’s ‘Conditions of Carriage’, which oblige the airline to either rebook the customer on an acceptable alternative flight or, if this is not possible, provide a cash refund to the customer.
Relying on blanket ‘no refund’ clauses in its terms and conditions.
The ACCC has previously warned Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin and Tigerair that these clauses will not always be binding. The ACCC has accepted court-enforceable undertakings from each of these airlines, who committed to reviewing their refund policies and compliance programs.
We also consider that ‘no refund’ clauses may not be valid if the agreed contract of travel has been ‘frustrated’ by an event such as COVID-19.
Inducing customers to exchange their tickets for restricted travel vouchers.
The airlines have presented this as an act of generosity, however many customers will have had greater rights if they had held on their ticket than if they exchanged it for a restricted travel voucher. By doing so, the airlines may have misled their customers and engaged in a system of unconscionable conduct.
Continuing to offer and accept payment for international flights.
For example, Qantas and Jetstar have promoted flights to Bali as early as 1 June 2020, despite Government advice that the current travel bans will remain in place for the long term. This may breach the prohibition in the Australian Consumer Law on ‘wrongly accepting payment’ for a service when it is reasonable to expect that service will not be able to be provided.
Accordingly, if your travel has been impacted by COVID-19 and you’ve received a voucher, we consider that you may be entitled to a refund.
To further our investigation, Slater and Gordon is inviting affected consumers to register their details and provide information in relation to their impacted travel booking.
We are interested in hearing from you if you had one of the following bookings:
- domestic or international flight;
- tour or cruise
We are also interested in hearing from consumers whose booking was made through a travel agency, such as Flight Centre, or third party booking website, such as Webjet.
You can register your interest in our investigation using one of the applicable forms below. Please note that due to the volume of affected consumers, it may take us some time to get into contact with you.
If you have any specific inquiries please contact us on
Frequently asked questions
To register your interest in the class action, it will not cost you anything.
We are investigating claims against airlines, tour companies, cruise operators, travel agencies and third party booking companies.
We will keep you up to date as our investigation progresses.
If we decide to commence a class action against your travel provider(s), we will get in touch with you closer to that time and provide you with more information.
At this stage we have not determined the structure of any proposed class actions, including whether they will be supported by a litigation funder.
Litigation funding companies cover the cost of legal actions – including the cost risks of an unsuccessful action. They do this in exchange for a fee, typically paid from any recoveries made by participants in the class action.
In circumstances you are involved in a litigation funded claim, you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket as payment is only made from the proceeds of the litigation. Additionally, all such costs in class actions must first be approved by the court.
If we decide to commence a class action against a travel provider or travel agency, we will get in touch with you to provide you with more information about the proposed funding agreement.
The value of your claim will depend upon the amount of your booking. Our mission is to recover the amount you paid for your travel.
We are investigating Australian travel agencies and travel providers, including airlines, tour and cruise operators. We are also investigating travel providers whose travel was departing or arriving in Australia.
This should be determined on a case by case basis. At this stage, we are not making blanket recommendations that people should or should not cancel their flights or travel bookings.
If you do wish to cancel your booking, we urge you to consider:
- if the booking is likely to be cancelled by the travel provider;
- if you are entitled to a refund under your booking contract;
- if you will have to pay any cancellation or change fees, pursuant to your contract.
If your booking has already been cancelled and you’ve been provided a credit voucher the travel provider, rest assured, we’re looking into your claim.
All you need to do is register using either the flight or tour/cruise registration form.
At this stage, you have not joined a class action, you have only registered your interest. If we decide to commence an action against your travel provider, we will get in touch with you closer to the time