Travel agents across Australia have until November 15, 2010 to make a claim against Qantas as part of their successful multi-million dollar fuel surcharge class action.
In September this year Qantas lost a High Court application to overturn an earlier court ruling that the airline had failed to include fuel surcharges when calculating the commission paid to agents on international ticket sales.
Qantas has estimated it will cost up $26 million just to cover the additional commissions owed to travel agents between 2004 and 2007.
The Federal Court of Australia this week (October 11) has now given travel agents until November 15, 2010 to register to make a claim from Qantas for the unpaid commissions on fuel surcharges collected on international published fares.
Slater and Gordon lawyer, Steven Lewis, said "mums and dads' agents including franchisees from Harvey World Travel, Jetset Travelworld, Travelscene have joined the claim.
“The order from the Federal Court is an important step forward in the travel agents being paid what they are owed by Qantas.
“For almost four years travel agents have been involved in a David and Goliath legal battle against one of Australia’s biggest companies,” Mr Lewis said.
“Now, after a historic win that will reverberate around the airline industry, they will start to receive what they are owed.”
Travel Agents are part of the class action and able to make a claim against Qantas if, between 11 May 2004 and 9 May 2007, they:
- were incorporated and their principal place of business was in Australia;
- were a party to the IATA Passenger Sales Agency Agreement;
- sold international published fares on behalf of Qantas, British Airways and Air New Zealand; and
- have not lodged an Opt Out Notice with the Federal Court.
Travel Agents can make a claim by contacting either Slater and Gordon or the Federal Court, New South Wales Registry.
Similar claims against the other airlines including British Airways, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Cathy Pacific will be heard after the completion of the Qantas proceedings.
The class action has been backed by the major litigation funder, Litigation Lending Services.