SYDNEY, Australia – Australian family, the Towners, needs to cancel their vacation in Europe due to the international Coronavirus pandemic. The total estimate of costs from all Aussie families who also planned for their vacation reached $10 billion.
Marcus Towner and his family planned a vacation on a European beach. It had a five-week itinerary, and it included Greek islands, Croatia, and Italy before they attend the wedding of their friends in London.
However, instead of pushing through for vacation, the family is waiting for a refund, like other Australian companies. They are waiting for their thousands of dollars to go back to their accounts. It’s after the cancellation of their trip due to the international Coronavirus pandemic.
Towner said that it was a trip of a lifetime, and they self-funded it via an extended service leave. He said that the purpose was the wedding of his friend in London, yet they thought that their trip is senseless if they don’t’ look around Europe for five weeks.
Towner said that they decided to get business class-trips, and they looked forward to it. However, the Coronavirus pandemic happened, and it started sweeping around the world. He was outward that their holiday, which has a total cost of it amounted to $35,000.
Towner shared how devastated they were because his family looked forward to the holiday. He also added that being self-employed is not something that a person can do on an impulse.
The Towner family’s insurance rule didn’t exclude pandemics, which is their luck. Christine Ross, their travel agent, worked hard to give them refunds on flights and hotels.
Towner said that they still wait for a large amount of refund to come from their flights. He stated that they are confident that they are going to have the money back, yet if it weren’t for their agent in the travel industry who bats for them, they would’ve dropped it.
Other Australian families didn’t receive any refunds at all, including Sharka Hornakova. She was demanding to get their returns for their flights with Qatar Airways going to the Czech Republic.
As per Hornakova, it has been six years since she got back, and she wanted to visit and see her mother. However, the COVID-19 pandemic happened, and it affected her plans.
Horakova spent how many hours on her phone, trying to reach representatives and the airline before she got a signal to submit an online form for the refund. She complained that she doesn’t hear any response from them. If someone answers and they can’t assist you, they will tell that someone will call her back.
As per ABS data, in the year 2018 to 2019, a lot of Aussies went abroad, and there’s an 11.2-million short-term abroad trips. Most of these are for holidays, which is 57%.
The Coronavirus pandemic affected the travellers, and billions of dollars are under idle holiday credits and to-be-issued refunds. These don’t make customers happy.
As per Tom Manwaring, the chairman of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA), the cost was about $10 billion. With this, refunds might take up to 12 months.