AFTA CEO Dean LongWith airline schedules still not fully back and last-minute flight cancellations a frequent occurrence, more and more Australians are finding their plans completely and frustratingly disrupted.

When airlines cancel one sector of a booking, travellers are typically left with no flights at all given demand has already absorbed available flights. If there are seats available, they’re certainly not at the same price.

The challenges created as a result are overwhelming and often costly for travellers. Australia’s travel agents are passionate advocates for travellers whose travel plans are thrown into chaos as a result of this ongoing volatility in flight schedules. Peak industry body, the Australian Federation of Travel Agents AFTA, is asking anyone caught up in the frustration of this situation to please remember that while their travel professional is always available to help find a solution, they also deserve our support and respect.

Quotes from Dean Long, CEO of AFTA The heartbreak of holidays and travel plans going off the rails as a result of flight cancellations is right now a regular occurrence. It’s often a costly experience as well, as typically high cancellation fees on hotel accommodation apply by the time an airline cancels your flight. Our members are dealing with regular calls from desperate clients and we understand the frustration, but we also ask everyone to please remember that where we are able to find replacement fares, those fares are typically double and triple the original cost due to the very limited availability and price increases.

When booking flights and accommodation, talk to your travel professional to understand how you can build flexibility and ensure you have the right travel insurance in place.

We ask Australian travellers to please remember that in the current environment, the only remedy many airlines are offering is a refund which doesn’t help the traveller at all in terms of getting to their destination and that if we can actually find a replacement flight for you, you are almost invariably going to have to pay more than you did originally.

Written by: Jill Walsh