Unpack the T&Cs before you book your holiday

This announcement is for: 
ConsumerTravel agent
  • Important travel advice for consumers with WA’s border re-opening
  • Check terms and conditions such as cancellation policies before booking
  • Flexible arrangements recommended even if it means paying more

With Western Australia’s border re-opening, Consumer Protection is advising holidaymakers to ‘Unpack the T&Cs’ before they make travel bookings for long-awaited trips or family reunions.

Consumers should carefully read and understand the terms and conditions (T&Cs) for each part of their travel plans so they are fully aware of their options if their journey is impacted by COVID-19 related issues such as border closures, restrictions or isolation requirements.

Executive Director for Consumer Protection Trish Blake said while many Western Australians will be keen to make travel plans, they need to have realistic expectations given the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“More than ever, it really is a case of needing to look before you book and stay informed about COVID-19 requirements while you are travelling,” Ms Blake said.

“When the cancellation of travel services is due to COVID-19 government restrictions, consumers may not automatically be entitled to the same remedy options as they would be in normal circumstances under the consumer guarantees of the Australian Consumer Law.

“It has been pleasing to see the way in which many in the travel, events and hospitality sectors have adapted by offering increased flexibility for consumers to make changes and rebook if needed.

“However, consumers need to make sure they understand what the terms and conditions actually mean before they accept them when making a booking, as in some cases bookings may not be flexible or refundable.”

Ms Blake said travel related complaints in the past three years have primarily been about refunds. The top three businesses for complaints were air travel, travel agents/tour operators and accommodation providers.

Tips to ‘Unpack the T&Cs’ so you can look before you book include:

  • Understand the terms and conditions for each part of the trip (flights, accommodation, transfers, tours, car hire) especially in relation to COVID-19 cancellations or delays.
  • Make sure you check and get written confirmation about the refund policy.
  • Look for flexibility to make changes.
  • Consider booking directly with accommodation providers or airlines if this provides more flexibility.
  • Take out travel insurance but be aware of coverage limitations, especially in relation to government bans.
  • Stay informed about COVID-19 travel rules both at home and at holiday destinations, including any vaccine mandates, as these may be subject to sudden changes.
  • Have reasonable expectations, travel and hospitality have changed because of the impact of COVID-19 on supply chains and staffing.

For more information, check the FAQs on COVID-19 related travel issues. Travel consumers who are having trouble getting a remedy for a cancelled or postponed booking can lodge a complaint on the Consumer Protection website. Enquiries can be made by email consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54.


Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / alan.hynd@dmirs.wa.gov.au  

Consumer Protection
Media release
03 Mar 2022

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