|New era for Aussie travel as TCF ends and ATAS begins.....|
Tuesday, 15th July 2014
Source : Martin Kelly
Freedom or folly? The Travel Compensation Fund was wounded up recently; it means Australian travel agents are no longer obligated to have a licence or take out consumer protection insurance.
Previously all agents had to pay a TCF levy and have their accounts audited. If an agency went under owing money, consumers were compensated.
Now those rules have been abolished after intense lobbying by retail travel heavyweights such as Flight Centre, which paid many millions in fees to the TCF each year.
While the TCF will not provide compensation in relation to travel agent collapses after 30 June 2014, consumers will have 12 months to lodge claims with the TCF for collapse before that date.
"Under the Travel Industry Transition Plan, a voluntary industry operated accredited plan will be introduced for travel agents, and a consumer advocacy body will be established to deal with consumer issues concerning travel agents," the TCF says on its site.
That voluntary scheme is called ATAS and is managed by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents.