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20sep travel agents get funding hero
11 September 2020

Travel agents get funding to recover Kiwi travellers’ cash

Glimmer of hope for travellers who booked through travel agents.

Travel agents are getting government funding to help recover the estimated $690 million Kiwis have tied up in overseas bookings cancelled due to Covid-19.

The funding will be available to agents who manage to get refunds or credits for their customers. Thousands of travellers with international trips booked through agents are still waiting to hear what’s happening with their money.

Under the government scheme, an agent will be paid 7.5 percent of the value of any cash refund they secure for customers and five percent of the value of any credit.

If a $10,000 cash refund is obtained, the customer will be refunded that amount and the agent can claim $750 from the government. If the agent gets a $10,000 credit for the customer, the government will pay $500.

The reimbursement scheme is capped at $47.6 million.

If you’re waiting for a full refund or credit from a travel agent, chase them up. We’ve had complaints from frustrated consumers who’ve had to push hard to get their money back.

Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi said the scheme is intended to “help increase the likelihood of consumers recovering refunds and credits owed to them. It will also give greater confidence to the travel industry by limiting further insolvencies”.

The funding announcement comes after STA Travel was put into voluntary administration in August, owing millions of dollars to creditors.

Consumers owed refunds bySTA are classed as unsecured creditors. If you’re affected by STA’s collapse, you can file a claim with the administrator Deloitte. Contact your bank about a chargeback if you paid for your travel by credit or debit card.

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