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Join the campaign for fairer travel rights

People shouldn’t face uncertainty or be left out of pocket when their travel plans are cancelled or disrupted. Call on consumer affairs ministers to make a plan for stronger travel rights now.

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Weak travel protections are still leaving consumers in the lurch

UPDATE: We've delivered this petition to consumer affairs ministers, but you can still add your support by joining the campaign for updates!

Years since the pandemic forced many of us to delay or cancel travel plans, consumers are still be treated unfairly when airlines cancel or delay flights. A 2023 survey of CHOICE supporters has found that 2 in 5 people are still experiencing delayed or cancelled flights – and many are struggling to access refunds and compensation. It shouldn't be so hard to get a refund, compensation or use a credit.

As many of us take to the skies to visit loved ones and access essential services, it's crucial that consumers have the protections they need to fly with confidence.

That's why we need clear rules for when things go wrong through no fault of the consumer. We’re calling on consumer affairs ministers to come to the table and create stronger travel consumer protections – and the more of us that come together the stronger our calls will be. With your help, we can keep fair travel on the agenda.

Here's our plan for fairer travel:

Want to dive into the details? Check out the full report.

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CHOICE’s 2021 research revealed that when COVID-19 hit, many travelers encountered long delays and appalling customer service. 

Our survey at the time found that 53% of respondents waited 3 months or more for a resolution, with nearly a quarter waiting over 6 months. 

Years later, consumers are still grappling with impractical limitations on travel vouchers and unfair solutions from companies to a problem they didn’t cause. An October 2023 survey of CHOICE supporters found that 2 in 5 people are still experiencing delayed or cancelled flights and many are struggling to access refunds. 63% of respondents who had a flight cancelled said the airline didn’t even give a reason for the cancellation. That's just not good enough. 

We need stronger and clearer consumer protections to help Australians have the confidence to book travel in the future.

We’re calling for the federal and state governments to: 

  • Establish a new independent travel and tourism industry ombudsman

  • Implement minimum consumer protections for airlines that include:
    a. Minimum compensation arrangements for delayed or cancelled flights
    b. Clearer rights to refunds
    c. Minimum requirements for travel vouchers and credits
    d. Minimum requirements for customer service
    e. Mandated information standards

  • Introduce a ban on unfair trading

  • Introduce penalties for when consumer guarantees are not met

CHOICE invited people to tell us about their experiences of travel cancellations through an online survey from January to March 2021. We heard from over 4,400 Australians who had travel plans disrupted by COVID-19 and we’re sharing their experiences in a new report. 
The report provides a snapshot of the types of common issues raised by people in their responses. And it sets out our policy recommendations for getting Australians traveling again with confidence that they have clear rights when something goes wrong.
CHOICE followed up this research with a survey of almost 9,000 CHOICE supporters in October 2023 asking about their experiences with flights over the previous 12 months. Read more.
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