Flight Centre Limited Response to Idian Ocean Tsunami Tragedy

Flight Centre Limited continues to work with its customers and suppliers to satisfy the needs of those affected by the events of December 26.

The company’s Australian executive general manager, Allisa Pollok, said the travel retailer would waive its cancellation policies for customers travelling to affected areas between now and January 31, 2005.

“While we will not impose charges, customers are advised to contact their travel consultant to discuss individual circumstances as wholesalers and suppliers may, in some cases, impose their own cancellation fees and conditions,” Mrs Pollok said.

“Many wholesalers, airlines and suppliers have, however, also committed to waiving fees for customers booked to travel to affected areas before January 31, 2005.”

To assist customers, Flight Centre shops are open today in most parts of the country.

In addition, the company operates a 24-hour worldwide customer assistance phone service. The phone number is 1300 131 600.

“Like everyone, we are still piecing together the information and our thoughts go out to those who have been affected by this tragedy,” Mrs Pollok said.

“Over the past two days, many of our passengers have been in contact with our 24-hour customer assistance line and our people have in most cases been able to accommodate their wishes.

“We urge any customers who have concerns or questions to contact our people to discuss the options.”

Mrs Pollok said while it was still early days various trends were emerging in relation to customer reaction to the event.

She said;

  • Most passengers with short-term bookings (departing early January) had been in contact to discuss their options
  • Some had opted to switch destinations, while others had chosen to postpone
  • Most customers with longer-term bookings had not immediately cancelled and were prepared to wait and see.

“This is in line with our experiences after other major world events,” Mrs Pollok said.

“Australians are resilient, work very hard and are reluctant to cancel holidays – they are more likely to postpone or to switch destinations.

“Our previous experiences also show that popular and desirable destinations like Phuket will recover in time. That has certainly been the case with Fiji and Bali in recent years.”