New South Wales will become the first jurisdiction in Australia to introduce a minimum disclosure standard for company terms and conditions to be met, to give travelers a better understanding of their travel reimbursement rights.
The move, made by Regulatory Improvement Minister Kevin Anderson, comes after a CHOICE report called for the introduction of a mandatory information standard at the time of booking.
“These changes mean that customers will be fully informed before committing to a purchase, helping them avoid an unexpected shock if they have to cancel or postpone,” Anderson told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“NSW will be the first jurisdiction in Australia to take this important step.”
In October, a CHOICE survey found that only 23% of Australians feel confident about booking flights, accommodation or other services in the next 12 months.
Another survey in July also found that less than one in five people had received a full refund for trips canceled due to COVID. In most cases, refunds were processed within three to six months.
CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland said NSW’s move should help restore some of that confidence for travelers to the state.
“CHOICE warmly welcomes the announcement that the NSW government will introduce an information standard to help people better understand what will happen if the trip is canceled,” Kirkland said.
CHOICE warmly welcomes the announcement that the NSW government will introduce an information standard to help people better understand what will happen if the trip is canceled
Alan Kirkland, CEO of CHOIX
“Right now, travelers are not supported by our consumer laws, especially if travel plans are canceled due to a government lockdown. This has left too many people out of pocket and struggling to navigate complex terms and conditions. ”
Kirkland calls on other states and territories to follow suit, as well as the federal government to act.
“NSW is the first jurisdiction to act on the cancellations chaos we have faced over the past two years,” he said. “Consumer ministers across the country should be thinking about how they can facilitate travel bookings and strengthen reimbursement rights.”
What the CHOICE report asks for
- Changes to make it easier for people to receive refunds.
- Minimum rights of vouchers / credits.
- A mandatory industry code for all airlines and major travel suppliers.
- An ombudsman for the travel and tourism industry.
- A mandatory information standard at the time of booking.
- An ACCC market study in the travel and tourism sector.
- A national website on travel restrictions.