Today the NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation announced he will introduce a new minimum information standard to make cancellation policies clearer for travellers:
Quotes attributable to Alan Kirkland, CHOICE CEO:
"CHOICE strongly welcomes the announcement that the NSW Government will introduce an information standard to help people better understand what will happen if travel is cancelled.
"Right now, travellers are left unsupported by our consumer laws, especially if travel plans are cancelled because of a government lockdown. This has left too many people out of pocket and struggling to navigate complex terms and conditions.
"In October, CHOICE found that only 23% of Australians felt confident about booking flights, accommodation or other travel services in the next 12 months. The information standard announced today will reduce this confusion for people in New South Wales.
"NSW is the first jurisdiction to act on the cancellation chaos that weve faced in the last two years. Consumer affairs ministers across the country should be considering how they can make travel bookings easier and strengthen refund rights."
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CHOICE issued a report in July 2021 calling for seven reforms to make travel fairer for Australians: www.choice.com.au/travelreport
The report called for:
1. Changes to make it easier for people to receive refunds.
2. Minimum voucher/credit rights.
3. A mandatory industry code for all airlines and large travel providers.
4. A travel and tourism industry ombudsman.
5. A mandatory information standard at time of booking.
6. An ACCC market study into the travel and tourism sector.
7. A national travel restrictions website.
CHOICE research into traveller attitudes from October 2021 can be found here: https://www.choice.com.au/travel/on-holidays/airlines/articles/reforms-needed-to-restore-consumer-confidence-in-travel