A reduction in travel companies willing to sell flights as part of packages and a move to alter who holds onto cash during the sales process were two predictions to emerge from TTG’s virtual Keep Your Business Alive seminar last week.
Speaking to TTG editor Sophie Griffiths, the panellists agreed change to the industry would – and should – come following the coronavirus pandemic.
Farina Azam, partner at law firm KempLittle, said: “We will see less and less people selling flights as part of packages.
"People have had their fingers burnt and I think they will be looking to push consumers to book directly with airlines for flights.
"We will probably see agents not wanting to collect consumer payment because they don’t want to be the merchants… they don’t want to be hit with chargebacks.”
She added: “They will try to have an agreement whereby money gets paid directly and the commission is dealt with separately.”
Azam explained that agents were feeling exposed to chargebacks despit being an agent for the tour operator, and operators were resentful of having paid “huge advance payments” to suppliers who are refusing to refund.
“You can see the cycle and I think we’ll definitely see the impact of that on the other side [of this crisis],” she said.
Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer agreed travel would be “a different place”, particularly around cash flow.