To refund or not to refund? This is the biggest question facing the industry as it continues to grapple with the mounting challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis.
To the consumer press, the travel companies holding firm and issuing credit notes instead are an outrage.
But as Abta’s John de Vial highlighted in last week’s TTG Business Support Live “there are consumer rights and then there’s consumer interest” (p7).
In this brutal climate, distributing widespread refunds will ultimately lead to the demise of travel firms. And that, surely, can be of little benefit to anyone.
Senior travel figures believe companies should instead talk to their clients and explain the financial pressures they are under.
But as The Travel Village Group’s Phil Nuttall points out, this is tough when these same businesses have had to put staff on furlough.
“We need a directive from government that allows exemption in its current form to enable extra resources to be used in our businesses to service the sheer volume of calls and administrative processes,” he urges (p18).