Travel agents deny cash refunds for cancellations

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Travel agents say they have no choice but to deny cash refunds to those who have cancelled their travel plans.

The national lockdown has negatively affected travel agencies as borders had to close to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

Many travel agents are only able to offer credits up to 24 months for trips cancelled.

However, most people would prefer a cash refund as the coronavirus lockdown causes financial distress.

Travel agents say some service providers, such as airlines and hotels, are bankrupt and are not able to give refunds.

A KwaZulu-Natal travel agent says it is not up to the agency if the money gets given back or not.

“We have to go with whatever the supply rules are. A lot of airlines are giving vouchers and free date changes. Some suppliers are giving refunds, but the bulk of them are trying to retain businesses. If we get money back from the suppliers, then we obviously second that back to our clients. A lot of travel agencies are not going to survive.”

In he video below, owner of a small travel agency shares how the pandemic has affected business:

The national lockdown was imposed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

From May 1 the level was lowered from five to four.

Ramaphosa said at the time: “Level 4, some activity can be allowed to resume, subject to extreme precautions. Level 3 involves the easing of some restrictions, including on work and social activities. Level 2 involves the further easing of restrictions, but the maintenance of physical distancing and restrictions on some leisure and social activities. Level 1 means that most normal activity can resume, with precautions and health guidelines followed at all times.”