Booking travel

Booking a holiday

Under the Australian Consumer Law a range of guarantees apply to goods and services including travel.

Travel agents must:

  • ensure their promotional material and other information is not false or misleading
  • inform consumers of any increase in costs or changes as soon as possible
  • quote accurate prices and ensure optional surcharges are clearly displayed.

Booking online

When booking travel with an online provider consumers should:

  • research the business first
  • when making a payment check the browser bar includes basic security features, such as a padlock symbol or address starting with 'https://'
  • pay by credit or debit card as this gives consumers extra protections with chargeback options through their bank.
  • check you have the business' contact details, so you can contact them if things go wrong
  • read terms and conditions
  • consider taking out travel insurance.

Booking with an agent

When booking travel with an agent consumers should:

  • look for an Australian Federation of Travel Agents' Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS) accredited agent. To find an accredited agent, visit the ATAS website.
  • book with an agent who clearly advertise their services
  • get advice from family and friends
  • consider how you will pay for it
  • read the terms and conditions
  • ask the agent if they have insolvency insurance
  • consider taking out travel insurance.

When a flight is cancelled

Consumers may be entitled to a refund.  This depends on the:

  • reason for the cancellation
  • terms and conditions of the contract with the airline
  • travel insurance policy
  • airline's ability to organise alternative flights
  • airline's refund policy.

If you do not get what you paid for

Consumers should always try to resolve the problem with the business first.  If the business is unable to help resolve the issues then consumers should:

  • check if they used an ATAS-accredited agent - the business should have a complaint process in place.  Otherwise consumers can contact ATAS.
  • contact their bank or credit card provider and apply for a chargeback if they paid using a credit card or selected 'credit' on their debit card
  • visit Airline Customer Advocate (ACA) if the problem is with an airline
  • check your travel insurance policy.
Updated: 26 May 2020