Office Update & Coronavirus – 31 March 2021
Destination International Holidays wants to thank all our customers for your support and we hope you are all staying well and safe.
It’s encouraging to see vaccinations starting around the country, but while international travel is probably still a while off yet our mantra for 2021 is visit Australia and New Zealand. Our team can assist you with travel arrangements and help you find amazing holiday destinations. Our travel planners make booking easy and are there with you from the moment you book until you return from your Aussie or Kiwi adventure.
Meanwhile, in the background our product team are creating extraordinary overseas packages for the rest of the world in 2022. There will be amazing deals on offer with flexible booking terms to give you the confidence to book into the future. The world has changed in many ways, but not our desire to explore and share this wonderful planet.
We hope to see you soon,
Your friendly team at Destination International Holidays.
How to Contact Us
We are operating from 9:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday with limited staff. Our office is open but unfortunately in-person appointments are not yet permitted.
You can call 1300 813 391 but there may be delays via phone, so email is a good way to make contact or you can reach Leanne and Russ as per the details below.
If you need help with an existing booking, please email [email protected] and one of our staff will respond promptly.
We are looking forward to assisting with your travel arrangements in 2021.
As you may be aware, from time to time our Australian state borders and regions do open and close on the advice of health departments due to COVID-19 virus outbreaks.
We understand it can be very distressing having holiday plans change at short notice. In these cases, we will do everything possible to alter your travel arrangements at the very least expense to you. In keeping with this, our office will lower our usual $150 per person change fee and for a service fee of only $50 per person will rebook and change any reservations to future dates.
This reduced fee, up to a maximum of $150 per booking, goes towards the staff time and office expenses to rebook your holiday. It also guarantees that you will be looked after with care and attention, so that when it’s safe to do so, you will be able to travel with confidence.
We appreciate that the change of date is through no fault of your own and that’s why we have reduced our service fee. We thank you for your understanding regarding this matter.
Book with Confidence
There are amazing travel deals available now for 2021 and 2022. For new reservations, many airlines and tour operators have eased their booking conditions to offer greater flexibility if you need to make changes. Our office will support you whenever possible by offering reduced deposits or extended payment deadlines. Our reputable local operators are also following Safe Travels protocols set by the World Travel & Tourism Council and our preferred hotels and cruise lines have enhanced safety and hygiene measures in place. Keeping our travellers safe and happy continues to be our priority!
Booking with Future Travel Credits
Future Travel Credits are being offered by some airlines, tour companies, hotels and cruise lines on bookings that have been impacted by the pandemic. These travel credits are to be used for travel services in 2021 and 2022, subject to the suppliers conditions that will be explained to you by your travel consultant. For any queries, please email your travel consultant about future travel credits pertaining to your booking.
The majority of refunds have now been processed by our office or are in the final stages of completion. If you have yet to request a refund and it’s deemed possible by the supplier(s) we will need confirmation in writing from you that you wish to cancel your travel reservations. Once your notification is received we will commence the complex refund process.
Currently refunds are taking 16 to 20 weeks. We apologise, but have no control over this time frame as it is impacted by supplier processes and the sheer volume of refunds being requested. Once the money has been refunded by the ultimate travel providers, as in the airlines, cruise lines, tour operators and hotels, we will contact you. At this time we will ask you for your bank account details and then refund the amount received by Destination International Holidays, less any cancellation fees. We cannot make any refunds or partial refunds until the money has been received by our agency.
Facts on refunds from the Australian Federation of Travel Agents
Destination International Holidays is a member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) and a registered ATAS agent. ATAS is a national accreditation scheme which endorses travel agencies who have met strict financial and customer service criteria.
ATAS accreditation requires us to process all client funds via a Travel Trust account. All booking payments are deposited to the trust account upon receipt, then paid promptly and directly to our suppliers to confirm your reservations. We only deal with reputable airlines and accredited overseas companies that also operate travel trust accounts.
See why travel credits are being offered rather than refunds
This video gives a great explanation of how the travel industry works. It also helps travellers understand why credits are being offered rather than refunds or why a refund is taking longer to process.
Travel Insurance Claims
Please contact your travel insurance company first to see if they will allow you to make a claim based on a COVID-19 travel period cancellation. It’s important that you call the insurance company directly and they will be able to let you know what information is required to submit a claim.
Destination International Holidays can assist with the preparation of a claim letter only if you originally paid for your travel arrangements directly to our company. If you paid for your travel services elsewhere, you will need to contact that company to provide the claim letter for you.
In all cases, you will need to call your travel insurance company first to confirm if you are covered.
Our office cannot write a claim letter for our direct clients based on insurance company websites. It is important that you get very clear instructions from your insurance provider over the phone to make the claim. This step is essential in any travel insurance claim.
Any fees you are charged, or any other loss you may have experienced, should be pursued under your travel insurance. Even if you have been denied a claim, you can escalate the matter as a complaint to the insurer. If this fails, a complaint can also be lodged with the Australian Financial Complaint Authority (AFCA). As the Insurance Council of Australia has declared the pandemic a ‘catastrophe’ a special team has been set up by AFCA to review insurance policies with a lens of ‘fairness’.