This is just a small post following on from our recent booking of part of our trip online, its not a major post just more of a note of interest to those who book online. We found it is interesting to note that because you are not using a company that has a travel agent's licence in Australia you do miss out on a few small items such as Travel Compensation.
On the Travel Compensation Fund's website they describe the service as:
"The Travel Compensation Fund is Australia's primary means of providing compensation to eligible travellers who suffer loss as a result of the financial collapse of a participating travel agency business.
The TCF helps guard against the failure of participating travel agency businesses through financial monitoring of agency accounts."
So is this another area where online business can fail online travelers, we discovered that is a clear yes! As if you take time to read the bottom of many travel websites just below the fold, kinda out of sight out of mind....
"......... is operated by ......... while, ..... is not currently eligible for a travel agent’s licence in Australia or to participate in the Travel Compensation Fund....."
While this is not usually an issue it does follow on from our recent post on how the travel agent websites don't focus on cheap flights within Europe and leave this market open for affiliates and resellers to dominate. The problem is that if anything happens such as the recent leading UK travel site Flyglobespan.com went bust you will not be covered and many of the smaller online operators aren't even travel businesses. They are often a collection of affiliate marketers and resellers who deal in bookings and travel leads.
We are not saying that these websites are not to be trusted, but just a point to make sure you always have travel insurance so you don't have to depend on the chance that you qualify for the travel compensation fund.