Maree Curtis and her companion had booked their vacation of a lifetime to rejoice retirement – flights with Air Canada; a rail journey on the Rocky Mountaineer and an Alaskan cruise aboard the Celebrity Solstice.
Then alongside got here COVID-19, and like hundreds of others, the couple noticed their $20,000 dream evaporate earlier than their eyes.
But what has actually made Ms Curtis offended is the angle of her on-line agent. Webjet has refused refunds, insisting they take credit score notes – regardless that the cruise line has mentioned it’s going to pay them again.
Veteran cruiser Ms Curtis, who was because of depart to one among Australia’s favorite cruising locations in May 2020, mentioned she has repeatedly requested refunds from Webjet since her vacation was cancelled final 12 months.
“My companion and I paid the deposit for our cruise in September 2019 and this vacation was imagined to be a celebration for my retirement. I really like cruising and I used to be so wanting ahead to the vacation as we now have by no means been aboard a Celebrity Cruises ship earlier than,” she mentioned.
“But when information of the pandemic began circulating initially of 2020, we had been requested by Webjet to pay the remaining quantity of our journey in February which we thought was odd. The total journey was cancelled and instantly, we had requested Webjet for a refund.”
Ms Curtis mentioned she had been chasing a refund from Webjet for months.
“We had been issued a credit score observe in April, which we didn’t ask for. We then responded asking once more, for a refund. Finally, we bought utterly sick of ready for a correct response from Webjet and we began to contact the third party-suppliers for our refunds,” she mentioned.
“We had been advised by Air Canada that had been unable to obtain a refund, which we accepted, and we’re nonetheless presently in talks with Rocky Mountaineer. And lastly, we managed to have an sincere dialog with Celebrity Cruises.”
Maree Curtis has misplaced $20000
Celebrity Cruises advised Ms Curtis the road had given journey brokers till 31 December 2020 to submit requests for refunds  – however what they then advised the couple shocked them.
“Celebrity, who’ve been so useful to us, advised us that Webjet had solely requested a credit score voucher earlier than the 31 December deadline and never a refund. We discover this utterly unacceptable the shortage of transparency,” she mentioned.
Now, she is confronted with an unimaginable Catch 22: “Celebrity has mentioned that they may challenge us a refund for the cruise ingredient, however they’re solely in a position to refund the cash to Webjet. And we’re sceptical of whether or not we’ll see any of that cash.”
When Cruise Passenger approached Webjet, they mentioned they didn’t need to be quoted and refused to say if they’d give Ms Curtis her a refund, even when Celebrity returned it.
Consumer advocate Adam Glezer, chief of the Facebook advocacy group Travel Industry Issues – The Need For Change for Australians, mentioned this is likely one of the many Webjet instances he’s needed to work via.

“One of the most important problems with Maree’s case is the truth that Webjet Exclusives hasn’t gone out and actively sought refunds for the purchasers after they’ve requested it. I additionally discover it regarding that the shopper has needed to communicate on to the provider to seek out out what’s going on.”

“Maree booked via WebJet Exclusives and they need to have been doing every little thing of their energy to acquire her refund.”

“ Maree paid for a service which wasn’t obtained and the underside line is we want laws in place to guard Australians towards conditions like this”.

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