In an email seen by 9News, Flight Centre now says it has “made amendments to our fee policy in line with customer feedback”.
A cap of $600 will now apply to any international booking for two or more customers – previously it was $300 per person, the company has confirmed.
For domestic travel, the fee is capped at $100 per booking – previously $50 per person.
“Unfortunately the administration involved in processing refunds is extremely time consuming and intensive and must be done on an individual basis for every single customer booking to ensure accuracy,” Flight Centre’s Executive General Manager Allisa O’Connell wrote in the email to customers.
The company confirmed additional staff had been brought on to help issue refunds.
“It can take up to three months to receive the monies back from suppliers in a normal trading environment,” the email continued.
“In the current environment, which is far from normal, some suppliers, particularly airlines, are unable to process within these timelines and have formally advised us that it may take up to 6 months to process refunds. It’s also important to note that policies do continue to change however as suppliers also work to reflect current market conditions.”
For travellers who chose to keep their money on file with Flight Centre for future bookings, the credit offer has been extended to December 31, 2021.
Flight Centre has stood down 6000 staff and plans to close more than half of its global leisure shops, including more than 40 per cent of Australian shops, as quarantine measures hammer the industry.