When TravelManagers Australia took out Credit Card Charge Back Insurance (CCCBI) in July 2019, the company could not have predicted the pandemic that would effectively scuttle the international travel trade for the next two years. It was simply, as Grant Campbell, Chief Operating Officer explains, an essential element for fulfilling its ‘Peace of Mind’ promise to customers.
“CCCBI serves to protect personal travel managers (PTMs) from customer chargebacks that result from supplier failure in cases where TravelManagers was the merchant,” Campbell says.
“The arrival of COVID meant that the need for this sort of protection changed quickly from hypothetical to actual but having CCCBI in place meant we were well-prepared to face it.”
Among the PTMs to have benefited from the existence of a CCCBI policy is Cath Graham, who is based in the Melbourne suburb of Beaumaris. Graham joined TravelManagers in January 2014, but her 35-plus years of travel industry experience would not have shielded her from the impact when Crystal Cruises was placed in liquidation on 14 February 2022.
“One of my clients was booked on a cruise operated by Crystal Cruises that was scheduled to embark from Athens on 14 June 2020,” Graham explains. “The cruise was initially postponed and eventually cancelled because of COVID and my clients’ funds were held in credit by Crystal Cruises to use when cruising resumed. However, Crystal Cruises eventually failed, which could have left both me and my client out of pocket by thousands of dollars.”
TravelManagers’ National Partnership Office (NPO) team stepped in to assist Graham in lodging a CCCBI claim to recoup her clients’ funds, and within ten days of applying, the claim had been processed, approved and paid.
“The process was smooth, the support from NPO was invaluable, and what could have been a really stressful situation for both me and my client was turned into a positive experience,” she said.
According to Campbell, the mechanics of TravelManagers’ CCCBI are materially the same as the AFTA Insolvency Chargeback Scheme (AICS), which was discontinued in April 2020. He says its departure left TravelManagers’ CCCBI as the only known CCCBI policy in the Australian travel market.
“All up, thirteen clients have been impacted by five supplier failures over the course of the pandemic,” Campbell notes.
“As a result, to date TravelManagers’ CCCBI has saved close to $50,000. It really demonstrates the value that CCCBI has delivered (and will continue to deliver) to individual PTMs as part of TravelManagers’ Australia-wide network.”
“Given the current economic and trading uncertainty in which the travel industry is still operating, it’s deeply reassuring to both customers and PTMs to know that TravelManagers’ robust system of protections is unparalleled within the Australian travel industry,” Campbell concluded.