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VA no longer issuing credits to travelbank (or anywhere else)

bcworld

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I think this might be a new development as there seem to be a flurry of posts about it on their FB page.

Dear bcworld,

As you may be aware, Virgin Australia has entered into voluntary administration. Our business operations are continuing, including our limited domestic schedule, cargo and charter services.

We have temporarily paused issuing new travel credits and refunds while we wait for direction from the administrator.

We have received your request and will be in touch with further information.
 
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Got the same email this afternoon. Not a great surprise really. I am hoping VA (and the money I have sunk into cancelled bookings) pull through.
 

AIRwin

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Was this a mass communication email?
 

SeaWolf

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Was this a mass communication email?
Yeah, it was sent en-mass to anyone with a reservation that hadn't already been credited to Travel Bank. I got one for each of my three bookings, with the reservation numbers included in each email. It's a bit of a wait-and-see really. This could be just a temporary blip and the stuff will credit in due course as the administration is untangled or we could suddenly lose the credits, in which case I think a credit card charge back would be the best option.
 

bcworld

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Their COVID19 page still encourages guests travelling before 30 Sep to cancel and 'request' a credit. No mention that those requests will not be actioned.

I find this pretty deceptive. I might cancel a booking for 4 months time expecting travel bank to become available. Whereas if they publicised that they would not action travel bank requests I might sit on that booking for a bit longer. But they're telling you after the booking is cancelled, no credit.
 

travel_bug

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In a way, I’m glad they’ve finally sent it out to customers via email, though I think it’s very overdue.

Some of the CS reps on their Facebook page had been responding to customers with wording like the above since last week, whilst others were still saying “make your travel bank request, it’ll be actioned it 8 weeks”.
 

Mattg

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Didn't Paul Scurrah say on the day that VA went into administration that the company was no longer processing refunds?

Or is the "no new travel banks" a new development?
 

travel_bug

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Didn't Paul Scurrah say on the day that VA went into administration that the company was no longer processing refunds?

Or is the "no new travel banks" a new development?
The notification on travel banks is definitely new. Looking back at CS responses on social media from 21 April onwards, the language is very evasive however with customers being told that travel bank requests can still be made and are currently delayed, and that existing travel banks are still valid.

However, customers are technically still told on VA's website (main page header) that:
Change your flight or request a travel credit

If you a hold a ticket for travel up to 30 September 2020, you can change your booking or request a travel credit without a change or cancellation fee. Fare and tax differences may apply.

If VA couldn't even provide travel banks in administration, it feels wrong that they still allowed that option for customers without the proviso that travel bank requests could technically be knocked back - providing a lose-lose scenario for customers in particular who had VA cancel their flights and only offer a travel bank "request" in return.
 
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Didn't Paul Scurrah say on the day that VA went into administration that the company was no longer processing refunds?

Or is the "no new travel banks" a new development?
Not sure to be honest.

I've pretty much kissed goodbye to my money, so if I get anything back (either in Travel Bank or via credit card chargeback) it's a bonus. The issue I have is that I cancelled by bookings at a time when VA was telling customers that they should do so as the flights I was to be on had been cancelled anyway. When I went through the process, the site specifically told me not to worry about the delay in travel bank being issued (fair enough considering what they're dealing with) and that it would definitely be issued. That has now changed with them being in voluntary administration. I have sympathy for their situation, but would rather my money back in my bank account!
 

bcworld

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the language is very evasive however with customers being told that travel bank requests
Yup, their use of that word is I think quite deliberate.

Once you get to the Travel Credit Request form ( Virgin Australia: Travel Bank Credit Request Form ) while a 'delay' is mentioned the language is a bit more definitive.

Please complete this form to receive your Travel Credit. This will process a full cancellation of your booking for all passengers on the booking and you will receive a Travel Credit to the value of your fare.
Not currently happening.
 

travel_bug

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SM team now equating their previous statements that there’s a delay in processing with the newly announced pause on credits. That feels really deceptive.

EB7EA8FF-9EF7-4CBF-AFFA-B63CE5F65171.jpeg
If the position to wait for the administrator to make the call on travel credits was always in place at the point of going into voluntary administration, that should have been made clear to customers from the outset; just as they did for refunds from memory. Don’t waste time and give people a false sense of security in waiting when there’s a blanket ban behind the scenes.
 

trooper

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Applied for the travel credit the day before the Voluntary administration was announced... have NOT received an email. We will see. Travel credits may of course end up being worthless. Like prf31 I am resigned to having lost the money..... any change to that I will consider a bonus. (Yes, its wrong/irritating/unfair etc but I'm too old to get stressed about things I cannot change)
 

Jurahn

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Yeah, it was sent en-mass to anyone with a reservation that hadn't already been credited to Travel Bank.
I received this email for a May booking in J which I submitted a refund request for in March (via the feedback form as per VA's instructions). I didn't hear anything back for a few weeks, so called the GCC just before Easter and they put through the refund for that booking and also another earlier May booking (Freedom fare) that VA had already cancelled and emailed me about (here, have a travel credit - no thanks). and which I had submitted a refund request for as well.

Don't know why I received this email, as the booking has already been dealt with (the refund hit my credit card the day before VA went into voluntary administration), so I assume the original refund request I submitted is still queued somewhere.
 

BNEFlyer

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Refunds and travel bank deposits are suspended, which indicates the suspension will be lifted, probably once they're out of administration in a few weeks.
 

theblank

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This doesnt really mean anything so there isnt a reason to panic, because we couldnt use the travel credits anyway at this time.
Its probably means the administrator is going to make a decision whether to issue refunds or not, and this 'pause' just saves the staff from the extra work if the monies are double handled to credit then to refund.

We want Virgin to become more efficient dont we?
 

travel_bug

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This doesnt really mean anything so there isnt a reason to panic, because we couldnt use the travel credits anyway at this time.
Its probably means the administrator is going to make a decision whether to issue refunds or not, and this 'pause' just saves the staff from the extra work if the monies are double handled to credit then to refund.

We want Virgin to become more efficient dont we?
But travel credits have been able to be used throughout this period on the minimum domestic network. Noting the financial position of many people right now, customers being told they suddenly have nothing to show for their cancelled flight when they may have planned to use it for essential interstate or intrastate travel means a lot.

Whilst it's nice to think that the administrator is thinking about issuing refunds to the lowest rung of unsecured creditors, I don't think they've paused travel banks to think about whether or not to convert credits to refunds. Particularly as VA stated previously that they felt very comfortable in their interpretation of an ACCC notice to not provide any refunds for non-refundable fares for flights they cancelled themselves, domestic or interstate.

I think the pause is because Deloitte has concerns on their own personal liability for any new travel banks created within voluntary administration and whether they could be seen as a "new debt" incurred by the administrator.
 
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