This story was updated on Thursday, April 2nd at 9:29 p.m.
"For the benefit of our industry, we will strongly challenge any chargeback dispute resulting from COVID-19,” Transat announced Thursday (April 2nd) in a memo sent to members of its distribution network.
In doing so, the tour operator follows the example of Sunwing, which announced a similar move on Wednesday. Air Canada Vacations is now expected to follow suit.
Minimize the risk of chargebacks
In its memo signed by Joseph Adamo, president of TDC and vice-president and head of distribution of TTC, Transat confirms that it will work diligently to minimize the risks of chargebacks.
"We are actively seeking the collaboration of financial institutions, credit card companies and government authorities at various levels," said Mr. Adamo.
What if a chargeback was nonetheless allocated to the customer by the credit card issuer?
"The amount of the payment of the file will not be claimed from the agency,” says Adamo.
On the other hand, Transat would call back the commission since there would be loss of complete income on its side, indicates Mr. Adamo.
Payment of commissions deadlines
In the same memo to travel agents, Adamo addresses another issue that is fuelling many discussions these days: the payment of commissions.
"Our regular commission payment procedure remains in effect," he explains. "However, the numerous changes to be made to the files as well as the verifications required to provide you with the full amount of commission will cause certain delays."
Transat confirms: for all files cancelled with a travel credit valid for 24 months, the commission is paid on the original file, according to the scheduled departure date, even if this departure has been cancelled.
In the event that the customer refuses the travel credit:
"In the case of files where the customer refuses future travel credit and rather requests a cancellation without credit in order to claim the insurance, the commission will be protected if the file is at a penalty of 100 per cent," says Adamo.
And in regards to group files:
"These are always reserved at the net price and the commission (margin) is determined by the agent. There is no change to the usual way of proceeding for groups," Adamo says.
Send your communications to Transat
In the meantime, Transat is asking agents to keep them in the loop with their communications with customers so the company can assist.
"Since we do not have direct contact with them, it is currently impossible for us to assert with certainty that the customers have received detailed information concerning the compensation offered (credit for future travel valid for 24 months),” explains Joseph Adamo.
Transat wants travel agents to send all written communications between them and their costumers about Transat's compensation plans to firstname.lastname@example.org in case there is a dispute.
The company says it will only keep it until the end of the chargeback period.
Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!