AFTA welcomes Qantas’ return to the sky

The overnight decision by Fair Work Australia to put a stop to the unrest and disruption that the industrial action has had on the travel industry is most welcome.

While there is still tens of thousands of people directly impacted by the events on the weekend, this decision now gives the travel industry, travel agents, Qantas and most importantly travellers, the confidence that they can once again enjoy flying Qantas.

Travel agents across Australia worked through the weekend, as they moved immediately into action to help many thousands of stranded passengers to alter their travel arrangements. This disaster, while man-made, has demonstrated once again the importance of using AFTA travel agents when making travel plans, either in Australia or around the world.

The simple fact is, that customers who had booked with travel agents were better off in the end, as travel agents have access to the full range of products available to consumers 24/7 via the global distribution systems and can act quickly to re-arrange travellers’ forward plans for the best available options. Through phone calls or emails to travel agents, or in some corporate travel instances, via a smart phone app, travel plans can be amended very quickly. Those consumers who have booked direct are faced with the prospect of being on their own to find ways of getting to their destination.

That is why AFTA consistently says: “Without an AFTA travel agent you’re on your own”.

This message has never been so true and the travelling public are reminded of the benefit of using an AFTA travel agent when making travel plans either domestically or internationally.

“It’s no different to using a professional to sort you out when you are in any sort of trouble. People always turn to a professional. Travel agents are the professionals who are here to help you. The difference is, that once you are in trouble it’s too late, you must have thought to use a travel agent from the beginning.” said Jayson Westbury Chief Executive AFTA.

“Our message is very clear to consumers, without a travel agent you are on your own and when these types of crises hit, and let’s face it we have unfortunately had many in 2011, the travel agent has on so many occasions, clearly demonstrated their value”. said Westbury.

“Now more than ever, Australian travellers are reminded of the benefits of using a travel agent and that is why we have launched this campaign today” Westbury said.

This image is a subtle but important message to travellers about why you should use a travel agent.

The concept of “before” suggesting how plans can go awry when you have booked yourself and “afta”, when by using an AFTA travel agent, you are much happier and on your way.

“So often, the story is that everyone books direct, but this is not true. The smart people know that booking with a travel agent is the best investment they can make as a part of their travel plans” said Westbury.

“While this latest Qantas situation has been most unfortunate for travellers, it is the travel agent which has been the back bone of helping people get on their way” said Westbury

“Over 30,000 people are employed directly within the travel agency community and they are a dedicated group of Australians serving Australians. As professional men and women, travel agents are the way to book, so you can rely on an Australian to help you should something go wrong”. said Westbury

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents is most pleased that this situation has now been resolved and certainty can return for the travelling public and the travel agents of Australia.

Source = afta
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