Bestjet customer fears losing ‘dream trip’ for sister battling cancer
Cheryl Hendy (R) and her sister Debbie were excited about a Paris trip before Bestjet folded. (Supplied: Cheryl Hendy)
Cheryl Hendy knows she has likely lost the $16,500 her family spent on airfares with Bestjet — but she fears the company’s collapse has robbed her of something priceless.
- Cheryl Hendy’s family spent over $16,500 on flights to Paris through Bestjet before the company went under in December
- Hundreds of customers have been affected by the online booking portal’s collapse
- Customers have received conflicting information and an “unauthorised” email from Bestjet, causing further confusion
Ms Hendy booked a business class holiday to Paris for herself and three family members in late October and received an invoice and e-tickets.
“We saved up and it was going to be a bit of a treat because my sister’s just gone five years in remission from breast cancer,” she said.
“It was a bit of a dream to take her to Paris.”
Bestjet and its subsidiaries, Wynyard Travel Pty Ltd and Brooklyn Travel Pty Ltd, went into voluntary administration on December 18.
Ms Hendy first looked into the validity of her tickets when she received an email from Bestjet before Christmas, followed by another message from the administrator Pilot Partners advising the first email was “unauthorised” and should be ignored.
Cheryl Hendy (R) and her sister Debbie have enjoyed trips together and love Thailand. (Supplied: Cheryl Hendy)
Cathay Pacific told Ms Hendy the tickets for the August trip had been cancelled and a refund was requested by Bestjet, but she is not sure what happened to the money.
“I’ve got not idea,” she said.
“By what they’ve told me, the refund was sent to Bestjet.”
Ms Hendy said her sister was initially relieved to have taken out travel insurance, but she had since been told it did not cover instances of liquidation.
“It’s upsetting,” she said.
“My sister’s laid up in bed tonight, she’s not feeling very well. I think it’s a bit of a build up of it all.”
“It’s just been a nightmare.”
Confusion surrounds upcoming trips
Ms Hendy is one of thousands of furious customers who have been trying to establish whether their trip can still go ahead since the company’s collapse.
Many are chasing charge backs through their banks, while some airlines, including Virgin Australia and Emirates, claim to be honouring flights booked through Bestjet.
However some customers have said this is not the case, including Lyn Riley who told the ABC her flights booked through Bestjet last October were not being honoured by Emirates.
Ms Riley paid $3,100 for Brisbane-Dubai-Milan return flights, but is now set to lose that and be forced to pay another $4,000 to re-book.
Emirates advised her to go through her credit card provider for a refund but Ms Riley said Visa’s conditions mean there are no refunds if a company goes into liquidation.
“Emirates are just making out they are the good guys … they are not,” she said.
The airline has said it will honour “any ticketed reservations where the booking reference includes a ticket number, the booking class of flight and the fare meets the normal fare rules”.
Ms Hendy said Cathay Pacific had given her conflicting information about why the tickets were cancelled.
Pilot Partners has flagged legal action to seize Bestjet’s servers following the “unauthorised” email to customers in December, which Ms Hendy said informed her that “everyone but them [Bestjet] was to blame”.
A creditors’ meeting was held in Brisbane yesterday and Bestjet customers have been sharing information in a Facebook group.
Ms Hendy said her bank told her it could take up to 45 days to determine if a charge back could be issued.
“I suppose we either find the money and still go in August, economy, or we stay home,” she said.
“It’s so up in the air.”