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Horror day as Air Australia folds

Harvey World Travel’s Aly Palmer spent Friday dealing with the aftermath of Air Australia cancelling all flights.
Harvey World Travel’s Aly Palmer spent Friday dealing with the aftermath of Air Australia cancelling all flights. Shannon Newley

WAKING up to the news Air Australia had gone bust was a nightmare for Harvey World Travel Warwick's Aly Palmer, but nowhere near as bad as having to break the news to her clients.

Ms Palmer said last Friday - when it was revealed all of the carrier's flights had been grounded and future flights cancelled because it couldn't even pay to refuel planes - was one of the worst days she has had but fortunately it looked like all her clients would still take to the skies.

"I had a client who had forked out $4500 and she had to fork out another $4500," Ms Palmer said.

The issue was compounded by the fact insurance company CoverMore stopped issuing insurance in December for Air Australia flights if the company became insolvent.

"Thankfully all of our clients are back on track," she said.

"We had a lot of tears here on Friday and people were angry, which we totally understand.

"We have built this dream for our clients and they are so excited about going and having a holiday and to have to give them news like that."

While she and her staff spent a difficult day working to try to make sure their clients could still go on the holiday of their dreams, Ms Palmer said such events came with the territory.

"When all is said and done, that's my job and when a tsunami happens and volcanos and ships sink, we need to do the best we can for our clients," she said.

Ms Palmer said it looked like all but one client would have their flights covered by insurance and those who had paid by credit card would get refunds - but it was a case of deja vu.

"It's just like Ansett all over again," she said.

"But that went on for a long time, this happened very swiftly on Friday and all the impact on us was on Friday."

With her clients ready to get back into the sky, Ms Palmer said there was still a chance the business could be impacted, because one client who had paid on a credit card through Harvey World would most likely get a refund but the money would come from the business' coffers - not Air Australia.

Topics:  air australia, harvey world travel




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