Tracy Grimshaw under fire from travel industry boss over refund scandal

Tracy Grimshaw under fire from travel industry boss over refund scandal

A travel boss has slammed A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw over a segment on the program discussing a travel industry refund scandal.

Jayson Westbury, the chief executive of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) addressed members during a webinar on Friday and said the Nine presenter needed “to be given a firm uppercut or a slap across the face” according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I mean that virtually, of course. I wouldn’t want to invoke any violence on anyone,” he added.

“But, I mean, some of the behaviour and some of the language that’s being used on that program is just outrageous,” he said.

The webinar, which had addressed how the industry was dealing with negative publicity during the coronavirus pandemic, has now been removed from the AFTA website.

Mr Westbury told members that while AFTA was doing what it could by talking with ACA’s reporters and producers, he would no longer be watching the show and urged others to do the same.

"The best thing to do for A Current Affair is just to stop watching. That way you’ll stop worrying,” he said. "I’ve personally boycotted it, won’t be ever watching it again."

The travel industry has been one of the most badly affected sectors during the coronavirus pandemic, as widespread travel bans forced holiday-makers to cancel their plans and seek refunds.

But some customers have faced difficulties getting their money back, with travel agencies either refusing to pay up or offering only credit notes instead.

Updating members on Tuesday, Mr Westbury said it was likely trips would continue to be cancelled “for some time to come” and it would be a “death by a thousand cuts” for the industry.

“Consumers will continue to look to cancel trips and request refunds. And so it continues like death by a thousand cuts as the travel industry continues to deal with these very ridged travel restrictions,” he said.

“Prepare for more cancellations and refunds, start planning for selling domestic trips and hope that we might be allowed off the island (Australia) for Christmas,” he added.