Travel Trouble

Danielle McCarthy

Christmas nightmare: Aussies fear they will lose thousands after budget travel website collapses

Christmas nightmare: Aussies fear they will lose thousands after budget travel website collapses

Aussie travellers are fearing they will be left stranded over Christmas and thousands of dollars out of pocket after a budget travel website collapsed.

Yesterday, the Australian Federation of Travel Agents revealed that Bestjet had gone into liquidation.

The travel website has been put under the administration of Brisbane-based accounting firm Pilot Partners.

The collapse of the company comes just six weeks after it was sold to McVicker Investment Group, according to Travel Bulletin.

At the time of the purchase, McVicker told the bulletin: “I see great opportunities to employ additional staff members within the company to expand the business further.”

Bestjet was founded by the wife of former Air Australia boss Michael James, whose airline company collapsed in 2012.

Mr James was prohibited by ASIC from managing a corporation for three years after Air Australia went into $97 million worth of debt.

A year-and-a-half-ago, Bestjet was stripped of its industry accreditation.

The travel website has been smeared with controversy, receiving severe criticism from its past customers.

Customer Holly Matthews purchased tickets through Bestjet for her family’s holiday getaway overseas.

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, she said: “The holiday was for February for my dad's 50th.”

She now has no clue if her family will be able to go on the trip or if they will be refunded for their tickets.

“We booked tickets to Thailand with Singapore Airlines,” she said.

“There is seven of us, so [we spent] just over $7,000 for all our flights.”

Following the announcement of Bestjet’s collapse, Holly has been in contact with the airline.

Singapore Airlines told her the tickets had been cancelled and refunded to the travel website.

Holly said that she had contacted Bestjet but received no response.

The liquidation of Bestjet follows the recent folding of another travel company, Hotel Quickly.

The dodgy hotel booking website left thousands of families out of pocket after dropping their reservations.

The company sent customers an email saying that their bookings had been cancelled but claimed they would be provided with vouchers for credit on their site.

Hotel Quickly blamed the cancellations on an “unforeseen issue” and said they were “working very hard to come up with a manageable solution”.

However, customers have not received any updates from the company. 

Have you booked flight through Bestjet before? Let us know in the comments below.