Travel agents across Australia have more time to make a claim against Qantas as part of the multi-million dollar fuel surcharge class action, law firm Slater & Gordon announced today.
In September this year the national carrier lost a High Court application to overturn an earlier court ruling that the airline had failed to include fuel surcharges when calculating the commission paid to agents on international tickets.
The firm said today it could cost Qantas up to $26 million to cover additional commissions owed to travel agents between 2004 and 2007.
This week (11 October), the Federal Court of Australia extended the time travel agents had to register to make a claim from Qantas for the unpaid commissions on fuel surcharges collected on international published fares, moving the deadline to 15 November.
Slater & Gordon lawyer, Steven Lewis, said “mums and dads’” agents, including franchisees from Harvey World Travel, Jetset Travelworld, Travelscene, have joined the claim.
“The order from the Federal Court is an important step forward in the travel agents being paid what they are owed by Qantas,” he said today.
“For almost four years travel agents have been involved in a David and Goliath legal battle against one of Australia’s biggest companies,” Lewis said.
“Now, after a historic win that will reverberate around the airline industry, they will start to receive what they are owed.”
Similar claims against the other airlines including British Airways, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Cathy Pacific will be heard after the completion of the Qantas proceedings.
The class action has been backed by the major litigation funder, Litigation Lending Services.