The following press release was issued in December to respond to press reports and comments in media fora regarding an alleged travel scam that affected hundreds of South African passengers.
TRAVELLERS LEFT HIGH AND DRY AFTER TICKET SCAM ~ ALWAYS USE AN ACCREDITED ASATA MEMBER!
Hundreds of South Africans have been caught in an e-ticket scam that has left them stranded overseas for the festive season, according to media reports over the past week.
The Weekend Argus reports complaints of fraud have been filed against Kim Robbertse, an independent travel agent from Polokwane, who is alleged to have offered fixed discounted fares via an email earlier in the year. The offer allegedly advertised open return tickets for a fixed price of R7 500 each. The buyers are then reported to have paid Robbertse in advance in to her personal bank account.
The Association of Southern African Travel Agents can confirm that Robbertse is not a member of the association and advises members of the public to ask a travel agent or tour operator if they are a member of ASATA before booking their travel.
ASATA CEO Otto De Vries comments: “It is also important to note that while an Independent Travel Consultant host company may be an ASATA member, the independent travel consultants under their umbrella are obliged to register separately with the association and hence do not automatically qualify for ASATA membership.”
ASATA members have to comply with a strict code of conduct to be members of the association and as such there is an element of security in booking through ASATA members.
“Contrary to comments in the media following the report, ASATA has had absolutely no reported travel scams or failures of its members in the past five years,” adds De Vries.
Among the services consumers can expect from an accredited ASATA member are:
- The best value for money An ASATA member will tell you about all the available choices and special promotions, as well as advice on the quality and value of a particular product.
- Customer advocate If you experience a problem on your trip, an ASATA member will act on your behalf to correct it.
- Expert guidance ASATA professional travel consultants use their extensive knowledge and experience to create, sell and manage various travel-related products to the travelling public.
- Professional advice All ASATA-accredited travel agencies and travel professionals have the experience, training and knowledge to ensure that in every instance you get the best travel package at the best price.
- Trust ASATA members are a local business in your area. Not an anonymous website. You know how to reach us, you know how long we’ve been in business and you know where we are.
- Unbiased information We work for you, the consumer. Not for the airline or any other travel supplier.
Visit the http://www.asata.co.za website to see why it is important for travellers to deal only with ASATA-accredited agencies.