Compiled by Mel Fernandez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Air New Zealand has today it will be operating a reduced schedule, meaning flight changes are in the pipeline for many passengers already booked to fly. However, Consumer NZ is concerned Air New Zealand’s announcement omits important information about passengers’ rights.
The airline said: “If your domestic flight has changed and you have not been given a flight on the same day, then you will be able to request a change online under ‘Manage my booking’, opt into credit or request a refund.
If your international flight has changed and you have not been given a flight on the same day or on a day either side of your original booking, then you will be able to request a change online under ‘Manage my booking’, opt into credit or request a refund.”
However, under the Civil Aviation Act, if an airline cancels or delays your domestic flight for reasons within its control, you are entitled to reimbursement of up to 10 times the cost of the ticket or the actual cost of delay – whichever is lower.
So, if Air NZ cancels or delays your domestic flight, in addition to getting your flight refunded, you may also be able to claim other expenses, such as meals and accommodation, and any additional costs you incur in getting to your destination. Similar rules apply for international flights, but vary depending on where you are, where you’re heading and where the airline is based.
“We recognise this is a challenging time for all airlines and commend Air New Zealand for proactively managing upcoming capacity and scheduling issues. We’re not sure when this policy will begin impacting passengers – the more notice Air New Zealand can give its customers, the better,” said Consumer NZ Chief Executive Jon Duffy.
“However, Consumer NZ has concerns that passengers affected by Air New Zealand’s schedule changes may not be given the full picture about their rights.”
“We know it can be extremely stressful when flights are cancelled or delayed. We want passengers to understand their rights if this happens. If your flight is cancelled or delayed due to a reason within the airline’s control, contact the airline and see what it’s willing to do for you.”
“If the airline offers you another flight but the time doesn’t suit, ask for a refund. You can also claim reimbursement for any additional costs (up to a limit) you reasonably incur. This includes the costs of accommodation, meals and any additional costs you incur getting to your destination.”
You can read more information about your travel rights on Consumer’s website.