Covid-19 flight cancellations: Why you should have the right to a refund

If your flight doesn’t leave the tarmac, we think you should be able to get your money back.

Air New Zealand and Virgin airplanes on tarmac.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve been hit with a big jump in complaints about airlines.

As flights were grounded by the lockdown, consumers soon discovered many airlines weren’t providing refunds. Instead, passengers were offered credits, with time frames for use ranging from a few months to two years.

Passengers who booked through a travel agent found some agents intended to charge them a cancellation fee, even though it was the airline that had pulled the plug on the flight.

Many were rightly miffed the airline was holding on to their money, especially as there was no guarantee flights would resume anytime soon. Understandably, the fallout from Covid-19 has also left many consumers reluctant to make travel plans.

The ever-present risk of the airline going under and taking customers’ money with it has added to the uncertainty.

The kicker is that airlines can get away with offering credits because of our weak consumer protection laws for cancelled flights. In short, airlines here aren’t required to provide refunds when flights are cancelled for reasons outside their control.

Compare that with the situation in the EU where passengers are entitled to refunds, regardless of the reason the flight’s cancelled. Even the US requires airlines operating on its turf to provide refunds in these situations.

US lawmakers reasoned it would be “manifestly unfair” for an airline to fail to provide the flight for which it had been paid and then refuse to refund the passenger. We’ve been making the same argument here in an effort to get our laws beefed up.

The aviation industry is facing massive upheaval and some airlines may not survive without government bailouts. But these can’t be grounds for letting airlines retain fares when they haven’t provided any service for your money.

For some passengers, thousands of dollars are involved, at a time when their own finances are under pressure. Instead of getting refunds, they’re effectively being asked to give the industry the use of their money with no guarantee they’ll ever see anything for it.

Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi has now promised to take a look at the law and acknowledged New Zealand is out of step with other jurisdictions.

All we’re asking for is a fair deal. If the flight you paid for doesn’t leave the tarmac, you should be able to get your money back.

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Alan T.
02 Jun 2020
AirNZ coughs up - thanks to Consumer

Our flights to USA on AirNZ were cancelled by them two months ahead of time and they provided a credit for redemption in the next 12 months. Thanks to Consumer publicising there obligation to refund not just credit and despite AirNZs website being almost impossible to navigate to find "refund" we managed to finally get a refund. Once AirNZ were contacted at least they acted promptly however still poor brand management

James C.
14 May 2020
The flight cancellation nightmare

So airline cancels our families flights to europe.
Travel agent simply recites Air NZ policy of providing a credit. Speak to Air NZ they say if you want a refund.
All attempts to speak to Air NZ result in the call being cut off before even being placed on hold.
Attempt to get direction from travel insurance provider is unhelpful - "you need to submit a claim and then it will be assessed" Does that mean the flights are covered or not? And does Air NZ offering a credit deem that the flight is not refundable?
Government has stated it is unwilling to implement any policy change (at least currently) that would require airlines returning consumers money.
We are out of pocket for thousands of dollars. Air NZ should have no right to hold customers money for a service not provided. The offer of a credit is silly as it assumes customers are able to fly again, and that the travel industry will be fully functional within a year - which of course is something nobody at this stage can foretell.
Air NZ is playing politics with New Zealanders money.
Other airlines have refunded us. Your policy Air NZ is misguided given the stance taken by your competitors to do the right thing; even if mandated to do so by their Governments.

Douglas W.
10 May 2020
Flight taxes refunds

Okay so we get a credit from the Air New Zealand, my question is: what happens if you can’t use the credit within the time span set by the airline and you lose the credits what happens to the taxes, surcharges, government and airport costs.
A substantial portion of the ticket costs are these levies and taxes shouldn’t they then be refunded separately, if they ready been paid by the airline to the government and the airport companies, or if Air New Zealand is still sitting on the money it should be the responsibility of ANZ to arrange for these fees to be repaid.

Steve
09 May 2020
No luck being reasonable.

I was in the unusual position of having two domestic journeys booked with Air New Zealand in 2020. This would be very unusual for me, as I lost my job a couple of years ago. The first journey could not be completed due to Lock Down conditions. I took a credit flight for this and was happy enough to do so, realizing the sudden emerging situation would have made refunds difficult to organize. The second journey was to be in June. ANZ cancelled the flights. I thought they might have given a refund if I pointed out I’d already accepted the credit for the first journey. No luck at all.

In my opinion, if they cancel the flights, you should have the option of getting your money back (I also offered the option of getting the refund in Airpoints). Disappointing to say the least.

Steve

James C.
08 May 2020
Stunning lack of travel consumer protecting in NZ

The Government needs to step up here and take action.
NZ and Air NZ is suffering reputation damage when compared to countries and regions that are taking action and making refunds possible. That damage is very hard to win back.

There is a complete lack of protective measures in place for traveling consumers. The airlines should be compelled to pay a refund given the service their customer paid for (sometimes 9 or more months in advance) has not been provided. Customer payments in advance of provision of service should be in safe custody and be available for refund if the service is not provided.

The stark contrast between CGA protections for consumers and the lack of any for the travel industry is obvious. The complications of travel agents and code-share arrangements leave consumers lost for direction.

I have had to unwind a European trip for a family of 4. Qatar Airways provides a refund after advising of the flight cancellation. Consumers will vote with their feet in future. Airlines treating customers with respect will win the business.

Steve B.
06 May 2020
Bail outs for airlines?

If there's even a smell of an airline bailout - It should only come with hard and fast customer protection. This should include all prepaid ticket moneys passing into a trust account and not be available to airlines until the flight has been completed.

I find the offer of a relatively short dated voucher which will probably end up at best of part payment of a replacement trip very unpalatable.

What would Simon Bridges do should he ever become the government?

Lyn M.
05 May 2020
Air NZ Credits Instead of Refunds

I have also contacted Air NZ several times and finally got a response that all they will offer is a credit. As a family we had planned a trip for a one-off event which of course got cancelled along with our flights. Three out of four of us will definitely not travel again so the credit is useless. I asked if the credit could be applied to the one family member who is likely to use it.. Again the answer - a resounding NO. I asked could the total amount be on a gift certificate _ Again -NO. I asked could they authorise any name changes on the ticket credits . Guess what -NO ... !
With these options the airline would lose no revenue and at least the money would not be wasted. There seems to be no flexibility at all with Air New Zealand. It is infuriating that they can hold money for a service they cannot offer.
There is no guarantee just when any flights would operate and no guarantee which routes they would finally offer. Not much of a deal to receive a credit note for this !!
I have emailed MP Kris Faafoi to follow up on his response that he will look into the legislation about the refund policies. I have also sent a FB message. I hope that others will also do this.
L Mansel

Graeme Scott
05 May 2020
Travel Agents hold airfare/accommodation credit but charge to refund it.

I booked airfares and accommodation through House of Travel Ferrymead for June/July travel.
I was subsequently advised both the airline (SQ) and accommodation providers were providing full refund which House of Travel would either hold as full credit for future travel (locked in and having to be booked through them) or they would apply a 10% cancellation fee for the accommodation and $700 for the refunded airfares if I wanted the money paid into my account.
Although Flight Centre has announced it is waiving their own cancellation fees it seems House of Travel (at least this branch) is somewhat out of step.
And the final kicker when I checked with the overseas accommodation I discovered that according to their records no booking had ever been made for me.

lincoln c.
03 May 2020
Virgin Australia goes bust. Thanks for NOTHING Richard Branson!!

Branson your brand is now in tatters. You could do the right thing and prop up your Australian company, but you chose to be a callous coward and cut it loose, into statutory management, which we all know becomes receivership, liquidation and bankruptcy. So screw you branson, when you fly again - and we know you will - we will not support or buy anything from your virgin brand, EVER AGAIN!!

Joe H.
08 May 2020
Go easy on Sir Richard

Richard Branson’s company, Virgin Group Ltd., only owns 10% of Virgin Australia, why should he be the only one to bail them out?

Don A.
03 May 2020
Credit v Refund

We booked and paid for travel Wellington - Sydney early June 2020. This is not going to happen. Our booking just disappeared from the AirNZ app without any explanation from Air NZ. We have tried several times to contact AirNZ. All futile. The best answer we have had is a generic answer stating you "might" be entitled to a credit. We are not interested in credit unless they can guarantee a future flight to Sydney at the same price we paid. If no guarantee then we seek a refund in full.

May L.
03 May 2020
Cover for Travel Costs

We booked a trip to Spain for May/June this year, and this included two coach tours.
When we booked last year we paid a bit extra - $129 each - for 'Gold Seal Cover' which allowed us to cancel those tour bookings at any time up to 30 days before we left NZ and receive a full refund of the tour costs we had paid.
Obviously this trip is not now going to proceed, but when we went to the tour companies website to arrange for our refund they had changed the wording to 'either a full refund or the receipt of a credit, at the tour companies option'.
Fortunately, we had kept a copy of the cover that was in force at the time we booked and paid.
After a bit of an argument they admitted that they had changed the wording recently, and yes we were entitled to the cover that applied at the time we booked not the cover that applies now. So we have been told that a refund will apply.
So it pays to check the exact wording of what you got at the time you paid.

Also, how come these travel and airline companies want you to pay in full and now, but when a refund is due it takes months and months?

John M.
03 May 2020
What are the Australian consumer laws in this situation?

I'm curious to know if the Australian consumer laws are as weak as ours or align with EU and US. I have a credit voucher with Qantas for $1333 which is valid until 31/12/21 but would prefer to get a refund and start the process again if we decide to go ahead with the trip at a future time. Hawaiian Airlines is also holding onto a credit with new tickets to be purchased by this December but knowing that US law requires airlines to provide refunds I might now explore that option.

Ralph C.
03 May 2020
What about the CGA 1993?

Surely there is a remedy for failure to provide a service - a breach of guarantee as to services - eg non-completion. - entitling the consumer to a refund. The CGA 1993 doesn’t talk about credits as a remedy.

By all means lobby the govt about this Consumer NZ, but tell us about the remedies or lack of remedies under the CGA please.

Consumer staff
11 May 2020
Re: What about the CGA 1993?

Hi Ralph,

If a supplier can't supply a service, consumers are generally entitled to a refund or other remedy under the Consumer Guarantees Act. However, there are exceptions to this rule where the supplier has been unable to perform the services due to a reason beyond human control, such as Covid-19.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards,
Aneleise - Consumer NZ staff

Ian F.
02 May 2020
Trip of a life time

We booked a 5 week UK trip to celebrate my 65th in Scotland where my forefathers came from. It has only been a couple of years since I found the connection to a grandfather my father didn't even know. As he passed in 1977 we thought this trip fitting and now months of planning and a big dream is gone. To us, there was no service so the refund should be in full. We haven't had anything official only an indication we might get some credit to use in 12 months. Thousands and thousands of dollars to use up at a time when any flights will be dear and limited making this offering nothing. I sent an email to the CEO at Air NZ to say I would rather be paid out in shares. Somehow I doubt this would happen either but it's ironic that we are already shareholders. And Koru Club members. What's really happening is that by not getting a refund in full, I can't trust our airline so I just won't travel. That $40,000 spend is gone for everyone. I just won't bother. I prefer to drive anyway.

nilesh a.
02 May 2020
Airlines

Airlines are the best global network to the global industry. In any given country, they employ thousands and give livelihoods to millions. They like any other entity share their profits to shareholders, so every new financial year is a new beginning and new targets. If they dont fly they dont earn and most of then have been quite compromising.
The whole world is at their knees. Zero revenue for airlines now, most of them will go down if they had to refund. USA laws are different. We are compassionate. Should we he happy n move on or argue about a refund when our money is safe

Robin D A.
02 May 2020
Airline refunds

If the airlines can't provide an acceptable alternative when flights are cancelled, then a refund should be provided without argument. I understand that this situation is comparable with a situation where a product purchased does not meet stated standards or does not perform stated purposes. I cannot see how this consumer guarantee does not already apply to airlines. Surely they already have insurance to cover such situations.

Peter & Jackie Paterson
03 May 2020
It's not for me to prop up a limited liability company.

Air New Zealand knows that what it's doing is wrong. When any other company hits the skids and believes it can trade on then it goes to the banking industry. If they can get security and believe that the company can dig itself out then they can help. If not, then the company goes to its shareholders and floats a rights issue and/ or institutional placement. If that fails to get a positive response then it's all over rover. The company isn't viable and so must stop trading. Directors must be confident that they can meet all future obligations or they are guilty of trading while insolvent. In the present case this confidence is only propped up by your money in their bank. So technically they are insolvent. If they have to pay you out they can't continue to pay the bills. Directors don't want to go down the shareholder line because only the government shareholder will subscribe and with every marginal state dollar they become more of a government department. Directors' independence and jobs will be compromised. Self interest? You bet! The government can't let Air New Zealand fail. They won't want Air China carrying our exports. Ministers need to grow some balls and do what's right. Turn the cash handle a bit harder and take your holding up to 75% at today's price. Then pay out your airline's creditors. I urge all those affected to begin an email bombardment of your MP's, Ministers of Transport, Business and Innovation, Commerce and Consumer Affairs and Tourism. Shame the Government into admitting that we're being forced to prop up an insolvent airline - and that they, as a 52% shareholder are the ones responsible for this travesty.

P R D.
02 May 2020
Robin Day

We have flights booked to Seoul in July and Air NZ no longer fly to Seoul. Then flights back to NZ via Singapore. Air NZ won't even discuss a credit at this time. The holidays were planned in a different time. Who knows what the world will be like in 12 months and even if we can get away on leave. The frustrating thing is that the Government is the major shareholder in Air NZ and has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in support with what sounds like more to come. Jacinda has one of her catch cry's "be kind." Time for some straight talk with Air NZ, Grant.

Richard F.
02 May 2020
AIR POINTS COST THE SAME AS DOLLARS SHOULD THEY BE CREDITED TOO?

I have both hotel and airline bookings and both are offering credits and not refunds. These are outside NZ.
My flight to Bali I have been offered the cash portion of my flight as a future credit and have received silence on the Airpoints credit. This should go back to my airpoints account. I have emailed Air NZ twice and left a message on some helpline?? So two points to consider?? , 1. Should Air NZ not credit back the airpoints not used on a flight not canceled? 2. Should Air NZ not at least reply as a courtesy. This has been going on for over six weeks and when is a reasonable time to expect a response? Appreciate replies or answers? Thanks

Consumer staff
11 May 2020
Re: AIR POINTS COST THE SAME AS DOLLARS SHOULD THEY BE CREDITED TOO?

Hi Richard,

Air NZ should either provide a credit for the full value of the flight or a refund of your airpoints and a credit for the balance.

According to the Air NZ website, they are experiencing a high volume of credit requests so processing time is taking longer than expected.

Kind regards,
Aneleise - Consumer NZ staff

Bev N.
02 May 2020
Fair deal

Great work Keep it up. It something that needs to change.

kevin M.
02 May 2020
Timely refunds and honesty

Where a refund is due there should be some enforceable specific time that the refund has to be made by. Airlines are quick to take your money but very very very slow to return it, there is no justification for this.

Also entitlement should not be allowed to be made difficult or hidden. Air NZ did refund our fare but nothing offered online, we had to sit in a call queue for 35 mins to be able to request it All options for remediation must be offered online.

Airline terms often include statements that a refund is only due if its outside the airlines control. Excuses such as unforseen operational reasons should not be allowed to be used to sidestep obligations.

John M.
02 May 2020
Credit vs refund

I note that many airlines were careful to state that where they hold a customer's credit for a flight in the future that if the seat was more expensive than the original booking, then the customer would have to pay the extra. Now on the face of that, most customers would be assuming that meant that if they booked on a high patronage day or booked a seat with more legroom than the original booking then that is where they would pay extra.
However, post covid 19, it is obvious that air travel s going to be much more expensive, be it due to the fact that more spacing is required between passengers, or that there is a general rise in fares due to the cost of fuel at that time, or that airlines are going to raise fares to try and recover their losses uncured over this covid 19 period.
So suddenly, your $4000 fare you have in credit for fights to London, is now $8000! Are you going to be able to afford the extra?
This is the reason that airlines should be forced to refund fares in respect of services that they did not run on the date/ time that they were contracted to.

John M.
02 May 2020
The practice of paying in advance.

While looking at the legislative implications of refunds, I think it is appropriate that the practice of having to pay in full for flights 3 or 4 months in advance should also be looked at. Not only do airlines rip their customers off by adding excessive credit card fees (fee per passenger for example as well as fees more expensive than they are charged by the credit card companies) but they are banking your money months before they are shelling out for the expenses of your particular flight. I guarantee that they don't hand over the taxes, cost of the fuel, landing charges etc etc until the flight has taken place or even later (the month following?) So their customers are effectively giving them a bank loan and collectively I think the airlines make more out of that than they do out of the actual flight! The practice with many motels now, is they note your credit card details but don't charge until close to the actual service, and there is a "latest date for cancellation" stated to cover for the fact that it is too late to sell the room too someone else. Air fares should be similar, and I think that this system would remove most of these refund/credit arguments. At the very least, I would advocate a practice where a non-refundable amount of 10% of the fare is debited to the credit card on booking, and the balance payable one week before the service.

Peter & Jackie Paterson
03 May 2020
What great advice this is

This email is such a good piece of rational thinking. The law should be changed to reflect this.

James C.
08 May 2020
Agree

Exactly right. Taking full price in advance (sometimes nearly a year beforehand) is not right. My mother-in-law in Malaysia - using a travel agent - reserves seats and only pays a few weeks in advance of the flight departure date. Normal practice there it seems.
Time to review this industry and time for Govt to step up and look after the consumers rather than protecting Air NZ's (and their own) interests.

Tessa C.
02 May 2020
To use the credits is challenging!

I’ve also ended up with loads of credits with air NZ using them is a different story you actually can’t get through on the 0800 to speak to someone to use them! when I finally did I couldn’t use them to pay for the fare difference in a rebook of a ticket I had to pay more cash! Just over it! Nothing online to say expiry dates of credits or even how many you have

Cleone
02 May 2020
I now have credits with three airlines and travel insurance making no payout!

I do not know whether I will be able to use these credits as there is no garantee those airlines will even fly where I want to go in the future. A friend has a flight with Virgin and she does not know if she will even get a credit as its in receivership. Rules for customers need to be revised and improved.

Lynda
02 May 2020
Credits - Flight Centre

We booked a package for flights and accommodation through Flight Centre.
They offered us a refund but wanted to charge Flight Centre cancellation fees and hotel cancellation fees as well. Our other option was to take a full credit, which we did, but when are we likely to be able to ever use it?
The insurance company would only offer us a credit for 12 months but backdated the commencement date to the day we purchased it, not from date of travel.

Darryl
02 May 2020
Air Travel refunds

I believe that in all events if you cancel your flight you are entitled to a refund for the taxes that were included in the price of the ticket. The airlines will never do this unless you ask for it.

Tony B.
02 May 2020
Credits held and insurance cover

The other issue with getting credits rather than refunds is I understand insurance companies are treating these credits as 'refunds'. We organized a European trip in June. For some parts of the trip we have received refunds and others credits. For a variety of reasons we are unlikely to undertake this trip in the next 12 months and therefore the credits are worthless. We have submitted an insurance claim under our travel policy. The feedback I am getting is this might be rejected by the insurance company. If the airline, hotel, cruise goes into insolvency the credit will be worthless (travel insurance does not cover insolvency). Who knows what restrictions might be placed on travel in the next 12 months?

Sandra Y.
02 May 2020
Air NZ Ticket Refunds

We have been lucky, received a refund from British Airways for a packaged trip to Greece, and got a refund for a 'non-refundable' hotel room from Expedia. Also got a refund for car hire booked for the UK and to top it off Air NZ credited our non-refundable domestic seats (booked separately from our UK airfares) which we paid for with airpoints. But the downside is that the $4000 worth of Air NZ tickets to London are still disputed even though they were booked through LAX. I read on various social media articles that some passengers have been refunded because they go through the US. Unsure what the hold up is but if Air NZ is reading this why have some been refunded and not others? All I can say is I am glad I booked direct with the airlines myself and not used a travel agent (then they would have deducted their expenses).

Darryl
02 May 2020
Air NZ

I was told there would be a 3 month wait for the refund. It is ironic that when booked these same tickets must be paid for immediately.

Steve B.
02 May 2020
NZ governments have been lacking.

Why oh why hasn't the government (of the day) ruled that all prepaid flight tickets go into a trust account and only accessed when the flight takes place?

Setting this up right now would be the perfect time to actually do something about this airline wrought, but perhaps the governments interest in Air NZ will prohibit any action.

Megann D.
02 May 2020
We received a refund

We were on holiday in the UK (trip of a lifetime, travel insurance wouldn't cover if we didn't go etc.) as the situation worsened. Air NZ refunded us in full as they were unable to get us home themselves or through a partner airline.

catherine i.
02 May 2020
Full Refund might not be fair

I don’t think this is a normal refund situation. It’s not just that the flight has been cancelled. Even if it was operating we wouldn’t want to go! Eg my flight to Rio in March. Or how about Italy, USA or UK right now, anyone?
Tickets are priced with refund options. And there is travel insurance for most cancellations. It we take the risk to buy the cheapest non-refundable flights, we shouldn’t be surprised we don’t get a refund. Sometimes I deliberately buy a fully refundable domestic ticket in case of changes; other times I take a Grabaseat, knowing the risk. I can see wanting to change the rules for normal operating, non-Covid times, but I wouldn’t expect it to apply to these Covid cancellations.
And if/when it does apply, airlines will price that risk of refund in, to tickets that are supposedly non-refundable. ..

I actually feel we have got a bonus of the ticket credit for a non-refundable Europe trip in June. I wouldn’t want to travel then even if the flight is running!

Mike & Sue L.
02 May 2020
It depends on who cancelled

I think you may have missed a point. It is not the traveller who cancelled, it is the airline which has cancelled the flight. We buy international flight tickets with accepted cancellation fees, agreed with the travel agent, this is the only amount that can be withheld.
You mention travel insurance, Travel insurers were very quick off the mark to walk away from any related covid 19 claims on bookings the day after covid was first mentioned as a problem.

Dennis M.
02 May 2020
It depends on who cancelled

You are correct Mike and Sue, I think you will find the airline did not cancel the flights, the govt closed the borders, making it impossible for the airline to operate. Also, insurance is there to cover "unforeseen" circumstances so if you had insurance in place prior to the outbreak of Covid, then you would have been covered, however as soon as the WHO called it a Pandemic, all bets are off os not many insurance companies would cover that

"

James G.
02 May 2020
What about flights booked and paid for overseas?

We have flights booked through Air France leaving Saudi Arabia to go to the UK. Flights were paid for in SAR as were booked from Saudi Arabia.
These flights have been cancelled by Air France (utilising flights with Saudia Airlines and KLM) but we have been given a voucher value for a year (which we cannot use as this was a ‘one off’ trip.
Surely if the airline is based in the EU, we should get the full refund as per the article above?

Dominic R.
02 May 2020
EU flight cancellation regulation

My understanding is that, unfortunately, the regulation only applies when the flight leaves from or is to an EU member state, which of course the UK is now not. We have been told that we will be refunded for our flights to France in June booked via KLM (minus $3000 cancellation penalty) but it will take 12 months to get the refund!

Consumer staff
11 May 2020
Re: What about flights booked and paid for overseas?

Hi James,

Yes, flights arriving into the EU (including the UK) on Air France are covered by the EU rules so you should be entitled to a refund. You can find out more about your rights and how to make a complaint here: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/index_en.htm#next-steps

Kind regards,
Aneleise - Consumer NZ staff

Michael W.
02 May 2020
All other travel operators provided refunds

We had about 4 travel bookings (flights, ferries, water taxis etc) cancelled - we got refunds for them all except for the flights through Air NZ. Why are they so special?

Hazel K.
02 May 2020
Cancelled Flights

In the case of AirNZ the government has a large interest in the company which with its bail out will become even bigger. It should lead the way in offering refunds when flights are cancelled. I’m an 84 year old who was due to fly to Perth WA on 3rd April . Covid19 could see the end of my travel opportunity and the last I’ll see of my credit

Simon T.
02 May 2020
What flights are cancelled ?

I've failed to find anywhere that says when Air NZ national flights will resume. I have flights booked at end of May and June. They've offered to credit my May flight but no news beyond that. Are they having to wait for level 2? Level 1? No level?? Simon

Consumer staff
11 May 2020
Re: What flights are cancelled?

Hi Simon,

Travel remains very restricted under alert level 3 so there are only limited flights available within New Zealand. The government has not yet announced what travel will look like under alert level 2.

Kind regards,
Aneleise - Consumer NZ staff

Scott M.
02 May 2020
Taking Flight Centre and Virgin Australia to Disputes Tribunal

I am one of the many who is in the position of having had the airline cancel my flight and then having flight centre trying to offer me a credit, but there is a potential solution. If Flight Centre or Virgin Australia accept the "purpose" of your flight, ( eg. Birthday as is in my case ) then you are then covered by the CGA. If you are flying for a particular purpose and they are aware of that, ( I have mine in writing via email with their team ) and the flight is no longer supplied for that purpose, it therefore is ( and should be ) covered by the CGA. I am taking Flight Centre and Virgin Australia to the disputes tribunal currently and will let you know the outcome.

Terri D.
02 May 2020
Should vs likelihood of Will?

Is there any chance a domestic flight marked non-refundable can be refunded under current legislation? A 12mth credit has been promised on this. Does anyone know?

Consumer staff
11 May 2020
Re: Should vs likelihood of Will?

Hi Terri,

Unfortunately, no. Non-refundable domestic flights do not need to be refunded under current laws.

Kind regards,
Aneleise - Consumer NZ staff