19nov your rights with cancelled flights hero
Research report
19 November 2019

Your rights with cancelled flights

What to do if you're affected by Air New Zealand's Christmas cancellations.

Affected by Air New Zealand’s Christmas cancellations? How to get compensation if you’re stranded or delayed.

Passengers on cancelled international flights can claim up to NZ$8900 in compensation for extra expenses caused by any delays – plus a refund of the ticket price if they’re not suitably re-routed.

Air New Zealand announced it had cancelled nearly 100 international flights during the busy Christmas holiday period, including all 62 flights on the Christchurch to Perth service, which runs between December and April. The airline also cut more than 30 flights between Auckland and Perth, Sydney and Tonga in December and January.

Air New Zealand estimates around 14,000 travellers will be disrupted. The airline said it would contact affected customers – directly or through the travel agent or website the passenger used to book – with “new travel information”.

If the new itinerary isn’t suitable, passengers can claim a refund and compensation under the Montreal Convention for unexpected expenses, as the cancellation was due to circumstances within the airline’s control.

Air New Zealand said the cancellations were caused by “the ongoing global issues impacting some Rolls-Royce engines on its Boeing 787-9 aircraft”. As the airline has been aware of these issues since late 2017, it is required to provide compensation under the convention, which also limits reimbursement to approximately NZ$8900.

If you’re affected by a flight cancellation or delay, ask the airline to pay for the extra cash you’ll need to fork out to buy a replacement flight and/or shift your travel dates – including any new accommodation, meal or transport costs. If it refuses, ask to speak to the manager or the airline’s complaints department. If you’re a Consumer NZ member, you can call our advice line and we’ll help you enforce your rights.

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B A S.
23 Nov 2019
Air NZ cancelled flights.

We were caught up in a cancelled early morning flight to Sydney by a text at 9.30pm the night before. Had I not contacted Air NZ immediately I would have missed the afternoon flight and be thrown on another flight the second day, meaning our Sydney hotel bookings would have been affected. Virgin from Sydney to Adelaide was trouble free, but coming back from Adelaide the Dreamliner was 3 hours late because of 'technical problems'. Luckily the connecting flight Auckland to Wellington was covered by our fare so we got accommodation thrown in, but what a hassle getting to the overnight hotel. This was a year ago so even then Dreamliners were having engine problems.