1 July 2022

Your wins: Air NZ customer reimbursed after "very poor" treatment

One of the things we’re most proud of is when we can help our members get a fair deal.

A Consumer NZ member, Craig, got in touch with us after he and his wife were left stranded in Melbourne when they were bumped off their flight home for no apparent reason.

Craig and his wife arrived at Melbourne Airport for their return flight to Christchurch in April, only to be told they were not on the passenger manifest so could not board. This was despite the couple having an itinerary with the booking clearly on it, and they’d received a text reminder about the flight.

The couple had to wait in line to check in for 90 minutes. But when they got to the counter, they were told they were not in the system and that they’d have to report to the service desk. At the service desk, they were told the same thing. They were also told that because their reservation had been taken out of the system, they did have a credit so needed to rebook the flight themselves. But there was no time to do this before the gate closed.

“I asked the service desk staff to rebook for us but incredibly they said that their systems did not allow for that,” Craig said.

“We contained our anger and frustration remarkably well. The rest of the day until 7.30pm was spent organising a flight for the next day; overnight accommodation in Melbourne and Christchurch (the flight arrived too late to allow a transfer home to Dunedin); new RATs; travelling back to Melbourne then back to the CBD by train for RATs; as well as making a range of changes and notifications to domestic arrangements given that we were now arriving home two days late.”

Craig initially complained to Air NZ via the “compliments and complaints” section of its website, which indicated he would receive a reply within five working days.

But 17 days later, he had not heard back. So he complained again – this time about the lack of a response. After six more weeks of silence from the carrier, he contacted Consumer.

Our Consumer advocate immediately got in touch with Air New Zealand to point out that Craig had been treated very poorly by the airline and was out of pocket through no fault of his own.

After we get involved, Air NZ contacted Craig the very next day to apologise. It also offered to fully reimburse him for all additional costs incurred plus 150 Airpoints dollars for the disruption caused.

“I am very grateful to Consumer for taking it up on our behalf. We weren't being listened to and Consumer got action.”         

Consumer advice line.

We know your rights

Got a problem with a faulty product, received shoddy service or been misled by a retailer? Our expert advisers can provide clear, practical advice that you can trust.

Learn more

Member comments

Get access to comment

Merete H.
03 Jul 2022
Not good enough

Air NZ needs to up their game. I had my booking from Australia changed 3 times, when NZ was still closed due to Covid. No excuse, just a line through the booking on their app. When I eventually got through to Customer service after a 2 hour wait, I was told that they were working on a new booking and that I would hear within 7 days. When I asked why I had not received an email about this, I was told 'we can't email every customer when there are changes!'.
My credit could not be used immediately because I had booked online, I'd have to wait 2 weeks, I was told! I could go on, but suffice to say, that only when I email the CEO, did I get a response and got my booking sorted.

Donna
02 Jul 2022
typical

As with most businesses - ask Fair Go - they are only listening when there's a possibility of bad press. For some reason, they forget that without customers they are nothing. Every single customer, regardless of status or anything else, should be heard without the need to go to Consumer or Fair Go. Shame on you Air Nz!