Refunds for suspended flights

Old May 1, 20, 9:43 pm
  #331  
 
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Thanks for all the advice and updates on here, has been so helpful but still no luck getting refunded for my cancelled return flights to London (NZ2/NZ2). Today they offered an alternative flight with a different carrier..wasn't expecting that.

I've tried the US DOT rules but they are adamant that I am only 'transiting' and that DOT sees it that way too. They agreed that if I had booked NZ6/NZ2 I would be eligible for refund. I will file a complaint with US DOT anyway.

I also tried the EU 261/2004 REGS but they said because I am NZ resident I am not covered by this but if my flight originated in the UK I would be covered. I argued that my flight does depart from the UK (the return leg) so the ruling applies. Their response was that since its a return originating from Auckland this doesn't apply. Now I have looked into it I can't see this anywhere in the ruling. I read in the EU ruling that also the outbound and return flights are always considered as two separate flights even if they were booked as part of one reservation. Therefore would have thought the return flight meets the air passenger rights as it ''departs from the EU to a non-EU country operated by an EU or a non-EU airline''.

Wondering if anyone has had any luck with getting a refund using the EU REGS?
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Old May 1, 20, 10:31 pm
  #332  
 
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Originally Posted by Claireshegoes View Post
Thanks for all the advice and updates on here, has been so helpful but still no luck getting refunded for my cancelled return flights to London (NZ2/NZ2). Today they offered an alternative flight with a different carrier..wasn't expecting that.

I've tried the US DOT rules but they are adamant that I am only 'transiting' and that DOT sees it that way too. They agreed that if I had booked NZ6/NZ2 I would be eligible for refund. I will file a complaint with US DOT anyway.

I also tried the EU 261/2004 REGS but they said because I am NZ resident I am not covered by this but if my flight originated in the UK I would be covered. I argued that my flight does depart from the UK (the return leg) so the ruling applies. Their response was that since its a return originating from Auckland this doesn't apply. Now I have looked into it I can't see this anywhere in the ruling. I read in the EU ruling that also the outbound and return flights are always considered as two separate flights even if they were booked as part of one reservation. Therefore would have thought the return flight meets the air passenger rights as it ''departs from the EU to a non-EU country operated by an EU or a non-EU airline''.

Wondering if anyone has had any luck with getting a refund using the EU REGS?
https://www.airnzagent.co.nz/covid-1...ibility-policy
When you read their website it reads like a refund
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Old May 2, 20, 12:10 am
  #333  
 
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Originally Posted by Claireshegoes View Post
Thanks for all the advice and updates on here, has been so helpful but still no luck getting refunded for my cancelled return flights to London (NZ2/NZ2). Today they offered an alternative flight with a different carrier..wasn't expecting that.

I've tried the US DOT rules but they are adamant that I am only 'transiting' and that DOT sees it that way too. They agreed that if I had booked NZ6/NZ2 I would be eligible for refund. I will file a complaint with US DOT anyway.

I also tried the EU 261/2004 REGS but they said because I am NZ resident I am not covered by this but if my flight originated in the UK I would be covered. I argued that my flight does depart from the UK (the return leg) so the ruling applies. Their response was that since its a return originating from Auckland this doesn't apply. Now I have looked into it I can't see this anywhere in the ruling. I read in the EU ruling that also the outbound and return flights are always considered as two separate flights even if they were booked as part of one reservation. Therefore would have thought the return flight meets the air passenger rights as it ''departs from the EU to a non-EU country operated by an EU or a non-EU airline''.

Wondering if anyone has had any luck with getting a refund using the EU REGS?
If your LHR-XXX flight has been cancelled then you are due a full refund under EU261. They’ve refunded me for a flight from London. That was the outbound flight but EU law doesn’t differentiate.
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Old May 2, 20, 3:09 pm
  #334  
 
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As a data point, a family member (Gold FWIW) got a refund for a fare on the cancelled EZE service
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Old May 2, 20, 9:54 pm
  #335  
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Who will pay in advance in future given this behaviour

It used to be you made a reservation in advance and it was ticketed just before travel. In the online world airlines saw the cashflow Dell pioneered in selling computers online with payment in advance and reservations and ticketing became mostly concurrent with a big boost to cashflow. A billion in cash in advance is material.

But as we now see p in advance and you are an unsecured creditor. Loyalty counts for little. Many of us probably understood the risk but reluctantly accepted it.

Given how badly airlines, OTA’s and others in the travel sector are behaving I wonder how many people will make bookings and payments in advance for the future?

I know I won’t. I’ll take the chance there will Always be something similar available at the last minute.

By taking a hard line now and making it difficult like 6 months for a refund, credits only, high fees before refunds and all the other tricks I think there will be a very long tail of changed customer behaviour in the future and the travel sector is bound to regret this in time to come.
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Old May 3, 20, 12:02 am
  #336  
 
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Then will get what hotels do. Pay now and get 10-20% discount. Currently on AirNZ you can pick a fare for a higher price which allows you to refund. So you can have that option if you wish.
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Old May 3, 20, 2:53 am
  #337  
 
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Originally Posted by Kiwi_FF View Post
It used to be you made a reservation in advance and it was ticketed just before travel. In the online world airlines saw the cashflow Dell pioneered in selling computers online with payment in advance and reservations and ticketing became mostly concurrent with a big boost to cashflow. A billion in cash in advance is material.

But as we now see p in advance and you are an unsecured creditor. Loyalty counts for little. Many of us probably understood the risk but reluctantly accepted it.

Given how badly airlines, OTA’s and others in the travel sector are behaving I wonder how many people will make bookings and payments in advance for the future?

I know I won’t. I’ll take the chance there will Always be something similar available at the last minute.

By taking a hard line now and making it difficult like 6 months for a refund, credits only, high fees before refunds and all the other tricks I think there will be a very long tail of changed customer behaviour in the future and the travel sector is bound to regret this in time to come.
Or else, our learned (yeah right) regulators need to recognise the new or changed environment in which we transact, and legislate accordingly to protect such unsecured creditors?
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Old May 3, 20, 6:06 pm
  #338  
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And as for overseas based OTA’s

Originally Posted by ottiehund View Post
Or else, our learned (yeah right) regulators need to recognise the new or changed environment in which we transact, and legislate accordingly to protect such unsecured creditors?
While it’s good to see Flightcentres belated backdown too late I think the damage is done.

i think many people will also think twice before booking with an online travel agent based offshore without a registered office and presence in NZ ( and therefore able to avoid our consumer protection laws) and will recognise the folly of trying to get redress from an offshore call center with staff rote reading from a script with no authority to deviate.

All in all a major reset coming I think. A great opportunity for local players to step up and reap long term benefit.
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Old May 3, 20, 6:55 pm
  #339  
 
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Originally Posted by Kiwi_FF View Post
While it’s good to see Flightcentres belated backdown too late I think the damage is done.

i think many people will also think twice before booking with an online travel agent based offshore without a registered office and presence in NZ ( and therefore able to avoid our consumer protection laws) and will recognise the folly of trying to get redress from an offshore call center with staff rote reading from a script with no authority to deviate.

All in all a major reset coming I think. A great opportunity for local players to step up and reap long term benefit.
Also avoid Airnz too due too due to the difficulty in getting refunds on the cancelled flights IE NZ2/NZ1 :-(
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Old May 3, 20, 7:03 pm
  #340  
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Arguing with a law violator is pointless and a waste of your time.

1. Tickets containing flights to or from the US are covered by US law (DOT rules).
2. Tickets containing flights departing the EU are covered by EU law (EC 261/2004).

Both require a full refund to the original form of payment, neither are based on the passenger's citizenship or residence, and neither is premised on "transit". For what it is worth, the US has not, since 1999, had or recognized transit and thus NZ is doubly wrong.

In the case of US flights, file a DOT complaint (online and free). Also, in both instances, initiate a chargeback with your credit card issuer (bank). Be succinct and document everything. Provide a copy of your e-ticket receipt, the notice or other proof of cancellation, your request for a cancellation and either the denial or the absence of communication. Keep copies and screenshots of everything. When you submit your complaints and chargebacks, focus on the requirements of the law, e.g., that the flight was cancelled and that the ticket is covered.
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Old May 4, 20, 12:33 am
  #341  
 
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Does anyone know if there are any particular clauses in the Fair Trading Act and Consumer Guarantees Act that would apply to the cancellations?

While I understand that COVID-19 is an uncontrollable event, it appears that the cancellation of the LAX-LHR legs and EZE after 30 June was a commercial decision rather than directly related to COVID-19 as these are the only routes that NZ have confirmed to be suspended post 30 June.
​​
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Old May 4, 20, 1:56 am
  #342  
 
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Originally Posted by BZNZ View Post
Does anyone know if there are any particular clauses in the Fair Trading Act and Consumer Guarantees Act that would apply to the cancellations?

While I understand that COVID-19 is an uncontrollable event, it appears that the cancellation of the LAX-LHR legs and EZE after 30 June was a commercial decision rather than directly related to COVID-19 as these are the only routes that NZ have confirmed to be suspended post 30 June.
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What has your own research told you?
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Old May 4, 20, 4:57 pm
  #343  
 
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Arguing with a law violator is pointless and a waste of your time.

1. Tickets containing flights to or from the US are covered by US law (DOT rules).
2. Tickets containing flights departing the EU are covered by EU law (EC 261/2004).

Both require a full refund to the original form of payment, neither are based on the passenger's citizenship or residence, and neither is premised on "transit". For what it is worth, the US has not, since 1999, had or recognized transit and thus NZ is doubly wrong.

In the case of US flights, file a DOT complaint (online and free). Also, in both instances, initiate a chargeback with your credit card issuer (bank). Be succinct and document everything. Provide a copy of your e-ticket receipt, the notice or other proof of cancellation, your request for a cancellation and either the denial or the absence of communication. Keep copies and screenshots of everything. When you submit your complaints and chargebacks, focus on the requirements of the law, e.g., that the flight was cancelled and that the ticket is covered.
Thanks for this - I've filed a DOT complaint. It really was so easy, fingers crossed. I want to try the chargeback too but according to Westpac has to be filed within 30 days of the statement for that purchase? I will give it a shot anyway, when you say that the 'ticket is covered' are you referring to the DOT rules/ EU laws?
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Old May 5, 20, 3:00 pm
  #344  
 
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Originally Posted by BZNZ View Post
Does anyone know if there are any particular clauses in the Fair Trading Act and Consumer Guarantees Act that would apply to the cancellations?

While I understand that COVID-19 is an uncontrollable event, it appears that the cancellation of the LAX-LHR legs and EZE after 30 June was a commercial decision rather than directly related to COVID-19 as these are the only routes that NZ have confirmed to be suspended post 30 June.
​​
The answer is yes there is.

"When is a contract “frustrated”?A contract becomes frustrated when, without fault by either party, the contract is impossible to perform, because the circumstances in which performance would occur are radically different from those contemplated by the contract.

The contract must be incapable of being performed, not just difficult, expensive or inconvenient to do so.

The New Zealand Government from late March 2020 announced border restrictions and a lockdown which prohibited non-essential businesses from operating and consumers from leaving their homes for non-essential reasons. Many other governments internationally imposed similar restrictions.

In these circumstances, events outside either party’s control such as restrictions imposed by Government will prevent some contracts from being able to be performed and this means that some contracts will be frustrated.

Where a contract is “frustrated” the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 (CCL Act) applies.
It provides that the terms and conditions agreed by the parties will determine what happens,
if those terms deal with frustration. If the contract is silent on what happens if the contract is frustrated, the CCL Act says that the consumer is entitled to a refund, but that the business may retain its reasonable expenses and overheads incurred in relation to the contract before the date of frustration (we call these the “allowable expenses”).

Under the CCL Act the consumer is not obligated to pay the business any amounts that remain unpaid. Businesses can breach the Fair Trading Act if they demand or accept payments when they do not reasonably believe they will be able to provide the goods or service. They can also breach the Fair Trading Act if they insist that consumers are obliged to make payments that they are not obliged to make.

It is possible, but the Commission considers it unlikely, that standard form consumer contract terms providing for frustration remedies will be “unfair contract terms” for the purposes of the Fair Trading Act. Circumstances where the term might be “unfair” (within the narrow Fair Trading Act meaning of that word) include where the term provides a disproportionately disadvantageous or harsh consequence for the consumer, for an event that the consumer could not control."
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Old Jul 31, 20, 4:08 am
  #345  
 
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Update
13th May I raised a charge back on the credit card used to buy the tickets for the flight due to go ahead on 15th May.

This was successful as of 26th July.

Got ALL the money back without any other hassle.

Result.
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