US DOT rule applicability

Old Apr 7, 2020, 8:19 am
  #16  
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Send a note to NZ requesting a refund to your original form of payment in accordance with both DOT rules and the April 3 Warning Letter. DOT has previously required carriers to initiate their refund within 7 days. Thus, wait 7 days and then file a chargeback with your credit card issuer (bank). If you are denied a refund earlier, then file the chargeback immediately. You should also file a DOT complaint.

The chargeback should include your original e-ticket receipt showing the routing and fare paid, a copy of the cancellation email, and your request for a refund. The same for DOT. This works very well for US banks. Elsewhere, it will be a tossup as to how non-US banks deal with US obligations.

Bear in mind that DOT does not intercede on behalf of individual consumers. Rather, it takes enforcement actions -- sometimes -- against air carriers and will also forward you complaint to NZ with a request for an explanation.
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Old Apr 7, 2020, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by usedtobeimportant
Looks like they are *automatically* giving us a credit. So how should I proceed? Write to Air New Zealand first or just write to DOT.

If I write to Air New Zealand. What verbiage should I use?

"Unfortunately, this includes cancelling the following flight/s on

14 JUN 2020 | NZ7 SAN FRANCISCO-AUCKLAND





This also means that any other domestic or international flights on your booking will be cancelled.

We will automatically credit your flight.

Recently we offered you the option to hold your fare in credit if you did not wish to travel.

Due to the subsequent cancellation of your flight/s, we will now be processing an automatic credit for your fare."
Given it could be a very long time before people in the USA will be able to fly NZ again, I called this morning to have two of my three bookings refunded. I explained I received notification of the cancellations yesterday and I would prefer refunds to credit. The agent immediately told me according to US DOT regulations I was entitled to the refund and it would take 5-10 days. There was absolutely no need to argue, present a case, anything - he was extremely pleasant, professional and knowledgeable about USA law on this matter.
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Old Apr 7, 2020, 10:16 am
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Thanks @SeaProf

I'm glad ANZ is being reasonable about this. Are you based in the US? Which number did you call?

Thanks again.
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Old Apr 7, 2020, 1:49 pm
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My guess is that carriers read the Warning Letter and immediately instructed their front-line staff. Bear in mind that this has been US law since 2011 (actually well before, but 2011 under this specific rule). It is clear, concise and short.
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Old Apr 7, 2020, 2:04 pm
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I cant post a URL to it due to insufficent posts previously but in NZ news website (Stuff) there is an article about Air NZ and credits vs refunds. It says:

"Air New Zealand is giving refunds to customers in countries covered by regulations that require airlines to issue refunds for cancelled fares, but it's giving credits for New Zealand customers"
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Old Apr 7, 2020, 4:01 pm
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Originally Posted by usedtobeimportant
Thanks @SeaProf

I'm glad ANZ is being reasonable about this. Are you based in the US? Which number did you call?

Thanks again.
Yes, I'm based in the Seattle area. I called the US number (800-262-1234), which automatically connects to the New Zealand call center.
After I had the positive experience and posted about it here, another family member called for a refund on their ticket but were told they would be charged a cancellation fee. I had them call back and they got it sorted out quickly the second time. But it does highlight not every agent is up to date on the rules and regulations.
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Old Apr 7, 2020, 10:41 pm
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Thanks @SeaProf. Owe you a beer or something. Tried a few times and finally got an agent who understood the rules. She mumbled the name of the rule (?) but I couldn't get its name. What is it?

Anyway, the key is to give them your email address and get the confirmation of cancellation notice.

Thanks again!
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Old Apr 7, 2020, 11:07 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by k374
My question is this - if a flight takes off at a US point of departure is the ticket subject to US DOT rules or are the rules based on the domicile of the airline (i.e. in this case New Zealand)?
Actually both.

Originally Posted by k374
I am assuming the rule applies based on the point of departure.
Actually no.

DOT regulations are generally based on either the origin or destination (one has to be within the U.S., including territories).

EC regulations are generally based on both the origin and the airline's country of registration (either one within EU).

Originally Posted by k374
If this is the case Air New Zealand will face US DOT enforcement actions with regard to denying refunds and their ability to service US markets can be adversely affected if they don't comply.
Generally, to ensure compliance, airlines will comply the law that is more restrictive to its operations. So if NZ government says vouchers work but not USDOT, then NZ will follow USDOT regulations for anyone who are covered, and follow NZ government's policy for those who are not covered by USDOT regulations.
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Old Apr 7, 2020, 11:51 pm
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Originally Posted by garykung
Actually both.



Actually no.

DOT regulations are generally based on either the origin or destination (one has to be within the U.S., including territories).

EC regulations are generally based on both the origin and the airline's country of registration (either one within EU).



Generally, to ensure compliance, airlines will comply the law that is more restrictive to its operations. So if NZ government says vouchers work but not USDOT, then NZ will follow USDOT regulations for anyone who are covered, and follow NZ government's policy for those who are not covered by USDOT regulations.
And really, why wouldn't they?
You apply what is deemed applicable to the local territory once it is made clear, if they gave out refunds to every man and his dog (around 200,000 flight tickets last time I read) straight off the bat, Air NZ wouldn't exist next month - just look at how may of their pilots have just lost their jobs. We haven't even heard about FA or ground crew layoff numbers yet.
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Old Apr 8, 2020, 12:06 am
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Does the point of sale make a difference. I emailed in and they said if I were a us citizen or point of sale was USA then I would get a refund

i think theyre wrong but checking here first
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Old Apr 8, 2020, 12:10 am
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Originally Posted by Hector99
Does the point of sale make a difference. I emailed in and they said if I were a us citizen or point of sale was USA then I would get a refund

i think theyre wrong but checking here first
I don't believe so. If POS matters, that means people can manipulate this.
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Old Apr 8, 2020, 12:57 am
  #27  
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So..I'm a tad confused with the DOT information So 6 PAX flying Christchurch NZ to Houston then onto their partner airline- United to arrive in Orlando - Return.. Should the worst happen and they cancel them ( hoping not as a good few months out) and offer me a $20K + credit to be used within 12 months , does DOT apply to all legs both to and from the USA or does it only apply on internal USA flights and the return from Houston to NZ ? Seems to be mixed messages from the posts above. Thanks...And I'm guessing given they were booked via a TA my discussions likely start and end with the TA.
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Old Apr 8, 2020, 1:10 am
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Originally Posted by Ged
...does DOT apply to all legs both to and from the USA or does it only apply on internal USA flights and the return from Houston to NZ ?
The entire ticket, i.e. CHC-MCO, even IAH-MCO will be operated by UA.

Originally Posted by Ged
And I'm guessing given they were booked via a TA my discussions likely start and end with the TA.
Yes...TAs can be tricky in term of getting refund, as your refund should directly come from the TA, not NZ (but NZ should provide necessary waivers for TA to issue refunds).
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Old Apr 8, 2020, 7:56 am
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Just called airnz re DOT
supervisor was adamant that it only applied to us citizens or if u brought ur ticket from US
they didnt care that it clearly states tickets to, within, from USA

I told him I will be making a complaint with DOT

This supervisor was beyond arrogant
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Old Apr 8, 2020, 10:06 am
  #30  
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HUTA (Hang Up Try Again)

I think I got the same guy. I could tell from his first words he didn't want to give a refund so I just hung up. Second try got a cluess rep who didn't even know what DOT was!

Third time was a charm. Agent knew the rule (but mumbled its name so I never got it). We need to know the name of the rule/law so we can reference it to their agents.

@Skyler2718 Did they really ask you if you were a US citizen? That's bizzare. Is he implying green card holders and visa holders are not covered by DOT rules.

Originally Posted by Skyler2718
Just called airnz re DOT
supervisor was adamant that it only applied to us citizens or if u brought ur ticket from US
they didnt care that it clearly states tickets to, within, from USA

I told him I will be making a complaint with DOT

This supervisor was beyond arrogant
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