US DOT rule applicability

Old Apr 15, 2020, 7:35 pm
  #76  
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Of course NZ's position has been reviewed by its "legal team" and that "team" knows full well what it is doing.

First, no refunds for cancelled flights/
Second, refunds for flights to/from the US, but only for US citizens.
Third, some people get the refunds.

Why waste a second on NZ. Make your request, wait 7 days and then on the 8th file a chargeback with your credit card issuer (bank) noting that you were ticketed to or from the US and that US law requires the refund for such tickets. Supply a copy of your e-ticket receipt, the cancellation notice, your refund request, the denial (or a note that no response has been received) and a copy of the Notice and the Warning Letter.

The easier and more self-contained, the better.
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Old Apr 15, 2020, 8:02 pm
  #77  
 
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Yes can see how this happens. NZ Legal Team have had time to decide on a proper policy (they initially took this approach then changed to give refunds when people pushed back re POS and US citizenship). You can see that they've probably decided that the risk to cash flow of paying refunds according to DoT is higher than the risk of not following DoT rules. Remember that only a tiny percentage of people flying to the US or through to LHR via LAX (originating in NZ and Australia) will be aware of DoT and most of those that are will take NZ at their word it doesn't apply and accept the credit. It's a very few number of people that will know the DoT rules aren't being followed and then make a DoT complaint and/or file a disputes tribunal claim here in NZ. And I'd imagine Air NZ would probably get a slap on the wrist from DoT and they'd say "oh sorry we misinterpreted, how about no fine and we process the refunds we should have".
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Old Apr 15, 2020, 8:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1
Of course NZ's position has been reviewed by its "legal team" and that "team" knows full well what it is doing.

First, no refunds for cancelled flights/
Second, refunds for flights to/from the US, but only for US citizens.
Third, some people get the refunds.

Why waste a second on NZ. Make your request, wait 7 days and then on the 8th file a chargeback with your credit card issuer (bank) noting that you were ticketed to or from the US and that US law requires the refund for such tickets. Supply a copy of your e-ticket receipt, the cancellation notice, your refund request, the denial (or a note that no response has been received) and a copy of the Notice and the Warning Letter.

The easier and more self-contained, the better.
I agree with all that but the problem is for some people they paid by POLi or Airpoints or a combination including credit card, so the only avenue to get a FULL refund is from AirNZ, I also suspect NZ credit card issuers may not be so versed in US regs and as well one card issuer is also tied up with the AirNZ Airpoints programme. That should not stop people however from logging the DOT complaint and continuing to pursue AirNZ
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Old Apr 15, 2020, 11:21 pm
  #79  
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Originally Posted by gratn
Instead, I expect the DOT will say all four flights (AKL-LAX, LAX-LHR, LHR-LAX and LAX-AKL) are to or from the USA.
I would agree if they are booked separately. But I have my doubt on the AKL-LHR, as LAX seems like a tech stop to me (although NZ can drop off AKL-LAX pax and pick up LAX-LHR).

Originally Posted by Hector99
Will report back with DoT response
Sorry but DOT won't write you back.

The online complaint platform is for DOT to resolve most complaints informally (and possibly identify the bigger issue). Because the majority of the airlines will compromise their positions, in most of the cases, the cases are resolved and DOT is put on notice about the resolution (as the required airline response). DOT generally won't act other than creating a bridge between parties to communicate as they are similar informal complaints.

But if NZ decides not to back down, then the impacted customer can file a petition for enforcement, i.e. the formal complaint. With this complaint, DOT is compelled to act and determine if NZ has violated the relevant law and/or regulations. It is an administrative process, which is relatively cheaper than litigation, but not much difference. Here are the procedures:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text...-302/subpart-D

How to file and pursue a consumer complaint against an airline ? and the DOT “formal complaint” process – Ben Edelman
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Old Apr 17, 2020, 10:00 am
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Thanks to all for posting on this thread. I certainly learned a lot and was armed with facts as I awaited a call back regarding my ANZ flight getting cancelled and possible resolution/refund.

We booked roundtrip flights from LAX-LHR-GVA last October to visit family departing on May 13 and return May 27. We almost never use online TAs since we prefer to deal directly with the airlines. But, in this case, ANZ couldn't book the Swiss Air portion of the flight when I called them directly. So, we used Priceline. When the COVID-19 situation exploded, I feared we might be screwed with the airfare - especially using Priceline.

I've been following this thread as I have waited to hear from ANZ, or my online TA in this case since we had booked our ANZ/Swiss Air flight through an online TA this time around. I was expecting not hear anything until closer to the flight. But, much to my surprise Priceline reached out to me to call them telling me they needed speak to me about my flights being cancelled and what my options would be. While waiting for a call back from Priceline, I armed myself with the info from this thread including verbiage from the original Contract of Carriage when we bought the ticket and the recent letter from the US DOT regarding cancelled flights and refunds. Much to my surprise, I was immediately offered a full refund for both tickets minus a small US$10 processing fee. We did purchase upgraded seats directly through ANZ. So, I will need to pursue that refund with them.

I really do feel for the airlines this whole mess. I guess I don't blame them for trying to get people to take a credit. In our case, it would have been a loss. My wife is starting a college program in June and will be unable to travel until late June 2021. Plus, ANZ is apparently discontinuing the LAX-LHR route at the end October, 2020.

Good luck to all getting the resolution that you desire.
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Old Apr 17, 2020, 10:42 am
  #81  
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Originally Posted by savuti94

I really do feel for the airlines this whole mess. I guess I don't blame them for trying to get people to take a credit.,
They need to be more generous and unrestrictive with their credit to entice people to take it. What they are offering in exchange is essentially worthless and I find their whole approach to this shady and disingenuous.

People are affected by this crisis as well. Looks like NZ wants their cake and eat it too.
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Old Apr 19, 2020, 6:28 pm
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Worth noting that Air NZ charge hefty credit card surcharges and encourage payment via POLI (a form of internet banking) so "charge back" may not be possible in a lot of cases...
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Old Apr 19, 2020, 7:24 pm
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I rang them today about a flight that had to be cancelled and was told that they only refund tickets sold in the US.

I filed a DOT complaint.
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Old Apr 19, 2020, 7:36 pm
  #84  
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Was your flight to or from the US?

Originally Posted by Kiwimac99
I rang them today about a flight that had to be cancelled and was told that they only refund tickets sold in the US.

I filed a DOT complaint.
As explained repeatedly above, that is not enough. DOT will only require NZ to respond, but it will not enforce your specific entitlement.

You also need to initiate a chargeback with your credit card issuer (bank) and supply your e-ticket receipt, cancellation notice, your request for a refund, and the denial. Also include the April 3, US DOT Warning Letter.
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Old Apr 19, 2020, 9:52 pm
  #85  
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Hi Often1.

Thanks for the updates re DOT not enforcing. In NZ many people pay directly for Air NZ transactions ( as the charge for using a CC can add some $$ to the price). We use something called POLI which is essentially a direct transfer from your bank account to Air NZ's - hence no chargeback option. The other issue is the time allowing for CC chargebacks this side of the planet appears fairly restricted - about 2 months in most cases with ' exceptions' made for longer periods at the discretion of the card issuer.

So if they have bought and paid for the tickets in the last 4 months + then they first have to convince their CC issuer ( often a bank) to actually take up the option in the first place.

So, even with a good number of DOT complaints from this side of the planet, Air NZ can continue to operate as they currently do and apply a different view to refunds.
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Old Apr 20, 2020, 10:56 am
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You may want to check the payment network rules to see if there are exceptions for airlines charge backs Here are visas network rules which all members operate in accordance with.

https://usa.visa.com/dam/VCOM/downlo...les-public.pdf
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Old Apr 20, 2020, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Ged
Hi Often1.

Thanks for the updates re DOT not enforcing. In NZ many people pay directly for Air NZ transactions ( as the charge for using a CC can add some $$ to the price). We use something called POLI which is essentially a direct transfer from your bank account to Air NZ's - hence no chargeback option. The other issue is the time allowing for CC chargebacks this side of the planet appears fairly restricted - about 2 months in most cases with ' exceptions' made for longer periods at the discretion of the card issuer.

So if they have bought and paid for the tickets in the last 4 months + then they first have to convince their CC issuer ( often a bank) to actually take up the option in the first place.

So, even with a good number of DOT complaints from this side of the planet, Air NZ can continue to operate as they currently do and apply a different view to refunds.
Unfortunate. The many who did pay by credit card are seeing their chargebacks processed. Perhaps not as quickly as in the UK, Australia, or the US, but processed nonetheless.
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Old Apr 20, 2020, 7:54 pm
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Reply from DoT and from Air NZ confirming full refund in original form of payment for all flights. Complaint sent to DoT just pre Easter - included those paid with APD.
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Old Apr 21, 2020, 6:37 am
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What was the DOT correspondence?

Embarrassing for ANZ they dont know their own business ...

Originally Posted by Hector99
Had 3 agents and 2 emails saying no refunds and they're 'consulting legal'.

Has anyone gone to disputes tribunal re this?
Originally Posted by Hector99
Reply from DoT and from Air NZ confirming full refund in original form of payment for all flights. Complaint sent to DoT just pre Easter - included those paid with APD.
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Old Apr 21, 2020, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by usedtobeimportant
Embarrassing for ANZ they dont know their own business ...
Nothing embarrassing in the least.

NZ knew all of this when it denied the refund claim in the first place. These rules have been in effect since 2011.

By denying claims in the first & second round, NZ probably eliminates well over 90% of those claims as most people figure that the reason provided must be true. For those few who do persist, NZ issues the refund.

What is most embarrassing is that NZ citizens have to look to a US agency for protection for tickets paid for in NZ on a NZ carrier. The failure of NZ to protect its own is the unfair part and it must be remembered that it is only those who had tickets to or from the US or from the EU who have this protection.
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