Refunds due other travel restrictions

Old Apr 24, 2020, 5:22 pm
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Refunds due other travel restrictions

I have worked my way through the refunds for cancelled flights thread but cannot find anything regarding being unable to fly due to government imposed travel restrictions.

situation. Mother in-law (US citizen) was due to fly Vancouver to Auckland on the 20th of March. NZ shut its borders on the 19th to all non-NZ citizens and residents. Anyone had any luck with refunds in this type of situation? Booked through agent and they have been incredibly slow to do anything (will never do again).

Below media release states:Customers with international flights affected by Covid-19 government-imposed restrictions due to depart up until 31 March 2020 will be eligible to:
  • Hold the value of their fare in credit for twelve months from the time of ticket purchase;
  • Receive a refund;
  • Amend the date of their flight without change fees. The normal fare difference will apply.

https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/pres...re-flexibility

Anyone sitting on the same boat?

cheers
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Old Apr 24, 2020, 6:10 pm
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So the issue seems to be that the travel agent is not responding? The conditions look pretty clear that a refund is an option.

Is this thread more helpful?

Last edited by RedVee; Apr 24, 2020 at 6:23 pm Reason: Correction
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Old Apr 24, 2020, 8:05 pm
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It will all depend on whether NZ operated or cancelled her flight on 20 March. If the flight did operate, she may make a change or have a credit good until June 2021 (see below from NZ's Covid-19 waiver policy). However, the ticket remains non-refundable. If, on the other hand, the flight was cancelled, she is due a refund because US law, e.g. "local legislation" requires carriers to refund tickets on request. There are other threads discussing NZ's recalcitrance to obey US law which has now ended with NZ acknowledging that refunds are due. Thus, it will come down to whether her flight operated.

For travel up to 30 June, you can make one change to your existing booking and we'll waive the change fee and service fee, however fare difference may apply. Alternatively, we can hold your fare in credit until June 2021. Find out more and request your credit here.

Please note, if you purchased a non-refundable ticket, it remains non-refundable unless local legislation requires a refund to be made available.

If you have booked through a travel agent, please make this request through them.
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Old Apr 24, 2020, 8:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1
It will all depend on whether NZ operated or cancelled her flight on 20 March. If the flight did operate, she may make a change or have a credit good until June 2021 (see below from NZ's Covid-19 waiver policy). However, the ticket remains non-refundable. If, on the other hand, the flight was cancelled, she is due a refund because US law, e.g. "local legislation" requires carriers to refund tickets on request. There are other threads discussing NZ's recalcitrance to obey US law which has now ended with NZ acknowledging that refunds are due. Thus, it will come down to whether her flight operated.

For travel up to 30 June, you can make one change to your existing booking and we'll waive the change fee and service fee, however fare difference may apply. Alternatively, we can hold your fare in credit until June 2021. Find out more and request your credit here.

Please note, if you purchased a non-refundable ticket, it remains non-refundable unless local legislation requires a refund to be made available.

If you have booked through a travel agent, please make this request through them.
does US law extend to a flight leaving Canada?
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Old Apr 24, 2020, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by jeffrocowboy
does US law extend to a flight leaving Canada?
I doubt US DOT regulations are relevant for services operating Canada-NZ direct, but would be subject to whatever rules/laws are in effect in Canada.

https://onemileatatime.com/canada-re...ght-cancelled/
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Old Apr 24, 2020, 9:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1
It will all depend on whether NZ operated or cancelled her flight on 20 March. If the flight did operate, she may make a change or have a credit good until June 2021 (see below from NZ's Covid-19 waiver policy). However, the ticket remains non-refundable. If, on the other hand, the flight was cancelled, she is due a refund because US law, e.g. "local legislation" requires carriers to refund tickets on request. There are other threads discussing NZ's recalcitrance to obey US law which has now ended with NZ acknowledging that refunds are due. Thus, it will come down to whether her flight operated.

For travel up to 30 June, you can make one change to your existing booking and we'll waive the change fee and service fee, however fare difference may apply. Alternatively, we can hold your fare in credit until June 2021. Find out more and request your credit here.

Please note, if you purchased a non-refundable ticket, it remains non-refundable unless local legislation requires a refund to be made available.

If you have booked through a travel agent, please make this request through them.
This seems to differ from the rules the OP quoted.
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Old Apr 24, 2020, 10:53 pm
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NZ Consumer Guarantee Act applies

if AIRNZ sell a ticket for travel on a flight anywhere and then choose to cancel that flight then they are unwilling to provide the service contracted and customers under the NZ Consumer Guarantee Act are entitled to a full refund.

https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles...guarantees-act

Choosing to cancel flights through lack of demand is not your problem as a customer and they are holding your money in advance and must refund if you request.

CGA rights supersede any of AirNZ s terms and conditions where they are cancelling flights for convenience as they do with warranties, where if an item fails outside its warranty but within a time that you would reasonably expect it to last then CGA prevails.

Car and appliance dealers often try to avoid their obligations when an item fails just outside warranty but CGA always prevails.

AirNZ are understandably trying to persuade customers to accept a refund but if the customer requests a refund they must comply.

I feel for AirNZ but I think they are pushing things too hard. Its not revenue they are entitled to its a payment in advance recorded as a liability in their accounts and the money belongs to the customer who paid it.

if AirNZ wont give a refund its cheap and easy to file a disputes tribunal claim against them.

https://disputestribunal.govt.nz/

If their position is not reasonable I would suggest escalate to a supervisor, quote CGA and state you will take them to the Disputes tribunal if they will not reconsider.

Good luck.
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Old Apr 25, 2020, 2:02 am
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Originally Posted by walshmi
I have worked my way through the refunds for cancelled flights thread but cannot find anything regarding being unable to fly due to government imposed travel restrictions.

situation. Mother in-law (US citizen) was due to fly Vancouver to Auckland on the 20th of March. NZ shut it’s borders on the 19th to all non-NZ citizens and residents. Anyone had any luck with refunds in this type of situation? Booked through agent and they have been incredibly slow to do anything (will never do again).
What was the ticketed route? Just YVR-AKL on Air NZ NZ23? Or USA-YVR-AKL?
NZ23 looks to have operated 20 March (but cannot find aircraft rego).
Links
---> https://www.planemapper.com/flights/NZ23
----> https://www.airportia.com/flights/nz...uver/auckland/
----> https://www.airportia.com/flights/nz...ate=2020-03-21

Did she not fly due to the (changed) NZ Government regulations?
Did she formally cancel or just no show?
Or Air NZ formally advise she could not travel?
Details matter.
As the trip was booked via a travel agent normal practise is to deal with the TA only. Airlines generally do not touch TA tickets before travel starts.
It is always the passengers responsibility to ensure they have the correct passport/visa/authority to travel. That is not the airlines responsibility or problem, unless an airline wavier (as Air NZ look to have done).
Very difficult at this time when government regulations have charged at short notice or even while pax were in flight.

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Apr 25, 2020 at 2:12 am
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Old Apr 25, 2020, 3:14 am
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi
What was the ticketed route? Just YVR-AKL on Air NZ NZ23? Or USA-YVR-AKL?
NZ23 looks to have operated 20 March (but cannot find aircraft rego).
Links
---> https://www.planemapper.com/flights/NZ23
----> https://www.airportia.com/flights/nz...uver/auckland/
----> https://www.airportia.com/flights/nz...ate=2020-03-21

Did she not fly due to the (changed) NZ Government regulations?
Did she formally cancel or just no show?
Or Air NZ formally advise she could not travel?
Details matter.
As the trip was booked via a travel agent normal practise is to deal with the TA only. Airlines generally do not touch TA tickets before travel starts.
It is always the passengers responsibility to ensure they have the correct passport/visa/authority to travel. That is not the airlines responsibility or problem, unless an airline wavier (as Air NZ look to have done).
Very difficult at this time when government regulations have charged at short notice or even while pax were in flight.
Was due to fly PDX-YVR-AKL On the 20th (arriving 22nd) and return 5 days later. PDX - YVR was on Air Canada. Flight was ticketed through air NZ (086) and had air nz PNR.

Did not fly due to last minute change in government regulation (ticket was booked many months prior). formally cancelled when travel restriction was announced so prior to departure. Agent said likely wont get refund but put in claim to air NZ.

Received no advice from Air nz that she couldnt travel.

Her flights departed as scheduled
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Old Apr 25, 2020, 3:32 am
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Originally Posted by Often1
It will all depend on whether NZ operated or cancelled her flight on 20 March. If the flight did operate, she may make a change or have a credit good until June 2021 (see below from NZ's Covid-19 waiver policy). However, the ticket remains non-refundable.
How were you able to deduce this from the text the OP quoted?
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Old Apr 25, 2020, 8:35 am
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A number of replies are quoting the current policy for departures up to 30 June. The OP has provided a link to those in play for flights departing before 30 March. (Issued on 14 March).

There is a list of options, one of which is a refund.Customers with international flights affected by Covid-19 government-imposed restrictions due to depart up until 31 March 2020 will be eligible to:
  • Hold the value of their fare in credit for twelve months from the time of ticket purchase;
  • Receive a refund;
  • Amend the date of their flight without change fees. The normal fare difference will apply.

However, on reflection, and with the additional information provided by the OP, I think the sticking point might be that OPs MIL flight wasnt affected by government imposed restrictions, as it operated. Im assuming affected means cancelled?

Last edited by RedVee; Apr 25, 2020 at 8:52 am
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Old Apr 25, 2020, 9:22 am
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I'm interpreting this as the flight operated, but the person would not have been able to fly the USA-Canada-NZ route due to government-imposed entry restrictions based on passport and residency of the passenger. The rules stated in the OP would seem to say that the person who purchased the ticket is entitled to a refund to the original form of payment.

If a TA sold the ticket, it would be the TA's responsibility to procure the refund from NZ, possibly with a service fee charged to the customer.
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Old Apr 25, 2020, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by moondog
How were you able to deduce this from the text the OP quoted?
I quoted it from the NZ website.
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Old Apr 25, 2020, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by Kiwi_FF
if AIRNZ sell a ticket for travel on a flight anywhere and then choose to cancel that flight then they are unwilling to provide the service contracted and customers under the NZ Consumer Guarantee Act are entitled to a full refund.

https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles...guarantees-act

Choosing to cancel flights through lack of demand is not your problem as a customer and they are holding your money in advance and must refund if you request.

CGA rights supersede any of AirNZ s terms and conditions where they are cancelling flights for convenience as they do with warranties, where if an item fails outside its warranty but within a time that you would reasonably expect it to last then CGA prevails.

Car and appliance dealers often try to avoid their obligations when an item fails just outside warranty but CGA always prevails.

AirNZ are understandably trying to persuade customers to accept a refund but if the customer requests a refund they must comply.

I feel for AirNZ but I think they are pushing things too hard. Its not revenue they are entitled to its a payment in advance recorded as a liability in their accounts and the money belongs to the customer who paid it.

if AirNZ wont give a refund its cheap and easy to file a disputes tribunal claim against them.

https://disputestribunal.govt.nz/

If their position is not reasonable I would suggest escalate to a supervisor, quote CGA and state you will take them to the Disputes tribunal if they will not reconsider.

Good luck.
Many people were unable to obtain this relief. It is functionally not available for NZ tickets.

In fact, there are two lengthy threads, both involving NZ residents/citizens who were lucky enough to hold tickets to/from the US or from the EU and who were forced to rely on UA or EU law to obtain a refund. NZ first took the position that the two laws only applied to citizens of the US and EU and just relented this week.

This still leaves consumers who purchased ticket to or from anywhere other than the US / EU stuck with credits which may never be useful.
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Old Apr 25, 2020, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1
I quoted it from the NZ website.
The pre March 30 language? If not, that isn't so useful for the OP.
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