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Air NZ should refund customers' money for flights cancelled because of Covid-19 – Consumer NZ

Consumer NZ says Air New Zealand should refunds customers’ money for flights cancelled because of Covid-19.

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A survey found 80 per cent of affected customers had received credits rather than cash. Source: Seven Sharp

It comes after a survey found 80 per cent of affected customers had received credits rather than cash.

“Customers are telling us they are pretty annoyed with Air New Zealand to be frank," Consumer NZ CEO Jon Duffy told Seven Sharp.

“Only around about six per cent of people who responded to our survey have been successful in getting a refund, and a whopping 80 per cent of people say they have been lumped with credits."

Mr Duffy disagreed Consumer NZ was being harsh on Air New Zealand at a difficult time.

“I don’t think we are, if we look at Australia, Qantas are managing to refund all of their customers and consumers are telling us they expect the same from Air New Zealand.

“We appreciate the aviation industry is in turmoil at the moment, but that doesn’t mean it’s not tough on consumers as well," he said.

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The flights will allow customers to again travel in and out of regions within the same day. Source: 1 NEWS

Consumer NZ have also heard complaints of poor customer service from the airline.

“We are hearing about really long waits on the phone to get through to anyone from Air New Zealand and confusing information coming out from the airline.

“In particular, people are really confused about how they can use their credit if they’ve been forced to take one," Mr Duffy said.

Consumer NZ ultimately wants a law change to bring New Zealand in line with the US, where people are entitled to a refund regardless of whether or not it's the airline's fault.

Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi has previously acknowledged that New Zealand's laws are out of step with other jurisdictions and that the government would look at amending the Civil Aviation Act.

Air New Zealand says that as customers you agree to terms and conditions of the fare at the time of purchase so they can’t offer cash refunds to non-refundable tickets.

But they say they will place all airfares of cancelled flights including the non-refundable airfares into credit.

Customers have until June 2021 to book using their credit and a further 12 months to complete their travel from that booking.