Air NZ has introduced measures to ease the pain and create certainty for disrupted passengers after a once-in-a-century weather event.
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We publish the airline’s press release in full to help passengers.
With the airport reopened and international flights now underway, Air NZ said it is focusing its efforts on getting the 9,000 disrupted passengers around its network back into the skies – and easing the financial pressure on customers as it does so.
Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Office Leanne Geraghty says updates will be received by customers over the next 72 hours.
“Every available effort is being redirected to speed up the rebooking of these 9,000 impacted customers. Getting these customers to their destination is our most pressing concern at the moment.”
In addition, the airline is also providing a goodwill payment providing stranded customers with much-needed support for accommodation costs while they await their new flights.
“To help, Air New Zealand will be temporarily refocusing staff in our international contact centre to rebook customers. This is just for the next 72 hours or until the backlog is cleared. This means customers calling in will have a slightly different experience than they were expecting, but rest assured this allows us to help the customers who need us most.”
Customers needing to get in touch with Air New Zealand can still do so via direct social media messages or WhatsApp, where issues can be logged and will be resolved as soon as possible.
The domestic call centre will operate as usual. The average wait time for domestic customers today is down to 45 minutes as domestic flights resume and the backlog is cleared.
“We ask customers to be patient with us – leave us a message on social media or WhatsApp or postpone their call for a few days, and bear with us as we get our international customers rebooked on a flight to their destination.”
Ms Geraghty says part of the challenge is flights were already quite full before the weather disrupted its schedule.
“Capacity across the global aviation network is limited. We’re exploring all avenues and working with our alliance partners to see what help they can provide, along with seeing where we can move flights to get aircraft into the ports where we need them most.
“We’ve been able to add an extra flight to Los Angeles which will leave tonight from New Zealand to recover around 300 customers from up there.”
The airline offers $250 accommodation goodwill payment for those displaced
“A state of emergency and an airport closure is extreme, and we e understand how stressful this period must be for many customers, particularly those overseas. To help we’re offering a goodwill gesture of NZD $250 a night towards accommodation for displaced customers travelling internationally where we have not been able to provide accommodation and they have secured their own. If customers have sourced their own accommodation, we’ll reimburse them up to NZD $250 per room per night if they send through their receipts.”
International customers should email [email protected] with receipts. This applies to all Air New Zealand customers affected by the Auckland floods who were originally travelling internationally between Friday 27 January and Sunday 29 January 2023.
“We’ve also introduced even greater flexibility so customers can change travel to an equivalent Air New Zealand international flight between Saturday 28 January and Tuesday 28 February 2023 without fare difference or penalty fees. If travel is only available in a higher cabin, the fare difference will apply.
Domestic customers can rebook in the same class of travel between Saturday 28 January and Monday 6 February 2023 without fare difference or penalty fees. Those not wanting to travel can put their fares into credit via our App or online.
If customers have purchased a fully refundable fare and no longer wish to travel, we ask them to cancel their booking through the manage my booking functionality and request a refund.