Sympathy should be with passengers

In response to a deluge of complaints over Air New Zealand’s refusal to grant refunds, the Government’s sympathy should be with passengers, says National’s Associate Transport Spokesperson Andrew Falloon.

“The response of Minister Kris Faafoi to passengers’ pleas for refunds for their cancelled flights beggars belief.

“Tens of thousands of Kiwis have had flights cancelled and are seeking nothing more than their money back for the flights they can no longer take.

“For some, a credit for a future flight might be acceptable, but for many others their reasons for travel may no longer exist. That’s particularly the case for those with thousands of dollars in cancelled international flights, and no time frame for when they may be able to travel again.

“To have their money tied up with the airline, with a credit that will expire, is extremely unfair at a time they need money most.

“Countless other airlines around the world have offered full refunds rather than credits, and Air New Zealand could and should do the same.

“Air New Zealand have been offered a $900 million loan facility by taxpayers, in other words, the very people who want their money back. By their own admission they could use that to ensure that everyone who seeks a refund is given one.

“Rather than calling for sympathy for the airline, Faafoi needs to have some sympathy for the passengers.”