Air New Zealand introduces measures to ease the pain and create certainty for disrupted passengers
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 flight.
"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 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-minute 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."
Airline offers $250 accommodation goodwill payment for those displaced
"A state of emergency and an airport closure is extreme, and we 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 FlightComment@airnz.co.nz with receipts. This applies to all Air New Zealand customers affected by the Auckland floods who were originally traveling 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.
Issued by Air New Zealand Communications.
About Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand's story started in 1940, first taking to the skies between Auckland and Sydney on a flying boat - a Short S30. Known for its warm Kiwi hospitality, today, the airline has 98 operating aircraft ranging from Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A320s to ATRs and Q300s, offering customers comfort in the latest most efficient jets and turboprops. It's a modern fuel-efficient fleet with an average age of 6.7 years. Air New Zealand's global network of passenger and cargo services centres around New Zealand. Pre-Covid, the airline flew more than 17 million passengers every year, with 3,400 flights per week. Air New Zealand was recently named the World's Safest Airline by the Australian rating service AirlineRatings.com, highlighting the airline's laser-focus on safety. This year, Air New Zealand won Best Corporate Reputation in New Zealand – 8th year in a row.
Air New Zealand has a well-connected domestic business, connecting customers and cargo to 20 different regions around New Zealand. Internationally, the airline has direct flights to major cities across Australia, Asia, the Pacific Islands and the US, and through its strong relationships with alliance partners, offers customers more choice and convenience to connect further afield to hundreds of destinations. Air New Zealand has a particular focus on sustainability and its Sustainability Framework helps guide the airline's efforts in tackling some of New Zealand's and the world's most complex challenges. Airpoints, Air New Zealand's loyalty programme, is seen as the most valuable loyalty programme in New Zealand with 3.5 million members. It allows members to earn Airpoints Dollars™ and Status Points for VIP benefits in the air and on the ground. Air New Zealand aircraft are proudly identified by its distinct tail livery of the Mangōpare, the Māori symbol of the hammerhead shark which represents strength, tenacity, and resilience.
About Star Alliance
Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,321 airports in 193 countries.