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Major airline finally offers refunds for cancelled flights

  • July 30 2020
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Major airline finally offers refunds for cancelled flights

By Grace Ormsby
July 30 2020

The ACCC has welcomed an airline’s decision to provide refunds to all Australian consumers who have not been able to fly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Major airline finally offers up refunds for cancelled flights

Major airline finally offers refunds for cancelled flights

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  • July 30 2020
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The ACCC has welcomed an airline’s decision to provide refunds to all Australian consumers who have not been able to fly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Major airline finally offers up refunds for cancelled flights

In a statement, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said Etihad had confirmed that it will be contacting all consumers who booked directly with the airline or Australia-based travel agents “to inform them that affected consumers can elect to receive a refund for a cancelled flight, even if they previously accepted credit”.

Consumers were not provided with the right to a refund for flights cancelled due to the pandemic after Etihad released a COVID-19 rebooking policy on 26 March 2020.

While this policy was updated on 3 June to provide offers of refunds for flights scheduled to depart from Australia, the ACCC did not consider this offer to go far enough.

Etihad has since further revised its policy and will be offering refunds to all consumers in Australia who purchased tickets, regardless of where their flight was scheduled to depart from.

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According to the consumer watchdog, “Etihad’s conditions of carriage state that a consumer can elect to receive a refund in the event that Etihad fails to operate their flight reasonably according to schedule, for any reason.”

Etihad situation “should serve as a model for other airlines”.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said the review will enable thousands of Australian customers who have had their flights cancelled to access refunds.

“Etihad’s revised policy and its decision to also offer refunds to consumers who weren’t previously advised of their right to a refund should serve as a model for other airlines.”

He explained that “the protections of the Australian Consumer Law, which extend to all corporations carrying on business in Australia, prohibit making false or misleading representations about a consumer’s right to a refund, including their contractual refund rights.”

“Consumers who believe they are entitled to a refund because they booked their fare while in Australia and who are not contacted by Etihad or their Australian travel agent by 7 August 2020, should contact the business that sold them their ticket.”

Major airline finally offers refunds for cancelled flights
Major airline finally offers up refunds for cancelled flights
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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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