The Sydney grounded-flight fiasco earlier this week led to a few interesting questions from YourLifeChoices members. So, in Travel SOS, we answer them one by one.
My daughter was coming down to visit me for my birthday and taking me to see a show, but had her flight delayed and so we missed the matinee. Will she get her money back for our show tickets? She doesn’t think she will and hasn’t bothered to check because she didn’t have travel insurance.
A. It depends on the airline with which she was flying. Any payouts for accommodation, transport or other losses are at the discretion of the airline. Tell her to keep her receipts and any evidence of financial loss and contact the airport directly. They will deal with claims on a case by case basis. She may be surprised by the response. And tell her not to take no for an answer. Airlines don’t like receiving bad feedback or publicity, so the cost of refunding her ticket may outweigh any bad press they’d receive if they don’t oblige.
Can I get my money back if my flight is delayed or cancelled?
A. Short, sharp and to the point. I’ll try to do the same.
In Australia, if a delay or cancellation is within the airline’s control, it will get you on another flight as soon as possible or refund your money. Some will even provide meal vouchers, accommodation and transfers depending on the length of the delay.
If it’s bad weather or a natural phenomenon, such as volcano ash or a hurricane, an airline will try to get you where you need to go, but will not necessarily compensate you financially.
These circumstances highlight the importance of travel insurance, but even then, check your PDS carefully before paying for cover.
I was delayed in Sydney and missed a work appointment. I lost income and also prepaid for a transfer. I enquired about compensation with the airline but they said ‘no go’. Is there any other place I can take my complaint.
A. If you think you’ve got a good case for compensation, you can go the Airline Customer Advocate (ACA). The ACA is an independent body set up by a group of airlines that provides a free resolution service to eligible customers of major Australian airlines.
If you have a Travel SOS question, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
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