Air New Zealand has introduced a major shake-up to its domestic airfare options, to give passengers better flexibility as the country moves towards COVID-normal operations.
Currently, New Zealanders outside of Auckland are free to travel for leisure purposes, while Aucklanders, currently under Level 3 restrictions, are limited to essential travel only.
From today, Air New Zealand will offer four tiers of domestic fares including seat only, seat and bag, ‘flexichange’ and ‘flexirefund’ fares.
Flexirefund tickets allow customers to change everything from the date, time, destination or origin of their flight right up until the time of departure – without incurring a change fee,
Customers are also offered a full refund should they ultimately choose not to travel, nor to opt for any of the change options.
No fare difference applies to flexirefund tickets if the time of the flight is changed on the day of travel, the airline said.
Flexichange tickets similarly allow customers to change the date, route and time of their flight right up until departure without paying change fees, as well as change the time of their flight on the day without paying the fare difference.
Seat and seat and bag options remain the most cost-effective fare options, for customers who are sure of their travel plans, however under these fares, passengers can still opt to change the time or date of their flight, right up until their time of departure, with applicable change fees.
Seat customers are only offered seven kilograms carry-on baggage, while seat+bag tickets include one 23-kilogram check-in bag.
The airline has also significantly reduced the cost involved for adding additional baggage at the airport, to a flat rate of $45 per additional check-in bag.
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Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty highlighted the need for flexibility in light of ongoing COVID-19 outbreak fears.
“When we first introduced the fare options, flexibility and choice were some of the main drivers. Today, that’s still important and with ongoing uncertainty due to COVID-19, we wanted to give customers the option to buy more flexibility should they want it,” she said.
“These changes provide greater flexibility, while also providing clear descriptions around what each fare type allows customers to do.”
The airline’s current domestic COVID-19 flexibility policy is in place for travel up until 31 October 2021, with its international flexibility policy extended to 28 February 2022.
“With normal fare rules for domestic travel due to resume from 1 November we wanted to ensure we had a long-term fare structure in place providing customers with more options when it comes to travel flexibility,” Geraghty said.
“Customers will still be able to opt-in to credit should their flight be impacted due to Alert Level changes.”
Flexirefund tickets will take the place of the previous ‘flexidate’ fare offering, while flexichange tickets are replacing ‘flexitime’ fares. These changes will be automatically reflected for existing Air New Zealand bookings.
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