Posts tagged Insurance


AirNZ – the black and the white


AirNZ  is one of those companies I blog about a fair bit.  Most of the time it’s very positive, but today it’s a mixture.

Today I want to give the black and white version (or the good and the bad, or the bouquet and the brickbat if you prefer) on AirNZ.

The Black (bad bad AirNZ)

  • The new fees for using credit cards etc as payment methods online. I agree with DPF on Kiwiblog and Lance Wiggs. I don’t mind if you add a few $ to all tickets, but object to extra “fees” for everything all the time
  • They STILL haven’t fixed the automatic adding of travel insurance for online bookings (i.e. you have to opt out).  VERY annoying, and I personally think it’s as close to deceptive as you can get without crossing the line
  • Having taxes and landing fees as extras. I know a lot of airlines do this, but it’s quite simply wrong (IMHO).  Extras should be things I can choose to have or not.  I can’t choose to not pay a landing tax or a security fee, so as far as I am concerned, as a customer, it’s just a cost of doing business for the airline, so it should be added it into the ticket price and be done with it.*   The same applies to fuel surcharges of the early 2000′s.  What next a cabin crew wages surcharge because he crew got a pay rise last week?   Stop all the rubbish and just have ONE fee for your basic get me there service and any extras must be OPTIONAL add ons, not compulsory items.  I think this should be regulated by the Commerce Comission so that businesses can’t have extras charges for things that are really just part of the core product (IMHO, it’s like renting a car, and having an extra fee to rent the steering wheel!)

* There is actually one major reason they won’t want to do this.  Those using air-points to pay for tickets are required to pay for these extra fees with cash on top of their air-points payment.  This can be $100 or so for a return trip to OZ, or a few hundred for a return trip to the US, so it would add up to tens of thousands of dollars (possibly a hundred thousand+) for the airline – not something they would want to give up in a hurry.

Update: Here is the link for AirNZ’s new fees for Credit Cards etc.

The Good

AirNZ listen.  Today I received a letter telling me they are returning space+ (or a version of it) to the reconfigured one class Trans Tasman A320 planes.

I see a few online rants about the removal of space plus (which btw I thought was a simple and very good idea when they introduced it on their domestic and short haul international).

But I take my hat of to AirNZ for listening.  As quoted in the letter:

Last week I invited feedback from travelers who experienced the first Seats to Suit Services. The vast majority of the feedback related to the value of additional legroom on an A320 …

… we’ll be making a change to the seating configuration on our A320 to provide a larger zone of seats with significantly increased legroom.”

Well done AirNZ.  You changed something, got feedback and responded with a positive and customer friendly solution.  And I happen to agree – it’s a small thing, but that extra 2-3′ makes all the difference!

Black and White Version: AirNZ’s product gets better by the day.  Their online practices continue to get worse.

Hat tip: My friend Ben M who told me about the AirNZ surcharge well before anyone else blogged about it, well done Ben!

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Christchurch earthquake, insurance and milking sympathy


By now everyone knows about the recent Christchurch earthquakes. Well OK, not everyone.  For the Americans reading this: New Zealand (which is NOT part of Australia – think down a bit and a tad to the right) had a major earthquake (7.1) hit our 2nd biggest city.  No one died, but a fair bit of damage, especially to our older buildings in the CBD.

Anyway, I want to jump the gun on a media story, before it happens.  You see I am just waiting in dread for the oh woe is me story about how some person who didn’t have insurance has now lost everything.  Here’s how it will go:

  • Picture of mum and kid looking very unhappy with some broken stuff of some kind
  • Something about some special need for the kid, or a special toy or something
  • Details of how someone cried when they found it was broken
  • Some add on  about not being able to afford insurance

It MIGHT be worse, in that maybe the item wasn’t broken by the earthquake, but stolen by bad people after the earthquake.


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AirNZ Travel Insurance Scam


I have blogged HEAPS about AirNZ and 99% of the time I am very positive about it.

However as pointed out by Lance Wiggs on his blog, AirNZ’s new (well re-applied) policy of having insurance added automatically on all domestic flights (ie opt-out) is as close to a scam as I can think of from a major NZ company.

As I said in my email to AirNZ today:

The new policy of having insurance added automatically on Domestic bookings is VERY VERY annoying.

Having to write to you about it is also a waste of my time (can you tell I am annoyed?)

I like 99% of what AirNZ does – and I am normally a major fan.

To me this practice is close to being a scam.  Please change it.

This one is simple – insurance, like any add on should be opt-in not opt-out.  Lance says it so much better that I do (and explains it real well), so read his post on it too if you wanna know more.

The more I think about it the more it annoys me, and IMHO breaches Fair Trading Act rules about deceptive conduct around pricing.  At the very least its dodgy, and AirNZ is normally so good.

You can send AirNZ feedback here, but make sure you hit “send anyway” when they try to take you to this page to explain why insurance is automatically added.

Black and White Version: BAD AirNZ.  Change your insurance opt-in practice, and now please.

PS: I would love to challenge them in the Disputes Tribunal with a I didn’t know I was buying it tactic.  I think I would win, since its not a reasonable expectation of the price to add something on.

PPS: If you have booked travel with insurance and change your mind you have 14 days (as long as you haven’t flown or claimed yet)

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