Air New Zealand has reintroduced its credit policy, but finding similar-priced new airfares can be a challenge.
Josh Martin is a London-based Kiwi journalist.
OPINION: As the world emerged from Covid restrictions, it didn’t take long for airlines to revert to their non-refundable, inflexible airfares. The emails promising “worry-free travel” with extended periods of free rebooking zero change fees, even refunds in some cases seemed to dry up.
My go-to airfare search engine Kayak still has a search filter to find only the flight options with free rebooking…but switch it on and it’ll return a grand total of zero results. And when you now can find it, it’s an add-on, going the same way as checked luggage, meals or seat selection.
Until recently, Air New Zealand’s flexichange airfares operated in a similar way: pay a bit more to have more options should you need to change you mind or if you cannot fly – an insurance policy of sorts. So, Air New Zealand should be praised for expanding the policy after a surge in Covid cases. Anything to free up the call centre phone lines, right?
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The policy allows would-be passengers to rebook flights on a later date or take flight credit if things like falling ill with Covid-19 or having to take care of a sick relative means you can’t fly, but only if you were booked to travel before 31 August. At the time of the policy rejig one of its executives said it was in response to a surge