Air New Zealand will extend the expiry date for credits issued due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These were due to expire on 31 January 2024. All customers who have a COVID credit now have until 31 January 2026, to book travel for completion by 31 December 2026. At that time, given some of these credits are from early 2020, the airline will have provided customers with up to six years to use their credits.
Air New Zealand Chief Financial Officer Richard Thomson says the expiry extension recognises the volume of outstanding Covid credits and customer feedback that more time will help customers plan their travel. “Air New Zealand has been doing what it can to contact customers. We’ve directly emailed customers, phoned those with high value credits, contacted travel agents and been advertising in national media. So far close to 85% of our customers who had a COVID credit have used them to book flights, but there is still over $200 million remaining. Given that amount, we believe this extension is the right thing to do to give customers more time. Air New Zealand COVID credits were issued for customers who purchased non-refundable fares for flights that could not be flown due to the pandemic. All customers who purchased refundable fares for flights impacted by COVID and have contacted us for a refund have had this processed.”
Thomson says this will be the sixth time Air New Zealand has extended the expiry date for COVID credits, an unusual step acknowledging the unique circumstances created by the pandemic and the complexity involved in contacting customers all over the world. “While we are doing our best to contact people, we’ve found some are easier to reach than others. Customers may have changed their contact details or booked through third parties which adds a layer of complexity. Air New Zealand will provide a refund on your credit if the fare you purchased originally was a refundable fare or where we are required to under any applicable law. Air New Zealand continues to provide compassionate refunds to those who hold a credit and face financial hardship and asks customers to make contact if needed. We continue to offer customers significant flexibility. Customers can use their credit for any flight on the Air New Zealand network, can part pay using their credit and cash, use it to purchase excess baggage or seat select, can book for other people, or use it to upgrade their fare. We will continue to work hard over the next two years to reach customers who may be unaware they hold a credit. We encourage anyone who has a credit to book with us at their earliest convenience.”