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SA Australian Consumer Law Rights to Refund Airline Tickets?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Les Laub, 17 May 2016.

  1. Les Laub

    Les Laub Well-Known Member

    30 May 2014
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    I recently purchased an airline ticket to Brisbane from Adelaide to attend a friend's funeral. After I had purchased the ticket, the funeral date and time was advanced by one day and my ticket no longer got me there on time.

    I asked my travel agent to change the booking and was given a new travelling date which had me stopping over in Sydney for 4 hours, and then in Brisbane airport for 5 hours before I could be collected. I declined and decided that since I am a Totally and Permanently Incapacitated War Veteran and aged 71, I could not face a travelling/waiting time of some 13 hours to my destination.

    I asked the travel agent if I could get a refund. The reply was "yes" but I needed a death certificate. I discovered that I would have to wait 100 years to obtain a certificate from Qld Births Death and Marriages.

    What are my Australian Consumer Law rights? I gave the airline several days notice of my intention to not travel.
  2. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

    9 April 2014
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    Dear Les,

    Unfortunately, since there was nothing faulty about the service that the airline provided to you, but rather your circumstances that changed the date on which you wanted to fly or whether or not you wanted to fly at all. I do not believe the Australian Consumer law would provide a remedy to you in this case.

    The airline sounds as though they are being reasonable by refunding a non-refundable ticket to you on the basis that your circumstances have changed due to the death of a friend. They obviously require some proof of this, otherwise, everyone would be trying to get a refund by saying their friend has died. It is reasonable for them to request proof in the form on a death certificate, before giving you a refund.

    Unfortunately, you will just have to wait to get a copy of the death certificate and provide it to them in order to get your refund. However, I would give them notice that you have applied for the death certificate and are awaiting a copy of it.
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  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    27 May 2014
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    Likely none. The terms of the ticket are your rights. If you bought a discount-no-refund ticket, then it's typically bad luck as the change is due to your circumstances, not theirs. You could escalate with the complaints department but don't hold your breath.

    BTW, the executor should have a copy of the death certificate. Can you get a copy sent to you?
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