Home Airlines Goodwill: U.S.-Based Airlines Should Take A Lesson from Air New Zealand

Goodwill: U.S.-Based Airlines Should Take A Lesson from Air New Zealand

by SharonKurheg

When was the last time you heard of a U.S.-based airline offering to reschedule flights, with no change fees, for a reason other than weather, natural disaster, mechanical issues or being overbooked? Not often, right? If it wasn’t an act of God or their own fault, I can’t think of it ever happening, least of all on a large scale. Definitely not for, let’s say, a delayed concert, correct? That’s where virtually all of the U.S.-based airlines should follow the lead of Air New Zealand.

Elton John has been performing in New Zealand in recent days but had to cut his performance short on Sunday night because he had no more voice.

The 72-year-old singer had been diagnosed with walking pneumonia earlier in the day and, with meds on board, tried to perform that evening. Unfortunately, his voice gave out midway through his 14th of 25 planned songs and he just couldn’t continue that evening.

Later, via social media, he apologized profusely to his fans in attendance.

It was decided that his next concert, at Mt. Smart Stadium in Auckland on Tuesday, February 18th, would be postponed to Wednesday the 19th, to give Sir Elton an extra day to rest.

Apparently, lots of people were planning to fly to Auckland to see the concert and Air New Zealand, seeing that passengers’ plans were now changed, made the following announcement:

“As a gesture of goodwill, Air New Zealand is offering customers affected by this change the opportunity to defer travel plans by one day without cost by calling its contact centre,” the airline said in a statement that was published in the New Zealand Herald.

The airline offered to waive any service fees or fare differences associated with moving the booking. Also, customers who no longer wanted to travel because of the day the concert could also choose to hold the value of their fare in credit for up to 12 months.

When the Rolling Stones’ “No Filter” tour was postponed last year because Mick Jagger had open-heart surgery, or when Ozzy Osbourne canceled his upcoming No More Tours 2 tour because of health reasons, I don’t remember Delta, American, United, JetBlue, Frontier, Allegiant or Spirit offering to change airline plans for free. Good on you, Air New Zealand!

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

2 comments

Willy February 19, 2020 - 10:17 pm

I guess you’re joking here, right? How can you possibly compare what goes on in the backwater island of New Zealand to USA?

Air New Zealand flies domestically roughly 30,000 passengers per day. And it’s an island nation with a crappy land based transportation infrastructure. And ole EJ is only going to play in a big stadium there so if you want to go, and you don’t live in Auckland, you’re flying. Since NZ could fill rougly half of the stadium on any given day it only makes sense for them to bother with worrying about such a thing.

Meanwhile here, EJ is doing concerts in every big city and if you want to go you can drive on a nice, wide, fast highway. American Airlines ALONE emplanes 558,205 passengers per day. Total all US airlines Dec18-Nov19 daily emplanements were 2,521,386 daily! DAILY! Why in the heck would any airline care about one concert?

In 2 regular days the US flies more people than live in all of New Zealand. I wonder why EJ even goes in the first place?

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Mel February 20, 2020 - 4:20 am

I cannot believe that Air New Zealand offered this to Elton John concert goers, when it is not doing the same for people who are affected by coronavirus travel restrictions. This makes me insanely angry that an airline who has financially penalized people for travel disruptions during a world health crisis would casually offer free flight changes due to a concert.

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