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