Ansett grounded: Passenger advice
Update 1000 Hrs
Ansett's administrator has grounded all Ansett flights, leaving thousands of passengers out of pocket or stranded around the country.
Ansett Australia domestic, Ansett International and regional operators Hazelton Airlines, Kendall Airlines, Skywest Airlines and Aero Pelican have all ceased flying, a total of 700 flights a day.
The ramifications for passengers are:
- Ansett flight tickets will not be honoured by any airline if travel did not commence by September 13. No refunds are likely to be issued by the airline – other creditors will have priority. If your Ansett ticket was purchased through a travel agent call your travel agent for advice.
- The position for those who have purchased Ansett package holidays is more complicated. Infochoice enquiries reveal that some hotel and car rental companies are saying they will not honour future Ansett holiday bookings as they have not been paid by the airline.
- However, those who have bought Ansett package holidays may get a refund via the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF) which covers travellers using travel agents that go broke. This scheme does not extend to airfares purchased on their own, ie. not booked as part of a package. Download a claim form from the TCF website or call 1800 021 024
- Qantas will honour the tickets of all Ansett customers who have already commenced travel on or before September 13. They will be able to use their Ansett tickets subject to availability on Qantas until September 27.
- Qantas is offering discounted tickets for Ansett customers with future bookings – all travel must be commenced and completed by 31 October.
- Virgin Blue is also offering discounted tickets for Ansett customers, which can be booked on their website or telephone on 13 67 89.
- Qantas will also schedule special services to 30 regional destinations on which Ansett was the sole carrier.
Full Qantas offer details
- Westpac has already said that tickets and holidays purchased on its credit cards will be refunded by the bank. This is also likely for ticket purchases on the Visa and Mastercards of other banks under general card issuing arrangements.
- Diners Club is offering its cardholders conditional refunds on Ansett fares but has made no offer over lost reward points. Click here for more details.
- Those who took out travel insurance before the last Monday, September 10 should be covered for Ansett-related travel, but policies bought after that date will not provide cover.
- Those with Ansett frequent flyer points not yet redeemed will almost certainly lose them. It won't be possible to redeem Global Rewards points on Ansett's overseas partner airlines.
Australian Frequent Flyer says the only hope is for another airline to buy Ansett assets and take over the reward program – and this is still possible because it offers any buyer access to a loyal customer base.
- Both the Qantas and Virgin Blue websites and call centres are extremely congested at this time and it may not be possible to make online bookings. Qanats has asked that only passengers wanting to travel within the next 24 hours make contact.
- A toll-free number has been set up to help Ansett staff on 1800 151 604.