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The Australian consumer organization "Choice" believes that domestic airlines in Australia have been exploiting passengers. Most domestic airlines have no refund policy, which is not in line with Australian consumer laws. "Choice" found loopholes in the consumer legal system and called on consumer supervision agencies to intervene.
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the "choice" lists six aspects to confirm that Australia's domestic airlines are ripping off passengers.
XNUMX. No refund policy
Three-quarters of the major domestic airlines do not have a refund policy, which violates the Australian consumer law that everyone has the right to refund.
Matt Levey, head of the "choice" operations and communications department, said that (consumer regulators) have not checked this practice for too long. "We often see companies in other industries complying with these regulations to the fullest. Now is the time to clean up the actions of airlines."
XNUMX. Excessive refund fees charged
"Select" found that when passengers cancel their itinerary, airlines are charging up to 100% of the refund handling fee, or up to 550 Australian dollars per ticket.
However, Levy believes that compared with other industries, it is more difficult to change airline fees, such as excessive credit card surcharges. He said: "Even recently we have seen Jetstar reluctantly remove the pre-charge option from its booking process."
Levy said: "Airlines have not responded to consumer demands like other industries."
XNUMX. No accountability
In the event that the flight is cancelled or delayed, the airline will not provide any compensation to the passengers.
"Choice" found that if the passenger's flight was cancelled or delayed, the airline failed to provide the passenger with a fixed compensation fee.
Four, avoid responsibility
In the peak travel season, all airlines greatly increase the price of air tickets, but if the plane is delayed, the airline will not be liable at all.
In foreign countries, especially in Europe, if the flight is delayed for more than two hours, passengers have a range of compensation options.
XNUMX. No instructions on how to use future flight points for passengers
Many airlines are unwilling to refund and give passengers some "Future Flight Points", but they have not given any instructions. Sometimes the terms are not suitable for the passengers' needs, until the points expire, the passengers will not be able to use them, it is wasted.
XNUMX. The missed flight ticket is invalid
In the coupon system provided by airlines, if a passenger misses one of the itineraries, the entire coupon will be invalid. This is unfair to passengers.
Levy said that some countries, such as Germany and Spain, have cancelled the rules for invalidating tickets. For example, in Europe, passengers there can choose to change one part of the itinerary to another mode of transportation, and then come back for the next part of the itinerary and take the remaining itinerary in the coupon. However, it is not possible in Australia at present. As long as the passenger misses one of the itineraries, the remaining coupons will be invalid.
Levy believes that without the intervention of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), airlines can take immediate action. "This is not a question of whether there are regulatory agencies involved. If airlines really want to start treating their customers more preferentially, they can cancel the non-refundable rules."
He said: "Airlines can formulate clearer terms and regulations that are easier to read; they can clearly convey information on refund fees and reduce refund fees to a reasonable level that reflects the resale cost of tickets. "
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