Customer Service & Tarmac Delay Plan

Air New Zealand has a guiding principle that "we will be the customers' airline of choice when traveling to, from and within New Zealand."

We want your decision to fly with us to be an easy one so this Customer Service plan outlines our commitment to you. Our own internal policies and procedures have you in mind and support the uniquely Kiwi style of customer service that Air New Zealanders are known for. Please note that certain aspects of this plan applies to flights to, from and within the United States only.

Kia ora and welcome aboard.

Safety First

Safety of our customers, staff and aircraft is paramount and non-negotiable. As such we won't do anything to compromise on safety.

Lowest fares

Our flights can be booked online, through our contact centre, at Air New Zealand ticket offices or at a travel agency. Our lowest fares are sometimes only available when booking on our website Higher fares may apply when calling our contact centre, visiting our ticket offices or airport ticket counters, and you will incur service fees. Notice to this effect will be displayed at Air New Zealand airport ticket desks in the US and included in a recorded message via our contact centre as required by US law.

When specific dates and times are provided, we will offer you the best fare available based on your enquiry. If you do not provide specific information about your travel requirements, we will provide you with general fare information including any special sales or travel periods for promotional fares.

When booking online we also offer Fare Hold which provides you some time to get things sorted before firming up your travel plans. Fare Hold gives you the opportunity to reserve fares for your selected itinerary at the displayed price for up to 3 days in exchange for a fee. Fare Hold gives you time to free up funds or confirm travel and accommodation details with your travel companions without having to worry whether the fares might go up in price!

Suggestions to help you secure the lowest available fare:

  • State preferred dates of travel (however having some flexibility may provide a lower fare).
  • While booking in advance gives you access to greater availability and generally lower fares there will be times when Air New Zealand may offer lower fares for promotional periods. In these instances we will not refund the difference between what you have paid and the promotional fare.
  • If possible try to avoid peak travel times, such as public and school holidays where higher demand may result in less choice and higher fares.
  • Register to receive email updates for our latest web-only specials.
  • When booking via our contact centre, we suggest you request a booking be held for 24 hours without obligation if you are unable to commit to payment immediately.

All online fares are subject to availability at the time of booking and are not confirmed until Air New Zealand notifies you of a booking reference (PNR).

Cooling off period

Any quote given without a booking being made cannot be guaranteed. We strongly recommend that a booking is held or paid for immediately to secure the best available fare.

So that you can be sure the flights booked best fit your travel plans, we will permit the following flexibility for airfare only* bookings made at least one week (168 hours) prior to travel. Inside this time frame normal fare rules will apply.

  • Bookings made via our Contact Centre, ticket offices or airport ticket counters can be held for a cooling off period of 24 hours without payment at the fare quoted. Alternatively, where payment is made at the time of booking, tickets can be refunded without penalty if requested within 24hours of making the payment. These bookings may incur a service fee. All service fees are non-refundable. Please refer to the original booking office for refund requests.
  • Bookings made on our United States website including bookings made with Fare Hold can be refunded via the manage bookings page or will be refunded without penalty if requested within 24 hours of making your booking.
  • Bookings made via a travel agent or other website can be refunded without penalty if requested within 24 hours of making the payment. Please contact the agent or website to request a refund.

*A range of hotel, rental car and other land arrangements can be booked through Air New Zealand. As some wholesalers and suppliers impose cancellation charges, the 24 hour cooling off period isn't applicable to those products. Please note that should such charges be applied, Air New Zealand will on-charge those costs to you.

Cancelling a booking

So that you can be sure the flights booked best fit your travel plans, we'll permit airfares booked on to be cancelled within 24hours of ticketing for bookings made at least one week (168 hours) prior to travel. Outside this time frame normal fare rules will apply.

Business Class fares can be cancelled online up until departure.

Most Tasman, Pacific and New Zealand Domestic Flexi fares may also be cancelled online.

If your booking can be cancelled online a 'Cancel this booking' button will be displayed when you retrieve your booking.

A booking must be cancelled in full, i.e., both the outbound and return flight.

Ticket refunds

If your flight to/from or within the US is cancelled, you are entitled to a refund.

Where the fare rules of your ticket permit a refund, either in full or in part, we'll ensure that once a refund request has been received, any refund due will be processed within the following time frames.

For payments made by credit card, any refund due will be refunded back to the original card issuer within 7 business days. The credit card issuer will in turn refund the purchase price of the ticket in accordance with the terms of its credit card agreement with you, less any applicable cancellation or service fees. Due to various billing cycles, a credit card statement may not reflect a refund immediately.

For tickets paid made by cash or cheque, any refund due will be refunded within 20 days to the person who paid for the ticket. Where a bank deposit slip is provided a bank transfer can be arranged in lieu of a cheque.

Refunds are subject to applicable fare rules and Air New Zealand's Conditions of Carriage.

Notification of flight schedule changes prior to the day of operation

Flight schedules are published months in advance and there are many factors often outside of Air New Zealand control that contribute to maintaining that schedule. So there will inevitably be occasions when flight times may change from when originally published.

When they do change we'll work with you to determine a suitable alternative and we will provide timely notice of flight delays, cancellations and diversions of greater than 30 minutes to customers who have provided contact information as follows:

  • Customers who have made bookings directly with us and who have given us a valid contact phone number and/or email address will be sent an email and/or text notification informing them of the change. Customers can then review the change and update their bookings online.
  • Customers with bookings made via a travel agent or website other than will have a message sent to the booking agent to provide details of the change. The agent is responsible for contacting you.
  • Customers with bookings that have no valid email address or contact phone number will not be able to be contacted.

Tips for keeping up to date with changes:

  • Ensure you provide a valid email address when making your booking.
  • Provide multiple phone numbers including a mobile phone number, at the time of booking. If you will have your mobile on roaming when travelling, please let us know
  • Ask your travel agent to provide us with your contact details (including day of travel contact details)
  • Update your contact details whenever you contact us throughout your journey (you can do this via your Airpoints Communication Preferences, or via Manage My Booking on the Air New Zealand website.)

Delay notification

Our priority is to get you to your destination on time. Unfortunately there will be times when weather, air traffic control restrictions, operational or safety reasons result in delays, cancellations or diversions.

Within 30 minutes of becoming aware of a flight delay, cancellation or diversion that exceeds a delay of 30 minutes, we'll ensure information is available:

Due to the often complicated planning that results from delays and cancellations our staff may not have full details of the alternatives available within 30 minutes. However, they will be able to advise you of the delay and provide you with further details as soon as practicably possible.

For the most up-to-date details on flight changes automated Travel Alerts via Air New Zealand Mobile App, SMS or to your email are available via subscription.

Delays, Cancellations and Reschedules on the day of departure

The scheduled times of flights cannot be guaranteed and therefore don't form part of your contract of carriage with us. If your Air New Zealand flight is delayed, rescheduled or cancelled on the day of travel, we'll keep you updated with announcements and/or in-terminal flight departure and arrival displays.

If your flight is delayed, cancelled or rescheduled on the day of travel and;

a. impacts on connections with other flights that are part of the same ticketed journey, we'll ensure your onward travel is re-booked with as little disruption as possible; or
b. impacts on other travel arrangements (including flights that are not part of the same ticketed journey), then we ask that you please contact your travel agent or travel provider to change those arrangements.

If necessary, we may need to use an alternative aircraft and/or the services of another carrier and/or transport provider to get you to your destination. That might mean going via a different route than what you had originally booked. In these instances we'll do that at no additional charge or refund to you.

Where a disruption that is due to reasons within our control results in an overnight delay and you:

Have already commenced your journey, we will provide you:

a. overnight accommodation and meals
b. transport between the airport and the accommodation provided by us
c. a phone call to inform family /friends of your delay (or, if requested, we will endeavour to make contact on your behalf) 

These provisions will be offered until alternative travel arrangements have been arranged by Air New Zealand. Should you opt to make different arrangements, these and any additional costs will be your responsibility.

Have not yet commenced your journey we will:

a. ensure connections with other flights that are part of the same ticketed journey are re-booked with as little disruption as possible
b. keep you updated with any changes to rescheduled travel plans

Where you opt to amend the arrangements offered by us, we will permit one change without penalty for travel within 7 days of the unsuitable flight subject to availability in the same cabin class. Changes outside of the 7 days or after the first change, can be made subject to the original fare rules and costs.

If the alternative flight arrangements made aren't acceptable to you, or if we fail to operate reasonably according to schedule and your reason for travel no longer exists then:

a. if the disruption is caused by reasons within our control (e.g. Air New Zealand / Star Alliance industrial action) we will credit or refund your unused Air New Zealand ticket in accordance with our conditions of carriage (section 15); or
b. if the disruption is caused by reasons outside our control (e.g. weather, non-Air New Zealand / Star Alliance industrial action, natural disasters) the normal terms and conditions of your Air New Zealand ticket apply. If your fare is non-refundable, you should review your travel insurance policy or approach your travel insurance provider to determine if you may be covered. If you do not have travel insurance, we will hold the value of your fare in credit for up to 12 months; or
c. if you hold a ticket issued by an airline other than Air New Zealand please contact your travel agent or travel provider. Alternatively, you may wish to contact your travel insurance provider.

Please ensure you let us know before leaving the airport if you no longer wish to travel so we can cancel your travel arrangements. You should then submit your refund or credit request (where applicable) to your travel agent or to our refunds team.


Flight cancellations and misconnections

We understand that missing a connecting flight or having a flight cancelled is an inconvenience. If an airline delay or flight disruption causes you to miss your connecting flight that's on the same ticket, or cancels a flight to/from or within the US, we will:

  • Contact you in advance if time permits and you've provided us with a valid contact phone number and/or email address.
  • Assist you in rebooking flights that are on the same ticket onto the next available flight to get you to your destination as quickly as possible.
  • Refund unused optional fees you have paid.
  • Ensure that our policies and procedures are followed in regards to provision of refreshments and where required, overnight accommodation and transfers between the airport and hotel.

Where the reason for you missing your flight connection or cancelling your flight is a result of your own actions or outside of Air New Zealand's control, we will provide assistance in rebooking your flight, however we are not liable for any associated costs. We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance to cover these and other unforeseen events.

Overbooking and denied boarding

Specialist forecasting and careful planning means that denied boarding due to overbooking rarely happens. If it does, we are committed to providing a fair and consistent approach to how we compensate and determine boarding priority.

In all overbooking situations we will ask for volunteers before denying travel involuntarily to any customer. Where your offer of volunteering to travel on an alternative flight is accepted by Air New Zealand, you will be compensated in the same way as those who may be denied travel involuntarily.

Note: Denied Boarding Compensation is not payable when:

  • you are not checked in on time or you were unable to be checked in due to not having the appropriate documentation
  • the flight is cancelled (refer Delays, Cancellations & Reschedules)
  • an aircraft change is needed for operational or safety reasons and its use results in fewer seats being available
  • there are weight restrictions due to reasons outside our control e.g. weather
  • you are able to be accommodated in a class different to that of what you have paid – refer to the "Travel in a Lower Class" section below.

 In all instances of denied boarding Air New Zealand will comply with applicable laws including 14 CFR part 250 in the US and EU 261/2004 for flights departing the EU.

Travel in a Lower Class

If you are booked to travel in Business Class or Premium Economy and we are unable to accommodate you in the class of travel you are booked we will in addition to offering you compensation:

a. accommodate you in the next lower class of travel;
b. provide you with a "downgrade" certificate entitling you to a refund of the difference of the class paid and the class travelled for the applicable flight sector; or
c. offer to rebook you on the next available flight in the class of travel paid for.

Where local law requires Air New Zealand to offer different alternatives we will do so as required.

Delayed or damaged baggage

We will make every effort to ensure your bags arrive at your destination on schedule and in the condition we received them. Despite all care being taken, baggage sorting systems are complex and involve both human and mechanical interaction which sometimes results in baggage being delayed.

In the event that your baggage is delayed, we will endeavour to have it returned to you within 24 hours of receiving notification that your bag is missing. We will provide you with an amenity kit on request and if we are not able to return your bags within 24 hours, authorise limited emergency expenses to be issued to you.

In the unlikely event that you are not able to be reunited with your baggage we will refund any additional charge applied to carry the baggage and will reimburse you for the loss in accordance with the legislation or regulation that applies for your journey.

As our liability for lost baggage is limited, we strongly recommend that you have travel insurance to cover loss or damage to baggage, which will in most cases offer a more comprehensive level of cover.

Any damage should be reported to Air New Zealand in writing as soon as you discover it and at the latest, within 7 days of receipt of the baggage. For contact details go to our Baggage Services Offices page.

Find out more details on how we manage delayed or damaged baggage.

Accommodating customers with disabilities and special needs

We recognise the importance of our role in the carriage of all customers, including those with disabilities.

We understand that the carriage of people with disabilities can present unique challenges for both customers and staff. As a result we will make every effort to provide a consistently safe and dignified travel experience through:

  • Training our staff to be competent in assisting customers with disabilities, including the use of specialised handling equipment
  • Availability of booking services that identify and capture the specific requirements of customers, so we can ensure they are implemented throughout the customer journey
  • Airport and aircraft environments that facilitate appropriate levels of access

Our policies and processes meet the US Department of Transport's requirements in rule 14 CFR part 382: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel. We can also assure you that our policies and processes in regards to unaccompanied minors provide for an entirely safe and caring environment. Our policies also address the care of individuals with special needs in the event of a lengthy tarmac or other delay.

To ensure the high quality of these services and protection of customer rights, we designate Complaint Resolution Officials (CRO) in US airports and airports with direct flights to the US to provide assistance in managing the needs of customers affected by any irregular operations, for all other airports our team leaders and managers fulfil this role. We also have a dedicated team of specialists to assist those customers with disabilities, who may require medical clearance and those who have additional specific requirements such as a fear of flying and to offer advice where needed.

For further information on how you can ensure your trip is comfortable and hassle-free refer to the Special Assistance section of our website. Or call our friendly team on 09 255 7757 or email

Lengthy tarmac delays

Despite our very best intentions and efforts, there are many factors that can contribute to us not departing on time or be able to permit customers to disembark on arrival. If this happens along with providing customers with updates we will endeavour to ensure that urgent medical attention is available and that where possible water and food is available along with lavatory facilities.

For details specific to tarmac delays in the US please see our Tarmac Delay Plan.

While it is highly unlikely that a flight will be delayed on the tarmac for more than 3 hours, Air New Zealand has a plan in place that will, in the event of a tarmac delay, ensure:

  1. An aircraft does not remain on the tarmac more than 4 hours at a United States airport before allowing customers to deplane unless:
  2. The pilot in command determines that there is a safety or security related reason why the aircraft can not leave its position on the tarmac; or
  3. Air traffic control advises the pilot in command that deplaning would cause significant disruption to airport operations.
  4. Customers are provided adequate water and food no later than 2 hours after the aircraft leaves the departure gate or touches down should the aircraft remain on the tarmac, unless the pilot in command determines that there is a safety or security related reason why this service can not be provided.
  5. Onboard lavatories are operable while on the tarmac.
  6. Adequate medical attention is available during the delay if required.
  7. All customers will be provided with updates during the delay regarding the status of the delay at least every 30 minutes and if known, the cause of the delay.
  8. Customers are notified 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time and every 30 minutes after that time where the aircraft is positioned at a gate or other disembarkation area when the door is open if an opportunity to deplane exists. Customers will be advised that should they choose to deplane, the flight may leave without them.
  9. Air New Zealand has sufficient resources available and that we have co-ordinated with local airport authorities, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transport Security Administration (TSA) to ensure we can facilitate our plan as described.

When Air New Zealand flights are operated by a partner airline, that operating carrier's tarmac delay plan will apply.

Website information

Air New Zealand understands that making an informed purchasing decision is important; we therefore make information available on our website and via our Contact Centre on:

  • Conditions that apply to your ticket and travel including fare cancellation policies
  • Aircraft configuration including if lavatories are available onboard
  • Information and terms and conditions on our frequent flyer programme, Airpoints™.

Additional information is available on our website and from our Contact Centre about travelling with certain medical conditions and equipment, vacation packages, group travel, company information and more.

Responsiveness to customer complaints and compliments

We understand that there will be times when you want to comment on your experience when travelling with us. We welcome your comments, as they form an integral part of our ongoing commitment to improving our service.

We will investigate any complaint regarding service failures, products or staff issues. This can take some time however we will ensure an interim response is sent within 30 days and a substantive response within 60 days of receiving any written complaint, as is required of airlines under such circumstances.

Compliments are of course also welcome. We will acknowledge all written compliments within 30 days of receiving them and where a staff member is complimented we will ensure that praise is passed on.

Please use our online form to submit your feedback here or email us at


Air New Zealand Customer Relations
Private Bag 92007
Auckland 1142
New Zealand

If you would prefer to complete a customer survey on your experience with Air New Zealand please visit Please note that no response will be given to your comments via this channel.

Should you wish to send complaints/comments to the Aviation Consumer Protection Division (ACPD) please visit or write to the Aviation Consumer Protection Division, C-75, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave., S.E, Washington, D.C. 2059.

Travel Insurance

While we will make all efforts to operate to schedule and ensure both you and your bag/s make it to your destination we strongly recommend you take out travel insurance to protect against not only delay and lost baggage but other unexpected events like medical emergencies, cancellation of planned arrangements etc.

We offer insurance in many markets and where we don't we ask that you make your own arrangements.

More Information

Our conditions of carriage and privacy statement provide you with additional key information about our commitments to you and also outline responsibilities that you have to us.