Consumer group Choice are urging Aussie travellers to stay across their travel rights amid delays at Sydney Airport and the latest warnings surrounding Bali’s Mt Agung volcano.
Choice spokesperson Tom Godfrey says quality travel insurance and holding onto receipts could be among the simple tasks that may prevent one from becoming tangled in “a painful situation” such as flight delays or natural disaster events.
“Getting stranded on the first day of the school holidays is a painful situation for anyone who is getting ready to hop on a plane,” he said.
“In Australia, payments for accommodation, transport, meals and phone calls if your flight is delayed or cancelled is at the discretion of the airline but it's always worth asking if you need any assistance.
“If the issue is out of the airline's control, like volcanic ash clouds or an air traffic control problem, airlines will usually try to help you get to your destination but they may not pay for any costs or expenses you may incur as a result of the delay or cancellation.”
Godfrey said Choice has also renewed its call for Australians to receive fixed-dollar compensation when an airline makes a mistake.
“We’re also encouraging travellers who do experience mistakes that are within an airline’s control to lodge a complaint through our Complane.com.au tool,” he said.
“Consumers can help put the pressure on the airlines to do the right thing by their passengers.”
Choice recommends the following travel tips to consumers:
- If you are out of pocket because of flight delays or cancellations in Australia, keep your receipts but try to keep your expenditure as low as possible – you may never get the money back.
- Airlines will often address claims for reimbursements on a case by case basis so if you're stranded or in need of assistance, approach the counter or call your airline to see if they can offer you assistance.
- Check if your travel insurance covers you for flight delays or cancellations - good policies cover you when something goes wrong.
- Keep all receipts to lodge a claim with your insurer if you get stuck.