Prior to leaving Canada we always check and double check our details, flights, accommodations, car rentals etc. From doing this we are always sure that everything is in order before we leave home base. This time as we were checking our flights we logged in to Air New Zealand and were checking arrival and departure times, lay overs at airports etc. We also check our seat assignments especially when we have paid a fee to upgrade to a ‘premium’ seat.
Having had three changes to our Air New Zealand tickets over the months we now found that 2 of our Air New Zealand flights had no seat assignments! (We are, by this time, starting to feel like hot potatoes as no one wanted to be responsible for all the trouble). We called Air New Zealand and spoke to Yvonne (much to our chagrin). We explained to Yvonne that there had been a number of changes to our tickets due to Air New Zealand changing and cancelling flights etc., etc., and she apologized for the ‘inconvenience’ caused. We mentioned that we could not get assigned seats for the ‘new’ flight from Melbourne to Sydney (that their agent had fixed the week before) and she said it was because it was a code-share with Qantas. Ok, fair enough…
But what about our ‘premium’ seats from Auckland to Roratonga that some how disappeared? She said we should have asked about the seats when we were ‘fixing’ the canceled flight the week before. Of course our answer was; How would we possibly know we did not have seats, when we purchased seats, and they were already assigned? She said that their system should have sent us an email notifying us that our seat assignments had changed (to no seats at all). We informed her that we did not receive such an email and she confirmed that their system had a glitch!
Well, her answer was to not to re-assign the original assigned seats we had purchased but to put us in ‘available’ seats as the aircraft had changed! We requested some kind of compensation (possibly upgraded seats) for all the changes and inconvenience… and that was a ‘no go’ as well. She even spoke with a supervisor and Air New Zealand felt no need to ‘compensate’ customers who they admittedly had inconvenienced…not once, not twice, but three times. After an hour of ‘discussion’ she suggested she could unblock a couple of seats reserved for ‘frequent travelers’ … so we agreed to seats closer to the front of the plane and a refund of the ‘premium’ seat charge.
Well, as it happens because our flights had changed we could not check-in online for any of our New Zealand flights which meant we had to be at the airport at least an hour earlier than if we had checked-in online. We did get our newly assigned seats but are still waiting for the email from Yvonne to confirm those seats and we are still waiting for the credit for the ‘premium’ seats she was going to refund!
We did however find that the ground crews and the cabin crews on Air New Zealand were great, which relieved some of the stress of all the changes.
Well I guess 2 out of 3 experiences with Air New Zealand were relatively positive. So, the downgraded rating is 6/10 for Air New Zealand.