Susan Strongman

Broadcasting reporter for the New Zealand Herald

MH17: Kiwis line up for airline's refund offer

Hundreds back out of flying with Malaysia Airlines afer disaster but majority stay put.

Photo / AP /Joshua Paul
Photo / AP /Joshua Paul

After two tragic incidents within months involving Malaysia Airlines, hundreds of Kiwis have gained refunds for flights with the company.

Following the MH17 tragedy, the airline offered full refunds for all tickets booked for July 18 to December 31 and many people have chosen not to fly with the carrier.

The cut-off date for refunds was yesterday and the Flight Centre's general manager, Simon McKearney, said about 400 people - or 10 per cent of customers booked with the carrier through the travel agency - had changed their flights.

The airline would likely look at different ways to boost sales as it recovered from the tragedy, though it had not dropped its prices since MH17 was shot down.

House of Travel's commercial director, Brent Thomas, said about 200 people had requested refunds, but it was a "single-figure percentage" of people who had booked through the agency.

"The vast majority of people are still travelling with the airline at the same time as they originally booked," he said.

Mondo Travel marketing manager Gordon Bayne said the agency had received inquiries from bargain-hunters about cheap flights. However, Mr McKearney said there had been "no sign" of that at Flight Centre.

Auckland man Anthony Williams will fly to Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia in mid-August.

Having booked his flights about three months ago - after the disappearance of flight MH370 between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing - he wasn't too worried about using the airline.

"After the second incident I was a little bit nervous, but then logic set in."

- NZ Herald

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