An Auckland woman who was expected to be $11,800 out of pocket for her Air NZ airfare to London will now receive a full refund, but not everyone is in the same situation.

Ivy Burton and her husband had their premium economy flights to London via Los Angeles on May 30 cancelled and was initially only offered credit valid for 12 months.

But with Los Angeles to London flights shelved, Burton said the credit offer was useless.

While Burton and her husband eventually received a full refund, others aren't so lucky, and will likely instead receive credit.


So why will some customers receive a full refund but others only offered credit?

An Air New Zealand spokesperson said customer refunds or credits were dependent on which country the ticket was purchased, and each individual country's regulations.

"Air New Zealand is crediting or refunding customer tickets according to the fare product purchased and local regulations in the country in which it was purchased," the spokesperson said.

Consumer NZ's Jessica Wilson confirmed customers whose Air NZ flights were to or via the US should receive refunds, as they were covered by the US Department of Transportation regulations.

Air New Zealand is offering refunds to customers who travel through the US and the EU. Photo / File
Air New Zealand is offering refunds to customers who travel through the US and the EU. Photo / File

According to advice given to Consumer NZ, some customers with flights from the European Union will also be refunded.

For customers who had booked flights to other destinations, Air New Zealand was offering credit valid for 12 months, with a further 12 months to complete your travel from the time of the new booking.

"We've recently extended our fare flexibility for Covid-19 related credits for flights between 24 January and 30 June 2020. The increased flexibility means that credits obtained as a result of Covid-19 changes are now valid until 30 June 2021, so customers wishing to use these credits have until 30 June 2021 to book flights using the credit.

"Customers then have a further 12 months to travel from the time of the booking," a spokesperson told the Herald.


If customers have purchased a domestic non-refundable ticket and don't wish to travel, they will not receive a refund unless local legislation requires a refund to be made.

On Friday, Air New Zealand said its direct flights between Auckland and the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires would not resume and the national carrier says it won't launch its non-stop service to New York until late 2021 "at the earliest".

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It also won't resume its Los Angeles to London route, which was to have stopped anyway from October. Some 95 per cent of Air New Zealand's international routes are suspended until at least June 30 and the airline is making drastic staff and other cuts as it anticipates shrinking to a domestic and international short-haul airline for the foreseeable future.

• For more information on how Covid-19 has affected your travel with Air NZ, click here. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website