Compassionate Travel Policy

In the event of an unexpected critical medical situation or death in your immediate family, you may find that you need to arrange urgent domestic air travel at short notice. The following information explains when Air New Zealand can offer assistance for new ticket purchases on Air New Zealand domestic services - Compassionate Fares - or changes to existing bookings on Air New Zealand services - Compassionate Flexibility. In each case we require documentation to support that your request for Compassionate Fares or Compassionate Flexibility relates to an Immediate Family member and an unexpected critical medical situation or recent bereavement. Please note approval for compassionate consideration is at the sole discretion of Air New Zealand. 

How much does a Compassionate Fare cost?

Domestic New Zealand
Where no lower fare is publicly available we will offer Compassionate Fares for domestic travel for $169 for a single sector journey or $249 for two or more sectors per one way journey. Travel covered under critical medical situations must be commenced within 48 hours and within seven days of booking if travelling for bereavement.

All other routes
Compassionate Fares are only available on Air New Zealand’s domestic network.

Who is covered?

Definition of Immediate Family
In these situations the following people are considered immediate family:

Bereavement: The spouse, de facto partner, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, step parent, step child, step brother, step sister, parent in law, daughter in law and son in law of the deceased.

Unexpected and critical medical situation: In addition to the person who has suffered the unexpected and critical medical situation, their spouse, de facto partner, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, step parent, step child, step brother, step sister, parent in law, daughter in law and son in law.

When do Compassionate Fares and Compassionate Flexibility Apply?

Compassionate Fares apply for travel on Air New Zealand’s Domestic network only. Compassionate Flexibility applies to existing bookings on Air New Zealand services.
To be eligible for Compassionate Fares and Compassionate Flexibility, Air New Zealand will consider an event of recent bereavement to an Immediate Family member, or an Immediate Family member suffering a recent, unexpected critical medical situation.  Each of these is described in more detail below.

Bereavement 

Air New Zealand may offer Compassionate Fares or Compassionate Flexibility allowing you to travel on domestic Air New Zealand services, or defer any existing bookings that you may have with Air New Zealand:

  • Travel on a Compassionate Fare must be commenced within 7 days of booking and follow the recent bereavement of an Immediate Family member (within the last 7 days.)

We understand changes may be necessary for compassionate travel and have included one change free of charge, subject to seat availability, as part of the Compassionate Fare offering.

Unexpected and Critical Medical situation

Air New Zealand may offer Compassionate Fares or Compassionate Flexibility allowing you to travel on domestic Air New Zealand services, or defer any existing bookings that you may have with Air New Zealand:

  • To visit or support an Immediate Family member who is unexpectedly in a critical medical situation that is considered immediately life threatening.

A critical medical situation is defined as immediately life threatening, whereby the patient’s vital signs are unstable and likely to rapidly deteriorate. The patient has had a significant medical event such as heart attack or stroke. Pre-existing and long-term conditions are only covered by this policy in the event that the condition has deteriorated to a critical, immediately life threatening medical situation.
Travel on a Compassionate Fare must be commenced within 48 hours of booking. We understand changes may be necessary for compassionate travel and have included one change free of charge, subject to seat availability, as part of the Compassionate Fare offering.

Do I need to provide documentation?

Yes.  If you’re wishing to be considered for a Compassionate Fare or Compassionate Flexibility you will need to provide documentation confirming that a member of your Immediate Family has passed away, or is in an unexpected critical medical situation. Supporting documentation must show the Immediate Family link. We appreciate that this may well be a difficult time for you and providing paperwork might be the last thing on your mind. While we would encourage you to provide this information prior to travel, we will consider your application after travel if you provide supporting information within one month of the date of travel. 

Bereavement documentation
The following are acceptable forms of documentation:

  • Funeral Directors letter
  • Death certificate (please note that this is not usually issued/available immediately or prior to travel)
  • Letter from the attending doctor
  • Death Notice from newspaper

Unexpected critical medical situations documentation
The following are acceptable forms of documentation:

  • Letter from the attending doctor or hospital.

To enable Air New Zealand to make an informed assessment the letter should include the diagnosis, date of onset and confirmation that this is an unexpected critical medical situation that is immediately life threatening. Please note that Air New Zealand Airpoints Elite and Gold members are not required to provide documentation. 

How does the Compassionate Flexibility work?

We understand that bereavement and unexpected critical medical conditions to your Immediate Family may disrupt your planned travel on Air New Zealand. 

With our Compassionate Flexibility, we’ll allow you to either:

  • make one change to any existing Air New Zealand booking free of charge, subject to seat availability, to allow you to travel at an alternative date; or
  • cancel that existing booking and apply the value of that booking to an alternative Air New Zealand flight (or flights) to be used within 12 months from the date of ticketing of your original booking;

If you prefer, you can use the Compassionate Flexibility to obtain a Compassionate Fare. In situations where you hold a refundable fare we will refund without penalty.

An Air New Zealand booking is defined as flights ticketed on Air New Zealand ticket stock (tickets starting with 086) for travel on Air New Zealand Flights only.

Change flexibility

We understand changes may be necessary for compassionate travel and we have included one change free of charge, subject to seat availability, as part of the Compassionate Fare offering. Where you are able to secure a lower fare than those offered under our compassionate policy we will extend this flexibility to you upon you meeting the documentation requirements and on our approval. 

If you hold an existing ticket for travel that has not yet commenced and you can no longer travel as planned you can either:
Cancel non-refundable fares with the value of the fare held in credit for up to 12 months (from the original date ticket was issued). At the time of rebooking any difference in fare will be required to be paid however the fare change penalty and applicable service fee will be waived;

Apply the value of your existing ticket towards a compassionate fare. Any difference in fare will need to be paid however the fare change penalty and service fee will be waived. As with new bookings under this policy we will provide additional flexibility to the new ticket for one change without cost subject to seat availability.

If you hold an existing ticket for travel that has commenced and you need to change your plans you can:
Change existing travel without penalty or service fees provided seats are available in the same class of carriage where the journey remains the same. If the journey changes, any fare differential, taxes and or levies will apply.

What if I’m not covered by the compassionate policy?

Unfortunately not every situation will be covered by our compassionate policy. If you’re not eligible for our Compassionate Fares you are able to access our best available fares online here alternatively you can call our Contact Centre to assist with your travel options. Please note that service fees apply when calling our contact centre.

Availability and Restrictions

Please note fares sold under Air New Zealand’s Compassionate Travel Policy only apply to Domestic New Zealand services where appropriate documentation has been provided and compassionate approval given. Compassionate fares are only available through the Air New Zealand Contact Centre on 0800 737 000.