Customer service & tarmac delay plan

Air New Zealand has a guiding principle that "we will be the customers' airline of choice when travelling to, from, and within, New Zealand."

We want your decision to fly with us to be an easy one so this customer service plan outlines our commitment to you. Our own internal policies and procedures have you in mind and support the uniquely Kiwi style of customer service that Air New Zealanders are known for. Kia ora and welcome aboard.


Safety first

Safety of our customers, staff and aircraft is paramount and non-negotiable. As such we won't do anything to compromise on safety.

Lowest fares

Our flights can be booked online, through our contact centre, at Air New Zealand ticket offices or at a travel agency. Our lowest fares are sometimes only available when booking on our Air New Zealand website. Higher fares may apply when calling our contact centre, visiting our ticket offices or airport ticket counters, and you will incur service fees.

When specific dates and times are provided, we will offer you the best fare available based on your enquiry. If you do not provide specific information about your travel requirements, we will provide you with general fare information including any special sales or travel periods for promotional fares.

When booking online we also offer Fare Hold which provides you some time to get things sorted before firming up your travel plans. Fare Hold gives you the opportunity to reserve fares for your selected itinerary at the displayed price for up to 3 days in exchange for a fee. Fare Hold gives you time to free up funds or confirm travel and accommodation details with your travel companions without having to worry whether the fares might go up in price!

Suggestions to help you secure the lowest available fare:

  • State preferred dates of travel (however having some flexibility may reveal a lower fare)
  • While booking in advance gives you access to greater availability and generally lower fares, there will be times when Air New Zealand may offer lower fares for promotional periods. In these instances we will not refund the difference between what you have paid and the promotional fare
  • If possible try to avoid peak travel times, such as public and school holidays where higher demand may result in less choice and higher fares
  • Register to receive email updates for our latest web-only specials
  • When booking via our contact centre we suggest you request a booking be held for 24 hours without obligation if you are unable to commit to payment immediately

All online fares are subject to availability at the time of booking and are not confirmed until Air New Zealand notifies you of a booking reference (PNR).

Notification of flight schedule changes prior to the day of operation

Flight schedules are published months in advance and there are many factors often outside of Air New Zealand control that contribute to maintaining that schedule. So there will inevitably be occasions when flight times may change from when originally published.

When they do change we'll work with you to determine a suitable alternative and we will do our very best to provide timely notice of flight delays, cancellations and diversions of greater than 30 minutes to customers who have provided contact information as follows:

  • Customers who have made bookings directly with us and who have given us a valid contact phone number and/or email address will be sent an email and/or text notification informing them of the change. Customers can then review the change and update their bookings online
  • Customers with bookings made via a travel agent or website other than the Air New Zealand website will have a message sent to the booking agent to provide details of the change. The agent is responsible for contacting you
  • Customers with bookings that have no valid email address or contact phone number will not be able to be contacted

Tips for keeping up to date with changes:

  • Ensure you provide a valid email address when making your booking
  • Provide multiple phone numbers including a mobile phone number, at the time of booking. If you will have your mobile on roaming when travelling, please let us know
  • Ask your travel agent to provide us with your contact details (including day of travel contact details)
  • Update your contact details whenever you contact us throughout your journey (you can do this via your Airpoints Communication Preferences, or via Manage My Booking on the Air New Zealand website)

Delay notification

Our priority is to get you to your destination on time. Unfortunately there will be times when weather, air traffic control restrictions, operational or safety reasons result in delays, cancellations or diversions.

Within 30 minutes of becoming aware of a flight delay, cancellation or diversion that exceeds a delay of 30 minutes, we'll do our very best to ensure information is available:

Due to the often complicated planning that results from delays and cancellations our staff may not have full details of the alternatives available within 30 minutes. They will however be able to advise you of the delay and provide you with further details as soon as practicably possible.

For the most up to date details on flight changes, automated travel alerts via the Air NZ app, SMS or to your email are available via subscription.

Delays, cancellations and reschedules on the day of departure

The scheduled times of flights cannot be guaranteed and therefore don't form part of your contract of carriage with us. If your Air New Zealand flight is delayed, rescheduled or cancelled on the day of travel, we'll keep you updated with announcements and/or in-terminal flight departure and arrival displays. Air New Zealand's obligations in respect of delays, cancellations and reschedules on the day of departure will be subject to all applicable.

If your flight is delayed, cancelled or rescheduled on the day of travel and:

  • Impacts on connections with other flights that are part of the same ticketed journey, we'll endeavour to ensure your onward travel is re-booked with as little disruption as possible
  • Impacts on other travel arrangements (including flights that are not part of the same ticketed journey), then we ask that you please contact your travel agent or travel provider to change those arrangements

If necessary, we may need to use an alternative aircraft and/or the services of another carrier and/or transport provider to get you to your destination. That might mean going via a different route than what you had originally booked. In these instances we'll do that at no additional charge or refund to you.

Where a disruption that is due to reasons within our control results in an overnight delay and you:

Have already commenced your journey, we will provide you:

  • Overnight accommodation and meals
  • Transport between the airport and the accommodation provided by us
  • A phone call to inform family/friends of your delay (or, if requested, we will endeavour to make contact on your behalf)

These provisions will be offered until alternative travel arrangements have been arranged by Air New Zealand. Where any offered alternative flight is a reasonable alternative, but you opt to make different arrangements, the costs of these arrangements and any additional costs will be your responsibility.

Have not yet commenced your journey we will:

  • Endeavour to ensure connections with other flights that are part of the same ticketed journey are re-booked with as little disruption as possible
  • Keep you updated with any changes to rescheduled travel plans

Where you opt to amend the arrangements offered by us we will permit one change without penalty for travel within 3 days of the unsuitable flight subject to availability in the same cabin class. Changes outside of the 3 days or after the first change can be made subject to the original fare rules and costs.

If the alternative flight arrangements made aren't acceptable to you, or if we fail to operate reasonably according to schedule and your reason for travel no longer exists then:

  • If the disruption is caused by reasons within our control we will provide options to hold your ticket in credit or refund your unused Air New Zealand ticket in accordance with our Conditions of carriage
  • If the disruption is caused by reasons outside our control (e.g. weather, natural disasters, a public health event (including epidemic/pandemic)) the normal terms and conditions of your Air New Zealand ticket apply. If your fare is non-refundable, you should review your travel insurance policy or approach your travel insurance provider to determine if you may be covered. If you do not have travel insurance, we will hold the value of your fare in credit for up to 12 months
  • If you hold a ticket issued by an airline other than Air New Zealand please contact your travel agent or travel provider. Alternatively you may wish to contact your travel insurance provider

Please ensure you let us know before leaving the airport if you no longer wish to travel so we can cancel your travel arrangements. You should then submit your refund or credit request (where applicable depending on the reason for cancellation or delay) to your travel agent or to our refunds team.

Flight cancellations and misconnections

We understand that missing a connecting flight or having a flight cancelled is an inconvenience. Where Air New Zealand causes you to miss your connecting flight that is on the same ticket, or cancels a flight, we will:

  • Where time permits, contact you in advance provided you have provided us with a valid contact phone number and or email address
  • Assist you in rebooking flights that are on the same ticket onto the next available flight to get you to your destination as quickly as possible
  • Refund unused optional fees you have paid
  • Ensure that our policies and procedures are followed in regards to provision of refreshments and where required, overnight accommodation and transfers between the airport and hotel

Where the reason for you missing your flight connection or cancelling your flight is a result of your own actions or outside of Air New Zealand's control, we will provide assistance in rebooking your flight, however we are not liable for any associated costs. We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance to cover these and other unforeseen events.

Overbooking and denied boarding

Specialist forecasting and careful planning means that denied boarding due to overbooking rarely happens. If it does, we are committed to providing a fair and consistent approach to how we compensate and determine boarding priority.

In all overbooking situations we will ask for volunteers before denying travel involuntarily to any customer. Where your offer of volunteering to travel on an alternative flight is accepted by Air New Zealand, you will be provided with compensation for this.

In the event that we do not receive a sufficient number of volunteers to travel on alternative services, we will consider several factors before denying boarding involuntarily. Passengers that are denied boarding involuntarily will be provided compensation for this.

These may include but are not limited to:

  • Whether special assistance is required for the journey including:
    • where wheelchair assistance is required
    • those travelling with medical assistance or equipment
    • Young persons travelling alone and unaccompanied minors
  • Whether there are onward connecting flights booked on the same ticket
  • Whether travel is for compassionate or bereavement reasons

Note: Denied Boarding Compensation is not payable when:

  • You are not checked in on time or you were unable to be checked in due to not having the appropriate documentation
  • The flight is cancelled
  • An aircraft change is needed for operational or safety reasons and its use results in fewer seats being available
  • There are weight restrictions due to reasons outside our control, e.g. weather
  • You are able to be accommodated in a class different to that of what you have paid

In all instances of denied boarding Air New Zealand will comply with applicable laws including:

  • 14 CFR part 250 in the US;
  • EU 261/2004 for flights departing the EU;
  • Civil Aviation Act 1990;
  • the Air Passenger Protection Regulations for flights departing to and from Canada; and
  • the Regulation on the Management of Public Air Transportation Services for Passengers for flights to and from China whereby you may be entitled to certain standards of treatment and the following compensation under Articles 42-49:
    • Flights departing China to New Zealand CNY1550
    • Flights departing New Zealand for China NZD500.

Travel in a lower class

If you are booked to travel in Business class or Premium Economy and we are unable to accommodate you in the class of travel you are booked on we will in addition to offering you compensation:

  • Accommodate you in the next lower class of travel
  • Provide you with a "downgrade" certificate entitling you to a refund of the difference of the class paid and the class travelled for the applicable flight sector
  • Offer to rebook you on the next available flight in the class of travel paid for

Where local law requires Air New Zealand to offer different alternatives we will do so as required.

Delayed or damaged baggage

We make every effort to ensure your checked-in baggage arrives at your destination undamaged, but in the unlikely event that your baggage is delayed or damaged, we'll need you to report it to us as soon as possible.

Please submit a delayed baggage report online if you can't locate your baggage on the carousel upon arrival. We do our best to recover your baggage within 24 hours of being notified by you. We provide an amenity kit on request, and if we're not able to reunite you with your baggage within 24 hours, you may be entitled to emergency expenses.

If we're not able to locate your baggage within 21 days, we'll refund any additional charge applied to carry your baggage and reimburse you for the loss in accordance with the legislation or regulation that applies for your journey. Air New Zealand's liability for lost baggage is limited, so we strongly recommend that you have travel insurance, which offers a more comprehensive level of cover in most cases.

To claim for damaged baggage, please visit the baggage service desk upon arrival, or submit a damaged baggage report online as soon as you discover the damage.

Lost property

If you've left an item onboard one of our aircraft please complete the Aircraft lost property form providing as much information as possible. We'll be in touch as soon as possible on receipt of the details.

Ticket refunds

Where Air New Zealand is required to provide a refund under any applicable law or where the fare rules of your ticket permit a refund, either in full or in part, Air New Zealand will ensure that once a refund request has been received, any refund due will be processed as quickly as possible.

Refunds are subject to applicable fare rules, any applicable law and Air New Zealand's Conditions of carriage.

You can get a refund through Manage Booking if you cancel your refundable ticket before the flight departure.

If the option to cancel is not available to you through Manage Booking and you meet the refund criteria outlined in Conditions of carriage, you can request a ticket refund here.

Accommodating customers with disabilities and special needs

We recognise the importance of our role in the carriage of all customers, including those with disabilities.

We understand that the carriage of people with disabilities can present unique challenges for both customers and staff. As a result we will make every effort to provide a consistently safe and dignified travel experience through:

  • Training our staff to be competent in assisting customers with disabilities, including the use of specialised handling equipment
  • Availability of booking services that identify and capture the specific requirements of customers, so we can ensure they are implemented throughout the customer journey
  • Airport and aircraft environments that facilitate appropriate levels of access

Our policies and processes meet the US Department of Transport's requirements in rule 14 CFR part 382: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel. We can also assure you that our policies and processes in regards to unaccompanied minors provide for an entirely safe and caring environment. Our policies also address the care of individuals with special needs in the event of a lengthy tarmac or other delay.

To ensure the high quality of these services and protection of customer rights, we designate Complaint Resolution Officials (CRO) in US airports and airports with direct flights to the US to provide assistance in managing the needs of customers affected by any irregular operations, for all other airports our team leaders and managers fulfil this role. We also have a dedicated team of specialists to assist those customers with disabilities, who may require medical clearance and those who have additional specific requirements such as a fear of flying and to offer advice where needed.

For further information on how you can ensure your trip is comfortable and hassle-free refer to the Special assistance section of our website. Or call our friendly team on 09 255 7757 or email

Lengthy tarmac delays

Despite our very best intentions and efforts, there are many factors that can contribute to us not departing on time or be able to permit customers to disembark on arrival. If this happens along with providing customers with updates we will endeavour to ensure that urgent medical attention is available and that where possible water and food is available along with lavatory facilities.

Website information

Air New Zealand understands that making an informed purchasing decision is important; we therefore make information available on our Air New Zealand website and via our contact centre on:

  • Conditions that apply to your ticket and travel including fare cancellation policies
  • Aircraft configuration including if lavatories are available onboard
  • Information and terms and conditions on our frequent flyer programme, Airpoints™

Additional information is available on our website and from our contact centre about travelling with certain medical conditions and equipment, vacation packages, group travel, company information and more.

Responsiveness to customer complaints and compliments

We understand that there will be times when you want to comment on your experience when travelling with us. We welcome your comments, as they form an integral part of our ongoing commitment to improving our service.
Please use our online form to submit your feedback here or email us at


Contact us on any of our local contact numbers depending on where you are calling from:

Local Numbers


Air New Zealand Customer Relations
Private Bag 92007
Auckland 1142
New Zealand

If you would prefer to complete a customer survey on your experience with Air New Zealand please visit Please note that no response will be given to your comments via this channel.

Travel insurance

While we will make all efforts to operate to schedule and ensure both you and your bag/s make it to your destination we strongly recommend you take out travel insurance to protect against not only delay and lost baggage but other unexpected events like medical emergencies, cancellation of planned arrangements, etc.

We offer insurance in many markets and where we don't we ask that you make your own arrangements.

Flights to and from Canada

If you are denied boarding, your flight is cancelled or delayed for at least two hours, or your baggage is lost or damaged, you may be entitled to certain standards of treatment and compensation under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations. For more information about your passenger rights please see below or visit the Canadian Transportation Agency's website. 

Si l'embarquement vous est refusé, si votre vol est annulé ou retardé d'au moins deux heures, ou si vos bagages sont perdus ou endommagés, vous pourriez avoir droit à certaines normes de traitement et d'indemnisation en vertu du Règlement sur la protection des passagers aériens. Pour plus d'informations sur vos droits de passager, veuillez consulter ci-dessous ou visiter le site Web de l'Office des transports du Canada.

Customer Care Provided For Flight Delays and Cancellations 

When a delay or cancellation is due to reasons within our control, or required for safety reasons and you have been informed of this less than 12 hours before the scheduled departure time on your ticket, and you are delayed two hours after the scheduled departure time, we will provide: 

  • Food and water in reasonable quantities,  
  • Access to means of communication, 
  • Accommodation and transport to/from the hotel if you are required to wait overnight 

If your flight is cancelled or delayed by three hours or more, due to reasons within our control, we will: 

  • Rebook you on the next available Air New Zealand flight, or with a partner airline, within 9 hours of your original departure time. 
  • If we cannot do this, we will reroute you on any carrier, taking a reasonable route, to your final ticketed destination. 
  • If none of the above rebooking options meets your needs, or your travel no longer serves its purpose, we can refund the unused portion of your ticket. 

When your flight is cancelled or delayed by three hours or more, due to reasons outside our control, we will: 

  • Rebook you on the next available Air New Zealand flight, or on a partner airline, within 48 hours of your original departure time. 

If we cannot rebook you within 48 hours of your original departure time, we will: 

  • Reroute you on any carrier, taking any reasonable route, to your final ticketed destination, or 
  • Provide the option of a refund for the unused portion of your ticket.  


When your flight is cancelled or delayed due to reasons within our control and not required for safety reasons, and you arrive at your destination with a delay of three hours or more, you will be eligible for compensation (unless you were informed of the cancellation 15 days before the scheduled departure time). 

The amount of compensation provided is subject to your arrival time at your final destination: 

  • Delays of three to six hours: CAD $400 
  • Delays of six to nine hours: CAD $700 
  • Delays of 9 hours or more: CAD $1,000 
  • If you choose a refund instead of being rebooked, we will provide compensation of CAD $400, in addition to the refund amount. 

How to Claim Compensation if you are eligible 

Requests for compensation for delayed or cancelled flights must be submitted in writing within one year of the delay or cancellation date. All compensation requests for flights to/from Canada should be submitted in writing. Compensation will generally be paid in your local currency.  

Tarmac Delays 

In the event of a tarmac delay in Canada, we are required to allow you to disembark the aircraft after three hours, unless it is likely departure will occur within 45 minutes, or we are unable to safely return to a gate.  

We will provide you with a snack, water, access to onboard lavatories and the ability to use a personal communication device, if safe to do so.  

Denied Boarding 

If you are Denied Boarding due to an overbooking situation within our control and are delayed arriving at your final destination, we will provide compensation to the amount of: 

  • CAD $900, if arrival is delayed by less than six hours 
  • CAD $1800, if arrival is delayed by six hours or more, but less than nine hours.
  • CAD $2,400, if arrival is delayed by nine hours or more.
  • Denied Boarding compensation will be paid at the airport or within 48 hours.

Lost or Damaged Baggage 

Occasionally, checked baggage can be delayed, damaged, or misplaced. For more information on how we can provide support, please visit our baggage page.

You must submit a claim in writing if your bag is lost, damaged, or delayed: 

  • Within 7 days after receiving your damaged bag. 
  • Within 21 days after receiving your delayed bag.
  • As soon as possible for baggage considered lost.

Reimbursement of baggage charges (Lost, delayed or damaged baggage)

If your checked baggage is lost for more than 21 days or is damaged, we will: 

  • Refund any pre-paid baggage fees.
  • Refund any excess baggage fees.
  • Refund any oversized or overweight baggage fees.
  • Provide compensation required by the Air Passenger Protection Regulation, and Montreal Convention.

We are not required to compensate you if the damage is a result of the quality of your baggage. 

 If your bag is delayed by 21 days or less, we will:

  • Provide compensation equal to or greater than the sum of the fees paid for that baggage.
  • Provide compensation required by the Air Passenger Protection Regulations and Montreal Convention. 

Assigning seats to children under the age of 14

It is important we do everything possible to ensure children under 14 are seated with their accompanying adults. We will provide this for no extra charge, unless you request specific seating zones on our aircraft which come with an additional fee.

In situations where we are unable to seat all children next to their accompanying adults, we will assign a seat before check in to the child that is in close proximity to the accompanying adult. We must ensure that:

  • Children 4 years of age and under are seated adjacent to their accompanying adult.
  • Children between 5 to 11 years of age are seated in the same row as their accompanying adult, and separated by no more than one seat.

Children between 12 to 13 years of age are seated in a row that is separated from the row of their accompanying adult by no more than one row.   

Help and Contact 

If you wish to provide any feedback or make a complaint, please contact us.

If your complaint concerns air travel within, to and from Canada, the Canadian Transportation Agency may have jurisdiction to assist you. For more information please contact:

Canadian Transportation Agency 

60 Laval Street, Unit 01
Gatineau, QC  J8X 3G9
Tel: 1-888-222-2592 
Fax: 819-997-6727 
TTY: 1-800-669-5575 

For more information about your passenger rights please visit the Canadian Transportation Agency's website. 

Air New Zealand accepts the transportation of musical instruments as carry-on and checked-in baggage. A musical instrument may be taken as carry-on baggage if by adding the length, width and height of the bag together measures 118cm or less. It must be stowed either under the seat in front of you or in the overhead locker. When checking in a musical instrument, up to one metre (100cm) in length counts as a standard bag. Please note that excess charges may apply if it is not part of your included allowance. Otherwise, our overweight or oversized charges and restrictions will apply. 

Our Conditions of carriage and privacy statement provide you with additional key information about our commitments to you and also outline responsibilities that you have to us.