The following information concerns the withdrawal of the AirAsia X flight route between Christchurch and Kuala Lumpur effective 1 June 2012. The following travel insurance information applies to travel insurance policies issued on or before 13 March 2012.
We refer to the attached News Release from Air Asia X which advises that the current four weekly AirAsia X flights between Kuala Lumpur and Christchurch will be suspended, with the last flight on 30 May 2012 (from Kuala Lumpur) and 31 May 2012 (from Christchurch).
Please note that AirAsia X has stated that they will offer guests who hold bookings after these dates an option of a full refund, a reroute to another AirAsia X destination (e.g. Australia to Kuala Lumpur or Kuala Lumpur to North Asia), or a rebook of a return flight prior to 31 May, 2012. We understand that if you are affected by these changes, AirAsia X will be in touch with you by email to canvas your options.
If you are affected by these changes and hold travel insurance with us that was issued on or before 13 March 2012, the following information will apply:
We will assess all claims in accordance with your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and your cover will depend on the type of plan you purchased and your particular circumstances.
What do you need to know about your policy?
If you have not yet departed:
- If you have not yet departed, your policy includes cover for cancellation or the rearrangement of your journey (whichever is less), or the unused portions of your journey, if your pre-booked travel arrangements are cancelled.
- If you have pre-booked travel arrangements and it is more cost effective to purchase a new airline ticket with an alternative carrier than cancelling your travel arrangements there is cover to do this. You must take advantage of any compensation available to you through AirAsia X.
- We recommend you contact your travel agent or travel provider regarding the best option in altering your trip.
- All travel insurance policies provide cover for unforeseen and unexpected circumstances only. Due to the media coverage, there is no provision to claim for any expenses relating to the cancellation of flights for policies issued on or after 14 March 2012.
If you are currently travelling:
- If you have started your journey and your flight is cancelled, there is cover to claim for reasonable additional food and accommodation.
- Limits apply under your policy, and for full details you should refer to the PDS you received when you purchased your travel insurance.
- There is no provision to claim under your policy for cancellation or rearrangement expenses for the utilised portions of your travel arrangements.
- Given that the AirAsia X cancellations are not effective until 1 June 2012, we urge you to contact AirAsia X, our Allianz Global Assistance Information Hotline on 1300 725 154 or your travel agent to discuss your options.
What next steps should you take?
- You should take all reasonable steps to minimise your expenses and this includes rearranging your journey where possible. Re-arrangements to your journey should be consistent with the type and standard of arrangements you originally made. For example if you have been using two star or budget accommodation on your trip to date, then we advise that the replacement accommodation you seek should be of a similar standard.
- Please submit your travel insurance claim with relevant supporting documentation.
- We will assess your claim under the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy.
- If you are claiming cancellation or additional expenses you will need to submit all documents showing what your original planned pre-paid arrangements were, along with any receipts and documents showing your new arrangements, and advice from the travel provider indicating the non-refundable portion of the journey.
- Any compensation and/or refunds you receive from AirAsia X or your credit card provider for transport, food or accommodation will be deducted from any settlement, if your claim is accepted.
- Finally, to help Australians avoid difficulties overseas, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) maintains travel advisories for more than 160 destinations overseas via its website www.smarttraveller.gov.au. DFAT’s travel advice provides accurate, up-to-date information about the risks Australians might face overseas, assisting you to make well-informed decisions about whether, when and where to travel. We recommend that you stay up-to-date with its destination specific travel advisories for the country of your destination as your travel insurance cover may be affected if you travel to high risk areas or situations.