The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today received a commitment from Tiger Airways Australia Pty Ltd on the remedies it will offer consumers affected by the suspension of Tiger Airways’ Australian domestic flights.
"The ACCC decision to accept this commitment from Tiger Airways provides clarity to affected consumers and ensures that they are not left out of pocket," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.
On 1 July 2011, the Commonwealth Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) suspended Tiger Airways’ Air Operators Certificate for Australian domestic flights. CASA has applied to the Federal Court to extend the suspension to 1 August 2011, or earlier, pending the outcome of its investigation.
As a result of its suspension, Tiger Airways is not currently selling tickets for any Australian domestic flights.
The ACCC, together with other Australian Consumer Law regulators, have raised various concerns with Tiger Airways in relation to the treatment of consumers affected by the suspension.
Tiger Airways has reacted to these concerns and is in the process of implementing various changes to its operations to ensure that appropriate remedies are offered to affected consumers. Tiger Airways has already committed to automatically provide refunds to consumers who have been affected by the cancellation of flights in July following the suspension of Tiger Airways services.
‘In circumstances like this businesses need to be very mindful of the impact on their consumers and to react quickly and appropriately to address that impact’ Mr Samuel said.
In a letter to the ACCC, Tiger Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, Tony Davis, has offered a commitment in relation to the:
• provision of remedies for consumers, including refunds;
• processing of consumer refunds; and
• communication with affected consumers.
For domestic flights booked to depart prior to 1 August 2011
Tiger Airways will provide a full refund (including ticket cost, taxes and any surcharges) to all consumers and will use its best endeavours to process these refunds within 20 business days from the date the flights were cancelled. Refunds for these flights will be processed automatically without the need for customers to lodge a claim with Tiger Airways.
Tiger Airways has commenced the processing of these refunds and will provide the ACCC with regular reports on its progress.
For domestic flights between 1 August to 31 August 2011
Due to the uncertainty faced by consumers who have booked flights with Tiger Airways for the month of August, Tiger has agreed to allow consumers to cancel those flights without penalty.
Where a consumer chooses to cancel a booking, they will be required to advise Tiger Airways of their cancellation at any time until 7 days after the resumption of Tiger Airways services, which is subject to regulatory clearance by CASA. This can be done via Tiger Airways’ online customer portal or its customer call centre. Customers who cancel a booking will have the option to receive either a full refund or a credit note.
In the event of changes to its suspension, Tiger has committed to working with the ACCC to ensure that it continues to meet its obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.
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