Company or individual details
- Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd33069720243
On 15 May 2019 the ACCC accepted a variation to the section 87B Undertaking provided to the ACCC by Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd (Jetstar), previously accepted by the ACCC on 14 December 2018. The Undertaking addressed some of the ACCC’s concerns about certain false and misleading representations Jetstar made to consumers about the nature and potential application of their consumer guarantee rights, including about the remedies that consumers may be entitled to in the event of flight delays or cancellations. Jetstar undertook that it would:
- conduct a comprehensive review of Jetstar’s policies, compliance program, website and booking systems to ensure they are compliant with the ACL;
- update its internal policy outlining Jetstar’s commitment to compliance with the ACL;
- notify relevant employees of Jetstar’s obligations to consumers under the ACL and Jetstar’s Compliance Policy;
- create an Australian Consumer Law webpage on the Jetstar website;
- include a hyperlink to Jetstar’s Australian Consumer Law webpage in communications sent to customers in the event of cancellations and/or flight delays;
- cause a comprehensive review to be undertaken of staff training;
- conduct a past complaint review;
- publish a statement on its website in relation to this Undertaking;
- implement a complaint review process to ensure future compliance with the Undertaking;
- conduct a risk review to ensure effective compliance with the Undertaking.
The purpose of this Variation to the Undertaking is to ensure that:
- A suitably qualified legal practitioner will be involved in Jetstar’s review of its policies, including its Conditions of Carriage and Fare Rules; and
- In relation to the Past Complaints Review (now, ‘Complaints Review’), the period for a consumer to make a relevant complaint and have it reviewed by a suitably qualified legal practitioner is extended to include the period between 10 April 2017 and 30 June 2019.
In December 2018, the ACCC also instituted proceedings against Jetstar in the Federal Court of Australia, alleging that Jetstar had made certain false and misleading representations to consumers about the nature and potential application of their consumer guarantee rights, including about the remedies that consumers may be entitled to in the event of flight delays or cancellations.
In relation to the proceedings, Jetstar has made admissions that between at least 10 April 2017 and 13 March 2018 it made representations that:
- its ‘Economy Starter’ fares and ‘Plus Bundle’ fares were not refundable, and that customers were only entitled to refunds on fares if they purchased a flight bundle at additional costs;
- flight services supplied by Jetstar were not subject to any statutory guarantees or warranties (including those in the ACL); and
- to the extent the consumer guarantees in the ACL applied to any services supplied by Jetstar, Jetstar’s liability was limited to either supplying the services again or paying the cost of having the services supplied again, at its discretion;
Jetstar has admitted that by making these representations, it engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and made false and misleading representations concerning the existence, exclusion or effect of a guarantee, right or remedy, in contravention of sections 18 and 29(1)(m) of the ACL.
The ACCC and Jetstar have made joint submissions in respect of the orders recommended to be made by the Court, including penalty, declarations, and costs.