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Virgin Australia Provides Undertaking to ACCC about Consumer Guarantees

Since January 2018, Virgin Australia has been engaging with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) following the ACCC’s publication of its Airlines: Terms and conditions report on 20 December 2017 (Report). 

In the Report, the ACCC noted that between 1 January 2016 and 14 December 2017, it had received over 1,400 complaints about airlines, largely in relation to ‘no refund’ statements, excessive fees for cancelling or changing flights, and issues relating to consumer guarantees. 

In Virgin Australia’s subsequent engagement with it, the ACCC expressed particular concern that Virgin Australia may have made representations to consumers, and/or gave consumers the overall misleading impression, that for its ‘Domestic Getaway’ and ‘International Short-Haul’ fare types:

  • refunds were not available at any time; and
  • consumers were limited to receiving a remedy only in the form of a credit, and valid only for 12 months.

Virgin Australia has sought to address the ACCC’s concerns by:

  • voluntarily cooperating with and responding to the ACCC’s enquiries;
  • enhancing its messaging to consumers by making amendments to its Website, mobile site and mobile app, including its Fare Rules, Conditions of Carriage and Guest Compensation Policy, to address the ACCC’s concerns; and
  • providing the ACCC with a court enforceable undertaking under section 87B of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 that outlines all the additional steps that Virgin Australia will take to address the ACCC’s concerns.  These steps include a review of past complaints and the potential offer of remedies.

More information about your consumer guarantee rights under the Australian Consumer Law  where Virgin Australia has delayed or cancelled your flight can be found at www.virginaustralia.com/au/en/experience/service-experience/guarantees/ .