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Consumer Guarantees - Understanding your rights

Important note for guests with bookings made on or before 20 April 2020 or bookings made using Future Flight credits: Due to the impacts of Virgin Australia’s voluntary administration process and deed of company arrangement, customers that made bookings made on or before 20 April 2020 will be entitled to a Future Flight Credit in the event that their flight is cancelled for any reason. Please visit our Future Flight credits page for more information.

 

Virgin Australia aims to process requests for travel credits and refunds within 21 days. However, we are currently receiving a higher than usual number of requests due to the ongoing impact of border restrictions on our operation so there may be a delay in processing your request.

1. Purpose of this information.

Virgin Australia is committed to complying with the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). This page sets out information about your rights under the Consumer Guarantees where we have made a change to your booking with us.

This page does not contain information about all the rights you have as a consumer. For more information about your rights under the ACL, visit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s website at www.accc.gov.au, or talk to an independent legal representative. 

2. What are the Consumer Guarantees?

As a consumer, you have certain guaranteed rights under the ACL when you buy goods and services. For example, the ACL requires that services must be carried out with due care and skill, be fit for a particular purpose and be provided within a reasonable time. These rights are called Consumer Guarantees.

Your rights under the Consumer Guarantees are separate from, and in addition to the terms which govern how we provide services to you, which can be found in our Conditions of Carriage and the Fare Rules applicable to your flight booking. We cannot exclude the operation of the Consumer Guarantees in these terms.

You may be entitled to a refund and other remedies under the ACL if our services fail to meet the standards set by the Consumer Guarantees. If the breach of the Consumer Guarantees is a major failure or a minor failure that cannot be remedied, you are entitled to request a refund or other remedies under the ACL. You may also be entitled to compensation for reasonably foreseeable losses caused by the failure.

A major failure is defined in the ACL and occurs when:

  • A reasonable customer would not have purchased the services had they known about the extent of the failure;
  • The services are substantially unfit for purpose, and they cannot be fixed within a reasonable time; or
  • The supply of the service creates an unsafe situation.

3. Flight delays and cancellations

We are committed to getting you to your destination safely and on time. However, sometimes this is not always possible for different reasons such as weather, natural disasters and operational issues. While we will always try to meet our estimated departure and arrival times, your flight times are not guaranteed, and we recommend you allow time in your travel plans to account for changes to your booking. We also recommend you take out travel insurance to assist with any unforeseen expenses.

Whether or not a change to your booking constitutes a breach of the Consumer Guarantees will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • the reason for the delay or cancellation (for example, if it was caused by someone other than us (i.e. Air Traffic Control) or an event outside our control (i.e. dangerous weather conditions or medical emergencies on board);
  • ·The length of any delay; and
  • Whether we remedied the delay or cancellation. For example, if we were able to reaccommodate you on to another flight that departed within a reasonable time, relative to your initial scheduled departure date. Note what constitutes a reasonable time will depend on the circumstances and may not be the same each time you travel with us. 

Our Guest Compensation Policy also sets out information about the assistance we will provide you if we make a change to your booking. Depending on the circumstances, we may provide you with a refund, travel credit or other compensation. For guests travelling on flights between Australia and the USA, additional information about the assistance we will provide you is outlined in Virgin Australia’s Customer Service Plan. These policies set out the assistance you can expect from us in the event of a booking change, which is in addition to your rights under the Consumer Guarantees.

4. Making a claim

If you would like to claim a refund and/or compensation:

  •  If you booked directly with Virgin Australia, please contact our Customer Care team.
  • If you booked through your travel agent, please contact your travel agent directly.

If you are entitled to a refund, we will provide you with a refund of the amount you paid for our service to the extent you have not used any part of the service. For example, if you travelled on the first flight of a return booking but we were unable to accommodate you on the return flight, you would be entitled to claim a refund for the return flight only. Credit or debit card fees are passed through directly to our merchant facility providers at the time of your booking as payment for that transaction and are also generally not able to be recovered.