Air travel is a convenient and affordable option for most New Zealanders. Most of its megacities and towns are well connected by reliable domestic air services. Air New Zealand tops the list of national carriers that exclusively flies its passengers to, from, and around Kiwiland. It operates on the mission of “connecting all New Zealanders and New Zealand to the world.”
Air New Zealand is headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand. It serves more than 20 terminal points within the country, besides having regular flights to international ports like the Americas, Australia, the Pacific Islands, Asia, and the United Kingdom. It is also a member of the Star Alliance Network, which makes it an airline company that provides superlative services to its customers to make their travel experience seamless and enjoyable.
Despite offering a slew of customer benefits and privileges as a Star Alliance member airline, you can still experience occasional tense moments with missing baggage with Air New Zealand, as is possible with any other airline. Premier passenger carriers usually comply with industry standards and have their systems in place with a brisk technology that minimizes baggage loss. But as they say, even the best ones have bad days. Airlines do face disruptions in high traffic situations.
Here, we outline the top three things to do if, God forbid, you ever find yourself at your wits’ end at the airport suddenly realizing that your belongings haven’t traveled with you.
Approach the Lost Property Office
Air New Zealand ground staff are extremely cooperative and proactive when it comes to tracking their customers’ lost or delayed baggage. You can count on their speed and competence at work. It is reassuring to have your baggage reunited in the majority of cases, and in the unlikely event that your bag goes completely missing, the Airline will take upon the responsibility of recompensing suitably for your loss. However, the good news is passengers are rarely disappointed with their services. The officers do not rest until they resolve the problem – as much theirs as it is yours.
To help them speed up luggage delivery, however, you need to approach their lost property office immediately on arrival and report missing luggage. They have an online baggage tracing service, but it is a better idea to communicate your plight to the officers in person. They will provide you with a file reference number once you report missing your bag. Please remember to retain all necessary receipts and coupons you receive from them at this point to make any claims later. Additionally, you will be required to keep your airline ticket, baggage receipts/tags, excess baggage coupons, etc. If you suspect that your items were mishandled at any point by the airline staff, you may still report the same at the baggage services office and keep a copy of the report with you for suitable compensation.
The airline staff will stay connected with you to continually update you about the measures they are taking to locate your lost bag. However, the speed at which they finally hand over your belongings also depends on Customs clearance. Remember to provide correct contact details – which would include your contact address, email address, and phone number.
Every airline has specified time limits within which you can report missing or damaged baggage. At Air New Zealand, it is 21 days for domestic flights in case of lost items and 30 days for damage or destruction to checked-in baggage from the date of arrival. For international flights, passengers are recommended to check immediately for any damage and file reports within 7 days, and for missing luggage within 21 days. All monetary compensations are subject to the carrier’s ‘Conditions of Carriage.’
Fill the Online Baggage Claim
In another situation where you discover leaving behind your luggage in the waiting lounges at the airport or onboard the Air New Zealand flight, you can fill the airline’s online ‘lost property report’. The ground staff and/or cabin crew will make all necessary arrangements to return your belongings to you in the quickest possible time provided you can show them proof of ownership at the time of claiming your baggage.
For more serious issues where you suspect baggage loss, the authorities at the baggage services office will recommend you to fill out an online baggage claim form with relevant personal and flight details. Usually, the claim form is required to be filled if the baggage remains untraced for over 5 days from the day you took the flight with the airline. This form was probably already given to you when you filed a missing baggage complaint at the baggage services office on your arrival. Alternatively, you can download an online form from their official website, fill in details, and email it to your nearest Air New Zealand baggage services office.
Follow their instructions on ‘online baggage tracing services’ to stay updated. The airline staff will also keep sending updates on your missing luggage via SMS and email from time to time. Just remember never to trash important receipts, or lose the reference number they give you at the time of reporting lost baggage. You will be required to provide all at the time of claiming your luggage once it is tracked down.
If you are away from your hometown, had important contents in the bag that got delayed/lost in transit and the status remains unresolved for 24 hours, notify the authorities at the baggage services office about your entitlement to emergency expenses. You can even check your policy benefits if you have travel insurance.
Reach Customer Service via Phone and Social Media
You can tweet or rush SOS posts on Air New Zealand’s official social media pages/handles for someone to respond immediately. Social media messages go viral within seconds and are noticed in real-time, without having to wait in long queues. This saves a lot of customer harassment and cuts down considerably on waiting time. You always have the option of calling them at their help desk at 0800 737 000 or +64 (0) 9 357 3000. If calling from Australia, dial 1800 132 476. Those from UK can call 0800 028 4149, and folks from United States can call 1800 262 1234. Given a high volume of request calls from customers for a plethora of reasons, they might not be able to attend to your call on priority. You can also try reaching out via Facebook or Twitter.
Air New Zealand ensures that it provides maximum customer benefits to all its fliers through scalable solutions and innovative bag tracking technology. They deeply regret the rare instances their passengers have encountered travel inconvenience in terms of mishandled or lost baggage. Aggressive efforts are always taken to eliminate such incidents because processing claims, locating, and returning the baggage to the rightful owner can cost the aviation industry dearly, with a loss of revenue running into billions of dollars.