I am a huge fan of Air NZ – the people that work there are great, the experience on the ground and in the sky is superb and they were deserved winners of a number of awards this year. However as customers we owe it to them to be ever-vigilant in helping them maintain their passion for delivering great journeys. So on to insurance we go:
I was checking out flights today on Airnz.co.nz, looking to fly to Queenstown:
Ouch – that’s expensive, but at least it is a relatively simple process.
The next screen made me angry though:
Air NZ has added an unsolicited $10 in Domestic Trip Insurance to the bill. They tried this a while ago, and it is back.
There are 3 things about this that turn this happy customer into an unhappy one:
1: It’s deceitful. The quoted price on the search results page did not include the $10, while the second page price did. I’ve purchased unwanted insurance at least twice recently as a result.
2: It is painful. Before this change I just scrolled to the bottom of the page and clicked ‘continue’. Now I need to look out for the insurance scam and click it off. When I forget then I have to email customer support, who, though they know my Frequent Flyer number and the flight number, insist on asking for a confirmation number as well. This all takes energy and time, on both sides, and is certainly not improving my mood. Meanwhile I cannot set this as a preference in my frequent flyer options.
3: It’s an unnecessary ripoff. The insurance does not cover business travel, where you did not pre-book accomodation, where your travel provider goes insolvent or if the military take over. While the last one isn’t likely soon in New Zealand, I rarely book accommodation and almost all of my travel is for business.
The policy also does not cover electronic equipment, including Laptops and ‘personal electronic devices’, which I am going to take includes phones.
Finally with the ticket class I am buying it’s so easy to change a flight for free on the day (at the airport), and just as simple to to transfer it to another day for just $15. So why would I need insurance for that?
In short the $10 insurance is worthless to me – I am most likely to require insurance after I lose or break some electronic gadget while flying on business to a place where I have not pre-booked my accommodation. I will never get benefit from this so called insurance, and nor will most of the travellers that buy tickets. The high value business travellers in particular are really ill-done by this product which seems to belong in the 1970’s.
I’m sure this is a good money spinner for Air NZ, but it just feels wrong. It is not giving customers what they want. This automatic pre-selection of insurance went away before, and it should go away again and forever. Meanwhile the insurance product itself is of no value to most customers, and needs a serious upgrade.
<update – I just got a reply from AirNZ to one of my customer help enquiries. They now have my feedback.
“I have forwarded your concerns about the insurance your query to our insurance partnership manager, who has confirmed that we are currently undergoing some testing on our New Zealand website where the insurance may be automatically ticked during the process. This is however only a on a trial period at the moment to gauge passenger feedback, and a decision will be made by senior management at the end of that period whether to keep this on an ongoing basis.”>