Q+A: Strike action by Qantas workers and the cancellation of Qantas flights – Australian residents

The following questions and answers relate to the travel insurance cover that Allianz Global Assistance policies—purchased before 13 October 2011—are providing to Australians affected by flights disruption caused by the ongoing strike action by Qantas workers up to and including the cancellation of all Qantas domestic and international flights effective 5pm (AEDT) on Saturday 29 October 2011.

Please note: We will assess all claims in accordance with your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and your cover will depend on the type of plan you purchased and your particular circumstances. The following information should be read in conjunction with your PDS. If at any time there appears an inconsistency in the information provided the terms of your PDS take precedent.

Q: If I am stranded overseas and unable to board my flight to Australia, will Allianz Global Assistance cover the cost of additional accommodation/hotel expenses while I wait for a flight home?

A: At this time we understand that Qantas is providing accommodation and meal allowances to all affected passengers until flights resume. All customers should take advantage of the compensation provided by Qantas prior to submitting a claim for expenses they incur. Further information can be obtained from the Qantas website at http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/disruptions/global/en.

If there is a gap between the expenses you have incurred and the amount refundable from Qantas, Allianz Global Assistance will cover your reasonable accommodation expenses while you wait for your flight home. We want to help so by reasonable we mean the same standard of accommodation that you have been paying for as part of your trip so far.

Q: If I am stranded overseas and unable to board my flight to Australia with Qantas will Allianz Global Assistance cover the cost of a new flight home?

A: At this time, we understand that Qantas is providing accommodation and meal allowances to all affected passengers until flights resume. All customers should take advantage of the compensation provided by Qantas prior to submitting a claim for expenses they incur. Further information can be obtained from the

Qantas website at http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/disruptions/global/en

In addition, Qantas are attempting to rebook customers with alternate carriers so that they can return home. 

If it is necessary for you to return home immediately and Qantas is unable to assist you in obtaining a new flight, Allianz Global Assistance will cover the reasonable cost of purchasing a new ticket for you to return home at the same fare class you were originally travelling on in accordance with the terms of your PDS.

Q: What if I have run out of money and my credit card is ‘maxed’ and I am unable to pay for additional accommodation?

A: Allianz Global Assistance can help by acting as guarantor with your hotel or other accommodation provider for your accommodation while you are unable to board your flight.

All customers should take advantage of the compensation provided by Qantas prior to submitting a claim for expenses they incur. Further information can be obtained from the Qantas website at http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/disruptions/global/en.

If there is a gap between the expenses you have incurred and the amount refundable from Qantas, Allianz Global Assistance will cover your reasonable expenses up to the applicable policy limit while you wait for your flight home.

Q: What about food and living expenses—will you cover that as well?

A: Some of our policies do provide for additional expenses of up to $200 per day for reasonable living expenses—always in these cases we urge you to keep all your receipts that you need to substantiate your claim with us.

All customers should take advantage of the compensation provided by Qantas prior to submitting a claim for expenses they incur. Further information can be obtained from the Qantas website at http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/disruptions/global/en.

If there is a gap between the expenses you have incurred and the amount refundable from Qantas, Allianz Global Assistance will cover your reasonable expenses up to the applicable policy limit while you wait for your flight home.

Q: If I am hoping to fly this week for the start of a dream holiday and my flight is cancelled indefinitely or until further notice, will Allianz Global Assistance cover the cost of my cancelled flight and all the accommodation and tours I had booked?

A: Qantas has advised that all flight costs are refundable by them. You should first seek a refund from Qantas for the costs associated with the cancellation of your flights. Further information can be obtained from the Qantas website at http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/disruptions/global/en.

Allianz Global Assistance will cover the cancellation expenses not refundable by Qantas including the costs of ongoing travel and tour arrangements in accordance with the terms of your PDS.

All customers should look where possible to rearrange their journey if this cost is less than the cost to cancel their entire journey.

Q: If I am hoping to fly this week for the start of a dream holiday and my flight is cancelled indefinitely or until further notice, will Allianz Global Assistance cover the cost of a new flight for me to reach my pre-booked travel and tour arrangements?

A: Qantas has advised where possible they will attempt to reschedule people on to alternate flights to commence their journey. If this is not possible Allianz Global Assistance will cover the reasonable costs associated with purchasing new air tickets through a different carrier if this cost is less than the cost of cancelling your entire trip in accordance with the terms of your PDS. 

Q: What else should I be aware of?

A: If you wish to check the detail of your policy coverage, we encourage you to read the Product Disclosure Statement that you received when you purchased your policy. This will give you more detail about what your policy provides cover for and what it does not.

When you call us to discuss your travel options and policy cover, it would be useful for you to have a copy of your travel itinerary with you—this will save time in assessing the best next steps for you.

You should also take all reasonable steps to minimise your expenses and this includes rearranging your journey where possible.

With your claim, you will need to submit all receipts for any additional accommodation and transport expenses. If you are claiming cancellation or additional expenses you will need to submit all documents showing what your original planned pre-paid arrangements were, along  with any receipts and documents showing your new arrangements and advice from the travel provider indicating the non-refundable portion of the journey.

With all claims you will need to provide evidence that you have first submitted a claim with Qantas and provide all details of any settlement they have provided to you.

Allianz Global Assistance has a 24 hour emergency assistance number for you to call if you need help—it is +61 7 3305 7499 reverse charge or 1800 010 075 free call within Australia.
Or you can email us on travelclaims@allianz-assistance.com.au.