Regional Express Airlines Limited (Rex) has agreed to review its refund policies and procedures to ensure ongoing compliance with the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) when flights are cancelled or delayed, as part of an enforceable undertaking agreed between Consumer Protection and Rex.
The airline has agreed to modify some terms and conditions on its website that had the potential to mislead consumers by giving the impression that a refund was not available under any, or very limited, circumstances.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping said it was pleasing that Rex has agreed to the undertaking, which will ensure consumers are fully informed about their refund rights from the moment they make a booking.
“While airlines can impose terms and conditions on their fares, they should be careful not to mislead consumers about their basic rights under the ACL,” Ms Chopping said.
“The circumstances in question were before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and we acknowledge that Rex has taken proactive steps during the pandemic to assist customers and offer appropriate remedies.
“Consumer Protection is well aware of the difficult times being experienced by airlines and we commend Rex on its commitment to providing accurate information to consumers.”
Ms Chopping said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) previous engagement with industry on this issue provided a clear example of how to ensure refund policies and practises comply with consumer guarantee obligations under the ACL. The ACCC accepted similar undertakings from Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin and Tigerair in 2018.
A copy of the undertaking can be viewed on Consumer Protection’s website.