Travellers to Bali urged to take out insurance

South Western Times

Consumer Protection has issued advice to consumers who may be travelling to Bali for the school holidays while there is a risk of flight disruptions due to volcanic activity on the island.

Before departure, travellers are urged to check the terms and conditions of their tickets in the event of flight suspensions or cancellations and to take out travel insurance policies that will cover them for this situation should it occur.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said the consequences of a volcanic eruption need to be considered seriously by consumers planning to travel to Bali in the immediate future.

“The terms and conditions of the various tickets can vary, so consumers should check with their airline before travelling what will happen if their flight is delayed or cancelled,” Mr Hillyard said.

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“While most airlines will endeavour to re-schedule their passengers during these events, they may not necessarily offer refunds for circumstances outside of their control or if the passenger decides to travel on another airline.

“Travellers should always have travel insurance policies in place before leaving, but in this instance they should check to make sure they are covered in the event of flight cancellations under these circumstances. Most, but not all, policies will cover costs incurred as a result of a natural disaster.

“Previously, some insurance companies have refused to pay out claims when the traveller knew that there was a risk of disruption before purchasing the insurance policy.

“Check also that the policy will cover costs related to booking alternative flights if required as well as additional accommodation should there be a lengthy delay. Make sure you keep all receipts related to these extra costs for your claim.”

Consumer Protection has reviewed the terms and conditions of the airlines that offer direct Perth to Bali flights and the airlines provide the following information:

Air Asia will provide customers with options upon a flight suspension and refunds will be offered upon cancellation of the flight.

Garuda will accept refund requests at their ticket offices and travellers will have the option of extending their ticket/s for a further six months.

Jetstar will try to assist customers to get to their destination by re-booking the flight but will not be responsible for paying any expenses incurred by the cancellation, unless otherwise required by law.

Malindo/Batik Air will accept requests for refunds via their customer care email address in the event of cancellations.

Consumers requiring further information and advice can contact Consumer Protection by email consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54.

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