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Frequent flyer concerns
21/07/2000 2:06 PM
Concerns about redemption of frequent flyer points and other loyalty programs were raised at the annual conference of the Ministerial Council of Consumer Affairs (MCCA) in Perth today.
The council is made up of Fair Trading and Consumer Affairs Ministers from around Australia and from New Zealand. Today’s conference was chaired by Western Australian Fair Trading Minister Doug Shave.
“The conference was told that fair trade ministries have received complaints from customers who were not able to redeem loyalty points to travel when they wanted,” Mr Shave said.
Today’s meeting discussed the issue of disclosure by airlines of terms and conditions of the loyalty programs and the availability of frequent flyer seats, particularly during popular travel times.
“There have been some complaints about airlines encouraging people to buy tickets when they are unable to obtain free travel at the time they want to fly,” Mr Shave said.
The Minister said the MCCA urged airlines to give customers wanting to redeem their flyer points a fair go.
“The conference asked airlines to ensure accrual rates for points do not exceed availability of free seats, to address community dissatisfaction and develop an industry benchmark for free flights based on reasonable demand,” he said.
The conference also called on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to give its inquiry into frequent flyer points and loyalty programs a high priority.
John Clune, Minister’s Office 9213 6500
Hayley Mayne, Fair Trading 9282 0961