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Pax dismay as Tigerair axes Bali permanently

February 6, 2017 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

Concerned customers were anxiously phoning Tigerair and agents over the weekend after the airline’s abrupt decision on Thursday night to cancel all flights to Bali from the following day and withdraw from flying there permanently.

Repeated bureaucratic obstruction by Indonesian authorities triggered a previous spate of expensive and inconvenient Tigerair cancellations in January. The re-emergence of the issue late last week was the final straw. The airline has decided the destination is just not worth the angst. It will use its aircraft on more profitable and less capricious routes.

Would-be passengers were informed late last Thursday that the issues the carrier had with the Indonesian Government had re-emerged and all flights planned for Friday 3 February 2017 would be cancelled.

A statement from the airline on Friday said: 

Overnight, Tigerair Australia has been informed that Indonesian authorities will not be providing Tigerair with the final approval needed to operate to and from Bali from today, Friday 3 February 2017. 

The Indonesian authorities have informed Tigerair that they require an alternative regulatory solution for Tigerair’s operations to Bali. This solution would take at least six months to implement and would compromise the airline’s ability to offer low-cost airfares to travellers to Bali. 

As a result of this development, Tigerair Australia has made the difficult decision to withdraw from flying between Australia and Bali permanently, effective today Friday 3 February 2017. 

We sincerely apologise to customers for the inconvenience caused by this situation and we will continue to work around the clock to support customers during this time. 

Customers booked to travel from Australia to Bali 

Customers booked to travel from Australia to Bali with Tigerair from 3 February 2017 onwards will be proactively contacted and offered full refunds which will be automatically processed (further details below). More specifically, customers booked to travel from Australia to Bali: 

  • On Friday 3 February were directly contacted last night.
  • On Saturday 4 February and on Sunday 5 February will be contacted today, Friday 3 February.
  • On Monday 6 February onwards will be contacted as soon as possible. 

Customers currently in Bali 

Customers currently in Bali will be proactively contacted as soon as possible and offered reaccommodation options on Virgin Australia and other airlines.

Tigerair’s call centre is currently experiencing a higher volume of calls than normal, so wait times will be longer than usual. Tigerair recommends that affected customers wait to receive proactive communications about their options. Tigerair will start making these communications this evening, Friday 3 February. 

Further information about refunds 

Please note that all refunds for payments made via debit and credit cards will be automatically processed within 24-48 hours. Payments made using third party providers such as travel agents and other forms of payment including POLi, PayPal, Velocity Frequent Flyer and Latitude Interest Free payment will be automatically processed within four business days. Please contact your payment provider directly if you have any queries. 

The previous spate of cancellations to Bali in mid January upset a lot of customers, with one telling 7 News Online she had spent over 10 days chasing a refund that Tigerair had issued via the online travel agent from which she had bought the ticket.

“We couldn’t afford the extra charges to replace the flights, we’re a family of five,” she said.

Another woman lost “our only chance for a holiday together in seven years”.

As Ben Sandilands pointed out in his Plane Talking blog on Crikey.com.au after the first cancellations struck in January: “Indonesia will win the dispute with Virgin [Tigerair’s parent] on its terms because it holds all the cards.”

Sandilands speculated that Tigerair might eventually opt to serve other less troublesome and potentially more lucrative routes.

That is now happening.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. bruce weston says:

    refunds — most people are not aware of the interconnecting “fingers in the pie ” on transactions especially credit cards . Firstly your actual bank has nothing to do with your credit card so talking to them is useless .. A “reversal ” has to be processed BY the negotiator { airline ] back to their processing bank who have to write back the processing fee and refund and forward funds on to the credit card co , visa -/ mastercard located somewhere in the U.S.A. who have to then recredit your credit card all this with time delays and weekend , when they only seem to process charges but not refunds means at least 4 to 7 days

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