This is a letter that can be used to claim compensation and expenses for a delayed or cancelled flight from an airline. It can be used for a single claim or a family claim, or where a single person has been nominated to bring a claim on behalf of a group.
The letter is designed to be used for domestic flights within Australia, or international flights departing from or arriving in Australia.
While in many cases it is not certain that the airline will provide compensation, this letter provides a quick and easy way to outline the situation and present a compelling argument for compensation.
Please note that for domestic flights within Australia, it's in the airline's discretion whether or not to provide compensation for accomodation, meals or other expenses that are incurred as a result of a delayed flight. The airline also will not necessarily provide compensation for a subsequent flight which is missed as a result of the first flight being delayed.
For international flights, it is also uncertain whether or not the airline will provide compensation. If the other country (which the flight is either travelling to or from) is a signatory to the Montreal Convention 1999, then compensation may be available in accordance with that Convention. A full list of signatory countries is available on the website of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
If the relevant flight occurred entirely outside of Australia (either domestically within a country other than Australia, or internationally between two countries other than Australia), then it may be necessary to consider the laws of the other country or countries. This letter does not consider the laws of countries outside of Australia. We have documents available for many other countries so please check the other parts of our website to see whether a letter is available for the relevant country.
How to use this document
Once this document has been completed, it should be signed by the person making the claim. Enclose the airline tickets, proof of purchase and receipts for any expenses that are being claimed.
Then simply post it to the airline which provided the tickets for the cancelled or delayed flight, and wait for them to respond. If the airline does not respond within 14 days, or if they refuse the claim without good grounds, the person making the claim may consider contacting the Airline Customer Advocate or even taking the claim to court.
The letter should be sent as soon as possible.
Ordinary principles of contract law, as provided by the common law, apply to the contract between a passenger and the airline.
In addition, the Australian Consumer Law which is contained in Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Commonwealth) may also apply, particularly to domestic flights.
A number of international conventions, such as the Montreal Convention and the Warsaw Convention also relate to international air travel.
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