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Kiwis kick Jetstar's dodgy ticks into touch

CHOICE says it’s time Jetstar ditched its pre-ticked extras as New Zealand bans the practice

17 March 2016

Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has renewed its call for Jetstar to ditch pre-selected extras that plague consumers during the online checkout process following a decision by the New Zealand Commerce commission to force the carrier to end the practice.

"We welcome the decision by New Zealand's Commerce Commission to take action against Jetstar, effectively banning the airline's practice of pre-ticking optional extras," said CHOICE spokesperson Tom Godfrey.  

The decision requires Jetstar to stop the practice of pre-selecting extras for passengers – including extra costs for luggage, insurance and seat selection - on its New Zealand website by 30 April and prevents the company from re-introducing opt-out charges in the future.

"While this is a great win for Kiwi consumers, Aussies will still have to navigate around Jetstar's unfair booking practice," says Mr Godfrey.

"We believe Jetstar should put its customers first for once and stop wasting everyone's time in their dodgy online checkout and in the courts.   

"Pre-ticked extras are sneaky, costly and in most cases completely unnecessary," Mr Godfrey says.

The decision by New Zealand's Commerce Commission follows a joint campaign by CHOICE and Consumer NZ last year that called on Jetstar Australia and New Zealand to ditch the ticks.

A CHOICE investigation found that sneaky pre-selected extras including luggage ($24 for 20kg), travel insurance ($12.95), seat selection ($10) and a charity donation ($2) can bump up the cost of a $148 return flight by $58.95 – a jump of 40% on the advertised price.[1]

The consumer group also found that hidden fees or charges were consumers' second most complained-about flight problem (22%) after flight cancellations and delays (55%).[2]
 
[1] See: https://www.choice.com.au/travel/on-holidays/airlines/articles/preselected-extras-increase-airfare-costs
[2] CHOICE conducted a nationally representative quantitative survey of 1,100 Australian travellers aged 18-75 years. All survey participants had travelled internationally for holidays in the past 12 months and all had travelled domestically in the past. The sample was representative of the Australian population as per ABS Census 2011. Fieldwork was conducted between 8 and 11 November, 2014. Excludes problems with business travel. The Fieldwork was administered by Lightspeed GMI Australia which is member of the Australian Market & Social Research Society (AMSRS) and abides strictly to codes of conduct for market research and panel management in Australia.

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