Travel insurance pre-select: Virgin Australia & Jetstar both opt out

The ACCC has announced that both Virgin Australia and Jetstar will stop the pre-selection of travel insurance on their online booking platforms

Millions of people fly both Virgin Australia and Jetstar each year, and some may not have been aware that until recently the optional extra of travel insurance was automatically preselected when a flight was booked online. While many dollar-savvy travellers would have deselected the option when booking, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) was concerned that this charge may have been slipping under the radar of others.

Virgin Australia, which recently unveiled a new partnership with Coles flybuys, will no longer require customers to ‘de-select’ travel insurance if they do not wish to purchase it. Instead, customers of Virgin Australia will select travel insurance if they wish to purchase it.

Jetstar has also announced that as a 1 July 2017, Jetstar will no longer pre-select checked baggage, seat selection, travel insurance and charity donations on its online booking platform.

“The ACCC has been engaging with domestic airlines seeking their agreement to cease the practice of pre-selection. The ACCC has been concerned that the ‘opt-out’ model means that a number of consumers inadvertently end up paying for unwanted ‘pre-ticked’ extras,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“The ACCC will continue to work with other domestic airlines to end the practice of pre-selecting optional extras in the booking process, including baggage allowances, seat selection and travel insurance.”

“Experience overseas, including in New Zealand, shows consumers are more than capable of making purchasing decisions themselves. There are better ways for airlines to highlight the availability of these extras to consumers,” Mr Sims said.

Which airlines don’t preselect travel insurance?

According to the ACCC, the following airlines don’t preselect travel insurance under the following conditions:

 

 qantas Qantas does not pre-select optional extras on its online booking platforms
 air new zealand logo Air New Zealand does not pre-select optional extras on its online booking platforms.
 jetstar As of 1 July 2017, Jetstar will no longer preselect checked baggage, seat selection, travel insurance and charity donations on its online booking platforms
 air asia Air Asia does not pre-select optional extras when selling airline tickets to New Zealand customers online
 tigerair Tigerair does currently preselect optional travel insurance when booking online

 

“The ACCC welcomes Virgin Australia’s decision, and now calls on other domestic airlines to follow suit. We’re certainly hopeful that they will make changes voluntarily in the short term, to the benefit of their customers, or the ACCC will explore other options,” said Mr Sims.

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