If you are able to answer “yes” to all of these questions below, you may lodge a complaint with the Airline Customer Advocate.

Please note that you cannot use the services of the Airline Customer Advocate in relation to your complaint if you have already made a claim in a court or tribunal or lodged a complaint with a government authority in relation to the same matter.

  • Is your complaint about a participating airline?
  • Is your complaint about the airline’s services? Your complaint must be about one of the services listed.
  • Have you already tried to resolve your complaint directly with the airline concerned? You must have followed the complaints process set out in the applicable airline’s Customer Charter, sought a review of the response, and allowed for the timeframes specified in the Customer Charter.
  • Does your complaint relate to an event or circumstances that occurred within the last 12 months?

If the answers to these questions are yes, we may be able to help.


A flight is delayed if it arrives at the gate more than 15 minutes after the airline’s scheduled arrival time. A flight departure is delayed if it departs the gate 15 or more minutes after the scheduled departure time.

A flight is cancelled if it is cancelled less than 72 hours prior to its scheduled departure time. Changes outside of that time are considered a flight schedule change rather than a ‘cancellation’.

The services provided include ticketing, reservations or ticket changes.  Customers can also contact an airline’s reservations service or call centre about general customer service enquiries. 

An airline’s website includes information about flight routes and schedules, fares, baggage allowances, customer service, ticket terms and conditions and an online booking portal. The website can also include information about advertised fares or web specials as well as web-check-in, if applicable.

Also includes faults, glitches or time outs during the booking process.

These services include check-in services such as checking a passenger’s ID, accepting and tagging baggage, printing boarding passes, making announcements and boarding calls, attending  passengers requiring assistance, rebooking passengers at the airport whose flights have been delayed or cancelled and managing passenger enquiries such as arrivals and departures and lost baggage.

Inflight customer services are provided by the airline’s cabin crew.  They perform cabin safety functions established by CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) and other regulators. Other services can include the preparation and service of meals and drinks, operation or sales of in-flight entertainment, on board sales of food, liquor, headsets and duty-free items.

Whether a passenger can cancel a ticket and obtain a refund will depend on the terms and conditions of the purchased ticket. Less expensive tickets are more likely to have less flexible terms and conditions.

If the airline cancels a flight for reasons within its control, or if all booked passengers cannot be accommodated on a flight due to overbooking, affected passengers may be offered an alternative flight or a refund for the affected flight.

Where a flight is cancelled beyond the airline’s control, the policies of the airlines vary and the options for passengers are covered in the airline's customer charter.

Fees or charges differ among airlines and vary from a flat fee per passenger per booking, to a fee or charge per flight, per passenger. Examples include booking and service fees, booking fees, credit card surcharges and , fuel surcharges.

Applies to checked-in baggage and cabin baggage and includes claims relating to baggage charges, and damaged, delayed or lost baggage.  It also covers the airline’s management of a missing bag report including status updating and confirmation about the loss or recovery of the baggage. Claims for damage or loss are also included.

Includes any concern about a danger, risk or threat or harm or injury related to the airline at the airport and/or on the plane.

Security includes passenger and baggage screening at airports and security measures and advice, where those services are provided by a member airline.

An airline’s airport lounge that is owned and operated by the member airline. Usually access is limited to members who apply and pay an annual membership fee, or passengers who are entitled to access the lounge based on their Frequent Flyer tier.

This program is established by the airline to promote its services and encourage airline loyalty from its members who usually pay an application fee to join.  Passengers earn points that can be redeemed for free flights, upgrades or other benefits and passengers can receive regular correspondence about the program and the status of accumulated points.  The terms and conditions of frequent flyer programs vary among airlines.

Contracts have terms and conditions that explain the rights and responsibilities of each party to the contract. 

There are limited circumstances when customers can negotiate or end their contract with an airline. Customers should therefore read and understand the terms and conditions of the airline ticket before entering into a contract to purchase a flight or flights with the airline. By selecting/clicking on the "I agree" button on the airline’s website, (or by purchasing the flights through a travel agent or website authorised agent) and proceeding with a confirmed payment, the contract between a passenger and an airline is created and the terms accepted.

Under Federal and State legislation, unlawful discrimination occurs when someone, or a group of people is treated less favourably than another person or group because of a prohibited reason (such as, amongst others, race, sex, age and disability) specified under anti-discrimination legislation.

These are services for customers with specific needs who:

  • use mobility aids such as a wheelchair, or with limited mobility
  • are deaf or have a hearing impairment
  • are blind or have low vision
  • are travelling with a guide or assistant dog
  • require therapeutic oxygen onboard
  • require a medical clearance to be able to travel
  • are travelling with an accompanying assistant or carer. 
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