What to do if you’re affected by the earthquake and have travel plans


What to do if you're affected by the earthquake and have travel plans insurance

Travel agencies are fielding cancellations and disruptions following Monday morning’s earthquake, with many Kiwis in affected areas now unable to travel.

Airports are operating as usual around the country, but Cook Strait ferry sailings have been cancelled.

KiwiRail has cancelled all trains on the North Island Main Trunk line south of Palmerston North until further notice, as well as the TranzAlpine and Coastal Pacific services in the South Island.

House of Travel commercial director Brent Thomas said road closures in a number of areas were preventing customers from making it to the airport.

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"Aside from logistical issues, we also have customers who will have had a bit of a shock and want to remain close to home," he said.

Some of the company’s stores in affected areas were closed today, but a call centre in London operated by Kiwis was providing support.

The London-based team had managed enquiries for more than 100 disrupted passengers this morning alone, Thomas said.

Other earthquake-affected customers should contact their travel agent as soon as possible.

"Even if your local store is closed, you will be diverted to another travel agent who can help you and manage travel insurance enquiries on your behalf."

Flight Centre general manager retail Sue Matson said concerned customers were advised to contact their travel expert as soon as possible, or phone the agency’s 24/7 helpline on 0800 24 35 44.

While some stores were closed today, teams were working to divert calls to other parts of the country to ensure customers could make enquiries and changes to their travel plans if needed, she said.

Travellers were also advised to contact their airline directly if they were due to fly today.

Air New Zealand was offering flexibility on all fare types for customers booked and ticketed up to and including Sunday November 13, for travel to or from any New Zealand destination prior to and including Monday November 21.

Customers were able to defer travel or change their destination. Normal refund rules applied.