Poor Service Received After Passports Are Stolen

October 17, 2014

in Odds & Ends Stories

We had the recent unfortunate experience of having a bag stolen in Montreal, Canada which contained, among other valuables, our Australian Passports. This happened as we were about to leave Canada and return home.

With Air Canada and Australian Immigration help we got to Vancouver for our connecting flight home with Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand refused to fly us home to Australia without a passport even though they acknowledged we were transiting in New Zealand and did not need to go through NZ immigration.

Vancouver ground staff gave us a 1-800 number for NZ reservations and abandoned us. It took hours on the phone to NZ to sort out a flight home.

We got new passports and had to wait 3 days for a new flight. We could have come home earlier with Air Canada who was willing to fly us, but Air NZ refused do the booking.

Air New Zealand gave us a choice. Although we had paid for business class seats, we could either travel in economy home, or we could pay another AUD $9,400 to travel business class. We protested, but their only response was, “You have travel insurance don’t you?’

This is price gouging at its finest. There was no customer care; they were only interested in getting more money out of us. I was left wondering if I was a New Zealand citizen would I have been treated any differently. Somehow I doubt it.

My warning to others who fly Air NZ, don’t lose your passport because if you do, be prepared for Air New Zealand to take you to the cleaners.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert October 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm

How could you lose your passports if you were carrying them?

Don't tell me you CHECKED them….!!!

If you did, then this whole misadventure, price included, is on you.

If you didn't check them, did someone steal them off of your arm? Did you leave the bag, or whatever, sitting around unattended?

Why weren't they in your pockets??

It appears to me that the guilty party is you.


Chris October 18, 2014 at 2:05 am

Uhh, pretty sure they mean like a handbag, purse, backpack, messenger bag, etc when they are referencing their stolen bag. I'm guessing that this was done prior to them making it to the airport or at the airport in Montreal.

If they merely checked their bags with passports, it wouldn't be too difficult to just have them pulled off the plane and delivered to them so they could retrieve them. Don't think that would take 3 days.

I don't really like to put all the blame people when they get stuff stolen. Yeah, there are usually ways they could have prevented being targeted (holding onto their bags more closely, being more attentive to their things and surroundings), but it takes a thief to complete a robbery. It's just an all around crappy experience, and when passports are involved it gets a lot worse.


Nothanks June 7, 2018 at 4:49 pm

Makes you wonder if Air NZ was in cahoots with the thief!


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