Emirates has updated its COVID-19 travel waiver policies into one simplified approach for rebooking and refunds on tickets issued in all its global markets.
April 14: With travel restrictions causing chaos and uncertainty for many passengers who had flights cancelled, airlines have been stepping up efforts to provide as much flexibility and clarity as possible. To simplify solutions for its customers, Emirates has announced that it has updated its waiver policies and will be providing three options for customers who have been impacted.
Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer said: “The travel and airline industry have complicated rulebooks for how fares, re-bookings or refunds are applied, which also differ depending on market regulation. We understand that explaining and unravelling all of that is confusing and frustrating for customers. The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented for everyone, and we’d like to thank our customers and trade partners for their patience, understanding and support as we worked through this period to ensure our policies are not only customer-friendly but also in line with regulatory requirements.”
In order to assist its customers during these unprecedented times, Emirates has updated its waiver policy and provided three options for those whose travels have been impacted by the coronavirus. Here are the three options:
1. Keep your ticket for 760 days
All Emirates tickets booked before May 31 for travel up to August 31 will be automatically extended for 760 days. Customers holding such tickets can be assured their tickets will be honoured, and they can rebook when they decide to travel.
Whenever the customer is ready to travel again, they just need to contact Emirates or their travel agents to reschedule their flight; this should be within two years from the day their ticket was originally issued.
Passenger tickets will be accepted for any flight to the same Emirates destination or to another city within the same Emirates region with no fees for changes. Those who wish to rebook their ticket to travel to another region can also do so – Emirates will not charge re-issuance fees, only any applicable fare difference.
2. Request an Emirates travel voucher
Travel vouchers are valid for one year from date the voucher was issued and can be extended for a second year.
The voucher can be used for any Emirates product or service, which means customers can use it to offset charges for flights to any destination in any cabin class, or other services. No change fees apply to this voucher, so customers will have more flexibility to reschedule when they are ready to travel again.
3. Refund your Emirates ticket
Customers who have opted to keep their ticket or opted for a travel voucher can still apply for a refund, if they are unable to travel. There will be no refund penalties.
Emirates has provided a simple form online for those who wish to seek a refund.
Commenting on the refunds, Kazim said: “We sincerely hope that our customers will choose to rebook and fly with us again at a later time, and that is why we’re offering up to two years validity on their current tickets, or travel vouchers which can be redeemed for any Emirates product or service. Any fees for making a change to the tickets will be waived for tickets issued till 31 May 2020 for travel up to 31 August 2020. However, if they would still like to opt for a refund, we will process that. We would just like to seek our customers’ understanding that refunds will take time as we have a significant backlog to manage.”
With so many jobs at risk within the aviation sector and the related tourism industries, here’s what travellers can do to support airlines and jobs around the world. If you are a resident or visitor who needs to return to your home country from the UAE, Emirates has issues a flight schedule and shared information on how to book repatriation flights.
Etihad Airways has also announced similar operations, providing an updated list of flights from Abu Dhabi on April 13. To stay up-to-date with the latest regional travel news, subscribe to World Traveller Middle East. For the latest health updates regarding coronavirus, ensure that the information you are consuming is from an official source.