Coronavirus: Emirates airlines offers new options to keep, exchange or refund tickets
Dubai’s Emirates airlines offered on Tuesday new options for travelers who have flight tickets issued before May 31 for travel before August 31, allowing them to either keep, exchange, or request a full refund for the tickets.
The three options Emirates is offering to its customers affected by flight cancellations and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic are as follows:
Keep the ticket
All Emirates tickets booked before May 31 for travel up to 31 August will be automatically extended for 760 days. Customers holding such tickets can be assured their tickets will be honored, and they can rebook when they decide to travel.
When the customers are ready to travel again, within two years from the day their ticket was originally issued, they need to contact Emirates or their travel agents to reschedule their flight.
Their ticket will be accepted for any flight to the same Emirates destination or to another city within the same Emirates region with no additional fees. Those who wish to rebook their ticket to travel to another region can also do so – Emirates will not charge reissuance fees, only any applicable fare difference.
Request a travel voucher
Travel vouchers are valid for one year from the 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.
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.
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 sincerely hope that our customers will choose to rebook and fly with us again at a later time… We would just like to seek our customers’ understanding that refunds will take time as we have a significant backlog to manage.”
UAE travel restrictions amid coronavirus
The UAE extended on April 2 the suspension of entry of all valid visa holders who are outside the country for two additional weeks.
The country had also suspended issuing all entry visas starting from March 17 and called on its citizens abroad to return to their home country due to travel difficulties in light of the spread of the coronavirus and the travel restrictions the government put in place to contain the outbreak.
It also suspended on March 23 all passenger and transit flights to and from the country for two weeks.
The government also asked all those who have valid residency residing outside the country to register for the new service "My presence for residents" on the Ministry's website, as this service aims to facilitate their safe return to the UAE in emergency cases.