Picture for illustration purposes only.
PHOTO BY EMIRATES/ARCHIVE
DUBAI – Emirates airline has made ticket refunds worth more than Dh1.9 billion in two months, the airline announced amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dubai-based airline said it processed nearly 650,00 refund requests from travelers after the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted travel plans for customers around the world.
“It is tough times for everyone, but we are committed to doing what’s right by our customers. That’s why we ringfenced cash to honour refunds, and invested resources to expedite processing,” said Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer.
The airline has reduced its average processing time for refunds from 90 days to 60 days. Kazim said the airline still has more than half a million refund requests to clear.
In April, Emirates updated its Covid-19 travel waiver policies to offer three options to customers with pre-booked flights affected by Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Under the new waiver policy, customers have three options: Keep their ticket for 760 days; exchange their ticket for travel vouchers valid for up to 2 years; or get full refunds on unused vouchers or tickets.
The waiver policy applies to tickets issued before May 31, 2020 for travel before August 31, 2020.
“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,” Kazim, Emirates Chief Commercial Officer, said in a statement sent to Expatmedia.net in April.
Three options for Emirates ticket holders
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 they are ready to travel again, within two years from the day their ticket was originally issued, they simply 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 fees for changes. 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.
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.
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.
For more information, or to apply for any of the above options, customers can visit emirates.com. Customers who have booked through their travel agents should contact their agents for assistance – the same waiver policies will apply.
You can choose to keep your ticket and Emirates will extend its validity to 24 months from the date of your original booking. The fare amount you paid for your original booking will be accepted for any flight to the same destination/region at any time with no fees during this period.
You don’t have to call Emirates if you have a cancelled booking. The airline has now extended the validity of your ticket for up to 24 months so you can just call to reschedule your flight whenever you’re ready to travel again.
You don’t need to do anything. Emirates will keep your booking status as open and you can reschedule your flight whenever you’re ready to travel again.
You can also convert your original booking into a travel voucher. The value of your travel voucher will be equivalent to the amount you paid for your original booking. Emirates can only provide a travel voucher for the part of your booked itinerary that you have not completed.
The travel voucher will be valid for one year from the date of issue, and you can use it for flights or other Emirates products and services up to its value and can be extended for another year.
Yes, with the travel voucher, you convert the amount you paid for your ticket and any add-ons into credit for your future trips. You can also use it to pay for other Emirates services. The travel voucher gives you the flexibility to make as many transactions as you need until you have completely used up its value.
Yes, you can change your destination with either options. It will be valid for one year from the date it is issued and can be extended for another year.
The fare you paid will be accepted for any flight to the same destination or within the same region. For example, if your original booking was for London, you can rebook it for Amsterdam at no extra charges.
The Emirates regions are:
the Far East
the Gulf, Middle East and Iran
Indian Ocean Islands
There are no change fees when you rebook within the 24-month period either if you simply ‘Keep your ticket’ or with the travel voucher, so you have more flexibility for planning ahead.
These options are available for bookings made before May 31. Bookings made from June 1 are subject to the fare conditions applicable at the time of your booking.
You can extend the validity of the voucher for another year. If you are unable to travel for any reason within this period you can request a refund.
Learn more about the ticket validity extension and how you can use the travel voucher on Emirates’ Travel voucher / Refund page and choose the option that suits you best.
If you would like to proceed with a refund instead of requesting the voucher, submit your request on the Travel voucher / Refund page. ICA/Expat Media
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