Travelers will now be able to modify travel dates on at least eight airlines without rebooking fee charges.
Air France and KLM, Emirates, Kenya Airways, British Airways, Swiss and Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Air Arabia have announced the offer which mostly affects tickets issued in March
The move comes in the wake of coronavirus, which has seen travelers’ reoganise their travel plan to some destinations.
Airline Updates on Coronavirus
Air France and KLM
Air France and KLM offer their customers the possibility to rebook their tickets free of charge. The voluntary rebook policy is available for all customers with a valid ticket issued until 31 March for travel from 3 March 2020 until 31 May 2020.
Emirates waiver policy now applies to any bookings made before 31 March 2020.
Customers worldwide can enjoy more flexibility, choice, and value; with the ability to change travel dates or destinations without change and issuance fees.
How does this work?
Changes to tickets mean the travel date or destination.
Tickets issued up to March 31 are eligible for the waiver.
Customers can change their booking to travel on any date within 11 months of the original date of purchase.
The date change is free. Destination change is as per the difference in fare.
If there is a difference in the airfare or applicable taxes, due to the reissue/reroute of the ticket, the additional amount will need to be collected.
The policy covers all existing destinations across the Emirates network.
One free date change on all flights
Etihad Airways is giving customers the freedom to change their travel plans throughout 2020, they have removed date change fees on all flights booked between 8 March and 7 April 2020.
Effective March 3, all new bookings will include enhanced flexibility. For all fares, all routes and all points of sale, British Airways will waive the normal change fees to allow date changes and the ability to delay travel should the need arise.
Key points to highlight are:
New bookings only from March 3rd, 2020
All routes, all fares, all points of sale
Normal change fee waived
Fare difference still applies
Refund fees are not waived
This policy is valid until March 30th, 2020
Swiss and Lufthansa
Swiss & Lufthansa will waive its rebooking fees for all newly booked flights worldwide with immediate effect and until March 31 and offer a one-off free rebooking. For existing bookings, the new waiver policy will apply worldwide to all flights booked by March 5 with a departure date up to April 30, 2020. Passengers will thus be able to rebook their flight ticket once to a new date up to December 31, 2020, without incurring any rebooking fee.
This new waiver policy applies regardless of the booking fare conditions. The departure and destination airports must be identical. If the original fare is no longer available, the corresponding difference must be paid. The rebooking must be made before the original travel date.
Kenya Airways has updated its reservation change policy as below.
Zero reservation change fees for:
All flights excluding travel within Africa. Travel tickets issued from 5 to 31 March 2020
All travel up to 31 May 2020 from the original ticket issue date
All fare types, including groups
Cancellation is possible for tickets booked for travel up to May 31
A full refund is permitted on canceled flights to/from China
For other intercontinental destinations, refunds will be possible via a non-refundable voucher which can be used within 12 months of issue.
If you have booked or will book flights for travel up to 30 June 2020 you will be offered the flexibility to change your travel plans free of charge by altering the dates of your booking or exchanging your ticket for a travel voucher valid for one year.
Fees for booking alterations will be waived if reservations are changed at least 3 days before departure. Fare differences may apply.
Air Arabia will not be charging any modification fee. This policy applies to all Air Arabia operated flights to any destination.
Modify bookings up to 72 hours before departure
No modification fees will be charged
Fare difference if any will apply
Valid for all existing and new bookings made until Mar 31 for travel until the end of December 2020
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global airlines stand to lose $113 billion in sales if the coronavirus continues to spread.
In a CNN report, the losses would be similar to those experienced by the aviation industry during the global financial crisis of 2008, IATA warned as it dramatically increased its estimate of the damage caused by the outbreak.
IATA said airlines could lose 19 per cent of their business if the virus is not contained soon.
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