Qatar Airways, Emirates, AEGEAN Airlines, Etihad and several other airlines have announced flexible rebooking options for passengers who wish to cancel or reschedule flights in the wake of coronavirus.
According to the fine print in most travel insurance policies, travellers will not be covered for any issues related to coronavirus, including the expense of changing or cancelling travel plans.
As concerns over travelling during the outbreak increase, airlines and cruise ships announced flexible rebooking options, to get travellers back into the holiday mood.
Qatar Airways: Passengers who have already booked or book to travel before June 30 will be able to change their travel dates without charge up to three days before they travel. Alternatively, they can exchange their ticket for a travel voucher valid up to 12 months.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Bakar said "The safety, security and good health of our passengers and employees is our highest priority. Although we maintain the very highest standards of hygiene across all parts of the business, we recognise that some passengers may wish to alter their existing travel plans. We hope this new policy, alongside our robust hygiene practices and safety record, will allow our passengers to travel with confidence."
Emirates: The airline will waive booking fees for tickets issued between March 7-31. Passengers will be able to change their travel date to any time within an 11-month period for the same booking class. They may have to pay the difference in the fare, if applicable.
The statement released by Emirates also detailed the airline's "enhanced cleaning and disinfection" process for its aircraft. "In line with the latest expert medical finding that the COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted by touch, Emirates has placed its greatest focus on surface cleaning. The airline uses an approved chemical that is proven to kill viruses and germs, leaves a long- lasting protective coating against new contamination of viruses, bacteria and fungi on surfaces, and is eco-friendly," the statement said.
Aegean: All passengers with tickets already issued prior to March 9, travelling to all network destinations until April 30, have the option to change their ticket to a later date (travel date until October 20), without any rebooking fees. In addition, all “GoLight” fare tickets issued from March 10 until March 31 with travel date until October 20, will have a free of charge change.
Etihad: The airline has waived fees for bookings made from March 8 to April 7.
Below are the airlines which have announced flexible rebooking options for passengers who wish to cancel or reschedule flights*:
- Cathay Pacific
- Virgin Australia
- Singapore Airlines
- Air New Zealand
- United Airlines
- Lufthansa airline
- Austraian Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- British Airways
*Please refer to each airline's website for further details and conditions.
While Greece has some cases, popular islands Santorini and Mykonos have avoided the coronavirus.