Dubai's Emirates announced today it is providing customers more flexibility and choice through its newly introduced waiver policy for all booked tickets issued on or from today, March 7 until March 31, 2020, allowing customers across its network the choice of changing their travel dates without change and reissuance fees.
The move provides Emirates' customers with peace of mind should they decide to change their travel plans due to the evolving Covid-19 situation, Khaleej Times reported.
"Customers can change their booking to any date for travel within an 11 month date range in the same booking class without change penalties. Difference in fare, if applicable applies. The policy covers all existing destinations across the Emirates network," Emirates said in statement.
Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline, said: "We want our customers to feel fully supported, comfortable and confident when making travel plans, while offering them the best fares, without incurring change fees should they decide to delay or adjust dates. The situation remains dynamic and we will continue to look at ways to provide flexibility, convenience and peace of mind for our customers."
Emirates Skywards will also be providing more flexibility to its members who have been impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus through imposed travel restrictions and flight reductions. Skywards Platinum, Gold and Silver members can maintain their current status by fulfilling 80 per cent of their tier travel requirements between March 31 and June 30, 2020.
In addition, Skywards members booked to travel between March 1 and June 30, 2020 will be able to benefit from an additional 20 per cent bonus Tier Miles.
For additional peace of mind, Emirates is also taking its aircraft cleaning process to the next level through additional precautionary measures of implementing enhanced disinfecting procedures after flights from destinations most affected by Covid-19.
If the airline is alerted to any suspect or confirmed cases of infectious diseases, teams will be immediately deployed for a deeper cleaning to thoroughly disinfect all cabins of that aircraft with stronger, approved chemicals.
"Across all its aircraft, Emirates utilises HEPA filters, which are proven to remove more than 99 per cent of viruses in the cabin environment. If there is a suspected case onboard, Emirates will go a step further to replace all the HEPA filters on the aircraft," the airline added.
Passengers are advised that fare differences or applicable taxes may apply if they wish to change their bookings to a different fare class. Current refund and rebooking conditions for tickets issued before 5 March still apply. Customers impacted due to cancellations of flights impacted by the Covid-19 virus are advised to check emirates.com for rebooking or rerouting options.
With early school closures for spring break in the UAE, the new waiver policy is applicable on tickets issued on or before March 4, 2020 with travel up to May 31, 2020, with rebooking permitted up to June 30, 2020. If customers wish to change or reroute their bookings where there is a fare difference or applicable taxes, charges will apply.
Passengers who wish to change their travel arrangements after making bookings between March 7 and March 31 can visit their travel agent or contact the Emirates call centre at +971 600 555555.