Passengers on Wednesday’s Emirates flight from Dubai to Tunisia were all tested for Covid-19 before departing from Dubai. Emirates is the first airline to conduct on-site rapid Covid-19 tests for passengers. The quick blood test was conducted by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and results were available within 10 minutes. This test was conveniently done at the Group Check-in area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3.
Emirates has also updated its Covid-19 travel waiver policies into one simplified approach for rebooking and refunds on tickets issued in all its global markets.
Emirates is offering three options to its customers affected by flight cancellations and travel restrictions:
1 – Keep your ticket: All Emirates tickets booked before 31 May for travel up to 31 August 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.
2 – Request a travel voucher: 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.
3 – Refunds: 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.
Emirates has also made it easy for customers to request these options online through a simple form.
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 understand that explaining and unravelling all of that is confusing and frustrating for customers. The Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented for everyone, and we would like to thank our customers and trade partners for their patience, understanding and support as we worked through this period to ensure our policies are not only customer-friendly but also in line with regulatory requirements.
“We sincerely hope that our customers will choose to rebook and fly with us again at a later time, and that is why we are 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 up to 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.”
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.