Coronavirus: IndiGo, Emirates waive change fees

NEW DELHI: India’s largest domestic airline, IndiGo, will levy no change fees on existing bookings for travel from March 12 to March 31, 2020. It has also announced zero change fees on fresh bookings made during this period. The move comes in wake of massive cancellations and rescheduling happening due to the coronavirus epidemic across airlines globally.
In addition, India’s largest foreign airline, Emirates, has introduced waiver policy for all booked tickets issued from March 7 to March 31, 2020, allowing customers across its network to change their travel dates without change and reissuance fees “should they decide to change their travel plans due to the evolving COVID-19 situation.”
Emirates’ 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.
IndiGo chief commercial officer William Boulter said: “We understand that some passengers are concerned about committing to travel, given the current coronavirus issue. To take this anxiety away and make their travel hassle-free, we are waiving our normal change fees on all travel during the next two weeks and for all new bookings made in that period. This will enable our customers to book their flights at affordable fares, with the flexibility of rescheduling, without change fees, if needed. Whilst the coronavirus is a very serious challenge for us all, we believe that measures such as this will help alleviate its effect on India’s travel.”
Emirates chief commercial officer Adnan Kazim 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% of their tier travel requirements between March 31 and June30, 2020.
“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% 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,” Emirates said in a statement.

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