DUBAI – Emirates has responded to some negative postings on social media by insisting it will dip into cash reserves to refund passengers whose flights were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
We’ve also proactively contacted those of our customers who had submitted earlier requests for refunds or booking changes, to let them know of the new options available to them,
The airline said it is working on increasing its online capabilities to deal with nearly half a million refund requests from customers.
Emirates president, Sir Tim Clark, said the company is “dipping into our cash reserves” to process the refunds, and made a commitment to have the current backlog cleared by August.
Before the pandemic, Emirates said it processed an average of 35,000 refund requests in a month. That figure has soared by over 300% to 150,000 per month.
“We would like to assure our customers and trade partners that we will honour refunds, and that we are doing our best to speed things up,” Mr Clark said.
Emirates said it has rewritten its COVID-19 waiver policy “into a simple, globally-applied approach that puts customers first”.
“We’ve also proactively contacted those of our customers who had submitted earlier requests for refunds or booking changes, to let them know of the new options available to them,” Mr Clark added.
Customers can request travel vouchers or refunds via an online form on Emirates’ website, or contact their travel booking agent for assistance.
Emirates offers three options to its customers affected by flight cancellations and travel restrictions:
• Keep their existing ticket for up to 24 months and call to reschedule their flight when they are ready to fly. Emirates has extended this option to apply to any ticket booked on or before 30 June 2020, for travel on or before 30 November 2020.
• Exchange the unused portion of their tickets for a travel voucher equivalent to the amount paid for their original booking. The travel voucher can be utilised for any Emirates product or service, with no change fees, providing customers more flexibility to reschedule when they are ready to travel again.
• 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.
Customers who have booked through travel agents should contact their agent for assistance. The same options will apply.