Qantas Suspends International Flights Following Government Travel Advice Over Coronavirus
Qantas Suspends International Flights Following Government Travel Advice Over Coronavirus

Will I get a refund from my airline?

Thousands of Australians' holiday plans have been scrambled due to unprecedented restrictions on domestic and international travel as governments deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

A huge concern among those would-be travellers is the cost of cancellation.

Frustratingly, pandemic clauses in most travel insurance policies mean policyholders may not be covered for the cost of cancelling flights, tours, accommodation and other aspects of their trips even though they've been left with few options after the Federal Government urged against non-essential overseas and domestic travel and with airlines suspending most of their services.

 

 

Qantas and Virgin Australia will suspend all international services and are making drastic cuts to domestic flights, which extend to their respective subsidiaries Jetstar and Tigerair.

The good news is they're offering some relief to travellers whose plans have been ruined by the outbreak, whether because booked flights have been grounded or they're unable or unwilling to proceed with plans.

Here is the latest on what Australian airlines are doing for customers who had travel coming up.

Qantas will ground all international flights and all but 10 per cent of its domestic capacity. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Qantas will ground all international flights and all but 10 per cent of its domestic capacity. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

 

QANTAS

Qantas is offering customers with tickets for domestic and international flights the ability to cancel and retain the value as flight credit. Cancellation fees will also be waived.

The offer is available until March 31 for travel booked up to May 31, 2020.

Travellers whose flights have been cancelled will be contacted by Qantas.

Those who are booked to fly after May 31 still have the option of changing travel to a new date or cancelling their booking and putting the value towards a future flight.

People who have booked Qantas flights through a third party, such as Webjet, should contact that third party about changes to bookings.

Qantas said there may be long waiting times for customers trying to call, and it was working through the most urgent travel dates.

For more information visit the Qantas website.

Jetstar’s domestic and international fleets have been impacted. Picture: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images
Jetstar’s domestic and international fleets have been impacted. Picture: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

 

JETSTAR

Jetstar is giving customers with existing and new bookings for domestic and international travel the ability to cancel their booking and receive a credit voucher.

The offer is available until March 31 for bookings dated until May 31, 2020.

It applies to Jetstar domestic and international travel in and from Australia and New Zealand and Jetstar Asia's flights between Darwin and Singapore.

For more information, visit the Jetstar website.

Virgin Australia and its subsidiary Tigerair. Picture: Supplied
Virgin Australia and its subsidiary Tigerair. Picture: Supplied

 

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA AND TIGERAIR

Similarly, Virgin Australia and Tigerair are making it fairly easy for customers to change bookings due to coronavirus.

Customers can change their flight to a later date and/or to a different destination without incurring a change fee.

Or, if the flight isn't within 48 hours, they can cancel their booking, get a travel voucher and avoid a cancellation fee.

So far this applies to travel until June 30, 2020.

"We know there's a lot of uncertainty with travel at the moment, but please know that the health and safety of our guests is our number one priority," Virgin Australia said.

Like with Qantas, people who booked through a third party should contact them directly, rather than the airline, while increased demand on customer support means urgent travel dates are being prioritised by customer service.

For more information visit Virgin Australia's website, which also directs to its partner airlines including Etihad and Delta Air Lines, and Tigerair's website.

Almost all Regional Express Airlines, or Rex, flights have been suspended.
Almost all Regional Express Airlines, or Rex, flights have been suspended.

 

REX

Regional airline Rex has announced it was suspending all passenger travel operations across Australia except for Queensland in response to coronavirus.

Rex customers with travel up until June 30 have the option of putting the ticket value in credit with change fees waived. The credit must be used for travel within 12 months of the date of the original ticket issue and for travel anywhere in the Rex Network.

Customers should contact their travel agent if they've booked through them.

For more information visit the Rex website.

Originally published as Will I get a refund from my airline?

Thousands of Australians have had travel plans ruined by coronavirus. Picture: AAP Image/James Gourley
Thousands of Australians have had travel plans ruined by coronavirus. Picture: AAP Image/James Gourley

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