UAE Airlines Relax Fees for Teachers, Travellers

Both Etihad and Emirates have made changes to their booking conditions to make it easier for teachers in particular, and travellers in general, to re-arrange flights as a result of Covid 19 travel restrictions.
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There is welcome news for teachers and families, whose holidays have been disrupted by school closures and changes to holiday dates. The UAE's major airlines have taken steps to minimise the financial impact at least.

Etihad Airways is allowing teachers across the country to claim a full refund on flights that were booked for the spring break holiday. Teachers who had booked to fly with the airline can claim a full refund as long as flights were booked on or before March 5, 2020. To be eligible, teachers must provide Etihad with a letter of confirmation of employment from their school or education institution.  A full fare refund without any standard change fees will be issued.

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Other travellers, including many families who had made plans for the spring break, can rebook flights, without any change fees.

New bookings can be for any time up to April 15, 2020 with one fee-free change will be allowed.

Meanwhile, any booking made on or before 31 March 2020 on Emirates now comes with the option to adjust travel dates with zero charges. Passengers only pay any increase in fare differences. Emirates customers can change their booking to travel on any date within 11 months of the original date of purchase.

“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 members will also be able to retain tier levels by fulfilling 80 per cent of their travel requirements. Emirates has also increased the percentage of tier miles passengers will earn on all trips made between now and June 30, 2020.

Meanwhile, low-cost airline FlyDubai has said it will look at flight cancellations and re-booking policies on a case-by-case basis. Travellers who need to change plans due to the coronavirus crisis should contact flydubai via Facebook or email. A Flydubai  spokesperson said:

"We are aware of the statement issued by the Ministry of Health. Passengers should be assured that we are taking all necessary steps as outlined by the international authorities which includes a robust aircraft cleaning programme. Our flights to Bahrain and Iran are cancelled and we are following all travel advisories."

Elsewhere, some US and European airlines have also announced relaxed booking policies for new flight bookings. Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Air Dolomiti has introduced a new waiver policy for re-booking that applies to both existing and future bookings worldwide.  

New tickets booked throughout March will have the option of re-booking once, with no fees applied. 

Travellers with existing flight bookings with departure dates until April 30 can also re-book once, until December 31, 2020 with no change fee.

Also see
Should you be getting on a plane?
Student, staff screening before re-entry

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