Dubai: Emirates has reaffirmed its commitment to customers impacted by travel disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and increased its capability to process refunds, the Dubai-based airline announced on Sunday.
With nearly half a million refund requests pending to manage, the airline has taken proactive steps to restructure its backend procedures and boost resourcing to accelerate the processing of refunds. Pre-pandemic, Emirates processed an average of 35,000 refund requests in a month. Now it is gearing up to handle 150,000 per month, and aims to clear its current backlog by early August.
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: "It is a difficult time for us, as it is for all airlines. We are dipping into our cash reserves by being proactive in processing refunds, but it is our duty and responsibility. 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.
"The situation was dynamic in the early weeks of the pandemic, but we have since re-written our 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.
"We sincerely hope that our customers and trade partners will choose to book and fly with Emirates again at a later time. For those who have opted to hold their tickets or exchange it for travel vouchers, we look forward to welcoming you on our flights again soon. Announcements will be made whenever we are able to resume services."
Customers who wish to request travel vouchers or refunds can easily do so 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.