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Virgin lets passengers move flights to beat state border closures

written by Adam Thorn | March 23, 2020

The Virgin Australia Group will let customers move their flights forward for free so they can avoid border restrictions set to come into effect in the coming days.

Over the weekend, WA and SA joined Tasmania and the Northern Territory in effectively shutting its border to non-residents.

The business said in a statement, “We want guests to know that during these uncertain times, we’re committed to getting them home. Whether they’re overseas or interstate, we’re waiving change fees and fare differences to get them safely home before travel and border restrictions come into effect.”

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Specifically: Guests who are booked on a Virgin Australia or Tigerair flight scheduled to depart on or before this Friday, 27 March 2020 inclusive, are able present at the airline’s check-in counters at any time from now to be moved onto a flight departing on or before tomorrow (Tuesday, 24 March 2020), without paying any change fee or fare difference.

Guests can also rebook their flight via the airline’s Guest Contact Centre:

  • Virgin Australia 13 67 89
  • Tigerair 1300 174 266

If a flight is not available on earlier Tigerair services, guests will be able to fly on Virgin Australia without further costs.

The airline also added that the new measures to help guests return home are in addition to Virgin Australia Group’s recent announcement giving guests full flexibility for existing and new bookings scheduled to depart up until and including 30 June 2020 as detailed below:

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Virgin Australia and Tigerair planes (Virgin Group)

Virgin Australia and Tigerair guests can change their flight to a later date and/or to a different destination, without incurring a change fee. Guests will just need to cover the fare difference if the value of their new fare is greater than the original.

If travel is within four weeks, Virgin Australia and Tigerair guests can also cancel their domestic or international travel without incurring a fee and receive the full value of the booking as a flight voucher in their Travel Bank, valid for 12 months.

Previously, the Virgin Group announced domestic flights will be cut by 50 per cent, however, this is likely to increase following new travel restrictions announced over the weekend.

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8 Comments

  • Jennifer Elizabeth Maclachlan

    says:

    I wish to cancel my return flight Melbourne to Perth Reservation IFWTLJ.
    Flight 685 Melbourne to Perth March 25 and Flight VA 682 Perth to Melbourne March 31.
    I have tried to do this online but would like confirmation:
    a. That the cancellation has been noted
    b. That no cancellation fee will be charged and the money will be refunded.

    • DM

      says:

      I don’t think this site can help you much :-/

    • Reply to Jennifer

      says:

      As a matter of safety never place your reservation number online (scammers can get all your personal details, credit card no and more from this reference number).
      Your options:
      1) Get a travel credit online (valid for 12 months) here: https://apps.virginaustralia.com/booking-cancellation/
      2) If you would like a refund back to your credit card or the way you paid, you will need to call Virgin Australia on 136789, It will depend on your fare type and your reason for cancelling. Wait times will be long (some colleges have indicated over 6 Hours). Some of Virgins overseas call centres are closed due to government regulation in country due to COVID-19.
      I will repeat again: As a matter of safety never place your reservation number online (scammers can get all your personal details, credit card no and more from this reference number).

  • Darin quinn

    says:

    That’s bullshit my brother in law was on Queenstown nz and was meant to come back on Sunday. The country is going into lockdown and he wanted to chande his flight to yesterday and it ended costing him a extra $550 to get home before the country went into lockdown. Shame on you virgin

    • Reply to Darin

      says:

      Shame on Virgin, Hardly. Virgin is a business who provides a service. They have 176 seats on a plane and they will try and get the maximum revenue for each seat. Its basic supply and demand. They waved all change fees (as a good will gesture), they did not wave fare differences (which they have said multiple times). Your travel insurance might cover the change fees to get you home early (depending on your plan and provider). You should have been aware of Convid-19 before going to New Zealand it was reporting in January. You travelled overseas you should have been aware of the risks (even to New Zealand). Virgin fault NOT AT ALL.

  • Cheistine Skellett

    says:

    Yes that’s rubbish. Trapped in Newcastle and my flight moved from 24th to 25th then to 26th which is past self quarantine period. No thanks. Bailed out by expensive Qantas flights. I want full refund.

    • Reply to Cheistine

      says:

      Virgin cancelled flights and moved you to the next available service per the Conditions of Carriage. Due to Covid-19 they are operating a limited schedule. You agreed to the Conditions of Carriage when you booked your flight. The ACCC website says: “if your travel is cancelled due to government restrictions, this impacts your rights under the consumer guarantees. You may still be entitled to a refund under the terms and conditions of your ticket”. https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-guarantees/covid-19-coronavirus-information-for-consumers.
      So if you booked a non-refundable ticket your best option will be a Travel Voucher (valid for 12 months), this is what you agreed to under the Conditions of Carriage (per extraordinary circumstances). However you should have done this prior to your scheduled departure. You might still be able to get a credit here: http://apps.virginaustralia.com/booking-cancellation/

      • Phil Henry

        says:

        TigerAir cancelled our flight Gold Coast to Hobart on 6 March as they were no longer going to fly that route. Stated that we would receive a refund within 1-2 weeks. We then booked on Virgin Brisbane to Hobart which was then cancelled due to border closures. We now have flight credits with Virgin which are not usable due to border closures and not refund from TigerAir. Three months on TigerAir will only give worthless flight credit via Virgin. There is certainly no customer service within Airline Industry.

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