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Emirates refunds passengers $2bn

written by Adam Thorn | September 8, 2020
An Emirates aircraft departs Sydney Airport (Source: Australian Aviation archives)

Emirates has revealed it has now refunded passengers nearly $2 billion for flights affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dubai-owned airline said the 1.4 million requests it’s processed so far worldwide amount to 90 per cent of its huge backlog.

The news is significant for Australian travellers given how the ACCC in July forced fellow UAE-owned airline Etihad into reversing an earlier policy that denied passengers the right to a refund if their flight was cancelled due to COVID-19.

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Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said, “We understand that from our customers’ standpoint, each pending refund request is one too many. We are committed to honouring refunds and are trying our utmost to clear the massive and unprecedented backlog that was caused by the pandemic.

“Most cases are straightforward, and these we will process quickly. But there are cases which will take a bit more time for our customer teams to manually review and complete. We are grateful to our customers for their patience and understanding.”

In July, Abu Dhabi-owned Etihad was forced into a climbdown after a significant ruling by Australia’s competition commission.

In March, the airline controversially didn’t offer any refunds at all to Australian customers, despite making exceptions for those who had booked from the US and EU.

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The airline partially relented in June and allowed passengers to claim their money back if the flight departed from Australia, but on Tuesday extended that pledge to any destination in the world.

Refunds have become a huge issue since the pandemic took hold, with Australian Aviation frequently reporting on customers’ frustrations with Australian Airlines.

In June, for instance, ACCC chief Rodney Sims slammed Qantas over what he felt to be a miscommunication of passenger’s legal rights, stating that the airline only “encouraged these customers to cancel bookings themselves in order to receive a credit when many would have been eligible for a refund”.

While the airline’s refund policy noted that customers booked on cancelled services were entitled to either a flight credit or a refund, Sims said that the business “did not communicate clearly with customers about their rights and, in a large number of cases, simply omitted they were entitled to a refund”.

Separately, World of Aviation has reported how Emirates has received a $2 billion bailout from Dubai’s government and has been told further support could follow depending on the length of the coronavirus crisis.

A bond prospectus, obtained by Reuters, said its state owner has been injecting the money into the business since March.

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

2 Comments

  • felchito capacite

    says:

    how long will it take to have refund.i already request refund last july.The problem is i am about to leave U A E because my company has retrench some of employee.how can i get my refund who will follow up?

  • Brenda Deysel

    says:

    Hi how long before the ban on flights for animals is lifted? Especially snub nose boston terriers.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Emirates refunds passengers $2bn

written by Adam Thorn | September 8, 2020
An Emirates aircraft departs Sydney Airport (Source: Australian Aviation archives)

Emirates has revealed it has now refunded passengers nearly $2 billion for flights affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dubai-owned airline said the 1.4 million requests it’s processed so far worldwide amount to 90 per cent of its huge backlog.

The news is significant for Australian travellers given how the ACCC in July forced fellow UAE-owned airline Etihad into reversing an earlier policy that denied passengers the right to a refund if their flight was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said, “We understand that from our customers’ standpoint, each pending refund request is one too many. We are committed to honouring refunds and are trying our utmost to clear the massive and unprecedented backlog that was caused by the pandemic.

“Most cases are straightforward, and these we will process quickly. But there are cases which will take a bit more time for our customer teams to manually review and complete. We are grateful to our customers for their patience and understanding.”

In July, Abu Dhabi-owned Etihad was forced into a climbdown after a significant ruling by Australia’s competition commission.

In March, the airline controversially didn’t offer any refunds at all to Australian customers, despite making exceptions for those who had booked from the US and EU.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The airline partially relented in June and allowed passengers to claim their money back if the flight departed from Australia, but on Tuesday extended that pledge to any destination in the world.

Refunds have become a huge issue since the pandemic took hold, with Australian Aviation frequently reporting on customers’ frustrations with Australian Airlines.

In June, for instance, ACCC chief Rodney Sims slammed Qantas over what he felt to be a miscommunication of passenger’s legal rights, stating that the airline only “encouraged these customers to cancel bookings themselves in order to receive a credit when many would have been eligible for a refund”.

While the airline’s refund policy noted that customers booked on cancelled services were entitled to either a flight credit or a refund, Sims said that the business “did not communicate clearly with customers about their rights and, in a large number of cases, simply omitted they were entitled to a refund”.

Separately, World of Aviation has reported how Emirates has received a $2 billion bailout from Dubai’s government and has been told further support could follow depending on the length of the coronavirus crisis.

A bond prospectus, obtained by Reuters, said its state owner has been injecting the money into the business since March.

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

2 Comments

  • felchito capacite

    says:

    how long will it take to have refund.i already request refund last july.The problem is i am about to leave U A E because my company has retrench some of employee.how can i get my refund who will follow up?

  • Brenda Deysel

    says:

    Hi how long before the ban on flights for animals is lifted? Especially snub nose boston terriers.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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