Airlines waive off flight change fees over restrictions

Muscat: National carrier Oman Air and Indian budget airline IndiGo have removed flight change fees for passengers over coronavirus travel restrictions. Oman Air has removed change fees for all tickets purchased until October 31.  For IndiGo passengers, the waiver is valid till March 31.

Emirates also introduced a waiver policy for all booked tickets issued on or from March 7 until 31 March 2020, allowing customers to change travel dates, without additional change and issuance fees.

“The new zero-fee booking change policy is designed to offer consumers peace of mind. It offers greater flexibility because they can now make their flight reservations without the worry of facing penalties should their travel plans change because of personal concerns or travel restrictions imposed by government agencies,” Oman Air said in a statement.

Paul Starrs, Oman Air chief commercial officer, said, “We want to assure our guests that we understand the challenges everyone is facing because of the actions that governments around the world are taking. Our promise to our valued guests is quite simply this: Go ahead, make your flight bookings with us and there will be zero booking-change fees should you need to alter your travel plans. We are committed to providing world-class service to all our guests and we want everyone to know that they can book with confidence.”

Oman Air said it is committed to providing timely and updated travel information on actions taken by governments around the world to curb the spread of this outbreak.

The airline is in constant contact with government agencies and global health organisations to ensure updated travel advisories are published daily on its website as they become available.

Besides, Oman Air is working closely with the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) to follow the standards on health precautions related to coronavirus.
“Our aircraft cleaning teams are trained to meet Oman Air’s high hygiene standards. We aim to provide our passengers with a safe and comfortable experience at all times,” the airline said.

William Boulter, chief commercial officer, IndiGo said, “We understand that some passengers are concerned about committing to travel, given the current coronavirus issue. To take this anxiety away and make their travel hassle-free, we are waiving our normal change fees on all travel during the next two weeks and for all new bookings made in that period. This will enable our customers to book their flights at affordable fares, with the flexibility of rescheduling, without change fees, if needed. Whilst the coronavirus is a very serious challenge for us all, we believe that measures such as this will help alleviate its effect on India’s travel.”