Coronavirus: Emirates extends validity of air miles and offers travellers 24 months to make changes

Passengers can make a change to any flight across the Emirates network and the airline has extended air mile validity to December

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As the coronavirus situation continues to evolve, so do airline booking policies.

Emirates has further extended its flexible booking policy. Travellers now have 24 months from the original date of booking to re-use any flight tickets cancelled due to Covid-19. Passengers can also opt to fly to a different destination, so long as it is within the same Emirates region as the original booking.

The airline is also extending the life of its Skywards loyalty air miles during this time of suspended travel. Travellers with Air Miles set to expire this year, will now have their validity extended until December 31, 2020.

Tier status for Emirates Skyward members

Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members who were due for a tier review before March 2021, will retain their current status by accumulating 80 per cent of the usual requirements.

Under this new rule, Silver members need to accumulate 20,000 tier Miles, Gold members 40,000 and Platinum 120,000 to retain their status. travellers who cannot retain their tier during this time will have their status extended until December 31.

No additional fees

The Dubai airline earlier revised its newly introduced flexible booking policy to cover all existing bookings. Previously, the policy — which allows travellers to adjust flights without change fees — only applied to new bookings.

The Dubai airline has extended the fee-waiver programme to cover all Emirates flights.

Travellers will be able to change flights to any time in an 24-month window from the original date of travel. Previously, bookings could only be changed for travel for an 11-month period.

The move is a bid to give customers peace of mind when it comes to travelling. Passengers can make one change for free and will only pay the difference for higher fares.

During this time of uncertainty, Emirates Skywards members will also get 20 per more tier miles on any trips until June 30.

Travellers set to fly with Emirates to countries where flight suspensions or travel restrictions due to Covid-19 now apply are eligible for rebooking or refunds. Emirates has extended its refund options to all travellers who book or booked before May 31, 2020.

No change fee for Etihad bookings

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has also introduced a policy that allows travellers to make fee-free changes to flights.

The Abu Dhabi airline is allowing travellers with travel booked before 30 June to make one change to travel plans without incurring any change fees. Travellers can change dates and/or destination. Through the new Etihad Credit scheme, the airline will also gift travellers up to 5,000 bonus air miles and travel credit between $40 (dh146) and $400 (Dh1,469) depending on fare class and destination when rebooking flights.

This applies to all destinations across the Etihad network.

The airline also offered all teachers in the UAE a full refund if they needed to cancel flights because spring break was moved.

Travellers set to fly with Etihad to countries where flight suspensions or travel restrictions due to Covid-19 now apply are eligible for rebooking or can claim a refund.

See booking policies for other airlines here and follow the latest updates on the coronavirus crisis here.