Etihad offers travellers free medical cover for Covid-19: what's covered and how to claim it

The Abu Dhabi airline will provide wellness insurance to travellers flying to any destination on its network before the end of the year

In a similar move to Emirates, Etihad is now offering passengers free medical cover for Covid-19-related expenses.

The national airline of the UAE is introducing Covid-19 insurance as part of its Etihad Wellness programme, which aims to keep passengers safe when flying during the pandemic.

The policy is being offered through AXA and is designed to boost people’s confidence in travelling during the pandemic.

“As more countries start opening their borders, we are making it as easy as possible for our guests to plan their next trip, hassle free,” said Duncan Bureau, senior vice president of sales and distribution at Etihad.

Any travellers who are diagnosed with Covid-19 will automatically be covered for related medical expenses or quarantine costs when flying with the airline.

“The safety, health, and well-being of our guests and employees is our top priority, during and beyond the flight. The introduction of global Covid-19 insurance, in partnership with AXA, builds on stringent measures already in place as part of our Etihad Wellness programme, championed by our Wellness Ambassadors,” Bureau said.

How long is the cover valid for?

Travellers who are booked to fly with Etihad between now and December 31, 2020 will qualify for Covid-19 cover. The policy is valid worldwide for 31 days from four hours before passengers depart on their first Etihad flight.

Cover ceases when travellers return to their home country, or after 31 days – whichever happens first.

What should I do if I get sick and want to use Etihad’s Covid-19 cover?

Travellers diagnosed with Covid-19 while on their trip must contact the airline’s Covid-19 assistance team.

There is a dedicated hotline for both Arabic and English speakers and someone will be available 24 hours a day to take calls. Travellers who want to use Etihad’s coverage must contact the assistance team as early as possible, because no expenses will be reimbursed for medical care provided before this.

The hotline numbers are +971 4 507 4007 (for English) and +971 4 507 4002 (for Arabic).

What is covered by Etihad’s Covid-19 assistance?

The policy has generous limits, with up to €150,000 (Dh651,000) in medical costs covered, and up to €100 per day for quarantine costs for 14 days.

It also covers medical repatriation due to Covid-19 for the insured person and one travel companion, plus any accompanying children.

In the worst-case scenario that a Covid-19 infection results in death, Etihad will cover the costs of repatriating a body back to the country of departure or to another specified location, as well as reimbursing up to €1,500 in funeral costs.

What’s not covered by the policy?

All passengers flying with Etihad must have a negative Covid-19 test before travelling, but the policy does not cover the cost of this process.

Other exclusions apply if travellers opt to visit a country, area or event to which travel has been advised against by the authorities.

Cruises are excluded from the coverage, so if you’re flying with Etihad to somewhere and plan to get on a cruise ship, you’ll need to have an alternative form of medical protection in place for the period you’ll be at sea.

The policy also excludes travelling in, to or through Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Crimea and Sevastopol.

In August, Emirates was the first airline in the world to offer travellers free Covid-19 cover.