Booked flights for Christmas? This is exactly how to get a refund on your travel plans if new border closures have impacted your holiday
- Airlines are scrambling to accommodate travellers impacted by the outbreak
- A growing COVID-19 cluster in Sydney has led to travel bans for some residents
- Qantas and Virgin Australia are offering some fee-free flight changes and credits
- But this will hinge on whether travellers opted for flexible fare options
- They are begging passengers to stop calling if they are not travelling in 14 days
Australian airlines are scrambling to accommodate holidaymakers left in the dark following a coronavirus outbreak in Sydney.
The Northern Beaches have been declared a hotspot in the eyes of other all states and territories – throwing travel plans in disarray for many local residents.
While some travellers were able to flee NSW before tightened border restrictions came into place others were not so lucky.
Australian airlines are scrambling to accommodate holidaymakers left in the lurch by a growing coronavirus outbreak in Sydney.
While some travellers were able to flee the state before restrictions came into place others were not so lucky
Every state and territory requires residents from Sydney’s Northern Beaches to undergo 14-day quarantine if they want to cross the border.
Some states have expanded that to include the greater Sydney area, or required travellers to access a travel permit.
Western Australia even announced a hard border on Saturday night, meaning anyone wanting to enter the state will need an exemption.
The decision has prompted thousands of people to cancel or try and reschedule their travel plans at short notice.
Some travellers will be eligible for fee-free travel credits or flight transfers depending on their carrier and booking type.
Large queues formed at Sydney Airport on Friday as passengers tried to get out of the state
The national carrier says it is working to reschedule flights for passengers who have endured cancellations due to the latest COVID-19 outbreak as soon as possible.
Residents are being urged to use their online booking portal to change or cancel flights rather than contacting their customer service team via the phone.
‘If you’re not travelling within the next 14 days, we ask that you please do not call the contact centre,’ Qantas wrote on Facebook.
Anyone who used a third-party to book their travel plans should contact Qantas directly.
‘If we’ve cancelled your Qantas flight, we’ll rebook you on the next available flight to your booked destination (if possible), at no additional cost to you,’ the airline said on its website.
‘Alternatively, you can choose a flight credit or a refund. You won’t be charged any change or cancellation fees. We’ll be contacting anyone whose flight has been impacted as soon as possible.’
The national carrier says it is working to reschedule flights for passengers who have endured cancellations due to the latest COVID outbreak
Residents wanting to cancel flights booked with Virgin Australia linked to the COVID-19 restrictions must fill out a Travel Cancellation Request Form.
If you booked through a travel agent or another website, you’ll need to contact them directly to cancel or make any changes.
The airline is waiving fees for anyone who made domestic bookings between April 21 2020 and March 31 2021.
They will be offering credits which can be used to book flights at a later date.
Passengers flying with Regional Express may not be eligible for a refund if they choose to cancel their flight.
As per the airline’s fare rules passengers locked in under community fares are not able to change their flights on short notice.
Travellers on ‘promo’ or ‘saver’ fares will be able to change for a small $33 fee while those with flex fares can change or cancel up to 60 minutes before the flight.
But Rex will be offering a refund, credit of flight transfer if the airline has initiated the cancellation.
Rex has advised customers to contact them via their online form, which you can find here.
Like Qantas and Virgin Australia, Rex is asking passengers to contact through their online platform rather than jamming the phone lines.
Holidaymakers with bags and masks wait in line at the Jetstar check in desk at Sydney Airport on December 18