KUALA LUMPUR, 21 May 2020: Airlines need to sweeten the deal on refunds and extending travel validity or lose the confidence of travellers who are wary of bookings flights due to disruptions linked to strict Covid-19 measures worldwide.
Most airlines are slow to hand out refunds on travel that was cancelled after global travel bans. They prefer to give passengers credit notes that can be redeemed for travel up to two years down the track. If you intend to travel again possibly within a year or so then the credit options could be the way to go.
If you have serious concerns about airline travel health-wise and do not intend to travel for a couple of years, then press for a refund that airlines are obliged to give you if all else fails.
Smart airlines are adding value to the credit options by extending the redemption period up to two years, and even smarter airlines are sweetening the deal with extra flyer points for members.
AirAsia announced this week it is offering passengers who have seen their travel plans disrupted between 23 March and 31 July 2020 a credit account with a two-year validity period, or unlimited flight changes for flights departing up to 31 October 2020.
All Credit Accounts previously issued for Covid-19 related disruptions will also be provided with an automatic extension of validity up to two years for future travel.
Here are the available options for unjust travel on the airline.
Unlimited flight changes
Change to any new travel date before 31 October 2020 on the same route for an unlimited number of times without any additional cost subject to seat availability.
Retain the value of the flight booking in the guest’s AirAsia BIG Member account for future travel with AirAsia to be redeemed within 730 calendar days (two years) from the issuance date. The travel date of the new booking can fall on any date within the published flight schedule on airasia.com.
Passengers can refer to the Covid-19 Guide for step-by-step instructions on how to use the airline’s AI chatbot AVA on support.airasia.com or airasia.com to make their selection.
Within the next few weeks, the validity period of all unused Credit Accounts issued to guests affected by COVID-19 travel disruptions earlier will also be automatically extended two years. No action is required.
The above information is only applicable for direct online bookings made via airasia.com. For group bookings or those made with travel agents, passengers must contact the booking agent for further assistance.
Contacting the airline can be problematic. The airline’s AVA chatbot is overwhelmed by the high volume of requests.