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Emirates today released a statement on its Facebook page and to the media that the airline would expedite processing refunds for eligible passengers.

The airline states that it has already processed more than 650,000 refunds totaling more than half a billion USD. The airline states it still has more than half a million nonrefunded requests and promises to clear them by August.

You can access Emirates here.

Here’s the media release from Emirates:

Dubai, UAE, 02 July 2020 – In the past two months, Emirates has processed nearly 650,000 refund requests, returning over AED 1.9 billion to its customers and making good on its promise to expedite refunds after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travel plans for millions of customers around the world.

In April, Emirates had announced that it would ramp up its refunds capabilities and committed to clear its backlog by August, which at that time stood at nearly half a million requests. The airline had crossed that target by early June, after expanding its processing capability from an average of 35,000 requests a month, to nearly 200,000.

Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer said: “This pandemic is a black swan event no-one expected, impacting travellers and hitting the airline and travel industry hard. At Emirates, we’ve earned our customers’ trust over the years and we value that greatly. It is tough times for everyone, but we are committed to doing what’s right by our customers. That’s why we ringfenced cash to honour refunds, and invested resources to expedite processing. Our average processing time for refunds has reduced from 90 days to 60, and as we see lower volumes of new requests we expect this rate to further improve. We still have over half a million refund requests to manage, and expect to clear these within the next 2 months. We’d like to thank our customers for their patience and trust, and to those who have opted to hold their ticket or rebooked to travel at a later time – we look forward to welcoming you onboard soon.

In addition to refunds, Emirates continually reviews its booking policies and travel products, to offer customers added confidence to plan and book their journeys.

Flexibility and assurance

Emirates currently offers travellers flights to over 50 cities, with convenient connections between the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific through its hub in Dubai. Dubai has recently announced that it will re-open to welcome international visitors from 7 July 2020.

With the gradual re-opening of borders over the summer, Emirates has revised its booking policies to offer customers more flexibility and confidence to plan their travel.

Customers who purchase an Emirates ticket by 31 July 2020 for travel on or before 30 November 2020, can enjoy these fully flexible terms when they book a Flex or Flex plus fare, or if they have to change their travel plans due to COVID-19 related flight or travel restrictions (applicable to all bookings):

  • Free date change for travel in the same cabin to the booked destination, or to/from Dubai
  • Free rebooking to any alternate Emirates destination in the same region, or to/from Dubai
  • Extended ticket validity for 2 years from the purchase date for future use
  • Convert the ticket value to a Travel Voucher that may be used as credit towards future travel purchases with Emirates, providing flexibility to reschedule when they are ready to travel again

Emirates customers whose travel plans are disrupted by COVID-19 related flight or travel restrictions, can easily request travel vouchers or refunds via an online form on Emirates’ website, or contact their travel booking agent for assistance.

Dubai is ready to welcome international visitors from 7 July 2020. For more information on travel requirements for international visitors: www.emirates.com/flytodubai

For more information on Emirates’ current flights and services, visit www.emirates.com/wherewefly

Emirates has put in place a comprehensive set of measures for the health and safety of its customers and employees, at every step of the customer journey. For more information, visit www.emirates.com/yoursafety

Conclusion

If you look at Emirates social media posts, many if not the majority of the comments are regarding passengers waiting for their refunds for canceled flights, including me.

Emirates states that it asks passengers who booked using agents to contact them (agents) for refunds. The airline has, however, suspended most tickets preventing agents from refunding them. Also, Emirates don’t take trade calls regarding refunds, but instead requires agents to email them.

You may wonder how I know this? Emirates canceled my flight (before even Covid-19 hit), and Orbitz, part of Expedia companies, promised a refund within 30 days in early March. I am still waiting after filing DOT complaints against both and initiating a chargeback (waiting for a resolution).

I have zero sympathies for airlines or other corporations that commit, essentially, fraud by holding your money hostage and preventing refunds. This is not the right way to run a business.

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