Travel managers and experts said that most airlines retain the value of canceled tickets, which were affected by the extension of air transport suspension decisions during the recent period, as a result of the spread of the Corona virus, asking dealers to wait before making reservations, and await the official decisions that allow travel.
And they told «Emirates Today» that some air carriers made reservations available on their websites, finally, but with the travel suspension extended, these flights were canceled and postponed for a later time, and the dealers were unable to recover the money they paid in cash after opening the reservations, as they were transferred to Their balance for re-booking.
In detail, Executive Vice President of Al-Rais Travel Company, Muhammad Jassim Al-Rayes, called on customers to wait before making airline reservations during this period, pointing out that flights are available for reservation, but with the extension of the suspension of air transport decisions due to the Corona crisis, companies resort to Flying to delay flights, and to postpone them for later.
Al-Rayyis added that most airlines retain the value of the ticket, in case the flight is canceled, to remain in the customer’s balance, provided that he can use it during the re-reservation, and in this way, the traders will not be able to recover the money they paid directly, pointing out that some companies apply conditions, too, About re-booking.
Waiting for decisions
Al-Rayyis stressed that it is important not to rush in custody, and to wait for the official decisions that allow travel to the destinations to be visited, as the matter applies to both the departure and arrival destinations, indicating that the airlines, in turn, did not expect to face such conditions, so that they are forced to work in an environment Rapidly evolving and changing.
He stressed the need to read the conditions for canceling or rescheduling flights, including the options available to customers to recover money or re-reservation, and the conditions that the airline will impose, pointing out that buying a ticket means that the customer has accepted all the terms and conditions attached to it.
For his part, Director General of Belhasa Tourism Company, Narrows Sarkis, said that a very small percentage of airlines allow customers to recover all their money in cash, in a short period in these exceptional circumstances, due to the outbreak of the «Covid-19 virus», indicating that with the cancellation Flights or postponements, due to travel restrictions extended by governments, most airlines keep their customers ’money, so it can later be used to re-book, or make a new reservation.
Sarkis added that this matter is in the interest of airlines, not the customer, as it maintains liquidity in these critical circumstances, and the customer is obliged to wait while flights are allowed to be re-booked, but in many cases the price difference is applied to the new reservation.
He pointed out that airlines, as well as other sectors, are suffering the costly effects of the emerging Corona virus.
Sarkis said that for some canceled flights, finally, due to the extension of the decision to suspend travel due to Corona, the airlines exempted the holders of these tickets from the change fees, provided that any other fees due if they exist at the time of the change are applied, noting that some Airlines exempt customers from a one-time change fee.
He pointed out that the policies and conditions for canceling or rescheduling flights vary from one airline to another, and therefore it is important to read all the terms and conditions of the ticket before booking it, especially in these exceptional circumstances.
And Sarkis stated that the availability of flights on the websites of airlines or travel agencies does not necessarily mean that the airline will operate it on time, as air carriers are obligated by the decisions issued by the authorities and the authorities concerned with air transport, and therefore it is necessary to obtain news from official sources, stressing that Once flights are permitted, reservations can then be made.
He said that some carriers made reservations available on their websites, and they received reservations from dealers, but later resorted to canceling them.
An exceptional situation
In turn, the expert in the tourism and travel sector, Samer Asha, said that airlines around the world have found themselves in an exceptional situation with the spread of the "Covid-19" virus, pointing out that the complete suspension of flights caused great pressure to cancel or amend reservations, including Cashback requests.
Asha added that recovering millions of the value of tickets canceled in cash at this time is disastrous, as many airlines may collapse within a short time, with their cash reserves eroding to record levels, indicating that air carriers still need liquidity to manage their operating expenses, Although the operations have stopped.
And that a very limited number of companies around the world accept cashback for canceled tickets, especially those companies that give great attention to the loyalty of their customers, or companies that still operate flights, albeit on a limited scale, where their cash flow has not been affected significantly.
Samer Asha, a travel and tourism expert, said that to keep reservations open, for trips that were supposed to be operated soon, and later canceled, some travelers were forced to make their reservations, but with the cancellations of flights they found themselves unable to recover the money they had paid in cash , Pointing out that most airlines give customers the options to re-book.
He added: "We do not expect the demand to be huge on the air transport sector while allowing flights to be conducted, as there will be availability in the seats for those who wish to travel, and therefore they can wait and book while formally announcing the start of operations."
• Agencies that required travelers to wait before booking and read the terms of redemption and amendment.