COVID 19 Flight Cancellations and Refund Policy

COVID 19: The International Trend of Date Change and Refund Policy

COVID 19 has created disruption in the global travel industry in a negative fashion. People across the world are trying to make appropriate changes in their flight plans to compact uncertainty and fear of cancellations. COVID 19 makes buying airtickets a confusing endeavor. 

Here is the latest information available on some of the major airlines operating across the world, their cancellation policies, re-issue policies and so on.  

Air India

Air India is the flagship carrier of India. It is a proud member of the Star Alliance. Air India operates to 94 domestic and international destinations. Air India is one of the very few airlines that operate direct India to the USA and vise versa flights.

In the view of COVID 19 emergency scenario and the travel advisory concerns with regards to the health and safety of passengers and employees, Air India has allowed for one free change for passengers. This is applicable for flights booked on or before 31st March 2020. The Fare difference will have to be met by the passengers. The ticket can be reissued by the agency that has issued the ticket. For further information check the Air India Website or notification issued in this regard. 

American Airlines

American Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world with 6,800 daily flights to more than 365 destinations in 61 countries. The airline serves about 200 million customers annually. 

Due to the reason incidents related to Corona virus outbreak and the confusion surrounding the same the airline has waived off change fees for customers traveling through April 30, 2020. These offers are valid for tickets purchased before March 1st, 2020. Customers are only required to pay the fare difference if any. 

As per an update from the airlines as on 3rd March 2020, the airlines are suspending operations to and from Seoul, South Korea. This is due to the reduction in demand, says the airline. February 29, 2020, the airline has also suspended operations to Milan on account of low demand. American Airlines has halted all flights to and from China and Hongkong as well for the time being. Most of these suspended flight routes are expected to resume from April 25, unless any further notice on the same. To know more visit American Airlines News Room, alternatively, call one of hour travel experts to get up to date information on the same. 

British Airways

British Airways as per its policies formulated based on the recent contingencies affecting the world as a whole, decided to provide change fee waiver programs to its customers. 

Due to the recent events that unfolded due to the effects of COVID 19, British Airways have issued certain policies and guidelines to facilitate its customers to ease their concerns a little.

The policy is available for bookings made between 3rd March 2020 and 31st March 2020. Fare difference if any must still be paid during the time of re-booking. The airlines introduced this policy to assist customers who are facing uncertainty with regard to their booking. British Airways in the flagship carrier of the UK, London Heathrow Airport acts as the hub for the airline. It is the second largest airline in the UK in terms of passenger carried and flight size. 

The customers are given a voucher for the price of the ticket booked and the customer can use this voucher to further book their flight ticket on a future date. The voucher should be redeemed within 12 months of the original date of departure. To know more about the cancellation policy and to remain up to date about the recent developments check British Airways Official Page. 

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific Airways is based in Hong Kong and is considered one of the founding members of “Oneworld”. The airline serves more than 90 destinations in about 35 countries across the world. 

Cathay Pacific is offering free refunds to flights traveling to certain destinations. In case you booked through a travel agent like Taj Travel, call them directly to process your cancellation. 

Destination/Origin Ticket issued on/before Last date of planned travel 
Wuhan 21 January 30 April
Mainland China 3 February 30 April
Philippines 4 February 30 April
Taiwan China 8 February 30 April
India 12 March 30 April
Israel 19 February 30 April
South Korea 24 February 30 April
Thailand 6 March 30 April
Japan 6 March 30 April


Cathay Pacific has said in their website that in case of partly used flight tickets, if the end destination of the tickets leads to one of the above mentioned countries and if the ticket satisfies all the other conditions, the airline would issue a refund for the part of the flight that has not yet been flown. 

In case the flight ticket has been bought from a travel agent like Taj Travel, contact the travel agent for processing the same. 

In case you have booked a flight to through or from Hong Kong on or before 4th February 2020 for travel until 31st March 2020, the airlines will waive off re-booking and rerouting fees. 

As a traveler might have to pay the difference on the fare, the traveler can choose a new date up to the 10th of December 2020. The travelers have 31st March 2020 to decide and implement date change on your tickets. For further information check the Cathay Pacific official page. 

Delta Air Lines

Delta is one of the major airlines headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Delta serves more than 200 million people every year. The airline has an extensive network of 300 destinations in 50 countries. 

As concern continues about the deadly effects of COVID 19, Delta has taken measures to adjust flight schedules to the affected areas. Fee waiver programs have been initiated by the airlines to further comfort the passengers in distress. Customers traveling both domestic and international through April 30 can avail of this offer. The tickets should have been issued on or before 9th March 2020 to avail of this offer. 

The airlines also allow one time change to travel plans without a fee if your plan includes travel to the UK, Europe, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul and so on. For further information check the Delta website. 


Emirates is headquartered in Dubai, UAE. The airline is a state owned and operated airline, a subsidiary of the Emirates Group, owned and operated by the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

Emirates has issued a travel update on March 12, 2020, that gives extensive information about various aspects of travel during these troubled times. Emirates has in its latest travel update have provided extensive links regarding the precautions taken in their planes on the bases of massive COVID 19 outbreaks across the world. The travel update also consists of information regarding the countries that have imposed travel bans. Finally, the airlines also provide extensive information on fee waivers and date changing processes to make travelers ease their tensions. 

COVID 19 has certainly disrupted the traveling industry as a whole. Emirates has made the reschedule of trips with no change fees. A booking made on or before 31st March 2020 now comes with a zero charge fee. If you buy tickets on a day that enjoys a higher price than the price of your ticket, you as a customer will have to pay the fare difference alone. 

In the case of Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold or Platinum member, you could maintain the membership status with just 80 percent of the travel requirements, furthermore, the travelers can enjoy 20 percent more tier miles on your trips until 30 June 2020. To know more about the latest updates visit the Emirates travel update page. 


Etihad Airways is the second largest airline of UAE. It is also the flagship carrier of UAE. It is headquartered in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi. It is one of the most popular airlines operating in today’s market. 

Etihad allows one free date for flight tickets booked between 8th March 2020 to 7th April 2020. If the government has issued a travel advisory strongly recommending its people not to fly to a particular country then in such cases Etihad will usually allow one date change for flights commencing till 30th June 2020. Naturally, it is advised to talk to the Etihad authorities or the travel agents from whom you booked the flight too. In case of ticket holders who’s end destination is affected by the Ban, the passenger can avail refund, a free date change for their tickets if it satisfies all the terms and conditions offered by the airlines. For further information in this matter check the Etihad page. 


Lufthansa is the flagship carrier of Germany, it is the largest airline in the country as well. Lufthansa combined with all its subsidiaries is the second largest airline in Europe with regards to the number of passengers carried in a month. 

If the ticket was issued on or before 5th March 2020 and as a travel date to 30th April 2020. In that case, you could re-book your ticket free of charge. The ticket can be re-booked on a date before the 31st of December 2020. If the ticket, on the other hand, was issued on or before 12th March with a travel date up to 30th April 2020, the airlines allow you to decide on the cancellation date until 01/June/2020. With the 01/June/2020 date, the new flight has to be booked. The new travel date should be within the validity of the ticket or before 31st December 2020. For further information check the Lufthansa website for more information. 

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is the national carrier of the State of Qatar. It is a member of one world, this enables passengers to travel to more than 1000 airports located in more than 150 countries. Hamad International Airport (HIA) is a Qatar Airways hub.

Because of the operational challenges faced due to Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Qatar Airways has been forced to cancel certain services. Those people who have already booked or planning to do so up to 30th June 2020, can avail the option of free date change or an option of travel voucher. The travel voucher can be encashed to buy tickets, the voucher has one year validity from the date of issue. The fare differences should be borne by the customers. The offer is valid for fares purchased from authorized travel agents and Qatar website along with their offline offices. Qmiles are also refunded back to the owner. Check Qatar Airways website to get up to date information about the travel bans, refunds and so on. 

Turkish Airways

Turkish Airlines is the national carrier of Turkey. It operates to more than 315 destinations across the globe. It is the largest mainline carrier in the world by the number of passenger destinations. 

Tickets purchased between March 6 and March 24 will be excluded from change fees. Only one date change will be performed free of cost. For tickets purchased before 5th March 2020 for flights traveling till 31st December 2020, the flight changing request is applied free of charge, if the change is completed within 16 March 2020. For further information check the Turkish Airlines website to get up to date information for the same. 

United Airlines

United Airlines is one of the major American Airlines headquartered at Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois. It is the third largest airline in the world in terms of fleet size and route network. It operates direct flights to a lot of major international destinations. 

United Airlines is waiving change fees for all tickets that are issued on or before 2nd March 2020. This waiver is applicable for both domestic and international flights. In case if the flight tickets were booked between 3rd March 2020 and 31st March 2020, the customers can change the travel date for free of cost over the next 12 months. Terms and conditions apply. Look at the United Airlines website to know more. 

Direct Flights a beacon of hope

Taj Travel stands shoulder to shoulder with our customers in these troubled times. People who are trying desperately to reach their homes Taj Travel offer direct flights to our customers. If you are looking for direct flights from US to India you could call one of our ticketing staff for the same. He will identify flights that will best serve your purpose. 

Few airlines operate direct flights to India, of which, Air India direct flights from USA are the most sought after of the lot. The US to India direct flights are operated by United Airlines and Delta Airlines as well. Due to the COVID 19 crisis, how many of these airlines still operate these flights at any given time is uncertain. Call our experts to know how we can help you at these times of uncertainty. 


Buying international airline tickets has become a complex endeavor. Due to the current scenario of frequent client cancellations and countries banning international flights. The entire process has become a stressful affair. International flight cancellations and rescheduling processes initiated by the various airlines across the world have now provided relief to the passengers in these times.


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