UAE flights: Will airlines offer refund, rebooking options if Covid PCR test results are delayed?

Residents have been reporting long queues at healthcare centres in recent days



by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Thu 6 Jan 2022, 2:21 PM

Last updated: Thu 6 Jan 2022, 9:07 PM

UAE residents have been reporting long queues at healthcare centres in recent days, due to the increased demand for Covid-19 PCR tests in the country.

While the country's airlines have tied up with local healthcare service providers, these agreements may not necessarily guarantee faster test results or priority for the outbound passengers.

Passengers who are unable to travel due to incomplete Covid-19 documentation or due to testing Covid-positive, however, do have the option to rebook their flights without penalty or claim a refund in some instances.

“Our generous waiver policy means that customers unable to make their originally booked flights due to incomplete Covid-19 documentation or a positive test result can rebook to fly later without penalty, or refund their ticket,” an Emirates spokesperson said.

Bookings can generally be amended through Dubai carrier’s website up to two hours before flight departure. “If customers do not show up for their flight, their tickets will be automatically suspended. This means they will not be able to make changes to their bookings themselves and will have to contact us via our sales office or contact centre to process any changes,” said the spokesperson.

Mir Wasim Raja, manager, MICE and holidays, Galadari International Travel Services, suggested that not all airline tickets offer refund options. “There are some ticket categories which clearly say ‘non-refundable’, so passengers may not be able to rebook their flights without penalty on such tickets.”

The industry expert noted that the best way for UAE travellers to avoid travel hassles and enjoy a smooth journey is to make advance bookings for Covid-19 PCR tests.

"Travellers should make bookings with healthcare services providers a week in advance to ensure that they get a good rate for the Covid-19 test and also get the result in time,” he said.

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