United Airlines has once again amended its rebooking policy due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The airline will offer credit to customers that have had their flights impacted due to travel restrictions. If this credit is not used within 12 months, then customers will be issued with a cash refund.
Credit before cash
The Chicago-based outfit hopes to automatically rebook as many passengers as possible within six hours of their originally scheduled flight. Anyone with services disrupted by more than six hours because of government restrictions will be given credit equal to the value of their ticket.
“That credit can be used towards any flight, to any destination, for 12 months from the time of purchase,” the airline said in a statement sent to Simple Flying.
“If the customer chooses not to use the credit, they will receive a refund to their original form of payment at the end of that 12 month period.”
United went on to state that this new way of helping customers also applies to residents from other nations that can no longer fly to the US, due to a potential 14-day quarantine. It also applies to others who are impacted by governmental travel restrictions
While the White House is still allowing US residents to travel between the US and Europe, United is still operating several of its transatlantic services. It will fly its regular schedule from Europe to the US through to March 20th, apart from its Houston-London and Denver-London routes, which will be suspended as of March 16th.
From March 20th through the end of April, the airline expects to fly three daily flights to London and one daily flight to Dublin. However, it will continue to monitor demand and the ever-changing restrictions. The airline previously announced that it will fly daily to Zurich, Brussels, Paris, and Amsterdam. It will also maintain multiple flights to Frankfurt and Munich, along with four weekly flights to Lisbon.
United also has change fee waivers in place for any passengers traveling domestically and internationally through April 30th. Additionally, fliers trying to get home from Europe amid the restrictions will have capped fares. Altogether, the firm seeks to provide its customers and staff with the latest information as it develops.
The airline admitted that the change in booking policy helps it manage the business through this difficult situation. A situation that keeps on evolving.
With an abundance of people needing to amend their bookings at one time, it would naturally prefer to have people rebook than to lose the money outright. However, many people would not require any new tickets over the next year.
Nonetheless, no one could have predicted this extraordinary set of circumstances and airlines are already massively suffering as a result. Therefore, companies will be looking to balance their approach in this unique climate.
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