Dubai's Emirates processes 1.7 million refund requests; returns $1.7bn to customers
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Dubai’s Emirates processes 1.7 million refund requests; returns $1.7bn to customers

Dubai’s Emirates processes 1.7 million refund requests; returns $1.7bn to customers

Emirates managed over 130,000 refunds-related queries from customers and travel agency partners

Dubai-based carrier Emirates validated and processed a whopping 1.7 million refund requests it received over a seven-month period starting April this year.

The refund requests resulted in the airline returning Dhs6.3bn ($1.71bn) to its customers, of which Dhs4.7bn had been booked directly with the airline. The residual was returned via travel agencies.

The refund requests were filed primarily due to the travel disruption in the wake of the Covid-19 spread.

Emirates also managed over 130,000 refunds-related queries from customers and travel agency partners, and made status changes to nearly 4 million flight coupons.

At the peak of its project, Emirates had 110 personnel dedicated to validating and processing refunds, from a pre-pandemic workforce of 19.

“In the early months of 2020, Covid-19 massively disrupted travel around the world and led to an unprecedented volume of refunds requests across the aviation and travel industry, including at Emirates,” said Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline. “It was not a situation any airline wanted, particularly while also facing a cash crunch from drastically reduced operations.

“Thanks to the efforts of our refunds and customer service teams, the support and co-operation of our partners, and the understanding of our customers, Emirates has now cleared our backlog of refunds. We still have higher volumes of refunds and flight coupon change requests compared to pre-pandemic times, but we now have the capability to manage these within a 7-day turnaround.”

“In addition to honouring refunds, Emirates offered our customers flexibility to travel at a later date, and we also helped our frequent flyers to retain their tier status and introduced other ways for them to earn and burn their Miles,” he added.

Earlier this week, the airline announced a multi-risk travel insurance cover for all its passengers, at no additional charge, on all tickets purchased on or from December 1, 2020.

Read: Dubai’s Emirates to offer free multi-risk travel insurance coverage

It also re-launched its Dubai Connect initiative, offering a complimentary hotel stay in the emirate to transiting passengers with a layover time exceeding 10 hours.

Read more: Emirates to offer complimentary hotel stay in Dubai to select transiting passengers

Emirates has implemented a set of measures to ensure the safety of its customers and employees on the ground and in the air, including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers.

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