Updated: GCC airlines introduce flexible booking

Destination and date changes are being rolled out across the Gulf

For Emirates passengers, travel dates can be changed on all flights between March 7 and 31 free of charge
For Emirates passengers, travel dates can be changed on all flights between March 7 and 31 free of charge

Etihad Airways, Gulf Aair and Emirates Airline have unveiled flexible booking schemes allowing travellers to rebook or change flight dates.

Valid on all Etihad flights between March 8 and April 7, travellers will receive one complimentary date or destination change.

Though the Abu Dhabi-based carrier did not express why it had introduced the scheme, it comes at a time where countless destinations are closing their borders as a way to stem the spread of the coronavirus

For Emirates passengers, travel dates can be changed on all flights between March 7 and 31 free of charge. 

The Dubai-based airline said it is offering the flexibility due to the evolving COVID-19 situation. 

Emirates Airline chief commerical officer Adnan Kazim said: “We want our customers to feel fully supported, comfortable and confident when making travel plans, while offering them the best fares, without incurring change fees should they decide to delay or adjust dates. The situation remains dynamic and we will continue to look at ways to provide flexibility, convenience and peace of mind for our customers.”

Bahrain’s national carrier, Gulf Air has announced it will be providing its passengers with far greater flexibility on bookings.

Reported by sister publication Arabian Business, all bookings made with the airline until the end of March can have dates changed for free.

Members of Gulf Air’s loyalty programme Falconflyer will also have their current status and membership tier extended for three months.

The carrier’s decision comes in the wake of the coronavirus situation which is causing major travel disruptions across the globe.

"Gulf Air would like to reassure its loyal passengers that it is applying strict International Air Transport Association disinfectant procedures inside the aircraft cabin and it urges passengers to apply preventative measures recommended by the World Health Organisation," it said in a statement.

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