Dubai: Emirates has completed an intensive program to clear its backlog of refund requests which was caused by pandemic-related travel disruption.
Over the seven-month period starting April, Emirates received, validated, and processed nearly 1.7 million refund requests. This resulted in the airline returning AED 6.3 billion refunds to its customers. Of this sum, AED 4.7 billion was refunded to customers who had booked directly with the airline, and the remainder was returned via travel agencies.
In addition, Emirates managed over 130,000 refund-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, massively increased from the 19-person team pre-pandemic. The airline managed this by internally moving personnel from other functions to assist in this endeavor.
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said:
“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.”
Early this week, the airline announced that it will offer its customers another industry-first: multi-risk travel insurance and COVID-19 cover, at no charge, on all tickets purchased on or from 1 December 2020. In addition to COVID-19 medical cover, this new generous offer from Emirates also has provisions for personal accidents during travel, winter sports cover, loss of personal belongings, and trip disruptions due to unexpected air space closure, travel recommendations, or advisories, similar to other multi-risk travel insurance products. More information here.