By Bryony Dunn
Marketing Manager at Travel Nation
Posts (67) See Bryonys profile
Covid-19 has thrown airlines across the world into flux. As borders shut down and foreign offices issued advice against travel, they’ve struggled to cope with the fall-out. Customer services have been overwhelmed, refunds have been in short supply and flights continue to be cancelled daily. Everything seemed to change in the blink of an eye and many airlines simply couldn’t handle the strain.
We’ve been on the frontline with the issues that the airlines have faced. In March and April, when international flights were suddenly thin on the ground, we worked round the clock to get our customers home from all over the globe.
Since then, we’ve been dealing with re-bookings, re-routings and cancellations in their thousands. It hasn’t been easy, but we’re pulling out all the stops to get our customers the refunds that they deserve and the trips that they’ve paid for.
Going forwards, we are going to actively recommend these airlines, knowing that they cope brilliantly with whatever is thrown their way.
We can book flights with these airlines in confidence, assured that our customers will be looked after in any circumstance. In the world of post-COVID travel, we know that we can rely on them to do the right thing.
Here’s a handful of airlines that have gone the extra mile to keep their customers safe, happy and moving during the Covid-19 crisis.
While many other airlines grounded all or part of their fleet during the height of the Covid-19 crisis in April and May, Qatar kept flying. These flights were invaluable to us when we were bringing our customers home from destinations all over the world. It was also one of the first airlines to issue timely refunds for anyone unable to travel, so no wonder it’s currently ranked as the world’s best airline by Skytrax.
While most of the other airlines chiefly operating within Australia and New Zealand have so far only offered flight credits to customers affected by COVID-19, Qantas offers refunds. It’s shown great flexibility and its customer services have been consistently responsive, making it far easier to deal with problems that have cropped up. While Qantas has decided to cancel most international flights until March 2021, it's a great option for further down the line.
Compared to most other airlines, getting hold of Cathay Pacific on the phone has been a breeze. Like Qatar, it was among the first airlines to offer full refunds to its customers. Cathay also offers free rebooking and flight credits, giving passengers the freedom to choose the option that works best for them. After a HK$39 million government bail-out, it’s also financially stable for the foreseeable future.
Like Cathay, Singapore Airlines also found a lifeline in its state investor. Thanks to a huge bail-out combined with further fundraising efforts, it is financially robust, making it a safe bet for future trips. Again, it was quick to refund its passengers in full, acting with real integrity during a time of crisis.
Emirates was pretty late to offer refunds while it waited for a state rescue package, but since then its conduct has been impeccable. It has also just become the first airline to offer free Covid-19 insurance to its passengers that will cover medical treatment, hotel quarantine, and even funeral costs if they catch the coronavirus while travelling.
Southeast Asia is home to a bundle of low-cost regional airlines, many of which have been near-impossible to reach and reluctant to refund during the Covid-19 crisis. In contrast, Bangkok Airways has shone out. Quick to refund AND to respond, it’s been outstanding. Branded as a boutique airline, it may be a little more expensive than its low-cost counterparts, but sometimes you really do get what you pay for.
Right now, we understand that you might need a little extra reassurance when booking a holiday. As a small company of true experts that genuinely cares about its customers, we’ll be here for you whatever happens. Our Travel Nation promise will help you travel with peace of mind, confident that your health and your money are safe in our hands. To start planning your trip of a lifetime, simply call us on 1273 320 580 or send a quote request via email.
Bryony is an explorer in every sense of the meaning. In 2013 she took the plunge, quit her marketing job and decided to face down her lifelong panic disorder to begin life as a freelance digital nomad. Journeying all over Asia, for years she earned her keep writing for travel brands. Almost by accident, she ended up in Cali, Colombia where she discovered a remarkable (as yet latent) talent for Salsa dancing. After spending a year in sequins shimmying from dance show to dance show, she returned to the UK, tanned, toned and ready to settle down. Bryony joined Travel Nation as a round the world specialist in 2016 and is now the Marketing Manager, with a little salsa on the side.