The Qantas Group advised that it will remove the expiry date on COVID travel credits that were due to run out at the end of this year.
Removal of ‘Use By’ date
Following this decision, this will mean that Qantas customers with COVID credits can request a cash refund, and Jetstar customers can use their COVID vouchers for flights, indefinitely. There will be no longer be a time period or ‘Use By date’ for the redeeming of these credits.
Today’s announcement makes Qantas’ COVID credit policy one of the most flexible of any airline in the world, and it follows three prior deadline extensions.
Some airlines have already expired their travel credits and many more run out completely at the end of this year.
To encourage more people to reconnect with their credits, from 4 September 2023 Qantas is offering double the standard number of Frequent Flyer Points for any flights booked with a Qantas COVID credit before 31 December 2023.
Due to system limitations, Qantas COVID credit can’t be converted into a travel booking after this date, but can be taken as a refund at any time.
The Qantas Group has stated that it will continue its regular reminders to those customers who still hold COVID credits, including emails, text messages, phone calls and advertisements.
Qantas is also undertaking to working with travel agents to coordinate refunds for travel not booked directly through the airline.
Qantas’ COVID travel credit woes
The news of the latest decision by Qantas to remove the end of year expiry date on travel credits follows a week which has seen the Group CEO Alan Joyce and other Group delegates grilled by the Australian Senate committee over a range of issues including the COVID travel credit scheme.
The matter has remained contentious and has been the subject of much criticism in recent times. Qantas currently faces an impending class-action lawsuit over its refund policy for flight services which were cancelled during the pandemic.
Lawyers for the class action have alleged that the carrier’s use of the travel credits essentially saw the Group treat customers money is more than “$1 billion in interest free loans.”
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