Flexible pandemic flight rules reversed

Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin scrapped free flexible travel for domestic flights on 1 May with international flights to follow from 30 June 2022.

Free flight credits and date changes were introduced after multitudes of flyers were missing flights due to snap lockdowns and ever-changing restrictions, which made air travel unpredictable during the pandemic.

Read: Australia scraps test entry requirement for overseas travellers

The flexible travel rules will stay in place for changes or cancellations to international flights up to 30 June and is inclusive of flights to the end of 2022.

One comfort for travellers that will remain is waived cancellation fees for passengers who test positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact. Flexible tickets with the option for free date changes will also still be available but will be of cost to the traveller, as it was prior to the pandemic.

Ben Mead, a travel agent and managing director of Holidays of Australia & The World told Nine News that airlines had shown consideration for customers throughout the pandemic, but now it was time for ‘buyers beware’.

“Credit to the airlines, they’ve met market conditions and having that flexibility has been incredibly important for the recovery of tourism and getting people back on planes,” Mr Mead said.

Read: You can get COVID travel insurance. But what does it cover?

Check all fine print when booking flights to ensure you are aware of all the terms and conditions, such as when and if you will be charged if you need to cancel or change those flights. Consider looking into travel insurance which covers flight changes and delays for extra peace of mind.

Australian airlines are also starting to bring back popular flights that were paused during the pandemic. Jetstar resumed its Adelaide to Bali service on 2 May.

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Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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