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Towards the end of March, Aer Lingus began offering passengers a 10% bonus if they chose to accept a voucher for future travel in place of the cash refund they were entitled to, but the offer only applied to customers with bookings for travel through 31 May. Well, with 31 May rapidly approaching and with there being no sign that the travel industry is ready to reboot, Aer Lingus has now extended its offer.
Here are Aer Lingus’ current Covid-19 flight bookings policies:
All flights cancelled by Aer Lingus are eligible for a full refund. This includes any taxes and fees that may have been added to the fare (seat selection fees, baggage fees, etc…)
Flights not cancelled by the airline are not eligible for refunds.
For bookings for travel through 30 June 2020, customers whose flight have been cancelled and customers whose flights are still scheduled to operate but who no longer wish to travel can request a voucher and Aer Lingus will boost that voucher’s value by 10% (e.g. if you have flights booked which cost $500 (including all fees and taxes), the airline will issue you with a voucher for $550).
The voucher is valid for 5 years from the date of issue but customers should be aware that only one voucher will be issued per booking (for the whole booking) to the lead traveler.
Fee-Free Flight Changes
For bookings for travel through 30 September 2020, customers can change their dates of travel with no additional fees levied but any fare differences would have to be paid by the customer.
The fee-free flight changes are only an option worth considering if you’re not entitled to a refund (your trip hasn’t been cancelled by Aer Lingus), you’re not entitled to a voucher (your trip is for travel after 30 June) and you no longer wish to travel…but even then I suggest you hold off making a decision right now.
You don’t have to decide what to do with your trip until, at most, 24 hours before you travel so why not wait to see if Aer Lingus cancels your flights? If the airline cancels, you can ask for a full refund or take a voucher and if your flights remain in the schedule but you don’t want to travel, the option to change your dates will still be there.
The voucher option is an interesting one as, even though I’m a big proponent of always accepting a refund when one is available, neither the Irish government nor Aer Lingus’ parent (IAG) is likely to allow the airline to go under, so the vouchers issued by Aer Lingus should be reasonably safe. Also, with a 5-year window in which to use them, it’s unlikely that the airline has many customers who wouldn’t find an opportunity to use a voucher before it expires.
Aer Lingus has extended the qualification window for its voucher offer to include travel booked through 30 June 2020 and it has extended its change fee waivers to cover travel through 30 September 2020. Considering how unlikely it is that Aer Lingus’ will disappears from existence, and considering the reasonably generous nature of the voucher offer, choosing to change the dates of a journey should, for most people, be a last resort.
Featured image courtesy of Aer Lingus