Cathay Pacific is the first airline that has decided to officially publish a travel waiver for all itineraries involving mainland China flights, offering free changes or cancellations to passengers who no longer wish to travel.
The airline informs passengers in their notice that rebooking, rerouting and refund charges will be waived for all tickets issued worldwide (irrespective of fare type) on/before 24 January 2020 for travel with Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon confirmed bookings arriving to or departing from Mainland China between 24 January 2020 and 29 February 2020.
Cathay Pacific has in the past days and weeks been in a row with unions representing their flight attendants over the right of crew to wear face masks while performing their duties to which the carrier finally agreed.
The carrier has now taken additional steps to mitigate risk for both passengers and crew, allowing those who no longer wish to travel to/from Mainland China to either make adjustments to their itinerary or cancel the trip altogether.
With immediate effect, rebooking, rerouting and refund charges will be waived for all tickets issued worldwide (irrespective of fare type) on/before 24 January 2020 for travel with Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon confirmed bookings arriving to or departing from Mainland China between 24 January 2020 and 29 February 2020.
1. Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon tickets
a. Cancellation and Refund
Waive on cancellation, and refund charges.
No-show passenger is not eligible for the waiver.
b. Rebooking/ rerouting
Rebooking/ rerouting charges will be waived on conditions that:
Such requests are made on/before 29 February 2020 and before departure, for travel with Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon confirmed bookings arriving to or departing from Mainland China between 24 January 2020 and 29 February 2020.No-show passengers are not eligible for the waiver.
Revised (NEW) travel date must be on/before 31 May 2020 and subject to flight availability.In which case, the ticket expiry date will be adjusted accordingly.
The newly rebooked sector must observe and conform to the conditions of the respective fare rule, e.g. blackout dates, flight application, weekend/weekday travel, stopover charges and applicable seasonality by collecting additional/refunding difference (if any) as appropriate.
Reissuance charges will only be waived due to the expiry of the original ticket
Rerouting to/from/via Cathay Pacific/ Cathay Dragon online cities And subject to flight availability and fare/tax difference.
I have to commend Cathay Pacific for taking this step and officially allowing passengers to withdraw from their trip and at the same time giving customer service agents an official policy to answer to customers inquiries.
Mind you that these requests have to be made with Cathay Pacific reservations prior to the flight, if you just no show there will be no retroactive waiver. It’s possible to initiate a change or cancellation online or by contacting a Cathay Pacific reservation office.
Singapore Airlines shows a “news alert” regarding the situation as well dated JAN 24th 2020 (today) but the page when following the link is blank at this point. I sent a tweet to SIA asking for further information.
Yesterday I predicted that at some point airlines will likely start to offer travel waivers for Mainland China as the pressure from travelers who call to make changes become greater in light of ever more cases of the disease.
With NGO’s and even the Chinese Government are ramping up awareness to the matter airlines and other travel providers might now review their policies and start allowing cancellations and changes in a similar manner than what Cathay does.