Finnair announced this week that is it boosting the value of its refund vouchers to persuade customers with canceled flights to opt for a voucher rather than a normal refund.
The carrier is adding 10 per cent onto the value of voucher refunds, for flights booked between March 16 and June 30, 2020.
The vouchers are valid for rebookings made within 12 months (travel can be beyond this date), and Finnair also highlighted that the vouchers are not name restricted, and so can be passed onto someone else to use. They can be used against any flight that carries an AY code booked via finnair.com.
Finnair stresses that the “optional voucher” option is applicable “for customers who bought tickets directly via finnair.com on flights that have been cancelled by the airline and who have opted for the voucher option rather than a simple refund.”
Finnair cut capacity by 90 per cent from the start of this month, with the reductions remaining in place “until the situation improves.”
Last month Aer Lingus launched a similar 10 per cent voucher refund boost, for flights scheduled to depart until May 31 – customers can choose this option whether or not their flight has been cancelled, and the voucher is valid for five years from date of issue.
Similarly, Qatar Airways announced an update to its flight change fee waiver policy last month, offering an additional 10 percent over the original fare for passengers who accept a voucher for a new flight.
Customers also have the option for a refund back to the form of payment they used when purchasing a ticket, though this may take up to 30 days to process.
Airlines are seeking to encourage people to accept vouchers for future travel rather than claiming a refund for cancelled flights as the coronavirus pandemic brings the global aviation industry to its knees.
Customers must still pay any additional fare differences for their new ticket.
Airlines are asking people to claim the vouchers using online forms as customer service agents face overwhelming demand.
“We are constantly reviewing our operations to see where there is more demand and requests, and wherever possible we will add more flights or bigger aircraft,” said a spokesperson for the airline. “This is a challenging time for the aviation industry and we are thankful to airports and authorities and their staff around the world for their incredible efforts to help us get passengers home.”
United Arab Emirates-based carriers Emirates, Etihad Airways, FlyDubai and Air Arabia suspended flights at the end of March.