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Can You Get A Flight Refunded?

Millions of business and leisure trips have had to be cancelled or postponed due to Coronavirus and airlines' telephone lines have been unbelievably overburdened. As a result, many people are still unsure of whether they can get a refund, a re-scheduling, a voucher, or another form of compensation from their airline.

Lonely Planet has published a great list of what some major airlines around the world are offering. Below are some of the highlights for airlines commonly used by British travellers – as reported by Lonely Planet on 24 March 2020. In all cases, more details are available on each airline’s website.

Remember that according to the current EU directive, all UK and EU airlines have to provide a refund within 7 days if a flight is cancelled. Unless this law changes, you do not have to accept a voucher or credit, and can demand a full refund. Please be aware however that airlines are campaigning to have this directive changed – we will update you if we hear anything further.


British Airways

British Airways is waiving rebooking and cancellation fees for anyone due to travel before 31 May 2020.

Customers can cancel their booking and receive travel credit for the same value.

Flights must be rebooked up to 12 months from the original flight date.



EasyJet will allow customers to make a one-time change on both new and existing tickets without incurring a change fee.

Travel timeframes have not yet been specified (but check Ts+Cs carefully as this could change.)


Air France

Customers whose flights have been cancelled can apply for a full refund.

All bookings made for travel through 31 May can be changed free of charge up until 30 September, 2020.

The new travel date must begin no later than on or before 30 November 2020.

Fare difference will apply if the same booking class is no longer available.



This airline's policy has changed a number of times in the past week leading to confusion among passengers.

As of Tuesday 24 March, Emirates is suspending most passenger flights and offering customers the chance to swap their bookings for travel credit of the same value.

Travel vouchers will be valid for up to a year.



On 24 March, Ryanair announced that it is grounding all flights in April and May and has offered its aircraft to European governments for rescue flights and the transport of medical supplies.

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled or rescheduled by the airline should receive an email or SMS from Ryanair with the option to request a refund, rebook or re-route their journey.


Virgin Atlantic

Virgin is waiving its change fees for flights booked before 4 March, for travel between 1 March and 30 April 2020.

Flights can be rebooked between 9 March and 30 September 2020.

For bookings made between 1 and 31 March, flights can be rebooked between 2 March and 30 September 2020.


You can find the original list here.


Travel Insurance and Flight Cancellations

Even if you are definitely not going to travel, you should not cancel your travel insurance policy until you have received a refund or confirmation of credits, vouchers or re-booked flights.

Once a policy is cancelled you would not be able to make any claims at all, even if an airline goes into administration.