Domestic airlines to offer free ticket refunds amid COVID-19 outbreak

Yang Jian
Travel plans can be cancelled any time before takeoff and CAAC refund order applies through to end of August.
Yang Jian
Domestic airlines to offer free ticket refunds amid COVID-19 outbreak
Dong Jun / SHINE

Passengers line up at Hongqiao airport amid summer travel rush.

China's civil aviation authority has ordered domestic airlines to offer free ticket refunds for recent flights due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the country.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) stipulated that airlines or their agents should not take additional charges for ticket refunds for flights between Wednesday and the end of August. 

Travelers can cancel their travel plans any time before the plane takes off.

"The new measure aims to better cope with the COVID-19 prevention and control measures of different regions and reduce people's mobility amid the pandemic," the CAAC said in a notice.

The administration had released an earlier notice to optimize ticket refund and flight change services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Airlines were required to offer active and timely such services to their passengers.

With the recent outbreak in Shanghai's neighboring Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, and other Chinese cities, travelers are now more likely to change their itinerary. 

Many airlines have released free ticket refund or change services following the recent spread of coronavirus, the CAAC said.

As a worker at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, Shanghai-based airlines China Eastern, Spring and Juneyao are offering free ticket changes or refunds for flights taking off, landing or stopping at Pudong airport.

Travelers can either cancel their flights or change to any other flights by the end of 2021 free of charge, China Eastern announced.

The Spring and Juneyao passengers can change their flights before mid-August to any other time before late September.

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