Are you an international student in Australia holding onto unused flight credits? You’re in good company.
The pandemic saw countless flight cancellations, resulting in billions in unredeemed flight credits. With the spotlight on Qantas recently, significant changes have been made to ensure customers can access their credits or receive refunds without expiry dates. Here’s what you need to know if you have unused flight credits.
Why are the expiry dates being removed?
Following a reported annual profit of $1.7 billion, Qantas revealed that they and Jetstar hold $570 million in unredeemed travel credits due to COVID-19 cancellations. Previously set to expire this year, Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, has now removed their expiry dates. Qantas customers can request a cash refund for these credits at any point in the future, while Jetstar customers can use their vouchers indefinitely, provided they initiate the process.
Does this apply to me?
This change is specifically for trips that were disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have what Qantas labels as “COVID credits” or what Jetstar refers to as “COVID vouchers”, then this announcement is relevant to you.
How do I claim my credits?
To manage your travel credits with Qantas, begin by using the Find My Credit tool on their website to pinpoint any outstanding credits. Once identified, you can get guidance on how to utilise your specific credit by visiting the Qantas website; most of these can be redeemed directly on the website. If you’re leaning towards a refund, you can call 1300 668 885. For more detailed help, the Qantas’s Travel Credit Concierge team can be contacted by calling 1300 171 505.
Note: If your initial booking was made through a travel agent or third-party website, you’ll need to get in contact with them
Owned by the Qantas Group, Jetstar Airways has updated its policy for COVID vouchers. Originally set to expire on 31 December 2023, these vouchers can now be renewed indefinitely. If they expire, customers can reactivate them via Jetstar’s Live Chat or through their contact centre. Unlike other vouchers, COVID-affected ones are multi-use, allowing any leftover credit to be applied to subsequent bookings. To monitor remaining credit and expiration dates, customers should consult the voucher balance portal.
Do other Australian airlines offer pandemic flight credits?
Virgin’s voluntary administration during the pandemic complicates travel voucher usage. There are two key credit categories:
- Future Flight credits: For bookings made on/before 20 April 2020, expiring on 31 December 2023.
- Standard credits: For bookings on/after April 21, 2020. COVID-era credits issued on or before 31 July 2022 will expire on 31 December 2023.
Due to the administration, Future Flight credits are non-refundable and come with usage restrictions. They’re valid for flights up to 31 December 2023 and can be used on any Virgin flight, though a “limited” number of seats are reserved for these credits. Once filled, the credits won’t apply to additional bookings. Besides flights, these credits cover fare changes, booking change fees, Economy X, excess baggage, and carbon offset fees.
- After Tigerair Australia closed down in September 2020, travellers with credits received Future Flight credits for Virgin flights. Those unsure about their Tigerair credits should contact Virgin at 13 67 89, having at least three of these details ready: booking number, booking date, total cost, flight details, other passengers’ names, or passenger’s birth date.