Cancelled Flights Due to Covid-19: Should you rebook or refund?

For time-sensitive emergencies, make sure to contact your Embassy and your airline immediately. Any news mentioned here may be changed at any moment due to the emergency state the country is currently on.

BREAKING:

As of March 17, 6:30pm, GMT +8 President Rodrido Duterte of the Philippines has announced that the Philippines is in State of Calamity.

This declaration would provide the national government as well as local government units enough leeway to tap into appropriate funds to contain the spread of COVID-19.

In addition, there are several imposed bans in the country to control the epidemic. The whole Luzon is in lockdown at the moment, until April 13.


Public transportation are not operating, and the protocol is that you either walk to where you need to go (which is supposed to be only supermarkets or pharmacies), or have a private vehicle.


There will be various checkpoints around the country to make sure people are only moving around if they are doing buying necessities or have emergencies and should not move in groups.

For International Flights

Due to the travel ban for the whole of Luzon, President Duterte gave only until 72 hours (from March 17) for airlines to continue operating their International Flights. This is up to 11:59PM March 19, 2020. After that, Philippine borders will be closed.

It is very important that you check your flight status and get to Manila airport as soon as possible if you don’t want to be stuck in the Philippines for the duration of the lockdown.

Keep in mind that April 13 is still very tentative, and anything can change.

Air Asia released information on how some travelers in Palawan can get to Clark and vice versa, during the travel bans to help reach people’s destinations.

Here’s what’s on the Air Asia website:

Select flights will resume from Puerto Princesa to Clark between 16 to 19 March. Services from Puerto Princesa to Cebu will be available on 16 March only, in line with Cebu City’s government order restricting inbound travel.

AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said, “In response to the request of the Governor of Palawan, we are operating the recovery flights to bring our guests back home as communities implement quarantine procedures. We are exhausting all options to assist managing the current health situation with the interests of our guests and Allstars at heart, taking into consideration advice from global and local authorities.”

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AirAsia ticket holders, who will be prioritized for the recovery flights, will not be charged any additional fee for this service. Non-AirAsia guests may book online through www.airasia.com or proceed to AirAsia’s check-in counter to purchase tickets. 

AirAsia assures that the safety and wellbeing of our guests and Allstars is our top priority. AirAsia is complying with advice and regulations from the local government, civil aviation authorities, global and local health agencies, including the World Health Organisation.

AirAsia is closely monitoring this situation and reserves the right to announce further policies according to the latest developments.

Follow AirAsia on Twitter (@AirAsia) and Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsia) for the latest updates, or contact our customer support team at support.airasia.com. Guests are also encouraged to check their flight status at airasia.com/flightstatus for live updates.

For Domestic Flights

If you still have domestic flights set to leave in the next few weeks, these will either be cancelled or refunded because no travel is allowed in and out of Luzon until April 13.

We checked some of the top airlines in the Philippines to give you quick access and info regarding flight cancellations, refunds, and rebooking process

Cancelled Philippine Airlines Flights due to Covid-19 – How to Rebook or Refund

This is the current announcement from Philippine Airlines’ Official Facebook Account:

Apparently, managing your booking will not be allowed online or thru the app, so you’ll have to call their hotline at (63 2) 88558888. This is the best solution they are offering at the moment.

“In compliance with the Philippine government’s Enhanced Community Quarantine measure over the Region of Luzon, including Metro Manila, ALL DOMESTIC FLIGHTS of Philippine Airlines are CANCELLED effective 17 March2020 until April 12, 2020.

Flights shall resume on 13 April 2020. We continue to operate INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS up to 11:59PM March 19, 2020.

We will announce in due course the status of our international flights from March 20 up to April 12, as we are presently coordinating with government authorities on the relevant implementing details. PAL will comply with the travel restrictions set out in the quarantine rules.

The PAL Manila Airport Ticket Office at the NAIA Terminal 2 will remain open from 2:00 AM until 10:00 PM daily, 7 days a week. However, all other PAL Ticket Offices in Metro Manila will be closed to comply with the quarantine directives.

For travel and ticketing concerns, please call our Hotline at (63 2) 88558888.

We respectfully request you to consider deferring any requests for rebooking until after 12 April 2020, in view of the strict social distancing required by the quarantine measures; we expect a high volume of queries and transactions at the Ticket Office as well as the Hotline, and we ask you to bear with us as we deal with the challenge of handling an unprecedented number of cancelled flights over this quarantine period. Please note that this is a developing situation, and the quarantine rules are subject to periodic review by the Philippine government’s Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID 19.”

Cancelled Air Asia Flights due to Covid-19 – How to Rebook or Refund

This is the information provided by the Air Asia website for flights that are affected by Covid-19:

For those whose travel plans are affected by the restrictions or cancellations, below is the list of  service recovery option categories related to Covid-19 which you can submit via AVA; 

  1. Flight to / from Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR & Macau SAR
  2. Covid-19 Voluntary Cancellation
  3. Nationals restricted to travel
  4. Japan Domestic Voluntary Cancellation
  5. India AirAsia Domestic Flights (I5)
  6. AirAsia Cancelled my Flight

The photo above is what the Air Asia AVA looks like, which can be accessed thru their website. You’ll see that there is already a special link to Covid-19 which should alert their system that your message is urgent.

If you are trying to access Air Asia Philippines, see this info below:

You are eligible to apply only if you  have a flight booking from, to OR within the Philippines made before 12th March 2020 and for travel before 14th April 2020. 
 *Also applicable if your Z2 domestic flight from/to Manila is cancelled due to travel restriction imposed by the Philippine government. Click here for more information. 
1. Select “COVID-19” from AVA’s main
   menu
2. Select “AirAsia Philippines” 
3. Select either “Credit Account” or 
     “Move Flight” or “Full Refund” if
      your flight is cancelled. 
4. Proceed to the next steps as instructed
    by AVA

If you’ve already processed a Refund, you should be able to check it under “My Cases” in Your Big Member Account.

Apart from Air Asia’s AVA on the website itself, here are other ways to get a hold of them:

thru their 24/7 Twitter support: https://twitter.com/AirAsiaSupport

thru their Facebook support: https://www.facebook.com/PhilippineAirlines/

Call Centers are open 24/7, however only for Air Asia India flights only.

+91 80 4666 2222 & +91 80 6766 2222

From Air Asia Newsroom:

AirAsia is offering options for guests affected by travel restrictions imposed by various governments, including for flight cancellations and a voluntary cancellation option to selected destinations, amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.   

Guests affected by travel restrictions with international bookings to or from Malaysia (bookings made before 16 March, departure on or before 30 April only), Singapore and Australia (bookings made before 7 March, departure on or before 30 April only) as well as various other countries, will be offered move flight or credit account options. Please refer to this list for various travel restrictions imposed by governments. 

Guests should note that this list will be updated from time to time and it is non-exhaustive, travelling guests are advised to refer to respective governments or relevant authorities before travelling.

AirAsia guests with international bookings to or from China, Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR, Taiwan, Japan and Korea (bookings made before 7 March, departure on or before 30 April only) are eligible for voluntary cancellations through move flight or credit account options.

1. Move flight: One-time flight change to a new travel date on the same route within 180 calendar days from the original flight time without additional cost, subject to seat availability; OR 

2. Credit account: Retain the value of your fare in your AirAsia BIG Loyalty account for future travel with AirAsia. The online credit account is to be redeemed for booking within 365 calendar days from the issuance date for your travel with us. The actual travel dates can be after the expiry date as long as our flight schedule is out.

Please refer to COVID-19 Refund Request Guidet o check your eligibility and on how to submit your request.

The above is applicable for direct online bookings made via airasia.com only. For group bookings made with travel agents, kindly refer to your respective third party booking agent for further assistance.

Cancelled Cebu Pacific Flights due to Covid-19 – How to Rebook or Refund

Here’s the newest update from Cebu Pacific’s Facebook Page:

Cebu Pacific Advisory
March 17, 2020 (as of 3:00pm)
Suspension of all Flight Operations due to COVID-19

ALL CEBU PACIFIC AND CEBGO FLIGHTS WILL BE CANCELLED from March 19 until April 14, 2020, in support of government regulations on COVID-19.

The Philippine government recently implemented Enhanced Community Quarantine over Luzon, and similar directives across various provinces in the country. We are ensuring the safety of our passengers and operations teams, in compliance with the stricter quarantine measures, land travel restrictions and regulations in place.

The last day of operations will be on March 18, 2020 where Cebu Pacific will operate the following flights from Manila Bangkok, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Ho Chi Minh, Singapore, Taipei, Bali, and Jakarta. Please check the flight status through bit.ly/CEBflight-status.

Passenger options on cancelled flights due to COVID-19 are: rebooking with waived fare difference and change fee; full travel fund; and full refund. These options may be processed online via the “Manage Booking” portal in the Cebu Pacific website bit.ly/CEBmanageflight.

Those traveling between April 15-30 who no longer wish to push through with their flights may avail of rebooking with waived change fee and full travel fund with extended validity to 180 days.

For the health and safety of our passengers and personnel, all Cebu Pacific Ticket offices will be closed from March 19 to April 14, 2020. For any concerns, please contact Cebu Pacific via bit.ly/CEBrequest. You may also contact our customer hotlines through bit.ly/CustomerHotlines.

For the full advisory, visit: http://bit.ly/FlightSuspension

For FAQs and other details, please read here bit.ly/CEBCOVID-19FAQ

We continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as soon as possible. This is a developing and unprecedented situation. We thank everyone for their patience and understanding, and our flight, operational and frontline teams for doing all they can to assist our passengers.

It is always important to check your flight status online, try to get to your online via their phone support, and check their social media for updates. We have friends who were stuck in Angeles and can’t get in Manila due to all the heavy travel restrictions so the only way is to exhaust all your contacts around you.

Updates on Covid-19

There is so much news going around about Covid-19 that when we tried to go offline for a few hours, 1/3 of the country was already set to go on a travel band. Our suggestion is if you need to take in news, which is of course important, get it from the most reliable sources only. However, make sure to give yourself space to think about other things.

This is a video we found from one of the leading doctors in the Philippines that gave a really good insight on the Covid-19 situation around the world, and why it is important that Filipinos follow the strict rule being set by the government.

If you’re trying to understand how it feels to be quarantined, here’s an old couple quarantined in Japan that tested positive for Covid-19. They share their experience from the beginning, from how they got the Corona virus or Covid-19 in their cruise ship, how the Japanese health officials handled their situation, and how the quarantine experience looks like.

They will give you a full story on what symptoms you’ll see with someone who has the Covid-19 virus and what tests they are doing to keep you checked, and how they are being treated.

Final Thoughts

It’s actually hard to give final thoughts. In the last few days, it feels like anything can happen at any time. We ourselves are deeply concerned about our families. Ruben has his parents all staying at home and family members working from home in Spain.

We have recent plans to travel to Japan and South Korea that we know we can’t do anymore. And despite that uneasiness of staying at home, it is a small price to pay than worrying if you’re jeopardizing your health or your loved one’s.

We’ll try to update this article all the time and if you have questions, comment below or send us an email to hello@gamintraveler.com

Until then, we wish everyone safety and sending everyone love!

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. Now based in the Philippines!

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