UPDATE 5 JULY 2021: Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a negative impact on future travel bookings. To mitigate this, airlines both in Australia and around the world have policies to encourage travellers to book now, with the option to change their flight to a later date for free.

In this guide, we provide the announcements from the major Australian airlines (Qantas, Virgin Australia, Rex and Jetstar), along with direct links to international airline travel advisories regarding the coronavirus.

COVID-19 Content Disclaimer
Updates on COVID fee waivers: Rex opens refund portal was last modified: August 12th, 2021 by Daniel Sciberras

Rex COVID-19 change and cancellation fee waivers [2021]

Full refund policy (ongoing)

Former regional-only carrier Rex now boasts a comprehensive COVID-19 change and cancellation policy, as the airline now operates many domestic capital city routes. You can use the dedicated online portal to lodge your refund or credit request, avoiding the need for a phone call.

  • A full refund will be offered on any flights affected by cancellation or rescheduling
  • Full refunds are also offered to customers directly affected by COVID-19 border and travel restrictions, even if flights are still operating. This also applies to promotional tickets.

Rex remains committed to a full refund of all tickets affected by any flight cancellation or rescheduling, without exception. Without our ground-breaking automated portal, it would take us weeks if not months to manually process this volume of requests. Rex is a full-service airline that provides its passengers with the highest level of service, and processing refunds in a speedy manner is part of its dedication to its passengers.

Hon. John Sharp AM, Rex Deputy Chairman, 2 July 2021

Even if you do need to pay a change or cancellation fee, Rex’s is amongst the lowest in the industry at just A$33 per change.

Qantas Airways Logo Qantas COVID-19 change and cancellation fee waivers [2021]

Fly Flexible until 28 February 2022 — unlimited flight changes included

If you book any Australian domestic or Trans-Tasman flight to New Zealand before 31 July 2021 (with travel up to 28 February 2022), then Qantas will waive the change fee if you wish to change your date of travel. However, you need to cover any applicable fare increases for your new flights, and your date of travel still needs to be within 12 months of the original booking date.

If you wish to voluntarily cancel your Qantas flight for a credit, then these conditions will apply instead:

All Qantas-operated flights
(Domestic, Trans-Tasman, International)
Bookings on or before 31 July 2021You can request a Flight Credit before the departure day. This is valid until 31 Dec 2023. You will need to cover any change fees and fare increases at the point of booking using your Flight Credit.
Bookings on or after 1 August 2021You can request a Flight Credit which is valid for booking and travel within 12 months from your original booking date.

Standard change and cancellation fees apply if you are not covered by the ‘Fly Flexible’ policy, and you need to cover any fare increases with your new booking, if applicable.

The only way to be eligible for a full refund is for Qantas to cancel your flight.

Visit Booking Changes and Refunds for more information.

Free cancellations on Classic Flight Rewards

If you have a Classic Flight Reward booking (using Qantas Points) and wish to change your date of travel or cancel your trip, you can do so by 28 February 2022 with no change or cancellation fees, as long as the flights were booked by 31 July 2021. This includes Qantas, Jetstar and other partner airline flights.

Qantas-A380-First-Class
Got a reward flight that’s not going ahead? Qantas will let you cancel it for free.

This waiver applies to itineraries that consist only of Classic Flight Rewards. If you combine a Classic Flight Reward with a non-Classic Flight Reward fare, this waiver won’t apply.

It’s a generous offer for frequent flyers, once again highlighting the benefits of flexible Classic Reward Seats as a great use of Qantas Points.

Visit Flexible Classic Flight Rewards for more information.

Virgin Australia Logo Virgin Australia COVID-19 change and cancellation fee waivers [2021]

Flexible Flying until 31 January 2022 — unlimited changes and no cancellation fee for credit

If you book any Australian domestic, Trans-Tasman flight or International short-haul (excluding Tonga, Rarotonga and Port Moresby) then Virgin Australia will waive the change or cancellation fees until 31 January 2022. Note that Virgin Australia no longer includes a ‘book by’ date, so all forward bookings are eligible.

A fare difference is payable if you change fare classes, cabin class or your flight origin/destination. But if you stay within the same fare class, then no extra fare should be payable.

Virgin Business 737
Changing your fare or cabin class may result in a fare difference.

You can make unlimited flight changes for free, or you can cancel to a travel credit for no fee. However, if you want a refund and the flight isn’t cancelled, then you’ll have to go by the fare rules.

For travel until 31 January 2022Virgin Australia-operated flights
(Domestic, Trans-Tasman, International short-haul only)
Flights booked before 20 April 2020Unlimited changes to dates and destinations, but with fare difference payable. Bookings can be changed up to 12 months in advance.

Cancellations permitted to travel credit with no fee. Otherwise, normal fare rules apply.
Flights booked after 21 April 2020 (including now)Unlimited changes to dates and destinations but with fare difference payable if you change fare classes.

Cancellations permitted to travel credit with no fee. Otherwise, normal fare rules apply.

Note that if you held a credit with Tigerair before it was discontinued, those are now Virgin Future Flight Credits and can be used as above.

Visit the COVID-19 Customer Hub for more information.

Free cancellations on Velocity Reward Seats

If you have a Velocity Reward Seat booking (using Velocity Points) and wish to change your date of travel or cancel your trip, you can do so by 31 January 2022. It’s a generous offer for frequent flyers, once again highlighting the benefits of Reward Seats as a great use of Velocity Points.

Visit Velocity Reward Seats for more information.

Jetstar COVID-19 change and cancellation fee waivers [2021]

Border restrictions policy

Jetstar has now reintroduced a border restriction flight policy. If your journey is impacted by border restrictions, including needing to go into quarantine if you travellers, you’ll be able to get the full booking value back as credit.

If you want additional flexibility with your Jetstar fare, you should consider:

Qantas Frequent Flyer members who booked a Jetstar flight as a Classic Flight Reward will still be able to change or cancel it for free in accordance with the Qantas section above.

Visit Jetstar’s COVID-19 change and cancellation page for more information.

Australian State and territory border restrictions and updates:

For all domestic flights, please be aware that border restrictions are constantly changing across Australia. There may be various state government travel requirements in place. To find out more details on whether you can fly we suggest you call the airline directly or check your local state government site updates, below:

International airlines COVID-19 Updates

Here are the links to travel alerts for the key international airlines flying to and from Australia:

If the airline you have travel booked with is not listed above, look for a travel alert or travel advisory on their homepage.

Qatar Airways Qsuite Dining
Qatar Airways has one of the more generous change policies internationally.

Additional updates by Brandon Loo.

Updates on COVID fee waivers: Rex opens refund portal was last modified: August 12th, 2021 by Daniel Sciberras