Updated: 20 July 2020 at 10:30am.

Both Qantas and Virgin Australia Groups of airlines have recently made changes to their cancellation and change policies, including the validity of any Flight Credits issued. We summarise all these updated policies below by airline.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a negative impact on future travel bookings. To mitigate this, airlines both in Australia and around the world are introducing policies to encourage travellers to book, with the option to change their flight to a later date for free.

In this guide, I provide the announcements from the four major Australian airlines (Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tigerair). I also provide direct links to international airlines’ travel advisories regarding the coronavirus.

Qantas and Virgin Australia planes on the tarmac
Both Qantas and Virgin Australia are offering free changes but only on certain tickets

Qantas Group

Qantas

Domestic and trans-Tasman

Qantas plane on ground | Point Hacks

Flights on or before 31 October 2020

If you’re due to travel on a Qantas flight and wish to change your plans, you can cancel your booking and retain the full value as a flight credit. 

  • Request your Flight Credit before your scheduled date of departure.
  • Then book and travel by 31 December 2022.
  • You will need to cover any change fee and any fare increase in your new booking, if applicable, at the time of re-booking.

Also, if your original booking was made before 30 April 2020 for travel on a Qantas flight between 31 January and 31 October 2020, your flight credit can be used for multiple bookings. Just book your Qantas flights and ensure all travel is completed before 31 December 2022. Qantas will issue you a new Flight Credit with the same expiry date if you don’t use the full value of your Flight Credit in one transaction.

Find out more information on the terms and conditions that apply when using your Flight Credits.

Flights after 31 October 2020

If your plans have changed or you no longer wish to travel, visit Manage Booking to change your travel dates, or cancel your flight and request a flight credit to use the value towards a future flight. 

  • Your flight credit is valid for booking and travel within 12 months from your original booking date.
  • Qantas standard fare rules apply, so you may be charged a change or cancellation fee. 
  • You will also need to cover any fare increase in your new booking, if applicable. 

To check your fare conditions for change and cancellation information, enter your last name and booking reference at Manage booking, then move down to the flight section.

International

Flights on or before 31 October 2020

If you have an existing Qantas international flight (excluding trans-Tasman) booked before 19 May and are due to travel between 1 August and 31 October 2020 and wish to change your plans, you can now cancel your booking and retain the full value as a Flight Credit.

  • Request your Flight Credit by 30 June 2020.
  • Then book and travel by 31 December 2022.
  • Qantas will waive the change fee one time at the time of re-booking but you will need to cover any fare increase in your new booking, if applicable.

Also, if your original booking was made before 30 April 2020 for travel on a Qantas flight between 31 January and 31 October 2020, your flight credit can be used for multiple bookings. Just book your Qantas flights and ensure all travel is completed before 31 December 2022. Qantas will issue you a new Flight Credit with the same expiry date if you don’t use the full value of your Flight Credit in one transaction.

Find out more information on the terms and conditions that apply when using your Flight Credits.

Flights after 31 October 2020

If your plans have changed or you no longer wish to travel, visit Manage Booking to change your travel dates, or cancel your flight and request a flight credit to use the value towards a future flight. 

  • Your flight credit is valid for booking and travel within 12 months from your original booking date.
  • Qantas standard fare rules apply, so you may be charged a change or cancellation fee. 
  • You will also need to cover any fare increase in your new booking, if applicable. 

To check your fare conditions for change and cancellation information, enter your last name and booking reference at Manage booking, then move down to the flight section.

Classic Flight Rewards

Flights on or before 31 October 2020

If you have a Classic Flight Reward booking (using Qantas Points) and wish to change your date of travel, you can do so by 31 October 2020 and we’ll waive the change fee.

If you have a Classic Flight Reward booking (using Qantas Points) and wish to cancel your trip, you can do so by 31 October 2020 and we’ll waive the cancellation fee. The total Qantas Points used and any taxes, fees and carrier charges paid will be refunded.

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.

Visit Flexible Classic Flight Rewards for more information.

Flights after 31 October 2020

If you have a Classic Flight Reward booking (using Qantas Points) you can change your plans, or cancel your booking.

The standard Qantas fare rules apply, so you may be charged a change or cancellation fee. If you cancel your booking, the total Qantas Points used and any taxes, fees and carrier charges paid will be refunded, less any change or cancellation fees.

If your flight has been changed or cancelled by us, you won’t incur any fees.

Fly Flexible

Qantas has extended its flight flexibility offer for its Australian domestic network.

  • Book any Australian domestic flight between 21 May and 27 July 2020
  • For travel between 12 June and 31 October 2020

If you decide to change the date of your travel, they will waive the change fee one time. You will need to change your flight before your scheduled date of departure. When you are ready to rebook, you will also need to cover any fare increase for your new flight, if applicable.

Visit Fly Flexible for further information.

Jetstar

Domestic

Jetstar A321 exterior shot

Flights to Victoria

If you are traveling in or out of Victoria between now and 18 August, you are eligible to cancel your booking and obtain a credit voucher to the value of the booking. To request a voucher, go to Manage Booking and follow these easy steps. We’ll email the voucher to you within 14 business days.

  • Click on the ‘Find out More’ button
  • Select ‘Check flight Options’ button
  • Click ‘View other Options’ button
  • Select ‘Request reimbursement’ button

Alternatively, you may wish to wait to see if your flight is impacted by Jetstar’s current network review, in which case Jetstar will contact you directly in the coming days with a range of options, which depending on the circumstances may include a refund.

Other flights

Jetstar will notify customers directly if there are any changes to upcoming flights to advise about available options which depending on the circumstances may be an alternative flight at no additional charge, a voucher to the full value of the booking or a refund.  

Please note, cash refunds are only available for customers whose flight was cancelled and Jetstar either:  

  • were not able to provide the customer with an alternative service that is within three hours of the flight’s original departure time, or
  • were able to offer an alternative flight departing more than three hours after the originally scheduled departure time, and you decide not to travel.  

If you book flights through Jetstar.com between 21 May and 27 July 2020, they will waive the change fee if you decide to change the date of your travel. When you’re ready to rebook, you will need to cover any Fare Difference in your new booking. This offer applies for travel between 12 June and 31 October 2020 on any Jetstar Airways (JQ) domestic flights within Australia. 

If you have both a domestic and international flight on your itinerary, a Change Fee will apply. In the instance that your flight is cancelled by us, we’ll rebook you on the next available flight to your booked destination, at no additional cost to you. Alternatively, you can choose other options.

International

Jetstar will notify customers directly if there are any changes to upcoming flights to advise about available options which depending on the circumstances may be an alternative flight at no additional charge, a voucher to the full value of the booking or a refund.  

Please note, cash refunds are only available for customers whose flight was cancelled and Jetstar either:  

  • were not able to provide the customer with an alternative service that is within three hours of the flight’s original departure time, or
  • were able to offer an alternative flight departing more than three hours after the originally scheduled departure time, and you decide not to travel.  

Jetstar previously introduced further flexibility for Jetstar Airways (JQ) customers with international bookings (except flights between Australia and New Zealand and between Auckland and Rarotonga) with bookings for travel from 1 August to 31 October 2020. 

From 23 June 2020, the majority of Jetstar’s international flights from 1 August to 31 October 2020 have been cancelled and impacted customers will be notified directly via email within 24 hours with their further options, which may include a refund depending on circumstances. 

For customers whose international flights have not been cancelled, customers still have the option to cancel bookings and obtain a credit voucher to the value of the booking. Vouchers should be requested before 30 June 2020. 

The voucher offer does not apply to bookings for trans-Tasman flights or services between Auckland and Cook Islands (Rarotonga). 

Vouchers are now valid for 12 months (customers will need to cover any Fare Difference in new bookings). 

Vouchers can be redeemed for any available flight. Jetstar usually make flights available 12 months in advance, so our customers have about 2 years to travel.

To request a voucher, go to Manage Booking and follow these steps. Jetstar will email the voucher to you within 14 business days.

  • Click on the ‘Find out More’ button
  • Select ‘Check flight Options’ button
  • Click ‘View other Options’ button
  • Select ‘Request reimbursement’ button

How to cancel or change a Qantas Group flight

Request a Qantas flight credit

Manage your booking steps

1. Go to Manage booking (see below).

2. Enter your booking reference and last name in the relevant fields to access your booking information.

3. Scroll down to the ‘Flights’ heading or click ‘Flight details’ on the left-hand navigation to see your flight details.

4. Click ‘Cancel/Voucher’ on the right-hand side.

5. Accept the ‘terms and conditions’.

You’ll receive a confirmation email to the email address contained in your booking once your flight credit has been processed and is ready to redeem.

Cancel or change a Qantas or Jetstar flight

  • If flights were booked through a travel agency or third-party website, e.g. Webje or Booking.com, customers will need to contact them directly to make changes to their booking
  • Wait times when calling Qantas or Jetstar may be very long, therefore, the quickest way to make a change: is to go to Manage My Booking on Qantas or Jetstar website; or contact the airline through private message on Facebook Messenger (Qantas, Jetstar) or Twitter (Qantas, Jetstar)

Virgin Australia Group

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia 737 on tarmac
If you have booked a flight using either cash or Velocity Points, you can cancel it

Flights on or before 20 April 2020

  • If you booked on or before 20 April 2020 and your travel is before September 30 2020, Virgin Australia will waive any applicable change fees if you want to change your booking, or cancellation fees if you decide to use your conditional credit. Please see the table below:
Virgin Australis cancellation and changes

If you are booked for travel on or after 1 October 2020,  Virgin Australia are unable to offer a refund or credit for flexible fares, however, you are eligible for a Conditional Credit in place of this. Please note any change or cancellation fees will still apply. You can find out what type of fare you have booked by checking your Virgin Australia itinerary.

Flights on or after 20 April 2020

  • Virgin Australia is waiving any applicable change fees if you want to change eligible bookings, in accordance with the tables below.
Virgin Australia cancellation and changes after 20 April 2020

Velocity Redemption Bookings

Velocity Redemption Bookings made on or before 21 April 2020

If you booked a Velocity Flight Redemption on or before 21 April 2020 for travel before 30 September 2020, Virgin Australia will waive any applicable change or cancellation fees.

If you or Virgin Australia cancel your flight before 30 September 2020, they will refund your Points or cash in full to the original form of payment.

If you booked on or before 21 April 2020 but were scheduled to travel after 30 September 2020, Virgin Australia’s standard Terms and Conditions regarding changes will apply. However, members who would typically receive a refund to Travel Bank will now receive a refund to the original form of payment until Travel Bank (or a suitable alternative) is available.

Please see the tables below:

Flights cancelled by Virgin Australia or Velocity’s airline partners

If your flight is cancelled by Virgin Australia or one of Velocity’s airline partners, Virgin Australia be in touch with your options.  

If the options provided are not suitable, they will do their best to help you find an alternative flight that is, and they will also waive the change fees. 

If Virgin Australia can’t provide you with a suitable alternative, they will refund your booking and waive the cancellation fee. The Points paid for your booking will be refunded to your Velocity Frequent Flyer account. If your booking was a “Points plus Pay” booking, the “Pay” portion of your booking will be refunded to the original form of payment.

Refunds will be processed within 21 business days. 

Velocity Redemption Bookings made on or after 15 May 2020

For Redemption bookings made on or after 15th May 2020, Virgin Australia waive fees for any changes or cancellations you make before 1 September 2020.

If you or Virgin Australia cancel your flight before 1 September 2020, they will refund your Points/cash in full to the original form of payment (except for any booking or credit card fees).

For changes and cancellations made after 1 September 2020, standard Velocity Terms and Conditions will apply.

Please see the tables below.

Flights cancelled by Virgin Australia

If your flight is cancelled by Virgin Australia, they will be in touch with your options.  

If the options provided are not suitable, they will do our best to help you find an alternative flight that is, and they will also waive the change fees. 

If Virgin Australia can’t provide you with a suitable alternative, they will refund your booking and waive the cancellation fee. The Points paid for your booking will be refunded to your Velocity Frequent Flyer account. If your booking was a “Points plus Pay” booking, the “Pay” portion of your booking will be refunded to original form of payment. 

Refunds will be processed within 21 business days. 

How to cancel or change your Virgin Australia or Velocity Redemption flights

Virgin Australia Flights

If you don’t intend to fly, it’s important you take action before your scheduled departure date as normal fare rules will apply to any changes or cancellations made after that date.

If you booked through a travel agent or another web site like Webjet, you’ll need to contact them directly to cancel or make any changes.

If you booked with Virgin Australia directly, here’s how you make a change to your booking:

You can use these Cancel your booking online and Manage Your Booking links.

Velocity Redemption Bookings

Change Velocity Reward Seat Redemption

To change a Velocity Reward Seat, call the Virgin Australia Membership Contact Centre between 9am and 5pm AEDT Monday to Friday.

Alternatively, you can email them at [email protected]. To help them process your request as quickly as possible, please include the following information:

  • The date of travel;
  • Your booking reference number;
  • The name or names associated with the booking; and
  • For flight changes, your preferred flight details

Change Any Seat Booking

Any Seat Reward bookings can be changed online, with change fees waived if made before 1 September 2020.

Cancel Velocity Reward Seat or Any Seat Booking

To cancel your Reward Seat or Any Seat booking please call the Velocity Membership Contact Centre between 9am and 5pm AEDT Monday to Friday.

Alternatively you can email them at [email protected]. To help them process your request as quickly as possible, please include the following information:

  • The date of travel;
  • Your booking reference number;
  • The name or names associated with the booking.

Tigerair

Tigerair

Because Tigerair Australia (a Virgin Australia Group entity) is in voluntary administration and services are suspended, our ability to issue a normal flight credit or a refund has been impacted.

However, the administrators have arranged for a conditional credit (to the same value as the amount paid for your original ticket including ancillaries and taxes, but excluding fees) to be provided to customers who do not have an existing Tigerair flight credit for use on domestic flights operated by Virgin Australia Airlines or Virgin Australia Regional Airlines during the period of administration. Customers with an existing Tigerair Australia flight credit can also request to transfer their flight credit to a Conditional Credit if they have an immediate requirement to travel during the period of the administration.

If you do not use your Conditional Credit, it will be transferred to a Future Flight credit for future use.

Who can use a Conditional Credit

Tigerair Australia customers who purchased a ticket on or before 20 April 2020, and their flight was cancelled and who have not been provided with a refund/flight credit/compensation/re-accommodation

Also, those customers who currently hold a valid Tigerair Australia flight credit with an immediate need to travel and who wish to transfer their Tigerair Australia flight credit to a conditional credit to use on domestic flights operated by Virgin Australia Airlines or Virgin Australia Regional Airlines during the period of administration

How to use a Conditional Credit

If you know the new date you would like to book using your conditional credit or you would like to transfer your existing Tigerair flight credit to a conditional credit, please email [email protected] to request a conditional credit and include the following details: 

  • full name
  • preferred contact phone number 
  • Tigerair Australia booking reference
  • new travel date to book using your conditional credit. 

A Guest Service Agent from Virgin Australia will contact you by phone to provide details of your conditional credit and to book your flight.

Other airlines

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

Qatar Airways 777-300ER
Qatar Airways has one of the more generous change policies

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

Current cancellation and change policies for Qantas and Virgin Australia was last modified: August 14th, 2020 by Daniel Sciberras