Etihad to offer full refund on all cancelled flights

Etihad opens up full refunds for Australians booked on flights cancelled due to Covid-19.

By David Flynn, July 28 2020
Etihad to offer full refund on all cancelled flights

Etihad Airways will offer Australian passengers a full refund on all flights cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, even if those travellers have already accepted a credit voucher.

The offer will be valid on all Etihad tickets purchased in Australia for any flight on the Etihad network. The airline has confirmed it will contact passengers who booked directly with the airline, as well as with Australian-based travel agents, to outline their options.

From 26 March 2020, Etihad’s published Covid-19 rebooking policy reportedly failed to identify that passengers were entitled to a refund for flights cancelled due to the pandemic.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, which held discussions with Etihad over the issue, says the airline has now revised its policy by offering refunds to all consumers in Australia who purchased tickets, regardless of where their flight was scheduled to depart from.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims says that "Etihad’s revised policy, and its decision to also offer refunds to consumers who weren’t previously advised of their right to a refund, should serve as a model for other airlines."

Etihad’s conditions of carriage, as published on Etihad’s website at the time, provided that  if Etihad failed to operate a flight reasonably according to schedule, Etihad would, at the consumer’s option, either:

  • provide a refund to the consumer for the unused portion of their fare;
  • fly the consumer to their destination on the earliest available Etihad service, without additional charge; or
  • make arrangements to re-route the consumer to their destination on either an Etihad service or another carrier’s service within a reasonable period of time, and refund the difference in cost if the alternative transport is cheaper.



"The protections of the Australian Consumer Law, which extend to all corporations carrying on business in Australia, prohibit making false or misleading representations about a consumer’s right to a refund, including their contractual refund rights," Sims said.

“Consumers who believe they are entitled to a refund because they booked their fare while in Australia and who are not contacted by Etihad or their Australian travel agent by 7 August 2020, should contact the business that sold them their ticket.”


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

16 Aug 2017

Total posts 22

I booked an Etihad flight to the UK via Virgin Australia and the return leg got cancelled by Etihad leaving me stranded and having to spend big on an alternative to get home.

VA have refused to refund us. Does this change that? This was business and the original ticket cost about $7,000.

Air France - Flying Blue

07 Nov 2018

Total posts 3

My understanding is that as you booked via Virgin, you need to discuss with Virgin.
Etihad has nothing to do with it unless you were booked on their ticket stock (607) on an EY flight number.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2020

Total posts 1

We have had no problem REQUESTING our refund for BNE -CDG flights but our TA has said it will take 12 weeks for Etihad to refund! How does that work? Bizarre?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 50

Etihad is one of the slowest, but not as slow as Singapore Airlines who are taking up to 6 months.

I am a TA and it's probably the most frustrating part of my job at the moment, waiting for airlines to refund or waiting for the policy to improve like it has for Eithad.

13 Apr 2020

Total posts 9

Can someone please explain how Etihad and Qantas are required to offer refunds in this situation yet Virgin Australia refuse to offer anything but useless "conditional credits" valid for a matter of a month on a limited network for the flights they cancel? Is it related to their voluntary administration? If so, then why does AMEX deny my charge back request for these flights? I thought AMEX had protection in these circumstances either via insurance or funds held in trust until the service had been provided by virgin.

I've neither been offered alternate means to my destination or adequate compensation yet both Virgin and AMEX think that's fine.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 50

Unfortunately as Virgin went into administration they come under very different rules, you are basically a creditor of the old virgin and going forward the new owner will not pay out on that debt, good news is they are honouring the credits from a goodwill gesture point of view, so they can keep as many customers as possible, not a great result, but if no one bought Virgin you might have received like 0.001 cents per dollar you spent as creditor if at all anything.

Lets hope the shareholders meeting votes yes on the new owners next month

30 Jul 2020

Total posts 2

"The offer will be valid on all

30 Jul 2020

Total posts 2

Part of my message did not appear. My inquiry was to obtain Ethiad's contact phone number or email to check status of refunds

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