This story was updated at 4:00pm AEST.
Passengers travelling with Emirates will be laughing after the airline revealed it would cover the medical expenses and quarantine costs of flyers should they be diagnosed with Covid-19 during their travel.
Passengers will be covered for medical costs of up to $245,000 and quarantine costs of up to $160 per day for 14 days if they contract the coronavirus, regardless of where they travel to, Emirates stated.
As it stands, Australian travellers returning from overseas to Sydney will need to foot a $3,000 quarantine bill.
The cost assurance is valid for 31 days from the moment they fly the first leg of their journey, and passengers won’t need to fill out any forms – it’s all automatic.
It’s the first airline in the world to cover Covid-19 related medical expenses and quarantine costs.
Emirates Group Chairman and chief executive, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said the airline had been working to put measures in place to mitigate the risk of infection for passengers, but decided to step it up a notch.
“We know people are yearning to fly as borders around the world gradually re-open, but they are seeking flexibility and assurances should something unforeseen happen during their travel,” he said.
“We are now taking it to the next level, by being the first in the industry to offer our customers free global cover for COVID-19 medical expenses and quarantine costs should they incur these costs during their travel.
“It is an investment on our part, but we are putting our customers first, and we believe they will welcome this initiative."
But Australian travellers won’t be able to access the offer - at least not yet - according to Flighthacks.com.au editor Immanuel Debeer.
“The policy is only valid if your government isn’t advising against overseas travel,” Debeer said.
“As the Australian government’s advice is against all overseas travel, right now, we’re all excluded from this cover.”
Debeer said this could change, however.
“Of course, this can change (hopefully soon) in which case, this cover would be an excellent addition to regular travel insurance.”
If you’ve got an Emirates ticket but still not keen to fly even with the offer, the airline has revised its booking policy.
“Customers whose travel plans are disrupted by COVID-19 related flight or travel restrictions, can simply hold on to their ticket which will be valid for 24 months and rebook to fly at a later time; request travel vouchers to offset against future Emirates purchases, or request refunds via an online form on Emirates' website or via their travel booking agent,” the airline stated.
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