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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Virgin Australia Has Extended Its Fee-Free Booking Changes Until the End of June

So you can make travel plans, but still amend them if circumstances change — without being slugged with a hefty charge.
By Sarah Ward
January 16, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
January 16, 2021
  shares

As anyone who has booked a flight, had to suddenly change their trip and been stuck paying handsomely knows, travel and flexibility haven't always gone hand in hand. But with the entire idea of making firm and definite plans undergoing quite the shift over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Virgin Australia responded to the uncertain period by scrapping its change fees until January 2021 — and it has just announced that it's extending that plan until the end of June.

Make a booking before March 31 for travel between now and June 30 and, if life gets in your way and you need to rearrange your trip before your travel date, you'll be able to make unlimited changes to your booking without being charged extra. It's worth noting, however, that this only applies to the usual change fee — that is, the amount travellers can be slugged with just for the act of altering their itinerary. If changing your flights involves a difference in fare, you will still have to pay any shortfall amount.

Need to cancel your airfare completely? You can also do that — before either your travel date or June 30, whichever is earlier — and now receive a credit without getting charged for doing so, too.

The motivation for the idea, unsurprisingly, is to continue to encourage Australians to get booking — even knowing that little is certain when it comes to leaving the house, restrictions, interstate borders or just life in general in these coronavirus-afflicted times.

"We've seen many travellers' plans impacted by domestic border restrictions and so we're here to give them comfort when booking a Virgin Australia flight that they'll be able to change their travel date if they need to," said a Virgin Australia Group spokesman.

When it first announced the fee-free plan last year, Virgin called the move its 'Passenger Promise', which spans a number of other measures designed to make travellers feel safer and more confident about taking to the skies. Also included: contactless check-in, pre-flight health screening questionnaires for all travellers when checking in, staggered boarding as part of social-distancing measures, distancing between passengers onboard where possible and minimising movement during the flight. Passengers will also receive free face masks and hand sanitiser kits, and be asked to scan their own boarding passes to limit their contact with crew, while increased cleaning protocols are also in place.

To find out more about Virgin Australia's new change fee policy, visit the airline's website.

Published on January 16, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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