Free refunds offered for Shanghai flights among virus outbreak

Domestic airlines are offering free ticket changes or refunds for flights taking off, landing or stopping at Shanghai's two airports after the city reported three locally transmitted COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

Free refunds offered for Shanghai flights among virus outbreak

Passengers line up at Hongqiao International Airport. (Photo: Shine)

The Shanghai-based China Eastern, Spring and Juneyao airlines as well as Guangzhou-based China Southern, which are the biggest operators at the Hongqiao and Pudong airports, have issued free flight change or refund notices.

Flights scheduled between Thursday and December 9 are eligible for free change or refund policies of China Eastern, Spring and Juneyao.

Travelers can either cancel their flights or change to any other date by the end of 2021 free of charge.

China Southern passengers can refund or change the date of flights which were scheduled between Thursday and mid-December. They are allowed to change to any other date by the end of January 2022.

China's civil aviation authority has ordered domestic airlines to offer free ticket refunds for recent flights due to COVID-19.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) stipulated that airlines or their agents should not take additional charges for ticket refunds for flights.

Travelers can cancel their travel plans any time before the plane takes off.

"The new measure aims to better cope with the COVID-19 prevention and control measures in different regions," the CAAC said in a notice.

The administration had released an earlier notice to optimize ticket refund and flight change services amid the pandemic. Airlines were required to offer such active and timely services to their passengers.

The three new cases in Shanghai are friends who traveled to neighboring Suzhou City from November 19 to 21. They tested positive early yesterday. All three were fully vaccinated. A total of 55,278 people linked to the three cases have tested negative.