Airline Refunds Update
Posted on: 17 September 2020

As your travel agent, we are your advocate when it comes to securing your credit or refund in the most timely manner possible. Unfortunately, the volume of refunds and credits triggered by COVID 19 has meant many airlines are unable to process these refunds or credits within the ‘normal’ expected timeframe of around 12 weeks.

Nevertheless, we remain in constant contact with our airline suppliers to understand their timeframes and refund or credit processing hurdles. Below, is a list of impacted airlines;

South African Airlines

Unfortunately, we have been informed by the airline that they are currently not processing refunds while the business operations have been suspended. We do not yet have an update on when operations will recommence, however the airline has reconfirmed its COVID refund policy is to provide full travel credits which can be used until March 2022. These credits can also be transferred to another name for use. South African Airways has apologised to all Flight Centre customers for this situation.

Oman Air

The high volume of customer refund and credit requests for Oman Air flights has caused significant delays in processing times. The airline has informed us that they are only able to refund customers after the expiry of the ticket, which is 12 months after the ‘date of issue’, or until October 2020, whichever is the later date. Customers can, however, still take advantage of generous rebooking and credit options which are offered by Oman Air.

Croatia Airlines

Croatia Airlines has also been heavily impacted by the volume of refund requests they are receiving. The airline has informed us that they will be unable to process all refunds until the end of 2020. Croatia Airlines has expressed sincere apologies to all Flight Centre customers for this situation. We understand how frustrating this news is for our customers, and we also apologise for this inconvenience, however at this time, we respectfully ask that you do not call your agent as they will be unable to change the status of this portion of your travel booking.

Air Portugal

Due to processing delays caused by COVID 19, Air Portugal has recommended that we inform our mutual customers that it may take between 6 to 12 months for the airline to process customer refunds and credit requests. Air Portugal has expressed sincere apologies to all customers for this situation.


Unfortunately, we have been advised by Aircalin that customer refunds are only possible after the end of ticket validity. In other words, your unused flight ticket will be held in credit until it expires one year after the date you intended to fly. At that point, Aircalin will refund your ticket to Flight Centre and we will immediately return it to you, once the money has cleared into our bank account. We understand this may be disappointing news for customers and Aircalin has expressed sincere apologies. We respectfully ask that you do not call your agent as they will be unable to change this policy.

We have recently been advised by El Al that it will be unable to process refunds until the airline has returned to normal business operations. Unfortunately, we have not been provided with a definite time frame for the resumption of refunds. Flight Centre Travel Group currently has over 500 refunds outstanding with EL AL Israel Airlines and the airline would like to apologise to these Flight Centre customers for this situation. Your Flight Centre consultant will remain in close contact with the airline and will contact you as soon as we begin to receive further information from EL AL Israel Airlines following the resumption of operations.