When do flights actually get cancelled for Covid-19?


Late last year I booked reward seats to and from Europe with Qantas points but flying with Emirates. The flights were in mid August and mid September.

Unfortunately, it’s looking less and less likely that these flights will go ahead as it appears to me that either parts of Europe and Australia will still have 2 week quarantine measures in place for incoming people. I’m being realistic as a vaccine wont be available until at least a year from now and no country wants to have massive a second wave of covid-19 enter.

So, I have a few questions I hope someone can please answer as I’ve never been in a situation where a flight has been cancelled and I don’t want to burden the Qantas customer service team during this high demand period:

  1. How far in advance will the flights be cancelled? (lets just presume all Emirates flights are cancelled).

  2. If the flights are cancelled will all my points be credited back to me in a timely manner e.g. within a week?

  3. I purchased some reserved seating via the Emirates web site. If they cancel the flight will Emirates send me a voucher to use at a later date, or is it money wasted?

Thank you in advance for the feedback :slight_smile:

Hi @Rembrandt

Trying to work out what things will be like in August/September is an exercise in futility. Things have been changing, and moving, so quickly that anything could happen between now and then, and during that time. I would certainly not assume that those flights will not go ahead. I wouldn’t assume anything at all.

How far in advance will the flights be cancelled? See above: they might not be cancelled at all. If they are cancelled, from the experience of what’s happened so far, they’ll be cancelled between two weeks and three months beforehand. My guess is that you’ll have about 1-2 months notice.

Will your points be credited back in a timely manner? Don’t bet on it. I’ve had to cancel several flights over the past couple of months and in one case I’m still waiting for the points for a flight that was cancelled in late February. The best-case scenario saw me receive the points back for another cancelled flight after about 2-3 weeks. But again, things may change between now and then…

Is your money wasted? If you paid for a product that you didn’t receive, you’ll get your money back – either in the form of a voucher or a refund.

If the flights are cancelled, be prepared to have to chase things up in the form of emails, live chats, phone calls etc: don’t assume that everything will just happen automatically.

But really, trying to predict August/September in this environment is a waste of time. Be prepared for any or all eventualities, and just wait and see what happens.


Sorry am I missing something? I had no problems cancelling whatsoever. On 30th March I cancelled my reward flights booked through Qantas and obtained full point and taxes refund instantly. I booked with QFF points for Business Flights Brisbane - Auckland (Qantas), and then First Class flights Auckland-Rome (Emirates) for flying in September, and I had absolutely no problems at all with full refund. I instantly had the points back, and I didn’t get charged the usual cancellation charge of 6,000 points per passenger. And all the taxes were refunded back to the card I paid them with. All I did was go onto the Qantas website, logged in, then went to “My Bookings” and clicked through until “Cancel/Voucher” and just simply cancelled. Instantly the points went back to my account and there was no cancellation charge. And the taxes were refunded to my credit card within a few days. I haven’t attempted to cancel Velocity booked flights, but that’s the way it worked for me with Qantas FF point booked flights. And this is self-cancellation - nothing to do with whether the airline cancels.


Thank you for the response, it’s much appreciated.

I suppose I’m just being realistic about Aug/Sep as without a proven and readily available treatment and vaccine for Covid-19 there is no chance that international travel will be back to normal within a year. Last thing Europe and the US need is a just as bad or worse second wave.

So considering all the above this is why I’m not keeping my hopes up about traveling to Europe later in the year.

Thank you.


That sounds promising. I’m surprised you received a full refund without penalty considering the flights were for September. It also makes sense to cancel on the web site and have the points or voucher sent to you. This puts less strain on the phone support.

I’m reluctant to cancel the flights just yet as I want the flights cancelled by the airline because that way I will receive a voucher for my reserved seating. If I cancel myself I may not.

Hi @graham

No, you’re not missing anything: our experiences were simply different. I cancelled most of my flights before March 30; it looks like the process became more streamlined by the time you got around to it.

I’ve had to cancel multiple flights which were booked using Velocity, Qantas FF, Asia Miles and KrisFlyer points. My experience (which may differ from yours) was that Velocity, closely followed by Qantas, was the quickest at returning the points. Krisflyer has been by far the slowest.

@Rembrandt I think you’re right to not keep your hopes up! However, what’s really struck me about the past couple of months is how quickly things change. I took an almost-full domestic flight just over four weeks ago! My gut feeling, though, is that you’re probably right.

As usual sixtyeight, thank you for your spot-on advice mate!
Qantas could have relaxed their refund terms in recent times as Covid-19 has worsened. I still have other international reward flights booked for September/October, but realistically I believe I’m probably going to have to cancel. I’m holding out until the end of May to make a final decision, but sadly I think at that time I’ll probably be forced to cancel. I’m not expecting any change to international flying for the rest of the year sadly.

So Emirates has rescheduled my connecting flight from Dubai to Vienna. EK0125 (777-300ER) has been cancelled and replaced with EK127 (A380). This would mean I would now have to spend roughly 20 hours in Dubai instead of a few. Regardless, I can’t see the European trip I booked going ahead this year due to Covid-19 and simply just want the darn flights cancelled so I can get my points back in full.

My main point of frustration at the moment is the fact that I reserved seats on the now cancelled EK0125 flight and there was no mention from Emirates and Qantas (reward seats booked through) about a refund or credit. Do I now need to go through the customer service gauntlet to fight for a refund or credit? Or is it money lost due to some stupid T&C?

Thank you.

Edit: It appears Qantas wants me to confirm or cancel the amended booking. I wont be doing this until I have Emirates credit me for the reserved seating I paid for, as there is a risk they may not if I cancel the booking. So I’ve filled out a form on the Emirates website hoping they will credit me in the form of a voucher to use on a future flight. I highly doubt they will refund me in cash.