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Emirates Airlines has advised various travel agencies and business partners about how to cancel or postpone tickets already booked for Lebonon, a neighbouring Middle Eastern country to which a travel advisory has been officially declared. In a communication addressed to various trade partners, Emirates Airline said, consequent to the imposition of a ban by the Governments of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait on their respective nationals from travelling to Lebanon, various options are offered to the affected passengers.

Nationals of Gulf countries who have already purchased tickets to travel to Lebanon on/before February 26, 2016 can either re-book without paying, and re-issue charges shall be waived. This benefit is for UAE nationals and other Gulf nationals who have purchased tickets to travel on or before March 15, 2016.

While Emirates has officially issued an advisory to its trade partners, passengers who have booked on other airlines are waiting for official statements, travel agents told Emirates 24|7.

On February 24, 2016, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation upgraded the travel warning to Lebanon to a complete ban. The ministry also decided to reduce the number of diplomatic mission members in Beirut to its minimum.

The airlines trade partners are informed that re-booking can be made on an available flight to the same destination for travel on or before March 31 and in the same booking class at no additional cost to the passenger and if required, the validity of the ticket may be extended.

“Re-booking shall also be permitted for return journey for travel on/before March 31, 2016 and in the same booking class, at no additional cost to the passenger provided the maximum stay requirement of the fare used is maintained. Only one FOC change shall be permitted per ticket, the advisory said.

For passengers who wish to cancel their trips to Lebanon, there are many options available - full refund for fully unused tickets and for partially used tickets; refund of the residual amount after deduction of the applicable one-way fare for utilized portion of Emirates Airline tickets.

“Alternatively, the residual amount may be converted into an eMD for future travel on EK valid for one year from DOI.”

Skywards members who wish to refund their tickets can do so without any cancellation charges. “Expired Miles will be reinstated to the members account. Skywards reward tickets that are unutilized or partially utilised can also re-book to the same EK destination on line with commercial ticket policy at no additional cost. Service fees and difference in Miles will be waived off.”