For those of us who flexed our wanderlust on Tinder bios and had Instagrams filled with #vacay pictures, this year has especially come as a shock. With borders across countries and continents closed and travelling banned for months, even recycling old holiday pictures became stale very soon. The tourism industry especially took a hit from the pandemic. But now that we are all tired of sitting in that same corner of our rooms, airlines, countries, and hoteliers are trying all sorts of things to bring back a little of the pre-pandemic gusto for travelling.
From leaving middle seats empty to health checks at terminals, airlines and airports are trying hard to instill confidence in passengers who are still wary of flying. This airline, though, has gone above and beyond: Emirates has announced a free funeral, among other things, in its one-of-a-kind coronavirus travel insurance for its passengers.
The policy from the world's biggest long-haul carrier lays out that if a passenger is diagnosed with COVID-19 during their journey, the airline will cover their medical expenses, up to €150,000 ($177,127). It will pay €100 ($118) per day for quarantine costs–such as a hotel room–for up to two weeks. And lastly, in case someone’s travel turns out to be the long-term kinds which lasts forever, the Dubai-based airlines will also offer €1,500 ($1,771) for the passenger's funeral. The insurance is automatic with ticketing, effective immediately, does not require you to sign any extra documents, and carries no fees for travellers.
This policy is valid from now until the end of October. It is valid for 31 days from the moment you take your first flight, and it says it will cover you even if you travel onwards to another city.
“We know people are yearning to fly as borders around the world gradually re-open, but they are seeking flexibility and assurances should something unforeseen happen during their travel,” said Emirates group CEO HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. "It is an investment on our part, but we are putting our customers first, and we believe they will welcome this initiative."
Just around three weeks ago, the president of Emirates, Tim Clarke, had told the media that it was set to cut 9,000 jobs. According to Bloomberg’s calculations, about 400,000 airline workers around the world have been fired, furloughed or told their jobs are at risk due to the coronavirus.
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