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Qantas criticised for ‘unfair’ Covid credit scheme despite 12-month extension

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theguardian.com

Qantas and Jetstar are being criticised for an “unfair” Covid credit scheme, despite extending the deadline for customers to use the credits by 12 months.The airlines announced on Thursday they were giving customers an additional 12 months to use their Covid credits, carry-overs from the extensive cancellations and border closures that came during the pandemic.The credits have been extended three times since 2020, with the current extension designed to ensure customers use their remaining credits for domestic or international travel by 31 December 2023.Customers have until December 2024 to complete their travel, with a recent analysis showing that there is $800m in Covid credits still held by Qantas and Jetstar customers.A total of 76% of the credits are worth less than $500, while 24% are worth between $500 and $5,000.

Fewer than 1% are worth more than $5,000. Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup The Qantas Group chief customer officer, Markus Svensson, said both airlines were trying to make it easier for customers to access the credits.“We literally had millions of bookings that were cancelled during several waves of lockdowns and border closures.“No airline had systems that were designed to manage that in a seamless way and we realise there’s been frustration for some customers as a result.“Our main goal is for everyone who has a Covid credit to be able to put it to good use, which is why we’re doing one final extension of the travel expiry date by 12 months.”But the rollout of the credits faced criticism, with consumer advocacy group Choice saying the credit system was “still unfair.”It said the system only allowed customers to use the credits

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