✅ Trip Verified
| My son and his friend booked tickets to fly from Johannesburg to Chengdu (connecting on to Shenzhen) via Addis Ababa. The departure date was 02 April 2020. South Africa enforced a lockdown from 27 March to 16 April. China enforced a lockdown on 28 March 2020. Despite several attempts to contact the airline locally, we were unsuccessful. Finally after a long, expensive wait, we contacted the call centre in Ethiopia. We were informed that the flight had not been cancelled but as the airline was not allowed to land, there would be no flight. The airline was offering a travel voucher and cancellation with a refund was available with a cancellation fee of USD150 and a no show fee of USD50 with no refund. The difference in airfare would be payable when the voucher was to be used, if applicable. On 27 March we received email notifications for each leg of the flight that the flights were cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. While it is understandable that the airline would not want to lose money, Ethiopian Airlines are using coercion. Customers have no control over changed flight prices at the point of flying after COVID-19. So if one opted for the travel voucher, a customer may have to pay more for a ticket. Should one opt to cancel, the customer would have to pay USD150. The fair position would be to either refund the customer with no penalties, as it is not the customer’s fault, or to offer the voucher with an assurance that there will be no price difference to be paid later.