How to Cancel an Emirates Flight

Emirates offers free cancellation within 24 hours and on Flex Plus fares, with low fees for award tickets.
Ramsey Qubein
Anya Kartashova
By Anya Kartashova and  Ramsey Qubein 
Updated
Edited by Giselle M. Cancio

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If you need to change your travel plans and must cancel an Emirates flight, there are some important steps you should know. For starters, the airline is pretty strict, often charging a fee or penalty when changing or canceling an Emirates ticket.

The change or cancellation penalty will vary based on the type of fare class you purchased. Even in business and first class, Emirates has different fare products with varying degrees of flexibility.

Below are some things you need to know about Emirates’ flight cancellation and refund policy should you have to cancel a flight with the carrier based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Can you cancel an Emirates flight?

When you book a flight with Emirates, take a close look at change and cancellation fees so that you know the penalties associated with changing or canceling a flight ahead of time.

Cancellation and change fees apply to certain fare classes, and Emirates' refund policy is rather strict. So, how does Emirates’ cancellation policy work? Let’s look at a couple of real-life examples.

Economy fares

When shopping for Emirates economy-class flights, you have a few fare options: Saver, Flex and Flex Plus. The Saver fare is priced the lowest and comes with the most restrictions.

The flight from Male, Maldives to London via Dubai has the following change and refund fees, as long as it's done before departure.

Saver

Flex

Flex Plus

Change fee

$100.

$75.

$0.

Cancellation fee

$130.

$200.

$0.

Keep in mind that hefty no-show penalties will apply if you don’t cancel a ticket ahead of time. For the flight to London, the fee for a no-show without having canceled the ticket previously showed $260 for Saver fares and $200 for Flex fares.

Flex Plus fares are the only economy fares that allow free changes and cancellations, but they cost nearly double the price of Saver fares.

Business class fares

In business class, there are different fare types, too. Let’s take a look at a Male, Maldives to New York-JFK route.

There is a Special fare that is below the Saver fare, but when you click on the refund options, it says no refunds are given. In that fare, you may save a couple hundred dollars, but you are at risk of losing the entire ticket should you need to cancel.

The flight has the following change and refund fees depending on the type of business ticket you purchase, again, as long as it's done before departure.

Special

Saver

Flex

Flex Plus

Change fee

$150.

$100.

$75.

$0.

Cancellation fee

Not permitted.

$125.

$100.

$0.

Like with economy, Flex Plus tickets are fully refundable.

First class

Now for Emirates’ celebrated first class cabin. It, too, has Flex and Flex Plus fare conditions.

To change a Flex ticket, the same Male, Maldives to New York-JFK route showed a $75 fee, while cancelling showed a $100 fee. The no-show fee for making a change was $150 and for cancelling was $200.

Flex Plus had no charges on changes and cancellation.

Emirates' 24-hour cancellation policy

The U.S. Department of Transportation's 24-hour rule applies to all Emirates flights originating in the U.S. If you booked a trip and changed your mind within 24 hours, you can cancel the trip and receive a full refund to your original payment method without a penalty. The booking must be made at least seven days before departure for the 24-hour cancellation policy to apply.

How to cancel an Emirates flight

To cancel an Emirates flight reservation, go to the “Manage your booking” section of the site and locate your booking. Depending on the fare conditions of your ticket, a cancellation fee might apply. If you are logged in as a Skywards member, you can cancel tickets under the “My Account” tab.

Before you cancel a ticket, read any details regarding the cancellation cost or call the customer service line at 800-777-3999. You also can try the live chat function of the website.

Changing an Emirates ticket is also possible through your account, by phone or by chat. Depending on the fare conditions of the ticket, you might be charged for changing your existing booking. If you want to submit a refund for unused lounge access or seat selection, you need to complete an online form.

If the new flight you want to change to is more expensive than the one you booked previously, you’ll have to pay the fare difference on top of the change fee. If the new fare is lower, you’ll receive a flight credit or a refund.

How to cancel an Emirates Skywards award flight

Award tickets booked with Emirates Skywards miles can be canceled. Depending on the type of award ticket booked — Saver, Flex or Flex Plus — the fees to change or cancel vary.

Here’s how much you’ll pay to change or cancel an Emirates award flight based on the award type you book.

Saver

Flex

Flex Plus

Change fee

$25.

$0.

$0.

Cancellation fee

$75.

$50.

$0.

Saver awards require the fewest miles but cost the most to change or cancel. However, the change and cancellation fees are relatively low, and it could still be worth it to book a Saver award rather than another award ticket type that costs significantly more miles, even if you think you might cancel in the future.

What other options can help get your money back?

It is also worth exploring any travel insurance policies you may have, and if the credit card you used to pay for the ticket has protections, those can be helpful, too.

If your card comes with some form of travel insurance, you may not even need to pay for it. Still, not all ticket changes or cancellations will be eligible, but it is worth checking if you need to cancel your ticket.

Popular cards with travel insurance
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
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Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
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Chase United Airlines Mileage Plus Credit Card
United℠ Explorer Card
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Annual fee

$95.

$550.

$0 intro for the first year, then $95.

$95.

Travel protections (not a comprehensive list)

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 12 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for five days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 6 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $40,000 per 12-month period.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for five days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 12 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip.

• Trip interruption: Up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for three days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

• Trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket for delays more than 12 hours.

• Trip cancellation: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

• Trip interruption: Up to $10,000 per trip. Maximum benefit of $20,000 per 12-month period.

• Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for five days.

• Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per passenger.

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Cancelling an Emirates flight recapped

The only Emirates fares that allow free changes and cancellations are Flex Plus fares, which cost quite a bit extra. Award tickets don’t cost much to change or cancel, which can be a compelling option when booking Emirates flights.

In either case, the 24-hour DOT cancellation policy allows you the chance to cancel flights originating in the U.S. at no cost as long as you do it within 24 hours of booking and seven days before departure.

(Top photo courtesy of Emirates)


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