TOKYO- Japan Airlines (JL) has declared its intention to provide passengers who have made bookings on its international and domestic flights for dates until March 31, 2024, with the option of free booking changes or refunds.
This decision comes in the wake of the incident on January 2, where JAL flight JL516 collided with a Japan Coast Guard plane during its landing at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo.
Japan A350 Crash
While all 379 passengers and crew aboard the Airbus A350 were safely evacuated, unfortunately, five out of the six coast guard crew members lost their lives in the tragic collision.
The deceased coast guard members were identified as Yoshiki Ishida (27), Wataru Tatewaki (39), Nobuyuki Tahara (41), Makoto Uno (47), and Shigeaki Kato (56), as reported by Japan Times.
The 39-year-old pilot of the Coast Guard plane, Genki Miyamoto, managed to extricate himself from the wreckage and reported that his aircraft had exploded on the runway, although he remains severely injured.
In a statement posted on its Facebook page and website, Japan Airlines (JAL) expressed its profound condolences to the families of the Japan Coast Guard personnel who tragically lost their lives.
JAL also extended apologies for the distress and inconvenience experienced by its passengers, their families, and all those affected by the incident.
Emphasizing that the safety of customers and employees is their top priority, JAL affirmed full cooperation with the ongoing investigation.
Here’s the Deadline Update
Customers have until January 31 to request booking changes or refunds, applicable to tickets issued before January 2.
For international flights, a one-time booking change can be made for alternative options up to April 20, 2024. Cancellations must be completed at least three hours before the scheduled departure.
Those holding domestic tickets can opt for an alternative flight within 30 days of the original departure date and are eligible for a refund if the request is made at least 20 minutes before the scheduled departure.
This policy covers tickets for code-shared flights and flights operated by JAL’s subsidiary airlines, such as Zipair, Spring Airlines, Jetstar Japan, Hokkaido Air System, Ryukyu Air Commuter, and Japan Transocean Air.
Japan Airlines, a member of the Oneworld alliance, collaborates with carriers like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Qantas.
Praised for Crew
JAL’s announcement generated various responses in the comment section of its post. Many conveyed condolences to the families of the deceased while expressing confidence in the airline.
The JAL crew received praise for efficiently evacuating everyone on board, with all passengers and crew surviving the accident and only 17 individuals sustaining injuries.
A Facebook user named Penny McVicar expressed, “Deepest condolences to the family and friends of those who perished. The crew of JL516 did an amazing job of getting all those passengers off safely under terrible circumstances. We are flying JAL next month and have no hesitation. Thank you for your compassion.”
Another Facebook user, Alvin Rongo, stated, “Condolences to the families of the victims. To the crew of JL516, you are all angels and heroes of the 379 passengers on board.”
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