It is necessary canceling flights? or your flights may be canceled by the airline or the regulations due to Coronavirus? These are the most common questions that all travelers think about. The widespread Coronavirus has immense effects on the economy, tourism, and travel industries on the global level. Obviously, the tourists and people in business planning visits to different countries may be concerned about flight cancellations, visa bans, and other restrictions. When you are forced to cancel, here in this article, I shall depict some travel insurance aspects related to flight cancellations.
Canceling flights to China and other Asian countries
As China is the hotspot of the Corona outbreak, different airlines are canceling flights to and from mainland China. The State Department of the USA and CDC have issued warnings against unnecessary travel to China. Interestingly Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong have no such notices. My personal advice is to avoid pleasure trips including to the Macau and Hong Kong regions, or Taiwan. Not so because of the risk of infection, but also because of quarantine procedures that can ruin your vacation or your plans to return home.
Similarly, there are warning about South Korea, and travelers are requested to review their plans. The state department has advised taking care of touched objects. There is a level 2 warning about the journey to Japan, and travelers are asked to enhance precautions.
For other destinations in Asia, there are currently no risks or warnings, except when you come from a country affected, or you transit one of this.
Canceling flights to Europe
There is a lockdown in Italy with CDC’s level 3 warning about traveling to. The travelers are advised to cancel thei journeys to Italy. There are no warnings about France, Spain and Germany, though there are reported corona cases. The travelers are asked to take necessary measures before visiting these countries. At the same time, they are advised to stay away from crowded areas to prevent possible infestation.
For the latest information, pay attention to alerts from the World Health Organization and the embassy of the country where you intend to travel.
USA ban flights to and from the EU
In an attempt to save its citizens from Coronavirus fast spread, the USA president has put a hold on travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days, except the United Kingdom and countries outside the Schengen Area. Also, travelers from the affected countries or who have traveled the affected countries in recent weeks will be restricted to entry into the USA. According to the latest updates, it is an attempt to slow down the epidemic outbreak. Though there were confusions earlier, the USA spokesmen clarified that this restriction does not apply to the USA citizens and permanent resident and their relatives.
Travel insurance could cover the cancelation costs?
If you have already purchased a travel insurance, you should check the provider’s policy about canceling flights due to Coronavirus. According to some standard policy company regulations, you do not find coverage due to illness, fear, and epidemics.
There are refunds if the airliner is canceling flights due to Coronavirus. The cancellation of flights to China is especially covered because China is the starting point of Coronavirus. This means that even if you are not entitled to compensation, you will at least get a replacement. If you are stranded at the airport because of cancellation, you are entitled to care. That includes meals and refreshments, free access to communications like roaming for voice calls and internet, hygiene products, underwear, and accommodations.
Preemptive cancellations are not included. In case you are placed under quarantine during the journey, you may be covered for the troubles.
Can I get extra compensation for my canceled flight?
You probably know that AirHelp could get a $700 compensation for canceled, delayed or re-routed flights over the past three years. But this only happens if isn’t an event beyond an airline’s control. The Coronavirus outbreak is such an event. These cancellations are made in the interest of public safety, and those affected are not entitled to compensation.
But while some airlines are genuinely cancelling flights in order to protect their passengers, others are protecting their bank accounts. As chaos and panic increases, airlines wishing to cancel flights for economic reasons have a ready-made excuse: Coronavirus. Airlines attributing flight cancellations to “extraordinary circumstances” may be telling half the truth. If an airline cancels a flight, say, to Tel Aviv, Coronavirus is not, therefore, the only contributing factor.
The desire to travel has dropped following the outbreak and flights that are not fully booked may be cancelled to save airlines money. When this happens, passengers could be entitled to compensation with AirHelp to obtain financial reparations.
Cancelling flights just because changed your mind
In the cases where you have changed your mind and do not want to travel to a country for which there is no risk of infection, it is excellent if you contact hotels and airlines to get information about Coronavirus cancellations coverage. Some airlines have already announced that they offer free cancellations on all routes during this period.
My advice is that if the airline does not give you a free cancellation, do not cancel yourself until the last moment. The situation is evolving extremely fast, either positively or negatively. Maybe, let’s say, in three weeks Hong Kong becomes a safe destination. Or tomorrow maybe a warning will be issued for your today’s safe destination and then the airline itself will cancel the flight giving you the refund.
For advisory about the latest flight updates, you may follow who.int and cdc.gov