Growing concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) has prompted airlines to cancel hundreds of flights as passengers have become less inclined to travel.
It is believed up to 400 flights may be cancelled by the UK’s flagship airline, British Airways, however, this number is yet to be confirmed. BA will, however, be cancelling 216 flights from 16-28th March 2020 departing from London to several destinations including Italy, Germany, New York and Ireland to name a few.
BA customers will be able to change flights free of charge for bookings made at any time between Tuesday 3rd March 2020 and Monday 16th March 2020. However, passengers should bear in mind they will be unable to get a refund or credit note if they no longer wish to travel due to the coronavirus.
From 17th March until 8th April 2020, Ryanair will cancel up to 25% of flights in and out of Italy. According to the BBC, ‘tourists and business people are cutting back on foreign travel.’
easyJet will also be grounding several flights to and from Italy from the 13th of March to the 31st of March 2020. The airline has suggested: “Customers are being contacted and moved onto flights operating on the same day or alternatively have been offered a full refund.”
Passengers due to travel with affected airlines should check their airline’s websites for the latest updates.
Passengers who are due to travel during the affected dates should contact their airline as they will be responsible for either rebooking, re-routing, or providing passengers with a full refund on all unused parts of the ticket. Those who are unable to recuperate costs are advised to check the cover available under their travel insurance policy.
Those who have accommodation bookings that they are no longer able to use due to the cancellations will need to speak to their hotel directly. Most hotel and accommodation providers have strict cancellation policies but may offer to reimburse costs as a gesture of goodwill due to the circumstances. It is worth noting that this is not guaranteed, and will vary between accommodation providers.
We have already seen the effect that Brexit has had on the travel industry, and if coronavirus was to have the same impact, holidaymakers should make sure their policy offers cover for ‘end supplier failure’ and ‘scheduled airline failure’.
Check out Everything traveller’s need to know about Coronavirus for more information.