Coronavirus flights: When should you contact your airline? Travel expert shares advice
Flights are being cancelled on an almost daily basis now as coronavirus continues to cause travel chaos. Globally there have been 284,566 total confirmed cases of coronavirus and there have sadly been 11,868 deaths. Those with holidays booked are worried about how the early virus will affect their travels.
“We are dealing with a global crisis.”
The expert continued: “Airlines’ customer service teams have never been under so much pressure, this is unprecedented so understandably they’re struggling.”
Those who are due to travel in weeks or months time should hold off contacting airlines, Charles urged.
“The best advice is not to contact your airline until three days before you’re due to travel if you have a booking already,” he said.
“There’s no point clogging up the phone lines or their emails by contacting them now if you’re due to travel in six months time.
“They don’t have the answers yet and really you don’t need an answer at this stage.”
However, if you are due to fly in the next 72 hours then you should definitely contact your airline.
Charles concluded: “We will get through this… we will want to travel again and the industry will recover.”
Travel association ABTA issued airline cancellation guidance today.
They restated that refunds must be paid by airlines in line with EU Regulation 261 and contract law.
ABTA Chief Executive, Mark Tanzer, said: “These are unprecedented times in the travel industry, and for the sector to come through it is vital that all parts of the chain respect their obligations.
“Governments have rightly identified the aviation sector as requiring emergency support, but funds provided must find their way to the passengers and corporate partners of the airlines – tour operators and travel agents – or the problem is simply moved down the chain.
“The CAA and IATA have issued guidance reminding airlines of their obligations to provide refunds on cancellation and these obligations can be enforced by the Regulatory Authority, and, if necessary, at law.
“This will be to the detriment of the whole travel and tourism sector, and their customers, at a time when co-operation is essential.
“ABTA is asking its Members to notify them of any airline refund policies that do not comply with the law.”
Travel experts Simon Calder also shared his advice in The Travel Show today.
“If you are stranded, Calder said, “assume you won’t get any help from your airline, travel insurance company or embassy.”
“You have to make decisions now, there’s no time to lose,” the expert warned.
“Spend what you need to, get family and friends to pay for your ticket – just get yourself out and then ask questions later.”
Published at Sat, 21 Mar 2020 16:30:00 +0000