As the number of Coronavirus cases continues to rise, many airlines are cancelling their flights. At the same time, measures to contain the virus are having a major impact on air traffic in Europe and beyond. Countries are beginning to impose entry bans (e.g. the USA) and borders are increasingly closing down. These developments will lead to a further sharp reduction in flights. It is important, therefore, to know what your rights are if your flight is cancelled.
My flight was cancelled because of Coronavirus, what can I do?
As with any flight cancellation, the airline is obliged to refund your ticket or offer you an alternative flight. This means that even if you are not entitled to compensation, you will at least get a replacement flight or your money back. In addition to a ticket reimbursement, we recommend that you find out whether or not you are eligible to receive compensation. Flightright will check your flight data and determine whether or not Coronavirus is the real reason behind your flight cancellation.
Is the cancellation reason “Coronavirus” considered an exceptional circumstance?
According to the EU Reg. 261/2004, an extraordinary circumstance is an event beyond an airline’s control. The Coronavirus outbreak is such an event. Many airlines have cancelled flights to certain areas due to official travel warnings. The health and safety of passengers and employees is paramount and customers affected by flight cancellations to high-risk areas are not entitled to compensation.
I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to fly. What are my options?
Air traffic to and from regions with confirmed Coronavirus outbreaks has already been partially restricted. If you are uncertain about other destinations and wish to postpone or cancel your trip, you should contact the airline as a precautionary measure. Some airlines have made goodwill arrangements in light of the extenuating circumstances.
How can I protect myself from Coronavirus during my flight?
Our recommendation: avoid any unnecessary air travel and maintain good hygiene practices. Stay up-to-date by following the news and travel warnings. All the latest information can be found on the World Health Organisation’s website at www.who.int. Country specific information on government measures related to Coronavirus can be found on the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) website at www.iata.org.
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