NewsCovering Kentucky


Coronavirus impacting travel plans

Plane taking off
Posted at 3:51 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 15:51:29-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) - With the coronavirus impacting domestic and international travel, a Lexington travel agency says hundreds of their customers have cancelled trips, for both business and pleasure. But a new waiver policy put in place by airlines makes it easy for customers to cancel in March and April.

A travel agency in Lexington says many people are cancelling their trips not because they fear getting the coronavirus, but out of fear of being quarantined or being unable to return to their jobs.

Delta, American and United Airlines have all implemented a waiver for flight change fees, for people traveling in March and April. Sharon Betts, co-owner of Avant Travel Agency, says two of their clients are in Asia. Betts says they were supposed to fly home through Beijing, but the agency was able to change their flights under the new Delta policy.

"It was going to cost about $1,000 per person, the additional cost, plus the $500 change fee. So they saved $3,000," Betts said.

If you decide to cancel your trip, you can apply it to a future flight. It's a decision by the airlines that Sharon Betts says is a first. "They do have to travel by December 31st of this year. So that is a system-wide waiver that's also been unprecedented. I don't ever remember waiving for globally, anywhere, any travel."

If you are looking at flights, you might have seen some good deals. Sharon says since there have been so many cancellations, that there are more cheap rates out there. "I did notice they were mostly for travel in April or May. I had someone call about Thanksgiving travel, and it was the same cost. So it is a case by case situation," Betts said.

Airlines individually have implemented their own guidelines for extra deep cleaning on flights.