Airlines, cruise ships revamp policies for travelers as coronavirus concerns grow

Posted: Updated:

The growing threat of the coronavirus has a number of cruises and airlines changing policies to create flexibility in bookings to high-risk countries.

Travel agent Felicia Balek, of Number One Travel, says she's been fielding calls from clients worried about their travel plans amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"Every day we get callers that call all the time," says Balek. "They're just trying to find out to see what are their options."

Some airlines are waiving, changing or canceling fees on new tickets for travelers who are planning to go away or who have already scheduled a trip for the near future. Most of the policy changes are effective through the end of March.

Coronavirus Prevention: What you can do to protect yourself

"They're not allowing people necessarily to cancel, if you're traveling in November," says Balek. "But if you're traveling immediately they will allow some changes."

Some cruise lines are also changing policies due to travelers' concerns. Travelers should check with their cruise company or airline carrier for specifics on changes in cancellation fees and switching itineraries.

GET INFORMATION: Coronavirus details from the CDC

Travel agents recommend that people stay informed about the impact the virus may have in the country they're planning to travel to. The STEP program website provides health and terrorism alerts about various countries.

Balek says travelers should not cancel out of fear because travel insurance will not cover that. She says people should be patient, ride it out and see what happens.

PHOTOS: The impact of coronavirus around the world


sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."