Travel Alert January 2020: 2019 Novel Coronavirus Affecting Air Travel

If China is in your travel plans over the next few months, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

Travel Alert January 2020: 2019 Novel Coronavirus Affecting Air Travel

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, which is located in the Hubei Province of China. In addition to confirmed cases of this strain of coronavirus in Japan, France, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, and the republic of Korea, the first confirmed case which was detected in the United States was officially announced on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 and has led to at least five airports in the United States which have been actively publicly screening incoming travelers from Wuhan — including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago.

All operations were shut down at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport until further notice effective as of Thursday, January 23, 2020 at midnight Eastern Standard Time, which has forced 49 airlines to cancel flights to and from Wuhan; and the entire city of Wuhan is currently under lockdown.

Meanwhile, some airlines — such as Japan Airlines — have issued directives to members of cabin crews that they are required to wear masks when performing cabin service on select routes as a precautionary measure effective as of yesterday, Friday, January 24, 2020.

Investigations to learn more about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus are ongoing in this rapidly evolving situation.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to China over the next few months, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here are six airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in China:

  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Wuhan for Thursday, January 23, 2020 through Tuesday, March 31, 2020; and no exact date was given as the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Beijing and Shanghai for Friday, January 24, 2020 through Friday, January 31, 2020; and Saturday, February 29, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for Beijing and Shanghai for Friday, January 24, 2020 through Friday, January 31, 2020; and Saturday, February 29, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Wuhan for Wednesday, January 22, 2020 through Sunday, March 29, 2020; and no exact date was given as the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai for Friday, January 24, 2020 through Friday, February 7, 2020; and no exact date was given as the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Cathay Pacific Airways has temporarily suspended all flights to and from Wuhan for Friday, January 24, 2020 through Saturday, February 29, 2020; and Tuesday, March 31, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • All Nippon Airways has cancelled all flights from:
    • From Tokyo to Wuhan for Friday, January 24, 2020 through Friday, January 31, 2020; and no exact date was given as the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • From Wuhan to Tokyo for Saturday, January 25, 2020 through Saturday, February 1, 2020; and no exact date was given as the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Korean Air has canceled all flights to Wuhan for Friday, January 24, 2020 through Friday, January 31, 2020; and no exact date was given as the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Summary

Additional airlines may issue travel waivers as a result of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

Please refer to this article pertaining to whether you should be concerned about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which was written yesterday, Friday, January 24, 2020 here at The Gate — for additional details and information.

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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