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Travelers concerned during coronavirus outbreak

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Spring break is right around the corner. But instead of being excited, the coronavirus has many folks struggling with their travel plans.

Travel enthusiast Dana Rebmann says travel right now is a very personal decision. I think it really comes down to your comfort zone.

People are understandably worried. And many now find themselves stuck in a situation where they booked travel a long time ago and are now struggling to make the decision whether to go or to stay home.

Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer. Things are changing on a daily basis. But so is the travel industry.

Airlines

Airlines are changing policies in ways we’ve really never seen before. In many instances, the major carriers are waiving the change and cancellation fees. If you have to cancel, some airlines are offering travel credits that can be used at another time. It varies from one airline to the next, so if you’re booking or thinking about booking travel right now, you need to do your homework and you need to pay close attention if and when you buy.

If you’re booking travel right now, it’s a good idea to have everything in writing. Have documentation showing what the policies are the day you purchase. So many things are changing from day to day. It’s just a good idea if you wind up needing to make changes or cancel.

So many of us turn to the internet these days when it’s time to book travel because it’s gotten so easy to do, but a good travel agent or travel advisor can help you sort through all of the options and make the best choice. They also have relationships with travel providers and maybe more pull.

Sanitizing On-Board

I had four domestic flights last week. And, I noticed changes like tissues, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes at gate counters. On a couple of the planes, that clean smell, the one that I’ve always associated with a medical facility, was strong.

I spend a pretty good amount of time on planes, so I have a personal routine. I’ve always had a thing about the tray table being clean, because I’m typically working on my laptop during flights, but I’m certainly paying more attention to everything now.

When I get to my seat I use disinfecting wipes to wipe things down, like the armrests, the metal parts of the seatbelt, the tray table, the screen. I typically don’t use the seatback pocket because I don’t want to forget something.

And I would still say, I got some funny looks from folks sitting around me, watching what I was doing. I also carry hand moisturizer in my travel bag, because I wash my hands so much.

What about travel insurance?

Travel insurance is really designed to assist when unexpected events occur. So if you’re thinking about a plan that’s going to cover Coronavirus, you want to learn about “Cancel For Any Reason” plans. They’re typically optional add-ons and will cost you more. Every policy is different, so just like booking plane tickets, you need to do your homework.

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