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British Airways waives booking change fee as airlines cancel flights over coronavirus

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03/03/2020
British Airways has launched a new policy allowing customers to delay travel as coronavirus fears spread, while other airlines have cancelled or reduced flights to at-risk areas.

Under the British Airways ‘book with confidence’ policy, anyone booking a flight, flight plus hotel (except for non-changeable hotels) and flight plus car package from today until Monday 16 March will be able to change their travel plans.

BA will waive its usual change fee for all new bookings on any route and any cabin, though if the new fight costs more, you’ll have to pay the difference.

The airline said it wants to give customers greater flexibility during these uncertain times so they can delay travel and re-book to any date in the next 12 months.

The policy is automatically applied so there’s no need for customers to opt in and travel plans can be changed up to 48 hours before departure.

Coronavirus impact on airlines

BA said it is monitoring the situation in northern Italy and has cancelled some but not all flights to the region. People who have booked travel between London and Milan (Linate and Malpensa), Turin, Bologna, Venice, Bergamo and Verona up to 15 March can rebook to a later travel date up to 3 April 2020.

If your flight has been cancelled, don’t go to the airport. See the BA rebook and refund hub page for more information.

Anyone who has been in mainland China in the 14 days prior to travel to the US is asked to call 0800 727 800 to discuss your options. The US government won’t permit entry in this scenario to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

BA continues its cancellation of flights to and from Beijing and Shanghai until 17 April 2020.

Ryanair

The budget airline said it has been forced to cancel up to 25% of all Italian short-haul flights from 17 March to 8 April.

All impacted customers have been notified by email and SMS and given the option to request a refund, rebook or re-route their journey.

easyJet

The airline said flights are operating as normal to Italy and standard terms and conditions on tickets continue to apply.

However, individual countries have imposed travel restrictions so customers should check first. As an example, flights between Italy and Jordan have been impacted as the government is preventing non-Jordanian passengers who have visited Italy, China, South Korea and Iran in the last 14 days from entering the country.

Further, only Israeli nationals or residents in possession of an Israeli passport/identity card or residence permit are allowed to travel on flights from Italy to Israel. Anyone without these documents will be stopped at the departure airport. easyJet said customers can request a refund or can transfer flights to a later date departing from 16 March. Customers won’t be charged a change fee but if the flight is more expensive, you will have to pay the difference.

Norwegian Air

The airline said standard ticket conditions continue to apply and it is following advice from the World Health Organisation and immigration authorities of the destinations it flies to. Flights are currently operating as normal to Italy.

Flybe

Those booked to travel on flights between Birmingham and Milan Malpensa can rebook the flight on the same route for any future date, providing that seats are still available at the same price originally paid.

If you want to choose an alternate flight, Flybe will waive any change fee for the booking, however you will have to pay any change in fare (if higher than your original fare).

Alternatively, if you’re unsure of your future travel dates, Flybe will offer a voucher to the full value of your booking valid for 12 months from the date of issue.

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