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I have paid tickets booked on United to Mexico in February – unfortunately, the Zika virus is now there and my (newly) pregnant wife and I are unwilling to chance it. I called United to see if they would waive the cancellation fees and they said no waiver has been issued yet.
Any thoughts on how to proceed? We would like to either cancel or reschedule to go somewhere else.
Sam–you’ll likely have to keep checking the travel advisories to see if United makes an exception to be officially allowed to change without fees. Unless this develops into a full blown epidemic this is unlikely. You could just cancel and then write to United to make an exception for fees and request a refund with documentation but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Sam, Mommy Points just had a post about this today. Maybe some of the links will be helpful. One link was to the forum area on elliott.org where someone was having the same issue. Maybe there are some suggestions there:
[USER=184]@MidSouth Skier[/USER] Good information here. I hadn’t even heard about the virus before today!
I’ve been thinking about this today as well, and reached out to some doctor friends (waiting to hear back from them).
It seems to me, that if there’s a medical issue as to why she can’t go to X destination, and has a specific medical claim, they might waive cancelation fees. Airlines due this if you break a leg or are otherwise hospitalized, it’s just a process to get the paperwork done.
Hi Sam, Well the CDC has issued a travel advisory. For right now, it’s only a Level 2 “Practice Enhanced Precaution” and not a Level 3 “Avoid Nonessential Travel”.
Hopefully that will help United waive your cancellation fee. There is a specific warning for pregnant women in that advisory. Maybe a note from your wife’s OB/GYN would also help.
I myself am going to Cancun/Playa del Carmen in mid-February and will be bringing along the insect repellant wipes [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] mentioned in her Thailand trip report introduction. Thanks Tiffany!
Sam: Well United just announced they will start issuing waivers and refunds:
I’m speculating that other airlines might soon follow. The first US case was reported today in Arkansas.
[USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] [USER=4]@Lucky[/USER] might be newsworthy enough to share on the blog?