Airlines change refund policies amid Zika outbreak

Airlines change refund policies amid Zika outbreak
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Several airlines are adjusting their travel policies to allow refunds for travel booked to areas affected by the Zika virus.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an unprecedented travel warning earlier this week, warning pregnant women and their partners to avoid the parts of Miami where mosquitoes are believed to be actively spreading the virus.

Florida announced Monday that the number of mosquito-borne Zika cases had risen to 14 over the weekend.

A number of airlines have changed how passengers can alter their travel plans in light of the travel warnings.

American Airlines says pregnant customers and their companions traveling to a destination in Latin America or the Caribbean affected by the virus can request a refund for tickets purchased on or before March 31, as long as they provide a doctor's note confirming the pregnancy.

JetBlue has instituted a similar refund policy for Zika-affected regions but said travel must have been booked on or before August 1 in order to qualify.

Both Delta and Spirit Airlines encouraged passengers traveling to a country that has been impacted by the virus to contact the air carrier directly.

Southwest already has a lenient refund policy that allows customers to adjust their travel itineraries without penalty, as long as it’s done at least 10 minutes before a flight’s scheduled departure.
 
But the company also posted a “Zika virus travel alert” section on its website, providing details about the disease and linking to the CDC travel warning page.