Airlines allowing passengers to cancel flights to Dominican Republic without penalties

Airlines allowing passengers to cancel flights to Dominican Republic without penalties
© Greg Nash

Three airlines are allowing passengers to cancel some flights to the Dominican Republic and change them to other destinations without fees after several American tourists died in the country.

A Delta spokesperson told ABC News that the company's policy would temporarily change following the deaths of 10 known tourists at two resort locations on the island nation.

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"Delta will work with our customers on an individual basis using situational flexibility to adjust itineraries on flights," the spokesperson told ABC News, adding that customers flying in to Punta Cana, a popular tourist destination, would be eligible for the free flight changes.

A spokesperson for JetBlue released a lengthy statement noting that customers could receive credit for future JetBlue flights if they choose to cancel rather than rebook their flights to the country.

"The safety of our customers and crewmembers is our first priority. While JetBlue’s flights to the Dominican Republic are unaffected, we are working with the U.S. Embassy and local authorities to stay updated on developments," the airline said, according to ABC7.

"To support our customers, we are currently waiving change fees when rebooking flights to/from the Dominican Republic. For customers who wish to cancel their flights, we are waiving the cancellation fee and issuing a credit for future JetBlue travel," the statement continued.

A spokesperson for American Airlines told ABC that it was "working with customers on a case-by-case basis."

The FBI announced earlier this month that it had joined the investigation into the deaths of five American tourists in the country, telling reporters at the time that potentially poisoned hotel liquor was being examined by investigators.

Ten known U.S. tourists have died at Dominican Republic resorts or in medical facilities immediately following resort stays in the past year.

The sicknesses reportedly set in quickly and manifested as abdominal pain, nausea and sweating. Guests who reported illnesses described a "chemical smell" in their resort rooms, and authorities are investigating whether the illnesses were related to consuming liquor from the rooms' minibars.