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Cancellation of flights due to unrest or epidemic
30 Jan 2020 (38 views)

Dear Mr Tan,
I read a number of complains about a particular airline not willing to waive cancellation or rebooking penalties for people who want to defer or cancel their trip to Hong Kong (not China) in view of the current sentiments regarding the corona virus.

Many have accused the airline of putting profit above safety of its customers. Some have also cited reasons that HK has cancelled a number of tourist events and has closed Disney and Ocean Park.

I am puzzled why the airline would be asked to shoulder the full penalty/cost of the ticket cancellation through no fault of their own.

In the end the ones who might pay the price is the Airlines shareholders as well as their staff. Shouldn’t the traveler also shoulder some of the cost of his own safety? Perhaps a waiver of some of the cost of rebooking or cancellation rather than waiving all of it?

What is your view on this?

My reply:
The airlines expect their passengers to cover this risk through travel insurance. During this period, they are already suffering large losses due to the sharp drop in travel.

They are likely to stick to their contractual position and ask their passengers to bear the cost of change of flight or the loss of the entire fare.

I guess there are two sides of this coin. The passenger should take the risk or, if they are risk averse, buy insurance to cover this risk.



 


Cancellation of flights due to unrest or epidemic
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Dear Mr Tan,
I read a number of complains about a particular airline not willing to waive cancellation or rebooking penalties for people who want to defer or cancel their trip to Hong Kong (not China) in view of the current sentiments regarding the corona virus.

Many have accused the airline of putting profit above safety of its customers. Some have also cited reasons that HK has cancelled a number of tourist events and has closed Disney and Ocean Park.

I am puzzled why the airline would be asked to shoulder the full penalty/cost of the ticket cancellation through no fault of their own.

In the end the ones who might pay the price is the Airlines shareholders as well as their staff. Shouldn’t the traveler also shoulder some of the cost of his own safety? Perhaps a waiver of some of the cost of rebooking or cancellation rather than waiving all of it?

What is your view on this?

My reply:
The airlines expect their passengers to cover this risk through travel insurance. During this period, they are already suffering large losses due to the sharp drop in travel.

They are likely to stick to their contractual position and ask their passengers to bear the cost of change of flight or the loss of the entire fare.

I guess there are two sides of this coin. The passenger should take the risk or, if they are risk averse, buy insurance to cover this risk.