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Is my flight cancelled? Do I get a refund for cancelled flights? Is it safe to fly despite the coronavirus? Should I wear a mask on the plane? Currently, many people are asking themselves what effect the Coronavirus has on booked flights. We answer the most important questions.
PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME OF THE INFORMATION IN THIS ARTICLE IS OUT OF DATE. PLEASE CHECK WITH THE OFFICIAL AUTHORITIES.
Last update: 02 April | 11:42
Is my flight cancelled?
Many Airlines are cancelling flights. Whether your flight will also be cancelled depends on which airline is operating the flight. Please check the respective websites of the airlines.
What applies to flights booked through Pro Sky?
If a flight booked through Pro Sky is cancelled, we will inform you as soon as we receive notification. Please note that it also depends on whether you have booked a charter or scheduled flight with regard to cancellation conditions etc.
WILL I BE FULLY REIMBURSED OR DO I HAVE TO PAY FEES?
According to EU Regulation 261, no exceptional circumstances may be the reason for flight cancellation in order to be entitled to compensation. However, the spread of the coronavirus and corresponding safety precautions can be considered as such, airlines are therefore not liable for cancelled flights.
An exception can be made if the airline cancels the flights without acute threat, i.e. if the departure and destination airports are not affected. "In this scenario, an airline that chooses to cancel flights because of the outbreak will not be covered by most policies, and the burden of compensating travellers for their losses would fall on the airline," an expert from Squaremouth travel insurance told Fox News.
And what about your own travel insurance? "Under a standard travel insurance policy, a break-out at a destination is not a covered reason for cancelling a trip. Similarly, fear of travel is not covered under any circumstances," Squaremouth told Fox News.
What applies to flights booked through Pro Sky?
Without official cancellation by the airline itself, Pro Sky generally cannot cancel flights booked without incurring charges. However, this depends on the respective airline. For example, Luxair informed us on request that all flights to destinations classified as risky by the World Health Organisation can be cancelled if the flights take place before 8 March.
Other airlines now also offer free cancellation or rebooking if there is a travel warning from the public authorities. The Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Air Dolomiti), for example, offers the possibility of rebooking tickets (issued before 26 February 2020) to Milan, Bologna, Turin, Verona, Venice, Trieste and Genoa free of charge.
IN WHICH COUNTRY IS THERE A RISK?
The Robert Koch Institute identifies the following risk areas:
- Egypt: whole country
- France: whole country
- Iran: whole country
- Italy: whole country
- Austria: whole country
- Switzerland: Cantons of Ticino, Vaud and Geneva
- Spain: whole country
- South Korea: Daegue and Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
- USA: States of California, Washington, New York and New Jersey
WHAT ARE THE TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS?
The International Air Transport Association lists current travel restrictions related to the coronavirus.
IS IT SAFE TO FLY DESPITE THE CORONAVIRUS?
"It is likely that the corona viruses are mainly transmitted via droplet and contact infection - i.e. by direct coughing or physical contact with a sick person. Pure transmission via the air has not yet been proven," says the science magazine Quarks. According to Merkur, however, most particles would be caught anyway by the "High Efficiency Particulate Air" filters in the airplanes. The dry air on board also makes it difficult for the virus to spread. Nevertheless, precautionary measures should be taken (especially when staying in crowded rooms and crowds).
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM AN INFECTION?
The WHO and the Robert Koch Institute recommend vaccinations against influenza, whooping cough and pneumococcus. "This applies in particular to people from risk groups, i.e.: people over 60 years of age, pregnant women from the second trimester onwards, people with chronic diseases (such as cardiovascular diseases, lung diseases or diabetes), residents of old people's and nursing homes as well as people who are professionally at much higher risk of infection - for example medical staff," said Quarks.
All in all, the following precautionary measures, among others, can be taken:
- Get vaccinated (especially for high-risk groups)
- Wash hands regularly (at least 20 seconds with soap)
- No shaking hands
- Do not touch your face (especially the mucous membranes around the mouth, nose and eyes)
- Do not touch buttons, handholds in public transport/lifts with your finger
SHOULD I WEAR A RESPIRATOR MASK ON THE PLANE?
Masks should be worn so that others are not infected. However, most masks are not suitable for protecting yourself from infection. The FFP3 masks, for example, are an exception. However, these make breathing difficult and can lead to a false sense of security. Thus, one of the most important safety precautions is to comply with the hygiene rules (see above).
WHERE CAN I GET RELIABLE INFORMATION?