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Thinking about canceling your trip over coronavirus concerns? Here are your options

Posted at 5:07 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 17:32:14-05

TAMPA, Fla. — As busy as Tampa International Airport is right now, concerns over the coronavirus are real.

I’m a little nervous… not gonna lie,” said Rachel Tondo, a student at the University of Tampa.

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Several travelers were spotted with face masks and one man even had on gloves. Tondo says it’s not enough to halt her spring break trip to Pittsburg.

I planned it honestly before anything is really going around,” she said.

Stephen Anthony is about to head home. He says the masks are a bit alarming to see.

“Some other airports I’ve seen more widespread use of masks, but here maybe not so much,” he said. “But, I would say yeah it has contributed a little bit to my unease but not enough to prevent travel.”

“It really comes down to you how much is your fear worth?” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesperson for AAA.

It’s the golden question he says some people are taking advantage of.

“You’ve got people who are concerned and asking questions,” he said. “And then you’ve got people who are capitalizing on this. They are calling and making travel plans because they are seeing savings.”

But if you are truly worried about getting on a plane or taking a cruise...

“They’re canceling cancellation fees, they’re allowing people to re-book at a later date and avoiding those fees,” he said, about travel providers. “So there are a lot of options and a lot of things are changing here every single day.”

Delta, for example, is allowing passengers who booked a flight on or after March 1 the chance to change their travel dates for free. They must re-book by February 2021.

American Airlines is doing that too, but those plans must be booked by April 2020.

A lot of major cruise ship companies are doing the same.

“If you have a trip that’s leaving in the next month your options could be completely different from those who have a trip later this year,” Jenkins said.

Bottom line, he says, you should either contact your travel agent or travel provider to go over the fine print.