COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Flight Information and Travel Updates

The pandemic

The pandemic known as COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is uncharted territory. Theaters and bars have closed, people work from home, airports are nearly empty. Does this mean the end of vacations and long weekend getaways? Not necessarily, not if you don’t mind waiting to fly. Check out the following important flight information and travel updates, so you’ll be all set when the time is right for take-off.

Big decision: When to travel?

The only way to answer that question is by doing some research. Start by consulting trusted health and travel authorities, and here are some links that can help you make smart decisions.

Airline and Airport Updates

  • Change fee waivers: U.S. airlines and many other carriers around the world are allowing passengers to book flights or cancel existing itineraries without charging expensive change fees (up to $200 per ticker). See the list here. We are not yet aware of airlines offering refunds except to those who bought refundable fares.
  • Airport security: According to the TSA, travelers can now bring a large bottle of liquid hand-sanitizer up to 12 ounces through security checkpoints (other liquids are still limited to 3.4 ounces). Also, if you use a driver’s license for your checkpoint ID but it recently expired and your Department of Motor Vehicles is shut down, the TSA will let you through with the old ID.

Booking Tips

Consider delaying travel: There are many good deals for travel in October, November and December, but make sure airlines are flying to your destination when you want to go. In a memo dated 3-18-2020, Delta’s CEO said his airline is cutting capacity significantly and so are many other carriers. Check your airline’s website for coronavirus information (they all have sections on this) and look for notices about discontinued flights. Other things you can do:

  • Plan something special: Many of us now have time at home (whether we like it or not); if you like, use it to plan a trip down the road. The research can actually be fun; check out your favorite travel writers and consult fellow adventurers. TIP: Don’t miss your destination’s visitors site (search, Official Tourism Denver, for example); these sites feature top attractions, local favorites plus where to dine and shop. Some tourist sites even offer money-saving coupons.
  • Set up fare alerts: Many sites have alerts but try FareCompare’s; we call them ‘anytime alerts’ which let you know whenever the price for your trip goes down.
  • Fly non-stops: Fewer flights may mean fewer chances to get infected.
  • Use wipes: If you do fly, take hand-sanitizing wipes from your carry-on and use them on your tray table, armrests, seatbelt and lavatory doors. Use them in the airport too, and keep washing your hands.

Road Trip Time: Rent a Car

As long as you are allowed to be out of the house (beyond shopping for essentials, for example), a driving vacation could be a perfect solution to wanderlust. A couple of suggestions.

  • NOTE: Some car rental agencies have closed offices in certain cities (or certain neighborhoods); check to see cars are in fact available where you need to rent one.
  • Compare: Look at all car rental prices, just as you do with airfare; at FareCompare, we have car rental cost comparisons so you know you’re getting the best deal.
  • Insurance: Always check to see what your insurance will cover on a rental and what it won’t.
  • Where to drive: The National Park Service has an easy way to look up parks and monuments all across the country. Important!Check with individual parks (here’s a list by state) before you go, to see if the one you want to visit remains open – and is not mobbed by visitors so you can practice “social distancing” – and what the hours are.

This page will be updated as more information becomes available, so please keep checking back for new tips and resources.

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