SPECIAL REPORT: The Swine Flu & the 2009 Travel Season

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I’m getting feedback from a lot of parents concerned about the swine flu and traveling this holiday season. While the airlines do not have a specific statement on the H1N1 virus, they are taking note of how the so-called pandemic plays out. No airline wants to be the carrier (literally!) of those sick people flying hub to hub. Remember, some experts claim the virus can be caught from 10 fee away!

With this in mind, Here’s what I’m suggesting to travelers:

  1. First, be sure to check the CDC’s webpage,  www.cdc.gov/swineflu, for updated information on the virus as it pertains to travel. Parents might want to take the added measure of calling the airline directly to see if rules and regulations have changed as well.
  2. Consider investing in travel insurance, or buying the refundable ticket. Every authority (FAA, CDC, etc.) will suggest you do not fly if you are sick, or eliciting flu-like symptoms.
  3. If you’ve already purchased your ticket and do come down with a flu, swine or any other strain, talk to the airlines. They don’t want you flying either. A doctor’s note might be all you need to waive any change fee they attempt to charge.
  4. Know this: if you decided to try flying despite your outwardly apparent flu-like symptoms, airlines reserve the right to kick you off the flight, sighting health concerns. They can do it right then and there. In this case, please refer to advice #2 & 3!

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