Airlines ask travelers to hold off on calling - unless it's urgent
As coronavirus-related chaos continues to escalate, airlines are scrambling to respond to an unsurprising influx of customer inquiries.
On March 12, President Trump announced a ban on travel from some European countries in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus. As of March 13, most foreigners who have visited a Schengen Area country in the past 14 days will not be allowed to enter the United States, joining the existing restrictions on those traveling from Iran and mainland China.
Further reading: Everything you need to know about the US European travel ban
The State Department also issued a Global Heath Advisory of Level 3: Reconsider Travel. In the advisory, it warned, “The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19. Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions. Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.”
As a result, worried travelers are flooding airline help lines to cancel or reschedule upcoming trips. In an e-mail sent out by Delta, the airline is asking customers who are not traveling within the next 72-hours to refrain from calling. This way, Delta can prioritize customers with more urgent travel needs.
This is probably a good rule of thumb for all of the airlines during this hectic time. Be sure to read up on our tips for how to quickly reach an airline customer service agent.
Additionally, a good thing to know is that all of the major airline carriers are waiving change and cancellation fees to some extent. This can typically be done online, so double check that you can do it yourself before spending hours on the phone.