WHEN IS IT INDISPENSABLE AND HOW TO AVOID EXCESSIVE COSTS ?
Some unexpected events sometimes happen, like falling sick just before going on holidays for example. In such a case, you need to postpone or to cancel your travel and of course, you expect to be refunded what you already paid for your flight, or to have it re-scheduled. But be aware that this is not always possible, and that you may even have to pay expensive change or cancellation fees, as a simple sickness is not considered by airline companies as a case of force majeure. Though some companies remain quite indulgent regarding this kind of situation, some others will require you to pay the fees in totality. Here are some tips to avoid loosing too much money…
IN WHAT CASES SHOULD YOU CANCEL OR POSTPONE A FLIGHT ?
Some serious medical issues will force you to cancel or to postpone your holidays, and could be considered by your airline company as valid reasons to exempt you from cancellation or change fees. The following situations can be quoted :
- If you are over 36 weeks of pregnancy.
- If you expect twins.
- If you gave birth in the last 48 hours.
- If you have recently undergone surgery of the stomach, the brain, the eyes or the feet.
- If you have recently been victim of a heart attack.
- If you suddenly suffer from an acute fever, severe diarrhea or cough.
- If you suffer from severe respiratory or cardiac chronic diseases.
- If you are affected by a serious contagious disease or a severe infection.
- If you are victim of sickle-cell disease or psychotic disorders.
BE SURE TO HAVE A MEDICAL CERTIFICATE
If you fall sick a few days before traveling and you still have a fever on the day of your departure, it is better to postpone your flight, for your own sake and for the safety of the other passengers. Indeed, the fatigue and the stress of the flight could worsen your health status, and if you are still contagious, you may contaminate other people on board. The only qualified person to decide if you can actually travel or not is your doctor. If your practitioner decides that you are too sick to travel, ask him/her to provide you a medical certificate attesting of your health condition. This document can be useful to ask for a discount on your change or cancellation fees. Although most of the companies don’t normally practice this kind of discounts, if you are persuasive enough and you prove that your sickness is incompatible with your flight, the customer service may be more conciliatory with you. It is better to contact your airline company as soon as possible, and to announce them your impossibility to fly with politeness and courtesy.
DON’T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE A TRAVEL INSURANCE
To avoid unpleasant surprises and stressful situations, it is safer to subscribe a travel insurance. If you have such a type of insurance, the change and cancellation fees won’t be at your charge if you postpone or cancel your flight for valid medical reasons. Travel agencies and booking websites usually suggest you travel insurances when you purchase your flight. However, you should always check what is included in the insurance contract, and be careful of the exclusion clauses. Keep in mind that to benefit from the full refund of your flight with no additional fees, you must follow the terms and conditions of the contract to the letter.