MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Amid the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Philippine authorities have suspended flights to and from Wuhan, China, where the virus was discovered
The virus, which can cause conditions ranging from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), spread through aerial droplets, specifically by sneezing and coughing. (‘Novel coronavirus’ or 2019 nCOV: What we know so far)
As of Monday, January 27, the Department of Health said, 11 cases of possible novel coronavirus nationwide are under investigation.
Airlines that service routes between Wuhan and cities in the Philippines have issued advisories on what passengers can do if their trips have been cancelled .
Aside from cancelling flights to and from Wuhan, China, AirAsia posted: “Certain destinations within AirAsia’s flight network have imposed travel bans for guests based on nationalities, cities of origin, travel history, or the purpose of travel due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Guests are recommended to check with respective governments or embassy offices prior to travel.”
AirAsia has enabled those with flights to or from destinations in mainland China to obtain credit account or full refund.
In the Philippines, these include flights to or from Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou.
For credit account, passengers may retain the fare value in their AirAsia BIG Loyalty account for future travel. This may be redeemed for booking within 90 calendar days from the issuance date. Actual travel dates may be after the expiry date.
This may be utilized by passengers with flights to or from mainland China until February 15, 2020, and ticketed before January 24, 2020.
For full refund of the booking amount, passengers could obtain it through their original payment method.
Passengers with flights to or from mainland China until February 15, 2020, and those with return flights from February 16-29, 2020, ticketed before January 24 may be able to avail themselves a full refund.
Refund requests may be made with the following:
- AVA at support.airasia.com. On the main menu categories, click “Refund” then “New Refund Request, then “AirAsia flights to/from Wuhan” for flights to or from Wuhan, or “China Voluntary Refund” for flights to or from other destinations on mainland China. Afterwards, one may follow instructions directed by AVA.
- For those who booked flights through travel agents, refund requests should be made through their respective travel agents as well.
On Thursday, January 30, Cebu Pacific announced that it would be reducing flights between the Philippine, mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau from February 5 to March 29.
Those with booked flights between the Philippines and Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Hong Kong, and Macau until February 29, 2020, have been offered alternatives, free of charge.
Passengers with canceled flights may avail of the following options:
- Rebook the flight (new flight date within 30 days of original travel date)
- Refund tickets in full
- Store the value of the ticket in a Travel fund for future use
They may choose any of these alternatives through the “Manage Booking” portal on the Cebu Pacific website, https://book.cebupacificair.com/Manage/Retrieve/.
However, those who booked these flights through online travel websites or travel agencies who wish to avail themselves of a full refund are advised to coordinate with their respective agents.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) passengers with flight tickets to or from Xiamen, Jinjiang, Canton, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Macau issued on or before January 24 may request for rebooking, rerouting, or refund with waiver of penalties until February 29, 2020.
Rebooking and rerouting will be allowed for travel until June 30, 2020, with penalties waived. Fare difference and applicable taxes will still apply.
Passengers with tickets purchased through travel agencies may contact their respective travel agents to avail themselves of any of these options.
Meanwhile, those who purchased tickets through the PAL’s website, contact center, or ticket offices may contact the hotline (+632) 8855-8888. – Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com