Travel Ban Due to COVID-19 Leads to Many Changes For Passengers and Airlines

Caroline Glus and Lauren Cribbs

The US State Department last week raised global travel advisory to a Level 4, recommending United States citizens not to travel to any other country because of the global effects of the outbreak. This is the agency’s highest advisory.

As the Covid-19 situation continues, the ability to provide assistance for those in foreign countries to return to the states has become much more difficult.  According to the US Department of State, working with commercial airlines or arranging for evacuation flights may become limited or even unavailable. 

According to the New York Times, in recent weeks, commercial airlines have significantly reduced flight schedules for non essential travel and countries have closed airports and borders with little advance notice. 

American Airlines has announced a 75 percent reduction in international flights starting on March 16 to May 6, according to Travel and Leisure. American is also waiving change fees until Sept. 30 and allowing customers to reschedule a trip until Dec. 31, 2021 due to COVID-19.

Additionally, Travel and Leisure also states, United Airlines has cut 90 percent of its scheduled flights due to a drop in demand. This follows several bans affecting travel around the world, including an announcement from the European Union that it would temporarily ban non-essential travel, as well as a U.S. ban on travel from Europe.

It has not been officially released by the Department of State when the borders to Europe and domesticated travel will be encouraged.