2 coronavirus updates for anyone flying soon or trying to cancel flights

I don’t usually send out travel tips out on Sundays, but these are unprecedented times. I’m sure you’ve all seen the insane immigration lines at the screening 13 airports where passengers waited hours in cattle-like lines, which definitely didn’t follow today’s protocol of social distancing. If I was scheduled to fly home, I would probably wait a few days until they worked this chaos out. If you like these weekend tips, I may continue them even after we get through this crisis. For now, two things:

1. If you have to fly, TSA has made a change…
Per the TSA website, “TSA is allowing passengers to bring liquid hand sanitizer containers up to 12 ounces to be permitted in carry-on bags until further notice. Passengers can expect that these containers larger than the standard allowance of 3.4 ounces of liquids permitted through a checkpoint will need to be screened separately, which will add some time to their checkpoint screening experience. Please keep in mind that all other liquids, gels and aerosols brought to a checkpoint continue to be allowed at the limit of 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters carried in a one quart-size bag.”

2. If you’re trying to cancel a flight…
More importantly (as hopefully most people aren’t flying unless they truly have to), if you’re trying to cancel a flight and it’s not in the next couple of days, don’t call the airlines! They’re swamped right now with people scrambling to get home from Europe. Instead, wait a few days if you can. Many are even accepting cancelations online. American Airlines, for example, just posted this on its website: “Our phones are busy. We understand it’s frustrating to wait, but if you’re not traveling in the next 72 hours, please wait until closer to your trip to call. You can cancel your flight online now and call any time before December 31, 2020 to rebook. Please contact your travel agent for help if you didn’t book directly with us.”

Hawaiian Airlines shared a similar message in an email (also on its website): “Due to the high call volumes we’re experiencing, we ask that you please refrain from calling us unless you are traveling within the next 72 hours so that we may focus on guests with the most immediate travel needs. For guests who would like to only cancel their flights and are traveling between March 1-April 30, 2020, you may do so by completing” a form online at HawaiianAirlines.com.”

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8 Comments On "2 Coronavirus Updates for Anyone Flying Soon or Trying to Cancel Flights"
  1. Lynn Beck|

    Johnny–your travel updates have been so on point. Thanks for keeping us calm and knowledgeable in this difficult time.

    1. Johnny Jet
      Johnny Jet|

      Thank YOU!

  2. Mary G|

    Thanks Johnny for the AA info! I was dreading having to get through to them to rebook before the end of the month!

  3. LITWACK|

    Our trip with AMA Waterways Belgium & Netherlands Conference is scheduled for a sail date of 4/26/2020 # of Nights 7. Interesting enough is that AMA Waterways cancelled their trips currently to 4/25/2020. Do you think we’re at a risk for a financial lost (even though we have insurance) with Allianz because they see it as a Pandemic which would cancel our cancellation rights. Any suggestions on what we should do besides wait? Hope to hear back from you. Paniced Customers

  4. Bernadette O'Brien|

    Great info but we booked flights through cheap o air on Hawaiian airlines and each has directed us to the other for help. Any advise would be greatly appreciated

  5. Bill|

    I cancelled my AA ticket for JazzFest, which fell within their parameters (be careful) and it was a breeze. If I book another flight (to which I can apply my “voucher”…really an email with a ticket # on it, which you’ll need) before 3/31 I can cancel that one for free, too.

  6. Sheila Holland|

    Hello!
    Our high schools Spanish class was supposed to fly to Madrid Spain on March 17th when the tour company cancelled the trip on March 11th. Now the tour company is “checking” to see what we will be reimbursed after contacting the airlines, hotels and tour operators. They are noncommittal on refunding the $ 4300.00. Please help. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. THANK YOU!

    1. Johnny Jet
      Johnny Jet|

      I’m sorry for the late reply! I’m just seeing this now. It somehow got lost in my inbox to approve. I hope you were able to get your money back. If not, email me (johnny @ johnnyjet .com) and I will try and help.

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