Should I stay or should I go? Travel in light of Coronavirus COVID-19- Part 2

By: Margaret E. Cooper, Margaret E. Cooper, LLC, mec@megcooperlaw.com

Coronavirus Stats as of the morning of 3/8/2020[1]:

# of cases: 107,722 COVID-19

# of deaths: 3,654

# of recoveries: 60,559

U.S. Deaths: 19

U.S. Confirmed Cases: 437

Fatality rate age (those more likely to contact and not recover from COVID-19): Those over 70 and/or those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, hypertension, those immunocompromised and those with cancer.

Airplane HEPA filter stats: (Airplane air is recirculated the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters.)

Ventilation rate: 20-30x/hr.

Efficiency rate: 99.97%

Amount of air recycled: 50%

Transmission:

“Transmission of infection may occur between passengers who are seated in the same area of an aircraft, usually as a result of the infected individual coughing or sneezing or by touch…”

“…This is no different from any other situation in which people are close to each other, such as on a train or bus or in a theatre.” – WHO website.

The question to ask yourself:

Do I want (myself or my family) to be strapped in a seat for a number of hours next to a potentially infected human?

IF YES:

Know this: Traveling by plane doesn’t necessarily increase the risk of contracting a communicable disease more than another kind of mass transit. If you are already taking mass-transit then your answer is yes. Also – your travel can always be rebooked at a later date!

Traveler Checklist:

Disinfect seating area,

Wash hands often,

Avoid touching your face,

Try to avoid people coughing and sneezing.

Bring all necessary documentation including health-insurance cards, hand sanitizer and additional doses of medication.

IF NO:

Refunds for flights (Updated):

United, Delta and JetBlue have waived the fees typically associated with changing or canceling one’s flight because of the coronavirus outbreak. Consumers must have booked directly with the carrier – not through a third-party website such as Expedia to take advantage of fee-cancellation policies.

There is little chance to get more than a refund of a ticket when/if the airline cancels your flight. The airlines’ contracts contain provisions that airlines do not have to compensate above the ticket price where a cancellation is based on something like Coronavirus or something out of their control.

WHO Website:

https://www.who.int/

CDC Website:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel


[1] Passy, Jacob. “Should I cancel my Flight? Will recirculated air on a plane spread coronavirus? Here’s what you need to know before traveling.” https://www.marketwatch.com/story/should-i-cancel-my-flight-will-recirculated-air-on-a-plane-spread-coronavirus-heres-what-you-need-to-know-before-traveling-2020-03-06?mod=article_inline. Accessed 8 March 2020.

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