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Friday, December 4, 2009 - 4:47am

Changing Flight Plans Due to Illness Can Be Costly

Updated: 5 years ago.
Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta houses a CDC quarantine area for passengers with swine flu. (photo courtesy of Wikimedia)

People with flu like symptoms should not be on airplanes. That's according to federal health officials. But taking that advice could be costly.

New guidelines from the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say people with fever or other flu-like symptoms should avoid flying for at least 24 hours after the symptoms subside.

The CDC also advises airlines to prevent sick people, including crew members, from boarding flights.

But changing your flight because of illness will cost money.

Delta and United passengers with non-refundable discounted coach tickets pay $150 dollars. However, the airlines will waive the fee if passengers have a doctor’s note. That’s true of most airlines, though they all have differing policies.

For instance, American Airlines will only waive the charge if passengers are denied access to board.

Airtran will waive the fee only for a documented case of the swine flu.

In general, full-fare tickets are refundable and don’t carry fees if the itinerary changes.

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