Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting travel plans world-wide. We have collected resources to better understand the current situation.
While we will aim to keep this information as current and accurate as possible, be aware that this is a dynamic situation with changes and new information coming in all the time. In an emergency and to get the most up-to-date information, we urge you to contact your airline, insurance provider, or a reputable source like the World Health Organization https://www.who.int/ or Smartraveller https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/COVID-19-australian-travellers.
What Is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
To best understand the coronavirus (COVID-19), refer to the World Health Organisation Coronavirus page.
The virus can cause fever, difficulty breathing, severe cough, and pneumonia, and is contracted from others who have the virus. The virus is spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which can come into direct contact with others, or can land on surfaces around the infected person. If another person touches those surfaces or comes into contact with droplets, and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth, they may also be infected. It is important to stay more than 1 metre away from a person who is sick.
Where is Coronavirus?
Currently, COVID-19 has been reported in more than 100 countries, and the situation is changing every day. Some countries, such as India, Iran and Italy have currently closed their borders, and recreational travel is not permitted either in or out of those countries. The United States has also just announced they will be cancelling all incoming flights from mainland Europe for the next few weeks.
Should I still Travel?
As per the current advice from the Australian government, all international travel is banned, and many countries borders have been closed to all travelers. Australians currently abroad are being urged to return as soon as possible. Anyone returning to Australia from any international destination will need to self-quarantine for 14 days. Cruise ships are not allowed to dock for a minimum of 30 days. The official travel advice now states 'We now advise all Australians not to travel at this time'. If travel is essential, you are urged to be aware of the current situation in your destination, as well as the possibility of travel disruptions. There may also be complications returning back to Australia. Check with your travel insurance company about how your specific policy covers the situation, including health cover and cancellation. Domestic travel is also being discouraged, with many state borders closing and some domestic flights being cancelled. Only essential travel is being advised for the near future.
Travel insurance generally doesn’t cover current and/or known events and COVID-19 has been deemed a known event as of January 21, 2020. That means that travel insurance purchased before that date may cover disruptions resulting from the virus, but coverage purchased after January 21 likely will not. However, some companies may partially cover cancellation or medical costs in the event, so it is best to check with them directly.
If you do decide to travel, please make sure you follow the proper precautions to minimise not only the chance of infection to yourself, but also to others. See the World Health Organisations recommendations
What are my Options?
Many airlines are offering fee-free date changes for customers who wish to reconsider their travel plans. In the case of full cancellations (such as flights to mainland China, Italy etc) airlines are offering full refunds, free date changes or credit for future travel.
Check directly with your airline to find out exactly what they are offering in your situation. See below for direct links to Airlines and their policies regarding the current situation.
- Air New Zealand
- American Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
- Singapore Airlines
- Tiger Air
- United Airlines
- Virgin Australia
Are the Deals Posted by I Know The Pilot Safe?
We will still be sending out deals, with a focus on travel late this year and early next year, when we hope the situation is under control. We will also be sending out more domestic deals. There are some great prices to be had at the moment, and lots of flexibility with fee-free date changes etc. We stopped posting deals to China months ago, and stopped posting deals to Italy/Iran/India etc well before the travel bans were put in place.
I don't feel like travelling, I would like to stop receiving Deals
You can pause your email subscription for 6 months by clicking the 'Unsubscribe' link at the bottom of any deal email and then choose 'I want to take a break from the emails due to Coronavirus'. If you are using the app tap the 'More' link at the bottom right and then unselect 'Receive Notifications'.