Travelers having difficulty canceling their flights due to coronavirus outbreak

The spread of COVID-19 cases put a halt to travel plans for many.

President Donald Trump announced this weekend that the United States will broaden its European travel ban, adding the United Kingdom and Ireland to its list.

“They’ve had a little bit of activity unfortunately, so we’re going to be looking to that,” said Trump at a press conference Saturday. “We actually already looked to that and that is going to be announced.”

This past week, Delta Airlines suspended all its flights to continental Europe for at least the next month, and they joined the list of major airlines offering free changes and cancellations on eligible flights.

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Customers are trying to change their plans and running into roadblocks.

5 Eyewitness News tried calling Delta Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines and travel booking website ”Expedia” to check on the cancellation process. Saturday afternoon, 5 Eyewitness News could not be connected to any agents from those companies, and in many cases, the lines automatically disconnected after the pre-recorded message was played.

At the Minneapolis-St Paul airport, travelers didn’t have better luck at "special services" lines, and agents had to step in to calm the crowds.

“There is no penalty for you,” said one Delta agent. “You don’t have to come out here to say, ‘I want to cancel my fare.’”

Delta Airlines policy:

"We realize customers have questions about the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In response, Delta will waive change fees for all flights booked between March 1-31 as well as international flights previously booked that are scheduled to fly in March.
This travel waiver allows customers to make a one-time change to their itinerary without incurring a fee. See more details on delta.com.
As concerns continue about COVID-19, we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety and welfare of customers.

Delta is in constant contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, the world’s foremost experts on communicable diseases, as well as health officials in the affected areas, and we are following their guidance.

We have adjusted our flight schedules to affected areas, are working with customers to adjust travel plans and are reviewing all safety practices. For updates, return daily to news.delta.com/coronavirus"

Spirit Airlines policy:

"We recognize the potential uncertainty regarding travel plans during this time and offer the following flexible travel policy.

Spirit Guests who must alter their travel plans due to COVID-19 are eligible to receive a reservation credit for the full value of their reservation.
This reservation credit can be used for up to 6 months to book any flight currently available (including beyond the 6-month timeframe), and it can be used towards flights as well as other options (excluding 3rd party products)."

Sun Country Airlines policy:

"While we do not fly to any destinations with an active travel advisory, we understand that flexible travel options are important for our guests with concerns about COVID-19.
That’s why at this time, we are waiving change fees for guests traveling through April 15, 2020.
To change or cancel an existing reservation, contact us at 651-905-2737 daily, 06:00am – 11:00 pm CST.
As always, guests traveling farther out than 60 days can change their reservation online at any time without a fee using My Trips."

American Airlines policy

"No change fee if you bought your ticket before March 1

If you’re traveling to/through/from: All cities served by American

The change fee is waived if you:
Booked an American Airlines flight
Bought your ticket on or before March 1, 2020
Are scheduled to travel March 1 – April 30, 2020

Can travel March 1 – December 31, 2020 or within 1 year of date the ticket was issued, whichever is earlier
Keep in mind, you may owe any difference in ticket price when you rebook your trip."

United Airlines policy

"We are committed to helping all of our customers with their travel plans.
If you are scheduled to travel between now and April 30 and would like to change your plans, there is no fee to do so.
You can cancel your flight for a future travel credit quickly on united.com or through the United mobile app – a phone call is not required.
To change or cancel your flight online, view your reservation, enter your trip details and select the appropriate option."