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Flying with the flu

  • Blog Post by:
  • January 19, 2010 - 10:42 AM

A Minneapolis mother recently found herself in a frustrating predicament when her 20-year-old son got sick before his flight home to Colorado. On the day he was supposed to board his flight, he had a fever of 101 degrees, a sore throat and aches. His mother thought it might be H1N1 flu so she called the airline to change the flight to another day. She was told it would be $150 to rebook plus the price difference between the flights.

“Everybody’s talking about public health,” she said to Whistleblower. “At the airport, they have guidelines not to fly. Their policies don’t encourage that.”
 
The mother paid more than $200 to rebook her son’s flight, but then she remembered that she had travel insurance which might cover part of her costs. She was thwarted again when the insurance company told her it needed a doctor’s signature on her claim form, which meant her son would need to go into the doctor’s office.
 
“The other recommendation I’ve been hearing is don’t go to the doctor,” she said. “All of these systems in place are encouraging consumers to do what you’re not supposed to do.”
 
This mother isn't the only one who's concerned about germs spreading in the closed confines of an airplane. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that passengers with an influenza-like illness do not fly until at least 24 hours after their fever has dissipated. Click here to read the CDC's H1N1 tips.
 
What would you have done if you were in this mother’s position? Should airlines make it easier for sick people to reschedule?

 

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