The Zika Virus is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that is related to dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses. As of recent news, Zika has been linked largely to be a threat to pregnant women.
Because of the spread of the disease in recent months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned both pregnant women and those planning on becoming pregnant against traveling to affected areas.
These include many of the most popular Caribbean tourist destinations such as Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands and Barbados as well as areas in Latin American countries like Mexico, Brazil and Panama.
According to the New York Times, several airlines and cruise lines have followed the CDC’s warnings by offering resolutions to pregnant travelers.
- United Airlines: Any customer who purchased flights to one of the C.D.C.’s affected regions can postpone their trips or receive full refunds.
- American Airlines: Pregnant women who purchased tickets to Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa, Guatemala City, San Pedro Sula in Honduras, or San Salvador in El Salvador can get a refund if they show a note from a doctor who deems them unfit to travel.
- JetBlue: Customers who are concerned about traveling to an affected area can opt for a refund or rebooking.
- Virgin America: Any customer who purchased tickets to one of the airline’s destinations in Mexico can get a refund or postpone/change their flight for free.
- Princess Cruises: Pregnant customers who booked cruises that visit any of the affected countries can cancel their trip and get credit towards a future cruise.
- Norwegian: Pregnant customers who previously booked a cruise to one of the affected countries reschedule their cruise or change their trip to an itinerary without any affected country.
- Royal Caribbean: Pregnant customers who previously booked a cruise to one of the affected countries can get credit towards a future cruise in the next two years or change their trip to a different itinerary.
With so many airlines and cruise lines reacting to the CDC’s warning to pregnant women traveling, it will be important to pay attention to how Zika will affect the U.S. travel industry in future months. You can read more about the industry reacting to the virus in the article “How the Zika Virus is Affecting Travel” by The New York Times.
To stay safe and aware of the Zika virus, visit the CDC website to learn more about Zika and pregnancy.