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The Pros & Cons Of Purchasing Flights Now For Future Travel
If you are one of the millions of travelers who have been forced to cancel an upcoming trip due to the coronavirus, you may be wondering when it will be a good time to start making reservations again. Summer is traditionally the busiest travel season and yet restrictions, border closures, and stay at home orders are still in place for many destinations with no end in sight.
Although it may be a long time before the travel industry is back to normal, the current chaos in the industry has not deterred people’s desire to travel. With the increase in cheap flights and a population of people feeling antsy to be on the move, many of us are wondering if now is a good time to snag those deals for future travel. Here are a few of the pros and cons of purchasing those flights.
We are all seeing some incredibly cheap flights for the fall and winter seasons, making it hard to resist the temptation to buy now. Roundtrip $200 to Spain, $250 to Italy, and $500 to Israel from New York are just a small sampling of flight deals spurred by the novel coronavirus-inflicted pandemic that has some debating on whether or not to book fall flights. Many travel experts believe that the time to buy is now, while prices are low.
You can rest assured that your flight will be clearer than ever. Physical cleaning procedures changed after the onset of coronavirus and new methods were introduced including “fogging,” where electrically charged disinfectants are sprayed throughout the cabin to kill any lingering pathogens.
Most major airlines in the US and some abroad have adjusted or waived their change fees to provide some flexibility for travelers. You will still have to pay fare differences if you need to change your flight, but waived change fees do provide some peace of mind.
If there is one constant around this virus, it is uncertainty. Public health officials have said that life will not return to normal until a vaccine is produced, which is a 12-18-month long process, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Fall is just a few months away, and there is no telling if restrictions will be lifted by then or if you will feel comfortable traveling.
The pandemic has shown us that airlines are not always accommodating when it comes to refunds. Don’t expect to get your money back if you book today and have to cancel your flight entirely or the airline cancels your flight come fall or winter. Be prepared for this scenario if you decide to go ahead with your booking.
Your dream flight today could be canceled by the airlines if the flight is not full closer to your travel date. With future demand still uncertain, airlines are canceling flights on a rolling basis. Any subsequent non-refundable bookings should be held off for as long as possible to ensure ultimate flexibility.
Even if your home country has lifted travel restrictions, your destination country may not at the time of your travel. Numerous countries are going on lockdown and its uncertain when it will end or what restrictions will remain in place after they are lifted. There is also no telling if attractions in your destination country will be open to the public in time for your trip. If it’s unclear when they will reopen, you will need to be flexible with the possibility that travel and sightseeing may be limited.