As the CEO of the leading dental clinic in Costa Rica, we have been working with our patients to help reschedule their flights to Costa Rica until after the COVID-19 virus fears have quelled. I’m happy to share this information with all travelers planning to visit Costa Rica in the near future.
If you booked your travel to Costa Rica for March or April 2020 and would like to reschedule your travel, now is a good time to get started with rescheduling your flights. Some are reporting concerns regarding airline refunds and rescheduling fees. Below are updates and general policies regarding airline cancellations and refunds.
Travelers should know their rights amid coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns
If you are unsure about your travel plans or are wondering what to do if your flight is impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is important to know your rights.
Airlines have cancelled hundreds of flights since this public health crisis emerged. The coronavirus outbreak has upended every aspect of our lives and has understandably caused consumers to hesitate before continuing with their air travel plans. The good news is that many airlines have reduced their fares for May and June 2020.
Travelers should be aware of the following before making any changes to their plans:
- If an airline has canceled a flight, a passenger is typically entitled to a refund from the airline regardless of whether they will be booking a new flight.
- A passenger is entitled to a refund if an airline makes a significant schedule change and/or significantly delays a flight and the passenger chooses not to travel.
- A passenger is entitled to a refund if they paid a fee for an optional service but were unable to use the service due to flight cancellation, delay, schedule change or situation where they were involuntarily denied boarding.
- When a flight is not canceled but a passenger chooses not to board, a passenger who purchased a fully refundable ticket is generally entitled to a refund when they do not use the purchased ticket to complete their travel.
- When a flight is not canceled but a passenger chooses not to board, a passenger who purchased a non-refundable ticket is generally not entitled to a refund unless the airline makes a promise to provide a refund.
- When a flight is canceled, a passenger who incurs incidental expenses such as a rental car, hotel room or meal due to a significantly delayed or canceled flight is not entitled to a refund for the incidental expenses.
If a passenger purchased their ticket through an online travel agency or other agents, they should contact the travel agent directly to obtain a refund before contacting the airline.
If you do not receive a refund from an airline, travel agency or other entity to which you believe you are entitled, you may file a complaint with the company.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, many airlines are allowing travelers to cancel flights and receive a full refund. Most airlines are also allowing travelers to reschedule flights with no additional fees. Travelers are advised to contact their airline directly to get any refunds or to reschedule their flights.
The national borders of Costa Rica will be closed to arriving tourists until at least April 13, 2020. Travelers are encouraged to reschedule their flights to arrive after April 13, 2020.
— Patrick Goodness, CEO, Goodness Dental
This story was sponsored by Goodness Dental.