Right now, airlines are going all-out to persuade passengers to get back in the air. Many have dramatically slashed prices. Several others have made expanded cleaning regimes and ‘HEPA filters’ cornerstones of their marketing campaigns.
Now Virgin Atlantic is offering free coronavirus insurance on all existing and new bookings – including £500,000 ($657,000, A$913,000) in medical expenses if a passenger is diagnosed with the virus during their travels. It will also cover expenses of up to £3,000 ($3,900, A$5,500), if you are denied boarding or required to quarantine because you have, or are suspected of having, Covid-19.
If you do fall ill while on holiday, the medical cover can go towards emergency treatment costs, as well as associated expenses such as transport, accommodation and repatriation. The policy is automatically valid on all flights until March 31 next year, and comes at no extra cost to passengers.
Earlier this month, Dubai-based carrier Emirates also said it would cover medical expenses of €150,000 (£135,000, $177,000 or A$247,000) and quarantine costs of up to €100 (£90, $118 or A$165) per day for 14 days for all passengers who are diagnosed with Covid-19 during their break.
The cover will apply to anyone flying on any Emirates flight until October 31, and is valid for 31 days from the first leg of a passenger’s journey. Even if you leave your Emirates destination and travel on to other places, you will still be covered by the policy, which comes at no extra cost.
Customers don’t even need to register or fill in any forms to be valid: anyone with an Emirates flight booked over the next three months will be covered. And if you are diagnosed with Covid-19 while on holiday, all you have to do is ring this dedicated hotline to let the airline know, then go from there.
Touch wood that doesn’t happen, of course, but with adequate travel insurance policies increasingly hard to come by, it’s comforting to know you have some financial back-up if worst does come to worst.
Remember, many countries are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about travelling.