Since being declared a global pandemic in the beginning of March, Covid-19 has caused a lot of uncertainty. Multiple steps have been taken by governments around the world to reduce the spread of the virus, heavily impacting travel and businesses. In an effort to reduce concerns we have assembled a list of frequently asked questions, so although we don’t know what will happen next, we can advise on what we do know.
Please always check with your own company or your employer’s travel policy and crisis plan.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Will airlines refund any travel that has been disrupted or cancelled by the coronavirus?
A: There are lots of variables in this situation; it depends on the individual airlines and if your flight was cancelled or you chose not to travel. We recommend getting in contact with your company insurance provider to understand what level of coverage you have and what they are advising. You can then call or email your Travel Consultant for more details about your trip and the specific airline’s policy, if that has changed and what they advise.
We are limited to airline policy on all tickets, therefore we can only offer you free changes/cancelations and/or refunds if the airline has released a policy for us to do so.
Should you request a refund through our company, we will look at what the airline has stated and follow what they’ve approved. If necessary, we can reach out to the airline regarding your individual situation. We can advocate your case to the airline, but unfortunately, we are not able to offer anything that the airline isn’t offering.
For more information please visit our Airline Updates page where you can access individual airlines policy pages.
Q: I have an upcoming trip planned, should I cancel it?
A: Again, there are many factors to consider here. These include when your next trip is, where you are travelling to and of course what the situation will be like then. If you are not flying for another six months, you are better off waiting until a little closer to the time as the situation is changing daily.
If your trip is in the imminent future then whether or not you should travel is most likely out of your or our control. Recently travel bans have been put in place advising people not to travel and many flights have been cancelled. Our main recommendation is to follow the Government Advice for updates on your destination as well as advice about travelling outside the UK. You can also keep an eye on the entry allowances for each country via our travel restrictions page.
Q: Will airlines be doing anything to help prevent the spread of illness when we travel again?
A: Most airlines are already adhering WHO approved cleaning policies in place for each flight, including disinfecting and cleaning surfaces in between each flight. In addition, many airlines use HEPA filters for air filtration on flights, which remove 99.97% of bacteria in the air on planes. This means that airborne particles that spread viruses aren’t spreading around planes through the recycled air.
Additionally, many airlines are providing virus response kits and additional cleaning materials to crews flying through areas with higher risks and travel warnings.
Q: What measures have FCM Travel Solutions put in place to manage the ongoing situation?
A: Our clients are always our priority, and the current climate relating to COVID-19 doesn't change that. We continue to adapt and apply expertise and resource where it provides the most value during such challenging circumstances, but our exceptional standards will always apply when you partner with FCM.
Q: If I need to make changes or cancel an upcoming trip due to the evolving nature of the situation, what do I do?
A: Our Travel Consultants are still working and ready to help you with any requests. You can email or call your Travel Consultant and let them know if you want to reschedule or cancel your upcoming plans. If you have a trip that is in the next 24 hours and it is outside of our regular UK working hours you can reach out to our 24 hour emergency assistance team where a real person will be able to assist you.
Q: I am a travel booker for my company, I need to check what future travel is planned and who is travelling?
A: Get it touch! Your travel Travel Consultant will be able to pull a report to let you know what upcoming trips you have booked in. Who will be going where and when.
Alternatively you can view all bookings made for your registered travellers by accessing FCM Hub. Your travel programme manager will be able to view all bookings made through the platform.
Q: Is there anything I should do when we start travelling again?
A: It’s important to try and remain healthy and follow the below practices when travelling:
● Washing your hands.
● Keep hand sanitizer and wet wipes with you
● Eat well and get plenty of sleep
● Avoid travelling to areas with known outbreaks
We have compiled further advice and tips that you can read on our blog: How to fly safe and arrive well
*This information is up to date at the time of publication and is subject to change
Looking for more information?
With the Covid-19 situation constantly changing, our information page has links to airline policies, official advice, information on what you should do if you're concerned about upcoming trips, and resources to ensure your travellers' safety.
Need help with your business travel arrangements during this challenging time? Fill in the form below to get in touch. If you're a customer and need emergency support, please contact FCM's Emergency Assistance Team.