British Airways Begins Allowing Coronavirus Flight Changes

British Airways is allowing passengers bound for Hong Kong and China to change their flight bookings. The travel waiver is in response to growing concern about the Wuhan Coronavirus.

British Airways, China, Coronavirus
British Airways is allowing China-bound passengers to alter and cancel bookings. Photo: British Airways

A number of airlines have been taking action following growing concern relating to the Coronavirus outbreak which started in Wuhan. This has ranged from cancelling and flights to offering free rebooking. Cathay Pacific has allowed its staff to use facemasks in order to add a barrier of protection against the disease.

Additionally, according to South China Morning Post reporter Danny Lee, the carrier is retiming flights to reduce overnight layovers in China. Now, the British flag carrier British Airways has joined the pool of airlines taking action against the virus.

What’s the latest?

The United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising against all travel to Hubei province in China. This is due to the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus in the Wuhan area. The respiratory disease has spread to other parts of China as well as Hong Kong. Additionally, cases have been detected in other regions of the world, including the US and Europe.

British Airways, China, Coronavirus
Precautions are being taken around the world to try and limit the spread of the virus. Photo: Getty Images

While British Airways doesn’t directly fly to Hubei province, it does fly to other parts of the Chinese mainland. These are Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing. The airline also flies to the special administrative region of Hong Kong.

British Airways is allowing passengers full control over their bookings if they are due to fly to either Hong Kong or the Chinese mainland until the 23rd of February. This date may be changed pending advice from a government or health organization.

What options do passengers have?

Effectively any passenger with a booking to or from Hong Kong, Beijing, Nanjing, or Shanghai between now and the 23rd of February may change or cancel their booking. This will be allowed without penalty regardless of the fare conditions.

British Airways, China, Coronavirus
Currently, only flights until the 23rd of February are included. Photo: British Airways

Passengers are allowed to rebook onto a different flight to their original destination. This must be in the same or lower class of travel. Meanwhile, they are also eligible to cancel their tickets for a full refund by contacting the airline or travel agent used to book the flight.

A British Airways spokesperson told Simple Flying,

“We fully understand that our customers may want to change their travel plans at this time and in order to be as flexible as possible while we await further advice from the Government and health organizations, we are offering any customers due to travel to or from China until February 23 the ability to receive a refund or rebook their flights to or from the country. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

Are you due to fly to China with British Airways or another carrier? Would you consider rebooking your flights? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!