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What If I Start Feeling Ill Before Departure?  
User currently offlineRonglimeng From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 625 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4258 times:

I've read a few travel reports in the Trip Report Forum concerning passengers who are taken ill in the departure lounge. If I recall correctly, all of them seem to have got on their flights and then gradually improved as the flight progressed. But what if you start feeling really really sick in the hour or so leading up to boarding?

I usually fly on deep discounted tickets and I pretty well understand them to be valid only for a particular flight and a particular date and time. I mean, if it comes to wasting a $700 or $800 ticket, I will probably board the aircraft and tough it out. But I think it would be better for the surrounding passengers if I did not fly with them.

Surely by travelling all the way to the airport and going through ticketing and security, I've indicated my intention to fly and that I'm not trying to pull a fast one.

Does the check-in staff have any discretion about re-booking me on a later flight? What if I'm travelling with other family members? Does it very from airline to airline?

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4222 times:

So you are planning to get ill immediately before your flight is called for boarding?

Sorry, but this is not making sense....are you looking for a way to obtain a refund for your otherwise deeply discounted nonrefundable ticket?


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30904 posts, RR: 87
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4202 times:
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You would probably be at the mercy of the airline. Chances are they will accomodate you, but you will most likely incur whatever change fee is involved to re-schedule and you would probably need to re-schedule within a number of days.

I would say there is zero chance you would get a refund and a very low chance they would let you just take the credit and use it within 6-12 months.

And expect your "permanent record" to be noted so if you become ill again, you will likely be SOL since this would be a "one time exception".


User currently offline727Stretch From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 65 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4178 times:

When it comes to ill passengers, any airline would *much rather* have them not travel, to prevent a possible diversion - or worse - a passenger becoming seriously ill at 35,000 ft. with no medical staff to provide treatment. In my experience at UA, working as an airport supervisor, we would never deny a customer the opportunity to rebook their travel if they were sick enough that they could not fly. Typically we would rebook them without penalty for a future flight on the same routing, on flights that had the same booking code available (i.e. you are travelling on a super-discounted 'T' fare, you'd have to fly on flight(s) with the 'T' fare bucket available). Now, if you went up and asked to be rebooked for three months down the road, you probably wouldn't be able to do it. "Within reason" is the key here.

User currently offlineTrent1000 From Japan, joined Jan 2007, 561 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4114 times:

It depends what type of sickness you have. A high fever is a bad sign anytime. That could be influenza or something else highly contageous. A few years ago when SARS impacted the travel industry, passengers' body temperatures where checked before boarding. It's probably not a good idea to board if you're looking spotty either.

How long is the flight? Are you going abroad/interstate or going home? Do you think you'll infect others? Do you think you'll throw up and if so, not miss the bag or get to the toilet in time? Lots of variables.

If you feel genuinely ill, by all means tell the appropriate staff. You can see the benefits of booking tickets with flexible dates in cases like this.

Prevention is better than a cure: don't fly hungover, too soon after surgery or if you're off certain medication.
It is said that taking ginger before travel will settle your stomach. It is sometimes given to passengers before boat trips.
Happy HEALTHY flying!


User currently offlineRonglimeng From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4104 times:

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 1):
So you are planning to get ill immediately before your flight is called for boarding?

Sorry, but this is not making sense....are you looking for a way to obtain a refund for your otherwise deeply discounted nonrefundable ticket?

I'm sorry my question wasn't clear to you. I accept my responsibility to make my question understandable.

But do I detect some negative vibes from you just because I am an economy traveller? I would never "plan" on getting sick and I didn't mention anything about asking for a refund.

My question comes about after reading trip reports from Jafa39 and AirxLiban where they discuss the onset of illnesses in the hours leading up to their flights. I wondered what my own options would be in those cases.

I guess the response of 727Stretch is the one I am looking for. It makes sense to me but I'm not overwhelming reassured yet. It must be a daily dilemma for many budget air travellers. My guess is that they go and hope for the best.

I do buy travel insurance though with the trip interruption clauses. I guess that would help me out.


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