ronglimeng
Topic Author
Posts: 562
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:12 pm

What If I Start Feeling Ill Before Departure?

Mon May 28, 2007 7:12 am

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?
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: What If I Start Feeling Ill Before Departure?

Mon May 28, 2007 7:29 am

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 avatar
Stitch
Posts: 24630
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: What If I Start Feeling Ill Before Departure?

Mon May 28, 2007 7:35 am

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".
 
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727stretch
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 11:59 am

RE: What If I Start Feeling Ill Before Departure?

Mon May 28, 2007 7:41 am

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.
 
trent1000
Posts: 671
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:55 pm

RE: What If I Start Feeling Ill Before Departure?

Mon May 28, 2007 8:13 pm

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!
 
ronglimeng
Topic Author
Posts: 562
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:12 pm

RE: What If I Start Feeling Ill Before Departure?

Mon May 28, 2007 10:08 pm

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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