Travel companies are introducing many new health and safety practices to help protect travelers, staff and locals as travel begins to resume.
Now, one airline has taken those measures one step further.
In a travel industry first, Emirates is covering its passengers for COVID-19 expenses.
For travelers longing to take to the skies again, the Dubai-based global airline’s commitment is designed to boost confidence.
It’s broad coverage, free of cost for Emirates customers from any country, flying to any destination in any class of travel- even economy class! The airline will cover COVID medical expenses up to 150,000 Euro (about $177,000 USD). Or if a passenger becomes COVID positive while traveling and is forced to quarantine away from home, Emirates covers 100 Euro a day of those costs for up to 14 days.
The coverage applies to Emirates passengers on flights up to October 31st 2020. Passengers are covered for 31 days from the date of the first leg of their journey, even if they go on to other cities following their arrival at their Emirates destination.
What’s more, you don’t have to apply for the coverage, fill out any forms – or even use the coverage if you don’t want to. The airline is providing a dedicated hotline for passengers to make inquiries, or to call if they are diagnosed.
The global-first coverage comes in addition to the health and safety measures the airline has adopted throughout its network of 60 world-wide destinations, including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes to all customers. And the flexible booking and cancelation policies that allow passengers to manage disruptions.
Emirates’ coverage doesn’t cancel out travel restrictions in destinations. Passengers still have to meet eligibility and entry requirements of their destinations to board Emirates flights.
Would COVID coverage influence your decision to travel?
The idea may be gaining steam. Just this week, two travel destinations have followed suit to offer domestic and international visitors COVID health insurance.
The Canary Islands, a group of Spanish islands in the Atlantic off the coast of North Africa, are not only a trans-Atlantic cruise port of call. The destination is popular for beach vacations among other Spaniards and British travelers. Other parts of Spain have been hit hard by COVID, and while the Canary Islands have had far fewer cases, they have suffered from plummeting numbers of travelers.
So the ministry of tourism has contracted with an insurance provider to offer Spanish and foreign visitors who are COVID-free before their trip coverage for all COVID related medical expenses, repatriation, and any necessary extension of their stay on the Islands due to the pandemic.
In a similar move, international visitors to Portugal can now purchase COVID insurance - both medical and coverage for expenses due to cancellation or a necessary extension of their stay.
As re-opening progresses, the travel industry continues to innovate to address travelers’ biggest concerns. Is offering insurance specifically for COVID going to be key for travel companies and travel destinations to welcome guests again?
Image courtesy Emirates
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