As the CDC and WHO are warning travellers to avoid all non-essential travel to try and curb the spread of the coronavirus, airlines are among those getting hit the most, which they are trying to bounce from by lowering their flight ticket prices.
So it is not at all surprising to see a deal that seems too good to be true. Flight ticket to Miami for $65, or the chance to visit Barcelona for less than $200 – round trip no less? Tempting! In addition, airlines are offering clients the option to re-book or cancel the flight for free, so they’re more comfortable purchasing the ticket. Normally, you would have had to pay a fee to re-book or cancel.
If you have ever bought an airline ticket, you probably have noticed just how much prices tend to fluctuate. Usually, flight ticket prices rise and fall in line with supply and demand, which is why flights are more expensive around the holidays. But when people tend to travel less and there is a large number of seats available, airlines will drop the prices to try and fill them up. This is what is happening now.
Since the novel coronavirus is spreading so rapidly and widely, people are avoiding all non-essential travel. This means the plane seats are not getting filled up. In order to keep operating, airlines have to earn money somehow, so they are dropping the prices and making cancellation and re-booking easier.
But although it is tempting, it may not be the best idea to snatch these deals. In most cases, even if you purchase a very cheap flight ticket, you may not even be able to use it. Several countries are closing their borders or temporarily suspending tourism visas.
Yesterday, France president Emmanuel Macron announced that the external borders of the EU will be closed for non-EU nationals for at least 30 days. This comes less than a week after the EU criticized US President Donald Trump for suspending all non-essential flight to and from Schengen countries.
Certain Schengen area countries are temporarily closing the borders among themselves as well. Severe restrictions are in place especially for citizens of areas that have been hit the most with the coronavirus, such as Italy, Spain, Germany, and France.
Along with airlines, travel agencies, hotels, and any small businesses making their profit from tourism are taking the hit amid the coronavirus crisis. In fact, struggling British airline Flybe abruptly shut down in early March due to the drop in travel demand, leaving thousands unemployed.