Many travellers may be reconsidering their holiday plans because of the Omicron variant, but airlines and the hospitality industry are aiming to retain as much revenue as possible, by trying to put to rest the fears of the travelers.
The latest government advisory warning against non-essential travel is rated a Level 3 risk. That implies that if you test positive for COVID-19 while travelling most travel insurance policies will not cover you.
However, Air Canada and WestJet’s websites offer an upgraded premium insurance option that has changed the exclusion. Even if the non-essential travel advice is in effect, the expanded plans will pay your COVID-19-related medical and quarantine charges. Check the policy for any limitations.
For worried travellers, both WestJet and Air Canada have open cancellation and rebooking procedures. However, each airline takes a different method.
If you need to reschedule your flight, Air Canada allows you to do so for free up to three days before departure for domestic travel and seven days before departure for international travel.
Depending on when you booked your travel, WestJet allows you to make one free modification two to 24 hours before departure.
If Air Canada cancels your flight, you will receive a full refund if it is unable to transport you within three hours of your original departure or arrival timings. WestJet refunds cancelled flights if they are unable to transport you within 90 minutes of the scheduled departure time.
Hotels and resorts are also stepping up to provide travelers with a sense of comfort by offering onsite COVID-19 testing. Some are providing inexpensive PCR testing and complementary antigen tests to travelers who require one before returning to the United States.