Travel expert talks coronavirus and if you should change your plans
FOX 2 - Coronavirus concerns have sparked second thoughts from some about traveling. But if you already have scheduled a trip, should you cancel it now?
"This is probably one of the more difficult ones because it seems to have spread more worldwide," said David Fishman. "Since 9/11 I really haven't had experience with people with so much fear in regards to travel."
Fishman, who owns the Cadillac Travel Group in Southfield, says his staff has been fielding countless calls a day with concerns from people about their travel plans.
Fishman says you shouldn't cancel - unless there is an FAA warning. Right now that includes Northern Italy, Iran, South Korea and China. It also depends on when you are planning to travel.
"Those warnings could drop so there is a lot of flexibility that is going to be out there for you," Fishman said. "But as long as you take the right types of insurance then you should be protected. And if things do get to a point where the FAA says you can't go there, you will get your money back one way or another."
He says information is changing about as quickly as the virus is spreading. Fishman says double check and see what they are saying about the place where you’re going and the vendor to see how they will accommodate you.
Fishman recommends buying travel insurance - a policy that will let you cancel for any reason. Many policies will not let you cancel because of the coronavirus and the only way you can get your money back is, if the FAA issues a warning to that country.
"'Should I cancel?' No you need to wait because you have to cancel, it will probably be because they will tell you not to go and you will get your money back," he said. "So you don't have to really worry about future travel unless right now there are warnings that you can't go there."
As of Monday there were more than 89,000 coronavirus cases worldwide - mostly in Asia, but cases in Europe and Middle East have begun to surge. The Caribbean is also documenting its first cases.
Fishman, who has been in the travel industry for 37 years, says in spite of that, we should not panic.
We've dealt with SARS, MERS and the bird flu - we'll get through this too, he said. "Don't stop traveling, just use common sense - wipe down surfaces, wash your hands and in some cases wear a mask.
"In regards to planning travel right now, the rates are going to start going down dramatically," he said. "They are extending deposit dates, cancellation dates, they are allowing greater flexibility so you are comfortable planning ahead."