Airlines Offer Refunds Amid Zika Virus Warnings | NBC Chicago
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Airlines Offer Refunds Amid Zika Virus Warnings

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    Airlines are offering changes or refunds for people traveling to areas impacted by the Zika virus. Metro also is taking precautions. Transportation Reporter Adam Tuss has the story. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016)

    As federal officials warn pregnant women to avoid travel to a part of Miami because of the spread of the Zika virus, some airlines are offering Zika-related refunds.

    The CDC says pregnant women should avoid Miami's Wynwood area, where health officials are investigating at least 15 infections believed to have originated in the area; they would be the first transmitted in the continental United States.

    American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines all have guidelines on how passengers can change their reservations amid warnings about the virus.

    JetBlue, for example, says passengers may be eligible for refunds or exchanges if they booked travel on or before August 1 to travel to areas the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports are affected by the virus.

    American Airlines says pregnant women planning travel to Latin American or the Caribbean can request refunds if they provide doctor's notes confirming the pregnancy.

    Spirit Airlines simply asks travelers to contact them about possible changes to their itineraries if they have concerns about the risk of the virus. Delta has the same policy.

    Southwest's standard reservation change policy applies.

    Sarasota, Florida, resident Carrie Collins said at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Tuesday that her concerns about the Zika virus were growing.

    "My community is stay-at-home moms, pregnant moms, lots of small kids, lots of animals, so you pretty much have to live in a screened-in environment," she said.

    Travelers are advised to check with their air carriers for specific policies.

    Additionally, officials with the D.C. Metro system also are responding to the virus. Crews are treating low-lying wet areas and fence lines to control the mosquito population.