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Delta to Curtail Flights Out of Europe After Sunday

By Rich Smith - Mar 13, 2020 at 12:44PM

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The airline will operate a "nearly full schedule of flights" through Sunday.

Are you worried about catching coronavirus, and getting stranded in Europe for the next month? Are you worried you might not catch COVID-19 -- but find yourself stranded in Europe anyway?

Well, you needn't worry -- if you act fast.

Collage of an airplane, coronaviruses, and a world map

Image source: Getty Images.

Wednesday evening, President Trump issued a proclamation banning travel from Europe to the U.S. for the next 30 days -- a ban that initially seemed to apply to all travelers, but that was later clarified to cover only "immigrants and nonimmigrants" -- and not even all of them. The U.S. government's clarifications also stated that travelers, permitted to return to the U.S., must arrive at one of just 13 airports capable of conducting screening for the novel coronavirus.  

Responding to the travel ban, Delta Air Lines (DAL 5.55%) published an advisory Wednesday, then updated it on Thursday, explaining that because of the expected decrease in passengers flying such routes it expects to fly a "significantly reduced" number of flights from Europe to the U.S. beginning on Monday, March 16.

However, to facilitate what could effectively turn into a mass, voluntary evacuation of Americans from the Continent to avoid the travel ban, Delta confirmed that it will "operate a nearly full schedule of flights from continental Europe to multiple U.S. gateways through Sunday, March 15, to ensure eligible customers can return to the United States as the airline responds to a new U.S. government travel directive."

Delta also says it is waiving the fees it would ordinarily charge to change a flight reservation "to, from or through Europe and the U.K."

The upshot: If you want to come home, you can. But you should probably try to secure a reservation and make your flight by Sunday. After that, things could become significantly more complicated.

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