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(2009-04-28 11:36:29)


Swine flu has airports, airlines scrambling

Travel companies are on alert; governments issue travel alerts




msnbc.com contributor

updated 7:34 p.m. ET April 27, 2009


The swine flu outbreak has officials in North America and around the world on their toes as they attempt to stem the disease’s transfer and impact. Airports, airlines and agencies are taking preventative measures and monitoring the traveling public for signs and symptoms.


In response to reports of 149 deaths in Mexico and at least 42 confirmed cases in the U.S., the U.S. government has taken the precautionary measure of declaring a public health emergency.

The federal government is preparing a travel advisory instructing Americans to avoid nonessential travel to Mexico, the acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

Dr. Richard Besser made the disclosure during a news conference in Atlanta, saying the advisory was being released “out of an abundance of caution.”

Canada is also considering issuing an advisory warning. Public Health Officer David Butler-Jones says an advisory could be issued late Monday.

在亚特兰大理新闻发布会上,查德博士披露说,指导中指出 “特别的谨慎。 ”

The top EU health official urged Europeans on Monday to postpone nonessential travel to parts of the United States and Mexico because of the outbreak.


Russia, Hong Kong and Taiwan said they would quarantine visitors showing symptoms of the virus amid a surging global concern about a possible pandemic.


Tour operators are skipping scheduled stops in Mexico and, as of Tuesday, Australian airports will not allow planes from North America or South America to land unless the pilot radios ahead with information about the health status of all passengers.


That means travelers heading to or from Mexico and elsewhere will need to keep up-to-date on the latest travel advisories and consider whether or not they want to change plans.


Travel agents are being inundated with calls and cancellations. Albert Ko and some friends have already scrapped plans for a June trip to Cabo San Lucas, but Michel Moore and her boyfriend are determined to go to Puerto Vallarta on May 10. “We’re both in our late 20s and considerably healthy, so we’re not overly concerned with the consequences of getting ill. My only fear is that our trip, which has been arranged since February, will be canceled at the last minute due to health concerns at the border.”

旅行社正在忙于各种电话和航程取消。阿尔贝高和一些朋友已经取消6月访问卡波圣卢卡斯的计划,但迈克尔摩尔和她的男友在5月10日决定去巴亚尔塔港。 “我们都在25 ? 29岁并且相当健康所以我们不会过于担心生病的后果。我唯一担心的是,在2月就安排的此次行程由于边界健康问题会在最后一分钟被取消。 “

What do travelers need to know?
Specific travel advice related to swine flu is fluid and will no doubt change over coming hours, days and weeks.



 For now it’s a good idea to monitor the health information and updates posted on the Web sites of CDC and the World Health Organization.


International SOS, a travel medical-assistance firm, has also created a very useful and easy-to-maneuver site specifically on this topic.


Dr. Myles Druckman, a disease and pandemic expert who works with International SOS, notes the risk of falling ill in Mexico is relatively low, but warns of delays for traveling from Mexico and other countries back to the U.S., especially if the situation intensifies.


For the time being, Druckman advises leisure travelers to have a plan in place before making trips to Mexico and to add items such as surgical masks, over-the-counter cold and flu medications and extra supplies of regular prescription medications to your first aid kit. “You would be kicking yourself if you said, ‘Heck, I’m going to go,’ and then things escalate and you’re stuck there.”

就目前而言,Druckman建议前往墨西哥旅行计划应该购买物品增加急救药箱,如口罩,柜台感冒和流感的药物和常用处方药。 “你会使自己陷入困境,如果你说, 我会去,然后的事情升级和你就陷在那里了。 ”

Airports and airlines taking action

Airports and airlines are also implementing precautionary measures.


At Denver International, spokesperson Chuck Cannon said: “If there is advance word of an incoming flight from Mexico with a possibly infected person aboard, the plane will be held away from the gate until Denver Health paramedics can meet the flight, examine the passenger and determine the next course of action.”

在丹佛国际机场的发言人查克农说: “如果有消息提前说,来自墨西哥的飞机上有可能受感染的乘客,这架飞机将会隔离,直到丹佛健康护理人员能来这里,检查乘客并确定下一步行动。 “

On Saturday, San Diego International began working with the San Diego County Department of Health & Human Services to put posters throughout the terminals with messages about the importance of good hygiene, including covering up coughs and washing hands.


At Los Angeles World Airports, which operates Los Angeles International and L.A./Ontario International, spokesperson Nancy Suey Castles reports that “this morning nearly 200 dispensers of hand sanitizers were installed on the walls and on counters in the customs arrivals halls in the five terminals where we have international receiving flights, but we receive Mexico flights in only three of the five terminals.”

在洛杉矶世界机场经营着洛杉矶国际机场和LA /安大略国际机场,它的发言人南希穗卡斯尔斯报告说: “这个早上,近200种手部消毒杀菌剂已安装在墙上和柜台,也包括我们接国际航班的海关抵港大厅五个终端那里。但我们接墨西哥航班中,只使用抵港大厅的三个终端。 “

At Sacramento International, spokesperson Gina Swankie said the custodial staff has been urged to wear masks when cleaning areas in the International Building and the airport is stepping up the frequency of when it changes the air filters. “We have additional masks that can be made available should the need arrive and have a Pandemic Action Plan in place to be implemented if and when the need arises,” she said.

萨科拉曼多国际机场发言人吉娜Swankie说,工作人员已被敦促戴上口罩,国际大厦清洁区域和机场正在加快空气过滤器换更换频率。 “我们有更多的口罩可以使用,当有需要可直接供应。如有需要,可以实施大流行的行动计划,”她说。

Over the weekend, most U.S., Canadian and Mexican carriers — including American, Continental, United, US Airways, Delta, Air Canada and Aeromexico — posted notices on their Web sites waiving change fees for travelers with scheduled flights to or from Mexico for at least the next week.


American Airlines’ Mexico Travel Policy, for example, will allow changes to tickets for travel to or from Mexico through May 6 and is allowing travelers to change their destination as well. The airline’s Andrea Huguely says as of this morning, the airline has not canceled any flights relating the swine flu alerts, “nor has any agency asked us to do so.”


US Airways updated its change policies for travel to and from Mexico, according to spokesperson Valerie Wunder. “We’ve extended the date range for changes through May 8th.” Passengers can now move their itinerary up to 14 days before or after the scheduled origination date. Alternatively, travelers can put the full value of the ticket toward a ticket for a new destination, provided they set out for that new destination within seven days of the scheduled origination date.

美国航空公司更新了其往返墨西哥旅费的改变政策,据发言人瓦莱丽讲。 “我们已经延长的日期范围的变化,直到5月8日。 ”乘客现在可以将他们的行程在长达14天之前取消或预定日期之后。游客可以把全部价值的车票票价花向一个新的目的地,只要他们订出新的目标并在预定日期过期的7天之内。

US Airways hasn’t canceled any flights, but Wunder said crew members are taking extra precautions, including wearing rubber gloves and using hand sanitizers during meal and beverage service.


 AirTran Airways will waive change fees for passengers who wish to alter their travel scheduled to or from Cancun through May 4. The carrier is urging those flying to be safe, “reminding both crew members and passengers that good sanitary practices are the best way to avoid getting any type of flu,” said spokesperson Christopher White.
到5月4泛航空公司将放弃变更希望改变旅行计划的往返坎昆乘客费用。该运营商正在敦促那些飞行是安全的, “提醒乘务员和乘客,良好的卫生习惯是避免任何类型的流感最好的方式。”白宫发言人克里斯托弗说。
Alaska Airlines spokesperson Bobbie Egan said Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, which operates 16 flights a day to Mexico, are offering to waive change fees for passengers with tickets anywhere in Mexico through May 20. In addition, “passengers who wish to keep their travel dates, but rebook to another destination, will not be charged a change fee, just the difference in fare.”  The same policy applies travelers who wish to reschedule travel for after May 20.

阿拉斯加航空公司发言人说,博比伊冈阿拉斯加航空公司和地平线航空公司,每天有16个航班去墨西哥。5月20日中,为在墨西哥乘客提供随时随地放弃变更费。此外,“希望保留他们的旅行日期的乘客,但重新到另一目的地,将不收取变更费用,只是不同的票价。 ”同样的政策适用于5月20日希望重新安排旅行的旅客。

In response to calls and customer concerns, Continental Airlines is allowing customers to re-schedule or re-route travel without penalty if they are ticketed for travel between April 24 and May 6, to or from all cities in Mexico.

为了响应要求和客户的关注,美国大陆航空公司允许客户重新安排或重新旅行路线而不受处罚,如果他们票是4月24日到5月6日,往返于墨西哥所有城市。 On its Web site, AeroMexico is reassuring passengers that flight and ground crews must be in good health to be on duty, that food served onboard is being prepared under strict sanitary controls and that the air conditioning systems on its planes continually change the interior air by drawing in clean air. The airline is also asking passengers to fill out forms about any influenza symptoms before passing through airport security and is working with medical specialists in the airport “who are providing authorizations for boarding as needed.”
在其网站上,墨西哥为了保证乘客安全,当值的飞行和地面人员必须处于健康状况良好。飞机上供应的食物在严格的卫生控制的准备。在飞机上空调系统不断吸进洁净的空气更换室内空气。该航空公司还要求通过机场安检之前,旅客填写关于任何流感症状表格,并与医疗专家在机场“如果需要,他们将提供登机许可。 ”

Act now or wait?

For now, all travelers with scheduled trips to Mexico and other destinations are urged to keep an eye on the news and check with their airlines, travel agents and hotels for policies on changes or cancellations to existing reservations.


Nicole Angerone and her fiancé are determined not to cancel their July honeymoon to a resort on Playa del Carmen, about 30 minutes from Cancun. “My fiancé is extremely worried about the trip and thinks we'll come back with swine flu. Both of our parents are urging us not to go. But we’re still going on our trip because we’ve been told by our travel agency that if we do cancel, we would lose all of our money.”

妮可和她的未婚夫Angerone决定不取消其7月蜜月到离坎昆约30分钟的普拉亚德尔卡门度假。 “我的未婚夫是非常担心,并认为此行我们得猪流感。我们的父母都希望我们不要去。但我们仍在继续我们的旅程。因为我们的旅行社告诉我们如果我们取消,我们将失去所有的钱。 “

It’s a similar story for Cybil New and her husband, who are planning to travel to Riviera Maya, Mexico, with several family members for a wedding in early June. “The trip is already paid in full. As of today, all plans are still on. We did purchase travel insurance when we booked our trip so if we have to cancel we won't be out too much money.”
这是一个类似的故事Cybil和她的丈夫与几个家庭成员正计划前往墨西哥海滨玛雅参加在6月初举行的婚礼。 “此行已全额支付。截至今天,所有的计划仍在进行。当我们预定的行程我们购买旅游保险。如果我们不得不取消,我们将不会损失太多的钱。

© 2009 msnbc.com.  Reprints


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