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Airlines waiving change fees amid swine flu scare

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Monday, April 27, 2009

U.S. airlines are waiving fees for passengers with tickets to Mexico who want to change their reservations because of the swine flu outbreak there.

The relaxed penalties affect passengers who have already bought tickets to or through Mexico, and who want to reroute or reschedule travel. Change fees typically run from $100 to $125 for domestic flights, higher for international flights.

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Delta Air Lines is waiving the $250 change fee for international flights through May 4. A Delta spokesman Monday said no cancellations on flights to Mexico have been reported and operations are continuing normally.

American Airlines and Continental Airlines are allowing passengers to change their plans without penalty through May 6. United Airlines is waiving fees through Thursday for passengers to Mexico City. Passengers on Mexican carrier Aeromexico can also change their plans without charge until Thursday.

US Air also is waiving its standard fee for a reservation change.

The swine flu outbreak is suspected to have caused more than 100 deaths in Mexico and sickened over 1,600. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified 20 cases of swine flu in the U.S., including eight students of a preparatory high school in New York and a 9-year-old Ohio boy who visited several Mexican cities on a family vacation.

The U.S. government on Sunday declared a public health emergency in response to the outbreak. Health officials worldwide have also stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the disease.

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