April 30, 2009

Gillibrand to Airlines: Give Passengers More Time to Change Travel Plans to Mexico

With Federal Government Advising Against Non-Essential Travel, Passengers Need More Time to Change Travel Plans Without Penalty

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is asking airlines to extend their offer to waive change penalties for passengers traveling to Mexico.  In a letter to airlines executives, Senator Gillibrand requested that passengers be given until June 1 to change their travel plans without facing financial penalties.

The letter was sent to the CEOs of the following airlines: Delta, Northwest, American, Continental, US Airways, United, and JetBlue.

Text of the letter below.

Dear Airline Executive,

In response to the H1N1 Influenza, also known as "Swine Flu", the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a travel health warning urging American citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Mexico.  My office has received numerous calls from New Yorkers with travel plans to Mexico concerned about their family's health and safety.  In response to these health concerns, your airline has issued a temporary waiver in change fees for customers traveling to and through Mexico, a decision I applaud.

Just yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the health alert from a Phase 4 to a Phase 5 as the number of reported cases in United States and around the world continues to rise.  As this situation continues to evolve, I believe that an extension of that waiver through June 1, 2009 would provide travelers with more time to adjust their travel plans if they so choose.

I thank you for your attention to this request and urge you to take action as you continue to monitor the situation.


Kirsten E. Gillibrand
U.S. Senator