Airline Says It Will Pay Medical And Hotel Costs If Passengers Get COVID-19 While Traveling
Would this make you more likely to fly?
Emirates airline is offering some serious peace of mind for its customers during the coronavirus pandemic. A new insurance policy, available to all Emirates passengers, covers medical costs for any traveler sickened by COVID-19 after an Emirates flight.
All ticketholders traveling through Oct. 31 receive the coverage — there’s no need to opt in. “COVID-19 Cover Assistance” services include financial help for medical care while you’re away from home, plus help with quarantine accommodations and with the return journey.
The plan also contributes funds for (gulp) funeral expenses if the traveler dies overseas, including repatriation of the body.
Testing for COVID-19 is not included in the coverage — you’re on your own there. And all expenses must be approved in advance, meaning a sick traveler can’t submit claims after the fact.
Altogether, the COVID-19 policy will pay up to about $173,000 in medical and hospital costs. Additionally, it offers $118 in quarantine costs, such as a hotel room, for up to two weeks. And it will pay up to $1,765 in funeral costs.
Of course, there’s a lot of fine print. For one thing, beginning August 1, all travelers to Dubai — Emirates’ hub — must take a COVID-19 test 96 hours or less before their trip. Official documentation of a negative result is required to board the aircraft.
Emirates customers who come down with COVID-19 have 31 days from their departing flight to access plan benefits. Coverage doesn’t apply to folks who test positive after returning home, though.
The airline is taking preventative steps onboard as well. Each passenger receives a hygiene kit at check-in that includes hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, masks and gloves. Once on the plane, all travelers are required to wear masks, and flight attendants don personal protection equipment over their uniforms. Other rules, such as the removal of print reading materials, have also been implemented.
If you’re feeling stir-crazy and have the cash, this might seem tempting, especially since Emirates’ COVID-19 coverage still applies if you take the airline on the way to somewhere besides the United Arab Emirates.
However, it’s essential to keep up-to-date on which nations currently allow American visitors. Right now, the UAE is one of those nations, but things can change quickly.