Air Travel During Cold and Flu Season

Published by November 2, 2012

As most of the country is enjoying cooler weather and making holiday travel plans, cold and flu season is just around the corner. For those planning air travel, cold and flu season may be an increased concern. The thought of flying on a packed plane, crammed between two coughing and sneezing passengers is enough to make anyone cringe. But are planes really flying virus wards during flu season?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “As with other close contact environments, these settings may facilitate the transmission of influenza virus from person to person or through contact with contaminated environmental surfaces.” In order to reduce the likelihood of catching a cold during air travel, the CDC recommends that travelers get vaccinated, postpone travel when sick, and take personal protective measures such as hand washing and avoiding lengthy interactions with ill passengers. Further information and suggestions can be found on the CDC’s website.

In the event that a traveler falls ill from air travel, many travel insurance policies include emergency medical benefits to cover costs associated with treatment. In extreme circumstances, such as if a traveler becomes so ill that they cannot continue their trip, interruption benefits may help recover losses from the unused portions of the trip.

While travel insurance can provide assistance to travelers who get sick during travel, it is best to take preventative measures to avoid contracting an illness in the first place.