Coronavirus hitting travel industry hard; estimated to cost billions

Coronavirus hitting travel industry hard; estimated to cost billions

WASHINGTON — Travel experts said the threat of COVID-19, the coronavirus, could cost the industry billions of dollars.

The Global Business Travel Association said the virus could cost $46.6 billion a month.

This comes as airlines have been canceling flights and businesses have been canceling major conferences and events.

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Travelers have seen the impact of the virus.

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Bryan and Joyce Craig said they were mindful of the virus during their trip to Argentina and Brazil.

"We saw a few people with masks,” traveler Bryan Craig said.

"I did have some concerns but I took extra precautions,” Joyce Craig said. “Wiped down trays with Lysol, washing my hands."

Delta, United and American airlines are waiving change or cancellation fees to select cities in Asia and Italy, where the outbreak has been the worst.

JetBlue suspended change and cancel fees for all new trips booked through March 11 for travel through June 1.

Most travel insurance policies will not cover cancellations caused by the coronavirus outbreak.