HONOLULU(KHON2)–The travel industry is acting fast to prevent the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus by halting flights. Both Delta Airlines and American Airlines are cancelling all flights to China, and United Airlines has already drastically scaled back their China routes.
The announcements coming after the State Department increased the travel advisory to China on Thursday to level four advising Americans not to travel to China.
But Maui resident Pua Morrison has a tough decision to make. She and seven family members are scheduled to leave on a cruise in the next couple of days that stops in Hong Kong.
“We definitely wanted to go on this Asian cruise. It was always a lifetime thing we wanted to d–go on a beautiful cruise,” Morrison explained.
She said they booked the tour through Costco in February 2019 long before the novel coronavirus was discovered.
Now that the disease is rapidly spreading across China, they are afraid to go and want to cancel, just to be safe.
She said she contacted Costco first and they told her she had to reach out directly to Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Morrison said she’s been pleading with Norwegian for the past couple of days but every time they tell her the same thing.
“(Norwegian Cruise) is saying, ‘we understand the situation’ and ‘safety is our number one issue’ and ‘we would never put any of our passengers in harms way. But the bottom line is if you cancel you lose all your money,'” Morrison said.
Morrison said they paid $4,000 each–a total of $32 thousand dollars.
“We had excursions booked, we’ve updated the trip packages. This was a family vacation so we were going for the gusto.”
She’s upset thinking about all the money they will lose but has decided not to go on the trip.
“Rather than put myself through all that headache and most of all the risk of getting this virus, I just want to be able to canel my cruise and get my refund. That’s all I ask. And I don’t think that’s a lot to ask with what’s going on. And it’s getting worse every day”
Morrison said she would be happy to go on a cruise with Norwegian, just not this cruise right now.
She explained that she even purchased trip insurance and when she asked Norwegian Cruise Line about it they told her it doesn’t cover an epidemic.
“I just want to be safe and I don’t want to go in the direction of the virus.”
A spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau Hawaii said that Morrison can file a compaint against Norwegian Cruise Lines with the BBB and that she should also contact the insurance company directly.
In other reports, Norwegian Cruise Lines responded and said that none of their itineraries have been changed but they are implementing additional health precautions, including temperature screenings for passengers embarking in Hong Kong. None of their vessels are docking in mainland China.