Virgin Atlantic is Offering Free Coronavirus Insurance for passengers, the second airline to do so, following Emirates Airlines' free insurance for COVID-19 medical expenses.
Virgin Atlantic's new coronavirus travel insurance policy, which is underwritten by Allianz, will apply to travel on Virgin Atlantic tickets for travel August 24, 2020-March 31, 2021, including award tickets on Virgin Atlantic metal.
Here are the coverage details:
- Coverage only applies if you travel on a Virgin Atlantic ticket (must have a ticket number that begins with 932)
- Coverage only applies to countries that are exempt from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice to avoid non-essential international travel. The countries where Virgin Atlantic flies and that are covered include:
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Hong Kong
- GBP 500,000 in emergency medical expenses if you become ill due to coronavirus during your journey, including treatment, transport, accommodation costs
- Additional costs should a customer be denied boarding due to suspected or actual COVID-19, or if they are held in quarantine, including accommodation, transport charges, refreshments, booking amendment fees, and other travel expenses
- Repatriation home, including private air ambulance where necessary
- Coverage for the entire trip, with no upper limit on the length of customer’s time away
- Coverage for all passengers with no restrictions on age, travel class, or length of journey
- Coverage commences from the time of booking and ends when the customer returns home or to a hospital or nursing home in their home country; one-way trips are included, with the insurance coverage valid until the end of the journey, which is defined as 12 hours after the arrival of the customer’s final flight
It's great that Virgin Atlantic is providing this supplemental, COVID-19-specific travel insurance through March 2021 for its paid and award bookings on Virgin Atlantic tickets, although the new travel insurance will be most valuable to UK citizens and residents traveling to the Caribbean and a handful of other non-U.S. destinations. Note that since the U.S. is, of course, NOT on the UK FCO's list of countries and territories exempt from the advice of “avoid all but essential international travel” none of Virgin Atlantic's UK-U.S. routes are covered.
The new coverage also won't help those like us who generally only use Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles to fly partner awards, such as ANA First Class Suites.
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