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Canadian Airline WestJet Now Offering Free COVID-19 Insurance For International Travel

Canadian Airline WestJet Now Offering Free COVID-19 Insurance For International Travel

WestJet, Canada’s second largest airline, is now offering complimentary COVID-19 insurance for eligible passengers for travel to and from the US, Europe, the UK, Mexico and the Caribbean until August 31, 2021. The carrier joins Air Canada in offering free Covid-19 insurance in an effort to boost sales as more Canadians elect to stay home or travel domestically to avoid Canada’s 14-day quarantine for international travelers.

Originally WestJet’s insurance did not include US coverage but will now cover travel to the United States. On September 25, 2020 WestJet announced that “guests travelling to, through or from the United States are now eligible for the airline’s enhanced $200,000 CAD COVID-19 travel insurance coverage for air-only and vacation reservations. The enhanced coverage will retroactively include all bookings made as of September 18, 2020 and will increase by $100,000 CAD to include up to a maximum of $200,000 CAD at no additional charge to eligible guests.”

Eligible bookings include any WestJet air-only reservation, including WestJet Vacations bookings for travel to and from the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe (including U.K.) and inbound to Canada. These trips will be eligible for coverage for up to 21 days for travel into and including August 31, 2021. For one-way travel reservations, coverage is available for up to seven days.

Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer, said that “Our research shows that a lack of COVID insurance is a considerable barrier to travel and our guests were seeking the inclusion of U.S. destinations to our travel insurance offering. Eligible guests travelling to and from the destinations we serve can now have an added layer of confidence

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Canada’s Major Airline Offering Free Covid-19 Health Insurance To International Travellers

Canada’s Major Airline Offering Free Covid-19 Health Insurance To International Travellers

In a desperate bid to get Canadian travelers to go abroad once again, Canada’s biggest airline, Air Canada, is offering passengers free Covid-19 medical insurance, even as the Canadian government continues to advise against non-essential travel.

Air Canada announced that it will now be including complimentary COVID-19 emergency medical and quarantine insurance for eligible passengers who book round-trip international flights. The coverage will be available for new bookings made in Canada from September 17 until October 31, 2020. The airline hopes that the free insurance will give customers added confidence when booking flights and travelling abroad.

“At Air Canada, we know people have personal, family and business reasons to travel. To give them greater confidence as they do so, we have engaged Manulife to offer all Canadian residents complimentary COVID-19 emergency medical & quarantine insurance when they book round-trip flights for travel outside of Canada. Combined with our industry leading airport and onboard biosafety protocols, including Air Canada CleanCare+, and our flexible rebooking policies, customers can be assured that when they book and travel with Air Canada their safety and well-being is our top priority,” said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada in the press release.

The plan (called the Manulife COVID-19 Emergency Medical Certificate of Insurance) is available only for new international, round-trip bookings made in Canada between September 17 and October 31, 2020, for travel completed by April 12, 2021. 

When abroad, if customers test positive for COVID-19, the Plan coverage includes:

  • Up to CDN $200,000 per insured for COVID-19 treatment medical expenses.
  • Up
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White House lurches in new direction on stimulus talks, pushing for airline aid

White House lurches in new direction on stimulus talks, pushing for airline aid

The newest twist in the talks appears to be fast-tracking negotiations to aid the airline industry while shelving prospects for broader unemployment aid and other programs. But the situation seemed somewhat fluid in the wake of a late-night change of heart from Trump, where he demanded piecemeal legislation on $1,200 stimulus checks and small-business assistance, in addition to airline aid.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the administration still held out hope for such one-off measures — even though Democrats have consistently rejected that approach — and Trump broke his coronavirus isolation Wednesday afternoon to go into the Oval Office, where a spokesman said he was being briefed on stimulus talks.

After sinking on Tuesday, the stock market rallied sharply Wednesday on the prospect of a partial deal. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 531 points, or nearly 2 percent. Airline stocks fared even better, with American and United airlines seeing their share prices rise more than 4 percent.

The herky-jerky nature of the economic relief talks has played out over months, as the White House and Democrats have failed to agree on a broader support package. The economy showed some signs of recovery over the summer, but pockets appear to be softening again. The travel industry last week announced layoffs, and the labor market has weakened while the coronavirus pandemic remains a factor across much of the country.

Trump and Pelosi exchanged insults again on Wednesday, a sign that the broader relief talks are unlikely to be revived. But both sides did appear interested in trying to work out immediate aid for the airline industry, which has not recovered from the pandemic’s impact. Last week, American and United began furloughing more than 30,000 employees.

The White House’s approach has changed multiple times in the past few

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