Airlines Waive Change Fees for Dominican Republic Flights

October 11, 2019

The Dominican Republic has recently become the focus of the news, but not for the reasons of its tourism industry. This tropical island resort has miles of beautiful beaches and countless resorts and has recently made headlines in a series of suspicious Dominican Republic deaths and a dramatic shooting incident.

In the unlikely event that you missed it, several American tourists were killed in the Dominican Republic this year, a situation that is largely mysterious (but not necessarily malicious). Recently, an otherwise healthy Denver man suddenly fell ill and died in a hospital in Santo Domingo because his symptoms forced him to get off the plane.

Overall, nine American tourists died in the Dominican Republic in 2019. The Minister of Tourism insisted that this figure is normal and that it is clear that there are no signs of fouling. Although travelers are encouraged to take some common-sense preventive measures, Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic are generally considered safe.

Despite this, the strange deaths in the Dominican Republic and its connection to the tourism industry have made people feel uncomfortable when the Red Sox legend David Ortiz was shot in early June.

After the death of the Dominican Republic, Delta Air Lines offers a free cancellation service.
Regardless of whether it is fair or not, travelers are concerned: Tourism Researcher ForwardKeys reported that flights to the Dominican Republic this month fell by 74%. The organization said that bookings as of May have risen slightly, but the trend of bad news and events that have received much attention with Ortiz seem to be affecting travelers’ decisions.

Other airlines are also paying attention. Delta canceled the change fee for flights to Punta Cana on August 15th, according to several sources (but the airline website could not find the message) Blue Airlines allows passengers to cancel or change flights for free. Given the lack of clarity in JetBlue, I recommend calling the airline to obtain further confirmation of the cancellation of the ticket due to the death of the Dominican Republic.

American Airlines and United Airlines encourage related customers to contact airlines and both say they are working on a case-by-case basis.