To help calm the nerves of wary flyers, Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic is offering free coronavirus insurance for all passengers. The deal is being retroacted to any flight that’s already booked, and is automatically added to any flight booked between now and March 31, 2021.
The program is created by an alliance between Virgin and insurer, Allianz. The plan covers up to 500,000 pounds (or $659,000 USD) and can go towards a variety of things, including medical and/or quarantine costs that may arise from COVID-related issues.
The plan includes:
- Up to £500,000 necessary and emergency medical expenses incurred due to Coronavirus affecting you or your travel companions.
- Repatriation due to Coronavirus, should it be medically necessary.
- Denied Boarding/Quarantine – We will cover many necessary additional costs should you or your traveling companion be denied boarding or individually requested to quarantine in your destination due to Coronavirus, including personal accommodation, transport charges, refreshments, booking amendment fees and other travel expenses incurred.
- Cover for your whole trip, with no upper limit on the length of your time away.
- Cover for all passengers with no restrictions on age, travel class, or length of journey.
- There is no excess payable with this policy (unlike other traditional travel insurance policies).
While some terms and conditions apply, the plan is, as a whole, quite comprehensive. It’s just one part of Virgin’s You’re in safe hands program, designed to keep staff, crew, and passengers safe and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak. The program includes stocking hand sanitizer across terminals, enforcing masks, temp checks to crew and select passengers, regular sanitation of surfaces, and more.
This news comes right after Virgin Atlantic secured a deal for a rescue plan from its creditors. The airline, like many others, has been struggling during the pandemic and owes money to various entities. Desperate to not cut jobs, Virgin reached an agreement that will keep the airline flying for at least 18 months. Virgin’s owner, Richard Branson, along with its minority shareholder, Delta, both agree that with the new plan, the airline can survive the remaining pandemic and become profitable again once international travel returns.