Delta Airlines is offering its passenger the opportunity to cancel or alter flights, free of charge to the Dominican Republic, after recent deaths in the country. In the last year, at least 10 Americans have died on the Caribbean island, with the cause of death ranging between mysterious or unnatural causes.
According to ForwardKeys, travel analytics firm, the gravity of the recent events has resulted in a decrease of bookings to the Dominican Republic by 74.3 percent compared to the same time period last year. As a result, Delta is granting its passengers a travel waiver through August 15 that would cover flight cancellations and alterations to Punta Cana, as reported by CNN.
A stipulation in the waiver makes it clear that if passengers would like to rebook their flight to the D.R., it would have to occur before November 20. For those planning to cancel the flight altogether, Delta will offer flight credit valid up to one year from the start of the booking date’s origin
For passengers flying into other airports such as Santo Domingo or Santiago de los Caballeros, Delta will work on a case-by-case basis with them. Other airlines such as JetBlue and American Airlines have vowed to follow in Delta’s footsteps.
News first broke in May with Maryland couple, Cynthia Day and Edward Holmes, who both died of respiratory failure. It occurred just five days before Pennsylvania native Miranda Schaup-Werner passed away from respiratory failure on the island. The most tragic death is that of a Colorado man, Khalid Adkins who fell sick days after arriving in Punta Cana.
The New York Daily News reports that Adkins fell sick on a plane back to the U.S., but was kicked off because he was vomiting and sweating profusely. Adkins was then taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with kidney failure and later passed away. Adkins’ brother, Alpha Adkins claims his brother “seemed healthy for the past 10 years or so.”
Francisco Javier Garciacalls, Tourism Minister of the island, has called news of the death “exaggerated” and that flights to the D.R. are not decreasing.