Air travel restrictions tighten as demand to fly increases

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Early on in the pandemic, many people canceled their flights and were refunded vouchers, which could now be nearing expiration as travel restrictions tighten.

World leaders collectively agreed that restricting international and domestic air travel would slow the spread of the coronavirus, but as COVID-19 vaccinations increase nationwide, the demand for air travel is slowly returning.

However, international and domestic routes are still paused for caution and safety. The Biden Administration reinstated travel restrictions on non-U.S. travelers from several countries, such as Brazil, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Those stuck with flight vouchers and airline credit may run into difficulties booking the flight they want during these ongoing uncertain times.

National travel CEO, Ted Lawson said, “before you take a voucher, you have to know how the game is really being played, otherwise you get into a situation where you can’t use it when you would like to use it.”

Yeager Airport in Charleston had a few popular routes temporarily out of service, including Philadelphia and Washington D.C.

Public Affairs Manager, Chris Williams said, “D.C. is a huge market, you can get to a lot of different places from D.C. and it’s a short convenient flight too, so we’re excited that that’s another area we’re able to start getting back online and another option for people to fly out of CRW.”

Yeager Airport will resume American Airlines services to D.C. on February 11. Services to Orlando have been paused but will return soon according to Williams.

If you are unable to use your voucher on the flight you want or need, travel agents suggest a transfer.

“Try and see if your voucher can be transferable, that’s a key feature, then you can sell that to someone else, then you’re not out any money,” said Lawson.

He also suggests speaking to a a travel agency for them to work out any issues for you directly with the airline company.

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