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The tragedy playing out in Japan is lost on no one, and it's clear, from the extent of the damage, that the country will be reeling from the earthquake, tsunami, and the ongoing nuclear crisis for some time. As such, travelers with plans to visit the country in the near term may want to consider rescheduling, and people mulling over a trip later this year have a lot to, well, mull over.
Many airlines waived their change fee policies for travel over the next few weeks, and some are offering rebooking well into May and June. Many airlines are also offering change fee waivers for travel through Japan, so check with your airline if you have a connection in Tokyo, for example, and would like to put off your trip. Also keep in mind that you will probably have to pay any difference in fare.
I've listed policies from most major carriers serving the U.S.-Japan market, but other airlines likely have similar policies:
- All Nippon Airways
- Delta (Delta will also be temporarily suspending service to Tokyo-Haneda on March 20)
- Singapore Airlines
Expect these policies to be in flux as conditions in Japan evolve. Obviously, much depends on the nuclear situation, which is changing rapidly, so travelers should keep a close eye on the news.
Many airlines are letting frequent flyers donate miles to relief efforts underway in Japan.
Readers, were you planning a trip to Japan this year? Any business travelers out there who visit Japan frequently?