British Airways passengers who are turned away at the aiport on suspicion of having swine flu may not be allowed to rebook their ticket.
BA have stated that Normal ticketing conditionsapply, which means that only those who bought flexible tickets will be offered the chance to travel at an alternative date at no further cost.
Everyone else should seek reimbursement from their travel insurers.
Virgin Atlantic said that if a passenger was turned away at the airport, they airline would try to rebook them at a later date free of charge.
However both BA and Virgin said that anyone who cancelled their trip ahead of travelling to the airport would have to rely on their insurers for reimbursement.
A spokesman from the passenger watchdog, the Air Transport Users Council condemed BA saying, "it is unworkable to expect travel insurance to cover it. We would have hoped there would have been a facility to rebook."
A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers said that it was in talks with the Department of Health over how they will handle the situation which could trigger a flood of claims as the swine flu epidemic takes hold over the next few months.
With up to a third of the population expected to contract the illness, airports and airlines are bracing themselves for large numbers of passengers presenting themselves at the check-in desks displaying flu symptoms.
Of these only about a third are likely to have swine flu, rather than a severe cold, asthma or another variety of flu.
British Airways said it will have a medical team on hand to provide advice and where necessary tell its staff to prevent the passenger boarding.
Even though the results of swab tests are required for a definitive diagnosis, which can take several days, a decision will be made on the spot.
If they are prevented from boarding, insurers would require written confirmation from a doctor that this was because of sickness.
This would not be provided by the British Airways medical staff, leaving the passenger to contact his or her GP to get the necessary written confirmation.
However, currently patients who believe they have swine flu, are being urged not to visit doctors' surgeries.
Even should the insurers be provided with documentation to substantiate a claim, most insurance policies contain an excess, which means that the full loss is never reimbursed.
In addition passengers who feel they are fit enough to travel within a few days will find that the cost of booking a ticket shortly before travel will be substantially more than they paid originally.
Ryanair, which says that is has encountered only three cases of suspected swine flu, says it would allow passengers to rebook.
Eurostar, meanwhile, said it would also allow passengers to travel on an alternative date or, in some cases, offer a refund.
Ferry companies, who only have face to face contact with foot passengers, did not anticipate major difficulties.
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