Flights to Dominican Republic: Cancel free
Flight cancellations to the Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic (DR) have been soaring, say analysts, while new bookings are down. The Dominican Tourism Minister, however, has said the spate of deaths has been exaggerated, and Ministry of Public Health spokesman Carlos Suero dismissed some of the mysterious deaths as “fake news,” saying, “It’s all a hysteria against the Dominican Republic, to hurt our tourism, this is a very competitive industry, and we get millions of tourists, we are a popular destination.”
At least 10 American visitors have died in the DR during the past 12 months, including 3 within 5 days, and 2 within 3 days. The causes of death are not very clear, although most of them appear to involve some form of cardiac arrest. For a couple – Cynthia Day and Nathaniel Holmes of Maryland – to die under the same circumstances at the same time is raising a red flag.
These deaths also seem to have happened under similar circumstances involving beverages from hotel minibars. While not quite admitting to the minibars as being the culprit of the mysterious deaths, the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Health announced that samples from the minibar in the guest room of the couple who died on May 30 in their room at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, were undergoing testing. On Monday, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino announced that it’d be removing liquor from minibars in its guest rooms.
As travel to the DR takes a nosedive, those who had already booked travel prior to this tragic series of deaths, has caused several airlines to grant passengers the chance to get waivers or credits for flights booked to the Dominican Republic, as demand for rebooking is high.
So far, Delta Air Lines says it will give waivers to passengers who have tickets to Punta Cana. Delta passengers must rebook their travel to the DR prior to November 20 or get credit to fly somewhere else.
As for other destinations in the Dominican Republic, Delta said it will work with passengers on a case-by-case basis.
American, JetBlue, and Sun Country Airlines have said they will also work with their passengers who want to change or cancel their flights to the Dominican Republic.