Swine Flu Outbreak Has Travelers Scrambling to Cancel Trips to Mexico

Christina Hill needs a vacation from the Mexican vacation she has no intention of taking.

Hill, who was scheduled to spend a week in Cancun, Mexico, with a friend in late May, told ABCNews.com that the recent swine flu outbreak has her scrambling to reschedule without losing a ton of money.

"I don't want to vacation on the beach with a mask on my face," said Hill, 26, of Wilmington, Del. "That kind of defeats the whole purpose."

Booked on a US Airways flight on May 20 to return on May 26, Hill has found that her itinerary falls outside the date range that the airline is allowing passengers to cancel or rebook free of charge. US Airways has agreed to waive fees only for flights booked prior to April 27 for travel through May 16.

"I'm more than surprised and shocked that US Airways have yet to extend the date in their policy," said Hill, who would have to pay upwards of $300 to cancel the flight today.

A US Airways spokesperson said that the airline will continue to monitor the pandemic alert level and would change their policy if necessary.

"I definitely want to go to Mexico, but not with this flu hanging over our shoulders," said Hill.

Hill is one of thousands of travelers experiencing trouble rebooking or cancelling trips to Mexico. The U.S. State Department has advised Americans to avoid travel to the region through July 27.

Ken Pomerantz, the head of MLT Vacations, a major wholesaler of vacation packages to Mexico, told the travel industry Web site Travel Pulse that the company has seen a 40 percent increase in calls due to concerns about the outbreak, and cancellations to Mexico are up 30 percent.

Scores of consumers wrote to ABCNews.com complaining that the swine flu has threatened to ruin the vacations.

Elyse Cohen and her fiance were supposed to leave for their honeymoon in Cancun on May 28. Now they don't want to go. Cohen said that the swine flu doesn't exactly scream romance.

"We don't want to go to Cancun anymore," said Cohen, 30. "We're just getting married and this is supposed to be a great time for us to spend together after the stress of wedding planning and so forth."

"We're just looking forward to having a relaxing honeymoon, not sitting on a beach fearful that we're going to get this flu virus," she said.

Cohen's travel dates do not fall within the range that most airlines and travel agencies are offering refunds at this point, so she has no choice but to wait it out.

"We've asked our travel agent to change our reservations to a different location but she keeps saying it's too soon," said Cohen. "The stress was supposed to be all in the wedding planning, not in the honeymoon."

For William Davis, who had booked a Mexican-bound cruise for him and his wife as well as another couple, the swine flu has meant that the trip's itinerary has changed and will now head up the west coast of the United States.

"The cruise isn't even going to Mexico anymore," said Davis. "I don't want to go to some place like Oregon."

Davis that while he did get his money back on his cruise reservation, the flight the group booked from Dallas to Los Angeles has yet to be refunded.

"I was shocked and dismayed at being charged $300 for not wanting to take a flight during this emergency," said Davis.

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