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Palm Springs Airport, Travel Agents Dealing With Outbreak

PALM SPRINGS – Flights are going as scheduled at Palm Springs International Airport. But, even though there are no delays on direct or connecting flights, the concern is still there.

With health officials telling people not to travel to Mexico right now for vacation, some travel agencies are already feeling the pain of canceled trips.

Paradise Travel Agency in Coachella books vacations to Mexico. But lately, travel agents there have received worried calls from people concerned how the swine flu may affect travel across the border.

“They’re worrying about what is happening out there, and, the funny thing is, they’re not worrying about getting infected,” said travel agent Lupe Jacovo.”They want to know if the airlines are canceling flights in closing the airports.”

When asked if people have canceled trips they’ve already paid for, Jacovo said “yes.”

“Two people so far today.”

Jacovo notified concerned travelers that airlines are often waiving cancellation fees while hoping to keep the rest of her bookings intact.

Palm Springs International has no direct flights to Mexico. They do have direct flights to Canada where the swine flu has been detected.

Meanwhile, custodians at the airport are busy keeping every surface people often touch clear of germs.

“In house, we’re accelerating our custodial duties to make sure the virus or the possibility of it spreading, is not present,” airport director Tom Nolan said.

And ever since Avian Flu and SARS scares a few years ago, Palm Springs Airport has been practicing for the worst.

Nolan added, “We have internal plans to say what if there was a contagious disease situation here at the airport, and we’re prepared to do that. I don’t want to get into to much of the details in planning because there’s many different scenarios. But everything from the cleaning to the isolation to the contacting of the authorities and working as a team to make sure the situation is handled appropriately.”

Even though Palm Springs Airport has no direct flights to Mexico and other infected areas, there are plenty of connecting flights.

The Centers For Disease Control issued a warning Tuesday for travelers that have any flu-like symptoms within the last week to go see a doctor for a test.

KESQ News Team

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