coronavirus

Flights Home Canceled, Dallas Couple Stuck in Rome

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A Dallas couple who went to Rome on vacation a week ago says they are unable to get home because of the coronavirus quarantine and canceled flights.

"We feel helpless because we're sitting here in a hotel room,” said web developer Robby Terry.

He and his wife Molly, a freelance set designer, arrived in Rome when only the northern part of the country was under quarantine.

Then the entire country was locked down as the coronavirus spread.

They booked their airfare on American Airlines and British Airways through Expedia and asked about delaying their trip.

"They said if the plane is taking off then you either go on the flight or you lose your money,” Robby Terry said.

American Airlines is waiving change fees now, but not when they bought their ticket.

So they took their chances.

Now, they say, they regret it.

Their British Airways flight from Rome to London, canceled.

And other flights, too.

"We scheduled a flight with Alitalia and they were able to give us a flight tomorrow night but then they canceled,” Robby Terry said.

So for now, they say they'll keep working the phone -- and try to get some sleep before they lose their hotel Wednesday morning.

"It won't be easy to sleep but I am going to try to sleep because tomorrow could be even more hectic,” he said.

Their latest plan is to fly to London Wednesday afternoon through Brussels, Belgium.

On Tuesday, American Airlines announced it is waiving change fees for travel through April 20 even for customers who bought tickets before March 1.

The airline also said it was "adjusting" flights because of decreased demand.

An American Airlines spokesman told NBC 5 the airline is working with the Terry’s to help them get home and noted the canceled flight from Rome to London was on British Airways, not American.

The airline also is experiencing "unprecedented" call volume, he said.

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