Solve It 7: Zika virus

They call it Paradise Island for a reason.

“I was so ready to get away with my daughter,” Michelle Tache said.

Michelle, who is a nurse in Salem, figured a trip to the Bahamas would be the perfect place to take her daughter for spring break.

“She’s never flown and we’ve never been away together, so I figured this would be a nice bonding experience,” she said.

Back in November, Michelle booked the April getaway — resort, airfare and travel insurance — for about $7,000.

“Spent so much money and had such great plans,” Michelle said.

A few weeks later, Michelle got some exciting news: she was pregnant! But as the trip got closer, news about the Zika virus caught her attention.

Concerned about her unborn child, Michelle told her doctor about her planned trip.

“I explicitly informed Michelle that she shouldn’t go,” Dr. Christopher Coffey said. “The Caribbean is very risky at this point.”

Michelle was able to get a full refund from the resort, but when she went to cancel the flights, she had a problem.

Despite having a note from her doctor, Michelle says the airline and insurance company both rejected her request for a refund.

“I was horrified,” she said.

That’s when she contacted solve it 7.

We decided to ask our legal expert, Bob Harnais, if the airline has to refund the money.

“If you buy just regular flight insurance, that’s not covered,” he said.

Harnais says that because the flight itself isn’t a danger to Michelle or her pregnancy, the insurance and airline don’t have to refund her money. But there is another option.

“If you want to buy the clause that allows you to cancel for no reason then zika would be covered under that,” he said.

We reached out to the airline directly to discuss Michelle’s situation. A few hours later, she received a phone call.

“They were very apologetic and said they were really sorry that I had been going through all of this and that they wanted to refund all of my money,” Michelle said.

A refund totaling nearly $3,000.

“Thank you for helping me,” she said.

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