Swine flu sparks travel concerns

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -- With a possible pandemic on their hands, leaders at home and abroad issued words of warning for world travelers.

"They should avoid traveling to Mexico and USA unless it is very urgent for them.  Otherwise they should avoid traveling," said Androulla Vassilou, the European Health Commissioner.

The US is also cautioning Americans about non-essential trips to Mexico.

"People need to decide how urgent their travel is in light of the health risks they may place themselves in," explained Dr. Don Williamson, Alabama's State Health Officer.

Local travel agents aren't seeing too much of a customer response just yet.

"It's a 'wait and see' because it's happening so quickly that we can't make any type of intelligent call on it at this point," said Bill Sutton of Alabama World Travel.

Cruise lines like carnival will continue their service south of the border, but airlines--including those in Montgomery--are quick to offer fee waivers as customers change their minds.

"They recognize what the situation is and it's something they need to do," Sutton said.

Officers will keep their eyes on passengers at customs and security checkpoints.

Still, with the virus circulating across the globe, some residents are hesitant to go anywhere if it means becoming infected.

"Every little cough, every little sniffle--the guy next to you coughing [on the plane]--scares you a little, but I just hope everybody's okay," explained Mollie Miller of Fort Deposit.