Have you had to change/cancel travel due to COVID-19 (involuntarily or voluntarily)?

robtemt

Active Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Posts
584
I thought I would start a thread as a resource for AFFers who have changed or cancelled travel plans directly or indirectly due to 2019 n-CoV.
  • Did the airline/cruise company cancelling or change your flight/cruise? Or, did you proactively or reactively cancel or change it on your own (and why?).
  • Did they notify you directly, or did you discover it on your own?
  • What was your original plan, and what was the revised plan?
  • What was your experience like?
  • Did you go through any travel insurance claim process, and how was that part of it?

For the record, part of my role at work is to monitor medical related issues, filter out mis/disinformation, and brief other staff using only verified facts from trusted sources, so I am not one to buy into sensationalism or hysteria. BUT, I am also an advocate of forward planning and monitoring situations that could affect travel plans.
Post automatically merged:

To start it off…. We have begun voluntarily changing (or making back up plans for) our upcoming holiday SYD-(+/- SIN)-LAX-SJO-LAX-HNL-LNY-HNL-SYD

We are booked to the USA via SIN on SQ in a few weeks (F Saver Reward Booking). A few things caused us to start making contingency plans on getting to the USA including:
  • Reading posts from Buttermilk Chicken regarding her RTW flight being disrupted between HKK and CEB
  • Member Pushka raising a good point if Singapore will be next.
  • Monitoring the World Health Organisations surveillance on n-CoV (as part of my responsibilities at work). Singapore confirmed infections were 28 on 5 Feb, 40 on 8 Feb, and 43 on 9 Feb. Several of these cases were human-to-human contact, with no recent travel to China.
  • Bloomberg’s article this morning HERE, which discussed the spread of the virus from a conference attendee in Singapore, via a resort in France, to people in France, Spain, and the UK.

We contacted SQ, to discuss the options of alternative carriers, to which there were no available flights. The agent was very friendly, and said she understood the desire to rebook and avoid an Asia transit, but she said until official bans are in place, there were no options, but “we will offer options if Singapore becomes affected by travel bans”.

We began searching other options. We contacted VFF, who found one seat on DL SYD-LAX in W, and one seat on VA in J SYD-BNE-LAX. No other business or premium reward seats (except any seat) were available +/- 1 day of our desired travel (with pre-booked hotels, cars, and other flights to South America, and Hawaii). We will keep looking for another J seat on same day, and hopefully two on the same flight to free up closer to the date.

We have left our SQ bookings as is for now, and will cancel either that booking of the DL/VA booking closer to the date as thing develop.

Overall Experience:
  • Wait times on the phone are obviously a bit longer, but I’ve not been on hold longer than 15 minutes with either VA or SQ.
  • Staff at both SQ and VA call centres have been friendly, empathetic, and helpful in searching, but have no/limited availability and flexibility in voluntary changes so far.
 

yoyo

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Posts
160
As frustrating as it might be you will just need to be patient as the SQ/KF call ctr is just totally swamped right now - they are processing close in movements first - they will get to you - so far my exp with the email process is that it is working quite well apart from the ability to adjust / amend imm with a human on other end of phone.
I sent them an email on 5 Feb and another one about a week later, still no reply. I can see on the website that all SIN-PEK and PEK to EWR flights are cancelled until 28 March but I leave on 15 April so there is no way of knowing if my flight will go ahead. Given that there are no available award seats in J on any airline that I can see, not sure what else I can do but wait and see if an alternative comes up or if KrisFlyer decides to respond and offer me a different flight.
 

stoney

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Posts
115
Received a very disappointing reply so I have sent another request for assistance and have another SR number.
Received a further apology from QFF who are adamant that it is a QF booking problem. I have since been in touch and resolved the flight change so no further action required.
 

Pushka

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Posts
29,487
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
Supposed to be going to Japan (Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo) this Saturday for 2 weeks and then 3 days in Taipei. Feeling a bit conflicted now with the recent travel advice update.
You’ll need to weigh up your own tolerance for risk but in reality there are many countries with the same warning almost on a permanent basis but people still travel there. Unless your airline is sympathetic it’s likely that you will experience financial loss.
 

marksound

Newbie
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Posts
6
I haven't pre-paid any hotels so wouldn't lose out there and all the flights are on points which I could mostly get refunded if the need to cancel arises. At the moment we're still going but will be watching closely over the next few days.
 

Pushka

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Posts
29,487
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
I haven't pre-paid any hotels so wouldn't lose out there and all the flights are on points which I could mostly get refunded if the need to cancel arises. At the moment we're still going but will be watching closely over the next few days.
Then you are in the best position possible for a last minute cancellation.
 
Sponsored Post

This is an example of a Sponsored Post, one of the many ways you can advertise on the Australian Frequent Flyer.

Other options include banner advertisements on our content and forum pages or our newsletter. You can also purchase an audio message on our podcast - or if you just want to try it out, you can sponsor a thread.

If you'd prefer not to see any advertisements (including these sponsored posts), you can become an AFF Supporter from just $6 and instantly remove all advertisements from our website!

MZFlyer

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Posts
10
Qantas
Gold
Supposed to be going to Japan (Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo) this Saturday for 2 weeks and then 3 days in Taipei. Feeling a bit conflicted now with the recent travel advice update.

We're off this Sunday to Kyoto, then Seoul, then back to Japan to Hiroshima. All in and out of KIX. Might scrap Seoul, as we don't want to get stuck there if flights back to Japan suddenly get restricted... The upside is there are barely any tourists in Kyoto and the sakura are starting to bloom!
Post automatically merged:

I haven't pre-paid any hotels so wouldn't lose out there and all the flights are on points which I could mostly get refunded if the need to cancel arises. At the moment we're still going but will be watching closely over the next few days.

Annoyingly we have prepaid all hotels in well in advance, non refundable :(
 

YSSY

Member
Joined
May 16, 2014
Posts
294
I had flights with China Airlines via Taipei to Rome booked for early April, I received an e-mail from China Airlines in early Feb advising that the flights were cancelled due to travel restrictions between Italy and Taiwan.
BudgetAir who I booked through were very uncooperative and kept telling me the flights were non cancellable... In the end I ran a chargeback through my Qantas Platinum card. Subsequently received a notice from BudgetAir that they would be charging me $100 administration fees for each cancellation...I don't think thats reasonable and doesn't seem to align with their terms and conditions.
I have since rebooked more expensive flights with Qantas/Emirates via Dubai. I have put in a claim for the difference through the credit card insurance (Chubb) and they are 'considering' it. I don't expect anything back, but it would be nice.
 

Pushka

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Posts
29,487
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
I had flights with China Airlines via Taipei to Rome booked for early April, I received an e-mail from China Airlines in early Feb advising that the flights were cancelled due to travel restrictions between Italy and Taiwan.
BudgetAir who I booked through were very uncooperative and kept telling me the flights were non cancellable... In the end I ran a chargeback through my Qantas Platinum card. Subsequently received a notice from BudgetAir that they would be charging me $100 administration fees for each cancellation...I don't think thats reasonable and doesn't seem to align with their terms and conditions.
I have since rebooked more expensive flights with Qantas/Emirates via Dubai. I have put in a claim for the difference through the credit card insurance (Chubb) and they are 'considering' it. I don't expect anything back, but it would be nice.
Gosh, we had to do similar with Cathay when our cruise prevented transit through HK. I never thought of claiming the difference for the fare I had to book. Hmmm.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2017
Posts
134
My wife and I are supposed to be traveling to Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore late next week. Watching and waiting, but growing more concerned by the day. Hotels are all non-refundable 😔 and we will be out ~$500 and some points for the flights.
 

get me outta here

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Posts
8,745
Qantas
LT Silver
Have they changed any of the timings of the flights? If so, you may be able to justify cancelling the flights for full refunds on the flights based on the time change if that is your preference, to not go at all.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2017
Posts
134
Have they changed any of the timings of the flights? If so, you may be able to justify cancelling the flights for full refunds on the flights based on the time change if that is your preference, to not go at all.
Good tip. I booked the trip almost a year ago, so can’t recall, but will check to see if my itinerary now is precisely as it was when I booked.

I read that JL is reducing flights to and from HKG, but our flight is one of the “lucky” ones that hasn’t been cancelled/changed.
 

pauly7

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2004
Posts
5,027
I have just been pulled out of a Bangkok trip, a Mumbai trip and a Singapore trip by one of my employers.

I have a Japan trip on the horizon and suspect that will be pulled as well.
 

amaroo

Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Posts
13,644
Qantas
Platinum 1
Will need to keep an eye on Italy and Europe in general. News reports suggesting border restrictions might be just around the corner.
 

Port Power

Active Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2016
Posts
888
Qantas
Platinum
I am not cancelling my March trip to Japan as the tour is still going ahead. Return is with Qantas but outward is with Cathay and they are keeping that flight from Perth. Japan will not want to close its borders with the Olympics looming, but I wonder if they will restrict flights from certain countries? I am not really worried about transit-only through HKG, just hoping it will not become an issue for arriving into Japan.
 

Port Power

Active Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2016
Posts
888
Qantas
Platinum
Oops! I’ve just received an email from Qantas about changes to my flight from Perth. The PER-HKG flight has been cancelled. Not HKG-HND though! So a phone call to Qantas to reschedule on Qantas through Sydney most likely.
 

Pushka

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Posts
29,487
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
Grrr. We have a cruise booked in July. Starts and ends in Rome. Celebrity will now prevent people boarding if they have been through the affected parts of Italy and everyone who has been in Italy will be required to undergo extensive pre medical checks. That will be the whole damn list of passengers. We don’t have to pay in full until May thank goodness but we are making alternative plans.
 

amaroo

Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Posts
13,644
Qantas
Platinum 1
Grrr. We have a cruise booked in July. Starts and ends in Rome. Celebrity will now prevent people boarding if they have been through the affected parts of Italy and everyone who has been in Italy will be required to undergo extensive pre medical checks. That will be the whole damn list of passengers. We don’t have to pay in full until May thank goodness but we are making alternative plans.

Timing is on your side. The cruise adds another level of anxiety over a stock standard FIFO holiday.
 
Top