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

robtemt

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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.
 

drron

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Well today we threw in the towel on our WA trip in August.
Rang AA to cancel our award flights SYD-PER and PER-BNE.Yeasterday our PER-BNE flight wasn't on the QF schedule but our SYD-PER flight was still there.Rang at 1400 and lo and behold QF had cancelled our SYD-PER flight this morning.So points and cah heade back to us.
Able then to rebook for end March 2021.
 

OZDUCK

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All of our flight and hotel cancellations have now been processed. Finnair have taken about a month to refund our money and Cathay have now given back our points for a 'non-refundable' hotel booking - the points are due to expire at the end of this year so we are looking for a good toaster;)

Altogether, we look to have only lost about $80 cancelling everything so we have come out of it far better than many people.
 

Toula92122

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I have to say I was most fortunate on the cancellation front. I had 5 flights booked on points with 5 separate programs and I managed to get all the points and cash back with zero cancellation fees even though some of the flights were running. It's been one less package of stress to deal with during this CV shutdown. Now I'm eagerly looking forward to finding a way to spend the returned points.
 

EestiTiger

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I have had a pretty good run too with refunds/insurance relative to some of the horror stories.

  • One World explorer booking points returned the day after I cancelled. Still waiting for the cash component but not too worried just yet.
  • Most of my hotels have been sorted but have three bookings as part of an insurance claim that also is close to being sorted.
  • I had a single Lufthansa flight and I was nervous they were going to fold before they cancelled the flight. Still waiting on that too but the paperwork, all in Deutsche, assures me the refund is coming.
 

Katie

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We cancelled our Finnair flights to Europe back in May, flights were to be in July. Still waiting on the refund. The TA suggested when we cancelled that it would take easily 6 weeks.

The kid's school has cancelled next April's Space Camp trip, but I don't think the last payment went beyond the school, so am expecting that $2.5k back within a week. The school/TA/travel insurance (or some combination of them) are trying to get the original non-refundable deposit of $1k back. Miss 13 was very disappointed when they were told about the trip cancelling last week. :( I can't really buck her up with the suggestion that it would be worse if she was in grade 11 this year, as the school is stopping all immersion/service/fun/experience trips for grade 12s with the introduction of ATAR and the senior curriculum.

Hoping to have a late 20th anniversary "trip" in early September. From Brisbane to Mt Tamborine. Though after what's been announced in Qld today, I hope we'll be allowed to travel so far away from home in ~5 weeks' time!! And head to western Qld in the Sept school hols.
 

p--and--t

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Granddaughter was supposed to go on a school recommended hiking trip in Asia in December which obviously can't go ahead. The adventure travel company had the payment for the trip on a monthly payment plan so the kids could fund raise along the way. The AU gov won't currently allow overseas travel, the country they were going to won't accept Australians, there is no vaccine or pandemic protection plan for the trip.

The adventure company have just sent a note saying they have changed the trip to December 2021 (without consultation with any of the participants) and demanding any outstanding funds for the trip to be paid ASAP. :oops:
 

Flashback

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In the end we were quite lucky. Every single item cancelled was refunded (even those on non-refundable bookings) except for 1, which was only £49. Travel insurance excess is £50 so not worth doing anything about.

We had 1 airline refund where we lost out a fair amount due to FX movements, however I had a successful chargeback on the basis the CC provider was happy to go back to Qatar saying the tx should have been voided rather than refunded. We had a few airline refunds where we won on the FX movements...... so of course I did nothing on those, but that covered off the £49 loss of 1 hotel night.

Happy with that.

3 trips over the next month though and 1 or 2 are looking a bit dicey, not due to self-isolation requirements on return (which we are OK with) but more so whether the country then puts a self-isolation policy in place on arrival for us. Constantly evolving situation so we'll see what happens. Some didn't even have an option for a flexible rate, so will just take the loss if need be going into those tx with our eyes wide open anyway. Happy with that and let the good times roll (again).
 
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OATEK

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Finally had to accept defeat and cancel our overseas trip for September, as the flights have disappeared from My Bookings. Mind you it was only a trip from SYD to HBA, but the Tas Premier has put the kibosh on that.
 

Flashback

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Had a cancellation work in our favour. Was a short haul trip for Christmas Markets booked using some expiring miles I had laying around, that had a reasonable tax & fees co-pay on it. Flight cancelled (still plenty of options on that day) so refunded the miles and cash and for only £20 more (in total for 2 pax) booked the trip again using straight cash. It's a buyers market right now.
 

dajop

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It's a buyers market right now.

In your part of the world 🤣

For anywhere from India eastwards, if you are one of the few who are allowed to travel internationally, it's not necessarily going to be cheap. Just depends on a whole stack of things.
 

Flashback

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In your part of the world 🤣

For anywhere from India eastwards, if you are one of the few who are allowed to travel internationally, it's not necessarily going to be cheap. Just depends on a whole stack of things.

Even then it's still a bit risky, it could be in some kind of lock down (or at least mandatory self-iso/quarantine) state by then again.

I have a trip in a few weeks to France that has a flight cancelled (with plenty of options to move to on the same day), but I'm sitting on that one for now as UK has France on the naughty list so I'm waiting to see whether France retaliates and requests a 14 day self-iso period again like there was before the EU 'opened up'...... if it looks good a few days beforehand, then will finalise the hotel booking I already have sitting there (which is flex) and then confirm the flight change.
 
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dajop

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as UK has France on the naughty list

UK's naughty list, I love it. 🤣

I'm now on the naughty list in Singapore, where community transmission is about 3-4 a day, and averaging 1 a day from unknown source, I could have come from Melbourne a few weeks ago when I was still there, still with hundreds daily community transmission, a good number of which were from an unknown source.
 

Flashback

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Even then it's still a bit risky, it could be in some kind of lock down (or at least mandatory self-iso/quarantine) state by then again.

I have a trip in a few weeks to France that has a flight cancelled (with plenty of options to move to on the same day), but I'm sitting on that one for now as UK has France on the naughty list so I'm waiting to see whether France retaliates and requests a 14 day self-iso period again like there was before the EU 'opened up'...... if it looks good a few days beforehand, then will finalise the hotel booking I already have sitting there (which is flex) and then confirm the flight change.

So in the end sitting on it was the right thing to do, I couldn't get into Monaco anyway (which was the primary purpose of the trip) so that's now been rebooked for next year. I priced up the same flights for cash and they were very expensive given it's peak season there, so did reasonably OK on that front. 3rd time lucky.......

Booked a wide array of trips about 4-6 weeks ago for the next 6 months, cancellations for those have just started rolling in. As they're straight forward bookings with BA though, most have been refunded back to my AMEX within 1-2 days of calling in to request the refund. So that's a positive improvement at least, while the mood improvement is negative ;)
 

LadyC

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Our AirBnB bookings in North America over New Year and early January were cancelled and refunded a few weeks ago. The refunds came through within a few days. The same for the JAL 'sale' fare we had out off YVR to DPS in late January. I am very sad about missing that one. Finally the QF award booking had points refunded in full but still waiting for the cash component to be refunded. Not a surprise really.....
 

Denali

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In March 2020 I transferred all my bookings to March 2021 - at what point do I start reaching out to the vendors, asking whats their 2022 policy or just can it/call insurer?
 

straitman

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In March 2020 I transferred all my bookings to March 2021 - at what point do I start reaching out to the vendors, asking whats their 2022 policy or just can it/call insurer?
How long is a piece of string?

I have already started re rebooking things.
 
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In March 2020 I transferred all my bookings to March 2021 - at what point do I start reaching out to the vendors, asking whats their 2022 policy or just can it/call insurer?
Yes, the 12-months-postponed trips are beginning to fail. Japan in March and Wales in May. This time I’ll receive a refund except for a deposit on the same trip in May 2022. Much easier without air fares being involved. At least I know a trip around Kununurra is a definite goer!
 

trooper

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Was lucky and only had a domestic trip booked...for 3 of us CBR-TSV in June. Had booked with VA, so was only offered the travel credit. Was extremely pessimistic/cynical about that, but after those funds became accessible online I rebooked the trip for new dates next year. Pleasantly surprised that ALL fares available for cash were also available to spend the credit on. Now we just need the airline to survive. We will see.
 

drron

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SQ have just cancelled our January flights BKK-SIN-BNE.
 

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