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.
 

PineappleSkip

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FWIW, cancelled my booking at NRMA Arrawarra Caravan Park. This was after Brisbane locked itself down while I was in NSW, I was quarantined by NSW Govt (Not sure why Anna gets all the brickbats and Gladys gets none!) and failed the CP's no quarantine test. I went for a credit rather than a refund, and should get there ... some time.

Cheers skip
 

OATEK

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I was booked to fly KRK-MUC-ATH-MUC-LHR in March 2020, and a week before departure the exit gate closed. The flights were in J, and not covered by the CC travel insurance for pandemics.

At the time I sought a travel credit with the carrier (LH) as the fare was non-refundable. After much tooing and froing, in January 2021 they agreed (only took 9mths). So I rang the Sydney number and rebooked for LHR-FRA-BER-MUC-LHR for Dec 2021 (as far out as I could push it), and because the new cost was lower, got a refund of roughly $175 per head.

I have been wondering what to do as the rebooked flights approach given that the current no-exit order does not expire until 10 days after the first flight from LHR.

Then today I received a notice from LH that one leg of the rebooked flight had been cancelled by the airline (MUC-LHR). The notice explained that I had three options, accept an alternative flight (2hrs later), rebook the trip, or apply for a refund.

So finally, after over 18mths from when the travel was originally booked to occur I am hopeful of a decent refund. 🤞
 

Beano

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I was in Melbourne on a wrok trip in June 2021 when my flights MEL-SYD-WLG were cancelled.
  • 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?).
Flights cancelled by the airline and re-booked by them but not to a feasible routing.
  • Did they notify you directly, or did you discover it on your own?
Notified through the phone app.
  • What was your original plan, and what was the revised plan?
MEL-SYD-WLG with a stop-over in Syd. Evetually on a different airline Mel-AKL-WLG
  • What was your experience like?
Bad. The return flight was a "Green" flight on AIr NZ during MEL lockdown. If I hadn't called the travel agent directly (supposed to go through company contact) it would have delayed returning to NZ. As it was the original airline, Qnatas, was offering a completely impossible itinerary with transfer through SYD. That would not have been possible because Melbourne was in lockdown for another week. I would have been making an illegal entry into NZ and slapped in MIQ.
  • Did you go through any travel insurance claim process, and how was that part of it?
No. Organised through the company travel agent. Not sure what happened but likely that the flights were fully refunded.
 

jakeseven7

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If Qantas cancel and change you onto another flight by a couple of hours (personal travel not business) can you argue for a refund?
 

TheRealTMA

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If Qantas cancel and change you onto another flight by a couple of hours (personal travel not business) can you argue for a refund?
As far as I understand the current booking terms for QF you can cancel any flight as you wish. Maybe depends on the fare type as to refund or credit.
But YMMV.

 

Matt_01

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If Qantas cancel and change you onto another flight by a couple of hours (personal travel not business) can you argue for a refund?
If it is an involuntary change which it sounds like it is you should be able to get a refund, just do not accept the change.
 
Last edited:

Port Power

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I was in Melbourne on a wrok trip in June 2021 when my flights MEL-SYD-WLG were cancelled.
  • 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?).
Flights cancelled by the airline and re-booked by them but not to a feasible routing.
  • Did they notify you directly, or did you discover it on your own?
Notified through the phone app.
  • What was your original plan, and what was the revised plan?
MEL-SYD-WLG with a stop-over in Syd. Evetually on a different airline Mel-AKL-WLG
  • What was your experience like?
Bad. The return flight was a "Green" flight on AIr NZ during MEL lockdown. If I hadn't called the travel agent directly (supposed to go through company contact) it would have delayed returning to NZ. As it was the original airline, Qnatas, was offering a completely impossible itinerary with transfer through SYD. That would not have been possible because Melbourne was in lockdown for another week. I would have been making an illegal entry into NZ and slapped in MIQ.
  • Did you go through any travel insurance claim process, and how was that part of it?
No. Organised through the company travel agent. Not sure what happened but likely that the flights were fully refunded.
As Qantas cancelled the flight or changed the departure times significantly (or route), then yes, a full refund without penalty can be requested. As long as you don't accept the changes.
 

serfty

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As Qantas cancelled the flight or changed the departure times significantly (or route), then yes, a full refund without penalty can be requested. As long as you don't accept the changes.
It is a bit harder when you are forced to book through a corporate TA as @Beano was.
 

TonyHancock

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I have lost track of how many time I changed my OSL-LHR-SIN-SYD-SIN-LHR-OSL flights. the journey should have started in March 2020 - I think I changed it directly with BA three times before BA just stopped threatening to fly to Australia...and probably SIN. the changes were all done with no cost. Finally my option was taking the refund or a flight credit. I was using a GUF and that sticks to the refund so that is what I did.

I had AA flights that were credited when I canceled and some that were turned into a credit. Using the credit has been frustrating because I used an Australian card so it means using the Australian phone number to apply credits to a new flight and they are rarely able to find the same price I see on the AUS online AA site. It is possible to do this through the US line but they use some random exchange rate.

Thanks to the US not opening up in a manner to allow "efficient" entry I have also had to change BA flights US-UK-US. This worked out pretty well, I found the flights I wanted, called the GGL line and canceled exisiting flights took a voucher and immediately applied it to the new ones - this also included a GUF - even finished with a GBP4 credit!!! (With the US threatening to open. up to the vaccinated in November I am rather pleased with myself.....although I am now on the way to Mexico to reset my ESTA :oops: )

My ESTA reset trip had to be changed and the AA Australian line was pretty helpful changing that at minimal additional cost - although with a bit of rerouting. (The reroute all changed today as the inbound flight was late and I am back on the original preferred routing at not additional cost!! :D )
 

blackcat20

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So far this year we're five for five on cancellations with one last attempt at a holiday in November. It's been quite disheartening to see friends make it away on the single trip theyve booked when every single one of ours has fallen over, including two attempts at NZ. In some cases we've missed out by a matter of days. its certainly not how I expected to spend my year of maternity leave.
 

harvyk

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If Qantas cancel and change you onto another flight by a couple of hours (personal travel not business) can you argue for a refund?
yes,

As soon as they cancel the original flight, or reschedule it (even if only by a few minutes), you can cancel it and get a refund.
Qantas actually putting the money into your account without multiple phone calls is another story.
 

zig

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Qantas actually putting the money into your account without multiple phone calls is another story.
I requested another couple of flight refunds and was advised of the standard 6 week wait for funds, however I have noted the expected date in my calendar and fully expect to have to chase it up.
 
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jakeseven7

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yes,

As soon as they cancel the original flight, or reschedule it (even if only by a few minutes), you can cancel it and get a refund.
Qantas actually putting the money into your account without multiple phone calls is another story.

Oh thanks, I didn’t know this (just thought would get credit) Do I need to call?
 

EestiTiger

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I requested another couple of flight refunds and was advised of the standard 6 week wait for funds, however I have noted the expected date in my calendar and fully expect to have to chase it up.
8 weeks isn't it?

I have found the best way is to drop them a message by faccie at 8 weeks and funds are in account a day or two later. I have done this a few times now and no issue. I am currently waiting on one more and counting down the days.
 

zig

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8 weeks isn't it?

I have found the best way is to drop them a message by faccie at 8 weeks and funds are in account a day or two later. I have done this a few times now and no issue. I am currently waiting on one more and counting down the days.
I think I was told 6 - 8 weeks, but I will follow up at 6 weeks.
 

Flashback

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That reminds me ...... have a BA refund from 3 months ago that was only half done, better get onto chasing that up. Up till that one they've been pretty good.
 

straitman

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Just checking my Amex and found $100 each refunds for my wife and myself.

No idea what it's for though.

Something else to chase up which is such fun with Qantas.
 
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