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.
 

Pushka

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Timing is on your side. The cruise adds another level of anxiety over a stock standard FIFO holiday.
Agree, on both points. :( We are doing a very small 35 person charter Athens to Athens through the tiny Greek Islands on a sailing boat first and that presents no issue. But we may have over two weeks to fill in. We arrive into Athens and out of Athens on Qatar and had paid airfare Athens - Rome return. Accommodation is all refundable so far.
 
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amaroo

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It's a ticking timepiece. So far our SQ suites to London and back in May is solid, however I'm half expecting this disruption to grow legs and all sorts of cancellations / issues will unfold.
 
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Port Power

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If I book Qantas PER-SYD-HKG to meet up with my original CX flight to Haneda, how likely is it that Qantas will stop flying to Hong Kong in the next few weeks? Travel is becoming fraught with possible changes.
 

Timtammi

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I had to cancel a China, Korea, Taiwan trip work trip. All hotels were only guaranteed and still within free cancellation window so no problems there. Flights were with 3 different airlines. CX refunded in full, CI (TPE-GMP) refunded less cancellation fee and I'm still waiting for any kind of sensible response from CZ. No way to cancel online, phone goes unanswered or does not connect, emails only get automated responses telling me to submit all sorts of details if I am asking for refund. Have done that about 10 times and sent about 20 emails, still waiting several weeks later. Even if I get nothing back from them the flight was pretty cheap so we are only out of pocket about $350 USD.
Still travelling to South Africa next month for a conference and just booked a trip to Vancouver and MSP in July for a yearly meeting.
 

MZFlyer

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We've decided to preemptively cancel the Korean middle part of our otherwise Japanese holiday. We don't want to risk any immigration restrictions changing for re-entering Japan and for flying back to Sydney. I made some calls to see if we could at least get hotel credit for our non refundable bookings, and amazingly the hotels are all being refunded in the circumstances! Thank you World of Hyatt (Andaz Gangnum) and Marriott Bonvoy (Aloft Myeongdong and Ryse Autograph Collection). We will get about a third of the flight cost back from KAL, which was also an unexpected bonus. Now I need to find extra accommodation in Kyoto, and add Osaka and Kobe to our trip! 🌸🌸🌸
 

m_diggity

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My wife and I have a trip coming up in April, over Easter. MEL-DXB-BKK with a 22 hour layover in Dubai - flying Emirates.
Next is BKK - CNS then CEI - HKT, then HKT - BKK all with Thai/Bangkok Air. All have at least 3 days in each port.

BKK - SIN - MEL with Singapore, but with a 4 day stop over in SIN. Due to fly back to MEL on 28th April.
This trip was booked over 11 months ago, as a lot of the fights are reward redemptions, and majority of the hotels/luxury escape bookings are non refundable, and after reading this thread, I am starting to get worried.

We took out our travel insurance (SCTI) back in August last year, so I thought we would be covered if the warning from SmartTraveller goes any higher, and we can no longer travel to either Thailand/Singapore.

Would I be able to claim my non-refundable expenses through the policy??
 

Pushka

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My wife and I have a trip coming up in April, over Easter. MEL-DXB-BKK with a 22 hour layover in Dubai - flying Emirates.
Next is BKK - CNS then CEI - HKT, then HKT - BKK all with Thai/Bangkok Air. All have at least 3 days in each port.

BKK - SIN - MEL with Singapore, but with a 4 day stop over in SIN. Due to fly back to MEL on 28th April.
This trip was booked over 11 months ago, as a lot of the fights are reward redemptions, and majority of the hotels/luxury escape bookings are non refundable, and after reading this thread, I am starting to get worried.

We took out our travel insurance (SCTI) back in August last year, so I thought we would be covered if the warning from SmartTraveller goes any higher, and we can no longer travel to either Thailand/Singapore.

Would I be able to claim my non-refundable expenses through the policy??
You will only be refunded if the Govt issues a Do Not Travel warning. Of course you can still cancel if you experience sickness etc and recover those costs. We have the same issue with Luxury Escapes and Bali at end of March.
 

HDMAN

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I'm really confused about this. HK may or may not be safe same as Sin. I have to fly to EU in Sept and looking at different options. Eg Finnair but its a QF flight to HK then jump on Fin.

So how come flights are still going to HK from Aust if its apparently not that safe. Mind you if QF was to brush HK, Sin and BKK....just say. What's the back up strategy...DBX maybe ?

Interested because obviously airlines need contingencies. Also hope they are focusing on treatment plans of drug combos if a vaccine is that far away.
 

m_diggity

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You will only be refunded if the Govt issues a Do Not Travel warning. Of course you can still cancel if you experience sickness etc and recover those costs. We have the same issue with Luxury Escapes and Bali at end of March.
Good to know.
If that does happen, are we able to claim, get refunded, but then modify our travel plans to still have some sort of holiday?
As we are travelling to DXB first, I had this idea in my head that worst case, we just cancel the SE Asian part of the trip, and travel the Middle East instead.
 

Pushka

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Good to know.
If that does happen, are we able to claim, get refunded, but then modify our travel plans to still have some sort of holiday?
As we are travelling to DXB first, I had this idea in my head that worst case, we just cancel the SE Asian part of the trip, and travel the Middle East instead.
You claim for the events that get cancelled. You can then do what you like.
 
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I have a reward flight on China Airlines booked using QF points in April but the problem is I am visiting S. Korea before that and according to LINK, I will need to be quarantined in Taiwan for 14 days which I would rather not.

I assume I need to contact Qantas in regards to my reward booking change/cancellation?
Thanks.
 

I love to travel

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I have a reward flight on China Airlines booked using QF points in April but the problem is I am visiting S. Korea before that and according to LINK, I will need to be quarantined in Taiwan for 14 days which I would rather not.

I assume I need to contact Qantas in regards to my reward booking change/cancellation?
Thanks.
Yes and you will need to leave a lot of time to get through to them.
 

Jmrocky

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Trip planned to Italy at the end of March and into April (3 weeks) road tripping from south to north. Not changing plans yet but hoping the cases plateau and the quarantine in Lombardy is somewhat effective.
 

Fred_bear

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Trip planned to Italy at the end of March and into April (3 weeks) road tripping from south to north. Not changing plans yet but hoping the cases plateau and the quarantine in Lombardy is somewhat effective.
We’re in pretty much the same situation, land in Rome 16 March and work our way north to Venice (via Florence and riomaggiore) by 29th March, then on to Geneva on 3 April. Have contingencies in place if we can’t get to Venice and aren’t changing anything right now, but as it’s an evolving situation it’s so hard to know what the best course of action is.
 

knightfall88

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I also have a Italy trip in May and I'm just keeping an eye on the situation as it evolves. I have one question though and I am almost ashamed to ask but as a asian australian, should I be concerned making a trip to Florence and Tuscany? I understand that the majority of people know better but it only takes one idiot to ruin the day for me and my partner. I was leaning towards cancelling the trip just for this reason alone.
 

I love to travel

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I also have a Italy trip in May and I'm just keeping an eye on the situation as it evolves. I have one question though and I am almost ashamed to ask but as a asian australian, should I be concerned making a trip to Florence and Tuscany? I understand that the majority of people know better but it only takes one idiot to ruin the day for me and my partner. I was leaning towards cancelling the trip just for this reason alone.
I realise as an anglo saxon it's easy for me to say but please do not give into perceived or actual racism. You have every right to be there so if you are not putting your health at risk go and enjoy.
 

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