Is Coronavirus affecting your travel plans?

Old Jun 22nd, 2020, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave_Ohio View Post
Wow. That is incredible!
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Old Jun 29th, 2020, 05:34 PM
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Yes, I got stranded in Belize for almost 3 months, I landed on March 23rd when they had their first reported case of Covid19. Everything shut down. All of my plans canceled which was to snorkel the barrier reef at 2 places for 12 days.
The US Embassy said to pick a town and plan to be in lock down for at least 2 months.
I chose Placencia as I had a reservation there for a few days. But it was canceled because the owner of the guesthouse was afraid of me being from the US. I had to stay in Belize City one night and finally found someone who would rent to me.
It was very stressful and also touching to have local woman open one of her cabanas and say she wasn't afraid of me. I was so grateful.
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Old Jun 29th, 2020, 05:38 PM
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Yes, I got stranded in Belize for almost 3 months, I landed on March 23rd when they had their first reported case of Covid19. Everything shut down. All of my plans canceled which was to snorkel the barrier reef at 2 places for 12 days.
The US Embassy said to pick a town and plan to be in lock down for at least 2 months.
I chose Placencia as I had a reservation there for a few days. But it was canceled because the owner of the guesthouse was afraid of me being from the US. I had to stay in Belize City one night and finally found someone who would rent to me.
It was very stressful and also touching to have local woman open one of her cabanas and say she wasn't afraid of me. I was so grateful.
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Old Jul 6th, 2020, 01:40 AM
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Unfortunately yes! I was supposed to travel to Canada in August but had to cancel! Will have to postpone and go next year!
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Old Jul 20th, 2020, 10:21 AM
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So some travel companies have been better than others as far as refunding your money.

I've encountered some who refunded the money despite a nonrefundable reservation. Most will offer a credit if nothing else.

I wonder if we should name some of these companies, so people know which ones to beware of. They are within their rights to keep nonrefundable payments but fortunately they've been the exception rather than the rule.
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Old Jul 20th, 2020, 12:36 PM
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>>They are within their rights to keep nonrefundable payments

That is not entirely true.
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Old Jul 20th, 2020, 12:38 PM
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What recourse is there, especially for US citizens who paid foreign companies?

IS there some EU consumer agency where you can submit a complaint?
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Old Jul 20th, 2020, 08:53 PM
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What exactly are you going to complain about?

If the booking was non refundable and you chose not to show up it's on you. Even if it wasn't your fault you didn't show up.

If the hotel was closed it's on them. Even if you couldn't show up.

The big problem is a large number of small and medium size companies aren't going to be around after this. The number of places that haven't yet open is substantial. Many of the still closed hotels etc aren't ever going to open. Some of the ones that did open aren't going to make it.

Even if you file a complaint. Go to court. Win every step. All that happens is you become a creditor at the end of a likely long line.
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Old Jul 21st, 2020, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by scrb11 View Post
What recourse is there, especially for US citizens who paid foreign companies?

IS there some EU consumer agency where you can submit a complaint?
Those are good questions especially when it comes to lodging and tours. My comment was about airfares where the contract of carriage allows for refunds on non-refundable tickets on flights that are cancelled by the airlines (as long as you don't cancel before they do).
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Old Jul 21st, 2020, 10:01 AM
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>> I wonder if we should name some of these companies

scrb11, yes, we should do that. Share experiences and name names - including those that came through with a refund. Do it here and in forums on other websites.

SWISS Airlines just confirmed that my airline ticket refund is in process. The agent said that it normally takes 6 to 8 weeks but that it will be longer because they have so many refund requests to process. I am not holding my breath.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2020, 02:06 AM
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I have reservations from the US to Paris in December on Delta, then a week later onto Edinburgh on Air France. If France still isn't accepting Americans (fingers crossed that that isn't the case), I'm wondering if Air France will refund my Paris to Edinburgh ticket. It's not a lot of money, so more curiosity than anything else.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2020, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mrwunrfl View Post
>> I wonder if we should name some of these companies

scrb11, yes, we should do that. Share experiences and name names - including those that came through with a refund. Do it here and in forums on other websites.

SWISS Airlines just confirmed that my airline ticket refund is in process. The agent said that it normally takes 6 to 8 weeks but that it will be longer because they have so many refund requests to process. I am not holding my breath.

That's interesting that you're getting a refund from Swiss. I only got offered credit, which is better than nothing. I hear Lufthansa in general isn't issuing cash refunds.

I want to name them, some of which have real good reviews on many sites. But it's interesting how shortsighted they are, won't make any kind of accommodation like offering a credit for a future reservation, which is what most places offer.

Good way to lose repeat customers forever.

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Old Jul 22nd, 2020, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ellen75005 View Post
I have reservations from the US to Paris in December on Delta, then a week later onto Edinburgh on Air France. If France still isn't accepting Americans (fingers crossed that that isn't the case), I'm wondering if Air France will refund my Paris to Edinburgh ticket. It's not a lot of money, so more curiosity than anything else.
I will make some guesses here but am willing to bet on the outcome I expect.

If the flights are all on one ticket and one of the flights is cancelled by the airline then you are due a refund. I would be a bit more confident of winning the bet if the ticket was bought from Delta, and a bit more so if the AF flight was sold as a codeshare with a DL flight number.

If the AF flight is on a separate ticket and the flight is cancelled then you are due a refund. If the flight goes, is not cancelled, then you will lose the value of the ticket if you don't cancel the reservation before the flight.

I recently cancelled a couple of reservations on US domestic flights. I decided not to go but did not cancel when I made the decision. I waited to cancel until a day or two before the flights when I saw that the airlines were not going to cancel. I now have a credit with two airlines that I want to use in the next year or so (I think the credits are good thru 2021).

Given that getting a refund might take months it might make more sense to get a credit instead. That would be in the case where you are likely to buy a ticket on the airline sooner than you would get the refund.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2020, 03:14 AM
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I made the AF reservation separately, directly with AF. I'd be fine with a credit, and as I mentioned, it's not a lot of money anyway. If Americans still can't travel to Europe in December, I'll call the airline and hope they understand my situation. It makes sense that I wouldn't be able to take the flight if I can't get to Europe in the first place, but reasonableness doesn't rule in all cases!

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Old Jul 23rd, 2020, 10:05 AM
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Naming and shaming:

Still waiting on two seat assignment refunds from Lufthansa for a late April flight. Lufthansa coughed up the difference on two downgraded flights back in March fairly quickly, but it's been painful trying to get the seat assignment $ back, even after disputing with my credit card.

Really annoyed with Expedia - filed a dispute with my credit card for flights in April and May on United. Also requested a refund from UA directly. United eventually advised us they had made the refund to Expedia and that Expedia would refund us. Instead Expedia falsely accused us of cancelling the flights (!) and just wanted to keep UA's refund. Weirdly, our credit card company took their side, despite Expedia's canned, conflicting and inaccurate response. So, we disputed again, providing documentation that United had refunded Expedia. The credit card company reversed their decision immediately in our favor.

However, six nights in a non-refundable hotel in Lisbon, also booked through Expedia, was refunded, even after both they and the hotel told me I was out of luck.

Singapore Airlines - requested a refund and received it several weeks later, no issues

United domestic flight - requested and received a refund surprisingly fast

All told, we've managed to get just about everything refunded for the two international trips we've been unable to take and only lost a bit on the trip to Spain that was cut short due to Spain's State of Alarm back in March (trip was insured, but not for a pandemic).

Can't complain.

Last edited by Melnq8; Jul 23rd, 2020 at 10:07 AM.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2020, 11:00 AM
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I've gotten 3 refunds from United for flights to Europe. One was canceled and the other two changed from nonstops to a connection resulting in more than 2 hours longer trips each way. Some refunds took longer than others but eventually they all came through.

My fourth is a flight on Air Canada booked through Priceline for August. Even though not many Canadians are flying to Europe for travel this summer, apparently it's likely that these flights will proceed. So more than likely, I will cancel close to departure date and get a 2-year credit from Priceline.

I've had a number of non-refundable hotels in Europe over 4 trips this year. All were booked in January or earlier. Many of the hotels gave me refunds or offered a credit. Off the top of my head, Sintra Boutique Hotel gave me a refund outright. Another one is Hotel du Leman in Jongny Switzerland. These hotels will definitely get my business again.

Most offered credits so it will be a hassle to sort through but I plan to go to these places again.

Two bad recent experiences:

1. Sixt car rental, was going to charge a 3-day rental, approximately 25% for a rental in Austria. They said I can change my dates a year out further with minimal charges to keep most of my prepayment. Just beware, Sixt has good prices in some markets like Austria if you book directly with them but they're not 100% refundable, no questions asked, like AutoEurope or Rentalcars.com.

2. Hotel Laurin in Selva - I booked directly with them, gave them a 200 Euro deposit. Their answer when I asked for refund or credit, is that normally they will take 70% as penalty for cancellation. But that was 70% of the total price of approximately 450 Euros, not 70% of 200 Euro deposit. They were going to make an exception and waive the 70% cancellation fee. When I booked I got a better price quoted from them for my stay than searching on booking.com. I don't recall if their email offer set out these cancellation conditions. But when I return to the Dolomites, I won't be booking with them.

3. Basic Hotel Innsbruck - Only a 1-night 90 Euro booking. They said abruptly "it's non refundable, not possible, we are open" meaning tough shit if you can't enter our country.

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Old Jul 23rd, 2020, 07:47 PM
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I had to file a dispute with Chase Sapphire for our Virgin Atlantic flight that we did not get a refund. I was just informed that the credit card credited our account. Our hotel in Paris rescheduled as did the apartment in London. I appreciate the hotel and apartment working with us to change our dates.
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Old Jul 24th, 2020, 05:19 PM
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I cancelled my May trip to Germany from the USA in early March. I booked through Orbitz. I was to fly United and Lufthansa round trip. United emailed me back in early May that I will have a voucher through 2021 for the flight . Can I request a refund instead? If so, do I go through Orbitz or contact United and Lufthansa individually? I did get flight Insurance when I bought the airline tickets through Orbitz.
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Old Jul 25th, 2020, 10:59 AM
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If none of the flights were cancelled then you get a credit, assuming you canceled before departure.

If any one of the flights was cancelled before you (involuntarily) cancelled then you are due a refund or credit. I would see this case as a demand, not a request, for a refund , even if you say please

If none of the flights were cancelled before you cancelled then you get a credit. This was voluntary on your part.

But, by all means call. If you don't tell them what you want and you don't ask for what you want then you should fully expect to not get what you want.

My first thought is to start with Orbitz because that is who you paid your money to. Orbitz paid LH and UA or Orbitz paid UA and then UA paid LH. Maybe Orbitz doesn't get their cut until the ticket is used or expired.

But, United told you about the voucher. It sounds like your credit lives with United and you don't need Orbitz any more for this. Find out how much that credit is. Is it for the whole ticket (probably) or just the United part?

I think I would call United. I would ask for a refund even if they weren't required to provide one. Ask for an exception to their policy. Ask to speak to a supervisor and request the refund/exception. If it is a hardship to you not to get the refund, then you can explain why you need it (e.g. you need the credit to live or you are paying credit card interest on it).
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Old Jul 29th, 2020, 09:37 AM
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The (first) refund from SWISS appeared on my credit card today.

Departure day was to be tomorrow. They still owe me for a special "throne" seat fee and a YQ surcharge increase that I had to pay when I rescheduled from early April.

June 27, it became clear that Americans would be banned from flying to EU. I did a search on the SWISS site (they use all upper case letters in their name) for the first leg of the trip and my flight LAX-ZRH was unavailable.

I called that day and told the agent that it looked like my flight was cancelled. He said it was still scheduled but was sold out. No way that was true, not even during normal times would the business class cabin on a 777 be sold out a month in advance of a mid-summer flight. I asked him what to do and he said call a week before the flight

(I used matrix.itasoftware.com to find out that the flight was unavailable for purchase until months later, October I think.)

June 28 the first leg of the trip was cancelled. I called but could not get through.

June 29 the next two legs were cancelled. Calling didn't work, so I submitted a refund request on their website. I got no reply e-mail.

June 30 the last leg of the trip was cancelled and EU officially announced a ban on Americans.

July 12 I called and the agent said she would submit my refund request. Apparently, there was no record of my online request.

July 26 SWISS sent a refund confirmation saying that the refund would appear on my credit card "shortly". It did, three days later.

Assuming the other SWISS charges come through my only loss will be the 20 Euros that I paid for an OBB train ticket.
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