Southwest Vacation Trip Protection + Covid?

Old Nov 18th, 2020, 12:00 PM
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Southwest Vacation Trip Protection + Covid?

Hello,
I posted this question also under "Trip Planning" but am not sure if I'll get any replies there. We have a lot of $$ sitting in SW airlines due to cancelled flights last spring. We would like to book a trip to our usual condo resort in Maui in April or May.

We have never used travel insurance before, but we are thinking of booking through SW Vacations and using the protection plan insurance that they offer. However, we are guessing that our flights would not actually be cancelled, and the resort would not be totally closed. More likely that Hawaii returns to a 14-day quarantine or the resort closes the pools, Maui closes beaches, or similar. In that event, we would not be prevented from traveling, but we would WANT to cancel. Any experience with using SW trip insurance or other in a situation like this where you voluntarily cancel?

Thank you for any thoughts,
BMarieL
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Old Nov 18th, 2020, 01:39 PM
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Of course none of us can say but the outlook for travel mid year next year is probably looking up with the advent of the vaccines AND it will be during warm weather. In the scenario you are envisioning it would be probable that the travel industry would return to its present very liveral cancellation policies. AND maybe the insurance policy will include a Covid clause.
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Old Nov 18th, 2020, 04:47 PM
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Thanks Gretchen -- I sure hope that everything will begin looking up even more! The good news is already beginning.

The SW vacation site says that you can cancel for any reason and receive a refund of the hotel & car payments but the airfare would be the usual SW credit, which is fine with me. I'd like to see if this is actually true and if anyone has successfully received a refund when they cancel by choice.
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Old Nov 19th, 2020, 05:11 AM
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It's a contract. Read the fine print. I heard a piece on NPR today about travel insurance and the caveats that are being written in for Covid.

I think it's hard to know since the conditions today are so much more dire than any other time.
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Old Nov 19th, 2020, 10:20 AM
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I am not sure I understand the problem. I was going to say that normal trip insurance does not cover you just becuase you decide you don't want to go (for whatever reason, unless physically you cannot for medical reasons). The "cancel for any reason" policies do allow that, that's where the name comes from, but of course you have to read the terms. They cost more, obviously.

So now it sounds like the insurance terms actually claim you can cancel for any reason, but you think that the insurance company (which is surely not SWA, they don't insure people) is deliberately putting something in writing that you think they will violate? That would be illegal if it's in the contract.

Ok, I read the terms. The insurnaceco. is Nationalwide, they are pretty good. However, it appears the "cancel for any reason" opiton is backed by SWA itself. And the terms clearly say that nonrefundable hotels that you decide to choose are NOT covered under this provision.

So why are you doing this? Rental cars are always not charged until you pick them up, unless you deliberatey prepay for some reason. Which I would never do. What else are you insuring? It depends what it costs, I buy travel insurance anyway for medical cost reasons when I go outside the US< but I wouldn't for within-US travel as mine would cover me. The cost of lost baggage etc is not enough for me to buy travel insurance.
I never buy travel insurance when traveling in the US.

In short, I don't know what you think you are insuring. The cost of the trip insurance is probably what you'd pay if you booked your own and was roughly 5 pct of the total trip cost on the example I tried. That's not bad, I think when I buy it separately, it's usually about 10 pct.
But I don't understand what fees you want to insure. A rental car has no costs if you cancel,. and the hotel choice cancellation policy is up to you. If your choice only has nonrefundable rates, you are NOT getting those back from the terms I read.
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Old Nov 19th, 2020, 06:41 PM
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You'd have to double-check, but I think Southwest allows you to convert unused ticket credits into frequent flyer miles. Not a perfect solution, but it's better than booking a trip that could blow up or end up being one you don't want to take.

We have one trip booked for 2021. It is totally cancellable without penalties until the final couple of weeks before departure. I'm not booking anything more risky than that for the foreseeable future.
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Old Nov 19th, 2020, 06:47 PM
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Apparently, Southwest's offer to convert $$ to FF miles is only good for another couple of weeks:

https://www.southwest.com/html/mkt/r...lk=TRVLFNDS-GC

https://onemileatatime.com/convert-s...uchers-points/
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Old Nov 19th, 2020, 06:58 PM
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Thanks for the reply! I am trying to cover the resort/condo cost. The resort will allow us to cancel up to 14 days in advance, so the coverage would protect us if we have to cancel within that 2 week period.
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Old Nov 19th, 2020, 07:00 PM
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Thanks Jean! We may do that with some of our existing SW airline credit, since we won't use it all on this trip and the $$ cannot be applied to other family members. But I think that SW has also extended the time period to use the flight credits, so I'll look into that also.
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