“Due to the severe spread of the coronavirus pandemic, everyone is advised to stay home and lessen the movement. To get the up hand of the situation and to keep you safe and sound.” – The notice made travelers think twice about their upcoming trips. It is advisable to cancel or reschedule the trip if it isn’t necessary. Many countries have put a ban on international flights to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Canceling your travel plans create thousands of doubts and questions about the ticket cancellation policy and refund policy. As a traveler, you would have booked everything from flight to the hotel to stay. And canceling those may put you in a loss.
The coronavirus outbreak has effected the economy harshly. The biggest industry to suffer from this is the travel and tourism industry. The tourism sector has braced a total new overview. There was a time when there was the highest number of bookings being confirmed and now they are receiving inquiries and applications about the ticket cancellation policy and ticket refund policy.
It seems like, they are keen on taking care of travelers who were affected unknowingly by the situation. Many airlines have changed and extended their cancellation policies at least until April.
The COVID-19 spread started from China and now has hit countries like Italy, Iran, the USA, South Korea, and much more. At the start, it was predicted as an Asia issue, but now it has become a global issue. So it is safe to postpone the plans and reschedule it after the government lifts the lockdown and pandemic slow down.
Here is every information on the travel cancellation policy. Before anything, first, we would like to tell you about a few airlines that have introduced their travel waiver policy.
Delta becomes the first US airline to extend the travel waivers and cancellation beyond china.
It suspended its direct flights to china after the surge in cases of COVID-19. And due to the low demand, commercial operations were not possible.
For instance, if a passenger is traveling with the Delta to China and the flight is suspended or canceled by the airline itself, they reached out to the travelers with the message informing about the claiming the travel waiver with the instructions on how-to. And if you have booked with Delta but are traveling with partner airline through another country, travel waiver is issued for you too! You can simply change your flight or cancel it without any fee.
Apart from this, if you are canceling the ticket, you won’t get a refund. Instead, you will be able to book a flight of the same value within a year.
As of now, there are three countries where the travel waiver applies and they are China, Italy, and South Korea. For the travelers traveling to the following destinations:
- Beijing, China (PEK or PKX)
- Shanghai, China (PVG)
- Seoul-Incheon, South Korea (ICN)
- Bologna, Italy (BLQ)
- Milan-Linate, Italy (LIN)
- Milan-Malpensa, Italy (MXP)
- Venice, Italy (VCE)
American Airlines followed suit and declared the modifications in the ticket cancellation and refund policy.
American Airlines as well canceled their flights to China due to the drastic fall in demand. And are also tentative about resuming the services till the end of the April month. The airline has issued the series of travel waiver for the passengers traveling with American Airlines according to the cities or countries there were traveling.
The passengers who were going to travel to China or Hong Kong can cancel, reschedule, or change their flights without any cancellation fee. Those who were traveling to Seoul and South Korea can change or delay the flight without any fee charged. But if you are canceling the ticket altogether, then you will have to pay the cancellation fee.
United also joined them in the travel waiver scheme.
United also canceled its flights to China and Hongkong and announced a travel waiver policy for the same. They also added South Korea to the list. It is also allowing passengers to delay or change their flights without any charges. The passengers who are traveling to China or Hong Kong can cancel their tickets with a full refund.
Can I Get a Refund on Hotel Reservations?
Not just this, even some hotel chains are also providing a full refund on cancellation and some are providing with the facility to reschedule the booking to the severely hit areas. If nothing else, you can at least ask for the same to your travel provider.
Marriot International is providing its guests at all the 7,300 properties around the world to cancel or change the date of stay, without any charge upto 24 hours of arrival till April 30, 2020.
Hilton has also waived off the change fee and is providing full refunds to the existing reservations till April 30, 2020, up to 24 hours of the date of arrival.
Airbnb has issued its global change in cancellation policy due to the existing crisis. It is providing the guests and hosts with a full refund policy, and whosoever has made reservations between March 14 to April 14, 2020.
Just like them, many hotels have announced the relief giving waive off and policies to help people in the times of the global crisis of coronavirus pandemic.
Is Cancelation due to Coronavirus Covered in Travel Insurance?
Any travel insurance purchased before January 21, 2020, will cover any disruption in the insurance, but the one purchased after that won’t cover the loss. And there is exception in CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) insurance. It will cover the in the insurance after that too but it comes with the limitation if you have purchased the policy within the 14 to 21 days of the first deposit of the travel. And it will reimburse up to 75% of the trip cost – for a price. It typically reimburses between 5 to 10% of the trip cost.
With the change in travel cancellation policies of the tourism industry, now you can breathe a sign of relief by canceling or rescheduling your trip without any doubts and hesitation. You can always check with your travel advisor for the best option on refund and cancellation policies. Until the spread of coronavirus slowdowns, stay home and stay safe. For more information on the tourism industry, visit Travelila.