Can't travel because of Covid-19? Here are 4 tips to cancel and re-plan your trip
Dernière mise à jour : 15 sept. 2021
Border closures, quarantine measures, flight cancellations... the last few months have turned the travel industry upside down. Unfortunately, travel insurance does not cover pandemics, leaving travelers who did not use an agency with no other option than to deal with the situation on their own. We hope that these tips will help you see things more clearly so that you can re-plan or cancel your trips more serenely.
What to do with my plane tickets?
For more than two months, the call centers of airlines and tour operators have been saturated, unable to cope with the flow of requests for cancellations or changes related to Covid-19. Waiting times are extremely long before reaching an operator. In addition, voucher or refund policies vary from airline to airline, making it difficult for travelers trying to navigate this tedious process.
Tip #1: Go to your airline's website to learn about their cancellation policy. Many airlines also allow you to complete the cancellation process online. Some airlines also offer additional benefits and discounts if you convert your flight into a voucher in advance, such as Brussels Airlines, which offers an additional 50 euros per passenger to encourage you to re-plan your flight before the end of 2020. KLM and Air France have decided to convert your reservations into vouchers valid for 12 months, and add 15% to the value of your initial reservation.
Tip #2: If you still want to get in touch with customer service, try chat rooms on their website or on their social networks such as facebook, which are usually less saturated than phone lines.
How do I get my tickets refunded?
As you know, airlines are undergoing an unprecedented financial crisis and are trying to limit their losses by giving preference to vouchers on refunds. If possible, try to convert your flight into a voucher. If you are unable to reschedule a trip, you are legally entitled to a refund.
Tip #3: Wait for the airline to contact you by email to confirm your flight cancellation and present you with your options. If you don't want a voucher, file a refund request at that time and be patient, as payment delays can be long given the situation.
What to do with my hotel reservations?
If you have booked your hotel via a platform such as Booking.com, nothing could be simpler: if you have opted for an accommodation with free cancellation, you will be able to cancel your reservation free of charge and very easily via your account.
If on the other hand your reservation cannot be cancelled free of charge, several cases are possible, depending on the hotel's policy. The hotel may choose to offer you different options, such as a refund, the possibility to change your reservation dates, or to convert the amount of your initial reservation into a credit for a future stay. Each hotel has the right to establish its own cancellation policy.
Tip #4: If you booked directly from the hotel website or your reservation does not include a free cancellation, we recommend that you contact the hotel directly to discuss your options. Knowing that these hotels are also experiencing difficulties during this time of year, they will probably encourage you to reschedule your stay instead of a refund. The advantage of talking directly with the hotel is that they will be able to guarantee that your voucher will be valid for a longer period of time (usually 12 to 18 months) and that your original reservation rate will be maintained for your new reservation (hotels increase their rates every year, taking into account factors such as inflation, improvements or renovations, etc.). You may also ask for some additional benefits such as a room with a better view, breakfast included, Xth night free, transfer of your reservation to other people, family or friends, or other benefits.
Story Tailor is available to guide you through the process of cancelling or postponing your trips. Our team will also advise you on your future travel plans according to the progressive reopening of borders and security measures applicable in each country.
Contact us for more information!
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