First, let us say, if you are traveling in the next seven days (March 26-April 1, 2020), it’s likely you will need to consider cancelling. If the destination you are expected to travel to isn’t already locked down, it may be at some point. The goal in reducing the curve of contamination of COVID-19 is going to be a process that will take time and distance…literally, distance from others who may or may not be infected already.
Please reach out to one of our advisors to review your current, active reservation and let us know if you plan to travel or if it should be cancelled. If you are traveling in April or May, our recommendation is to be patient and wait a bit. You can contact us here: email@example.com.
Here are some things to think about…
Airline reservations can be cancelled right up until day of departure (while we wouldn’t recommend doing that, we do recommend waiting to cancel until fairly close to the travel date). This means that because times are turbulent, you may want to hold off cancelling your airline ticket until the last moment because, should the airline cancel the flight or the destination prohibit traveling to/from it, you may have more compensation coming your way than if you’d cancelled it immediately.
If you cancelled, and no special exemptions were offered by the airline(s), then you now have an unused ticket that is valid for one year from the date you purchased it. That means if you bought your ticket on 2/20/2020 and subsequently cancelled it, you would need to travel/or re-use (varies by airline) by 2/20/2021. Almost all tickets are non-refundable and the vast majority are non-transferable – meaning they cannot be used by someone else.
Over the last couple of weeks, various airlines have offered to waive the fee to re-use your unused ticket, which can normally range from $200-400, depending on whether it was an international or domestic ticket. However, there are stipulations placed on that waiver which can vary per airline. Generally, they will allow you to change your ticket, with no fee, so long as you rebook before December 31, 2020. The best way to identify what waivers are available is to check with your travel advisor or visit the specific airline’s website for the most up-to-date information.
As a travel management company, it is our responsibility to advocate for all of our travelers and their company programs. We will track any unused tickets made through our agency as long as we are alerted to cancel them. The airlines do not communicate to agencies when contacted directly by the traveler or travel manager to cancel reservations, re-use unused tickets or make changes. We are here for you, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Many hotel chains have altered their cancellation policies to be less restrictive due to COVID-19. Most will allow cancellation up to 24 hours prior to arrival for reservations during March or April at this time. The best way to ensure you are taking advantage of their relaxed policies, is to check out the hotel’s website. If you booked with us, however, please let us know so we can cancel it on our end. If the hotel you reserved through us isn’t waiving your cancellation penalty, please let us know and we will attempt to assist. You can easily cancel your hotel and/or car reservations made through our agency with one of our travel advisors by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you made it through one of our corporate booking tools, feel free to use that mechanism.
Car reservations are one of the easiest travel types to manage as at this time, there are no penalties for not picking up your car. That being said, in fairness, you should cancel your rental to free up the inventory for another renter. The car companies are also using much of their fleet to assist first responders, medical personnel and critical supply chain companies just to name a few. So if you are not using your car rental booked through our agency please contact us as soon as possible so we can release that reservation. You can easily cancel your hotel and/or car reservations made with our agency with one of our travel advisors by emailing us at email@example.com, or if you made it through one of our corporate booking tools, feel free to use that mechanism.
As we are not yet on the back side of this pandemic, know we are still here to assist you. As of Tuesday, March 24, 2020, our agency is working remotely from our home offices but we have plans in place to continue supporting each and every one of you and the companies you work for. Do not hesitate to contact us by emailing your travel advisor or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.