With the spread of coronavirus, travel companies are relaxing cancellation and change policies. 


The Globus family of brands (Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon Waterways) instituted a temporary policy for 2020 travel allowing travelers with existing bookings or deposits on Globus vacations to move to any of its other brands, destinations or itineraries in 2020 or 2021 without penalty, prior to final payment.

The Globus brands are also temporarily waiving cancellation penalties until 30 days prior to departure. 

“With the safety, security and peace-of-mind of our travelers as our primary goal, we believe in giving them more time and flexibility with their travel decisions,” said Scott Nisbet, CEO of the Globus family of brands. “Traveling the world is a joyful experience and we want to do our part to keep the anticipation stress-free.”

Yankee Leisure Group, which operates Railbookers and Amtrak Vacations, said travelers who book between March 5 and April 30 will have the option to change their travel dates or cancel their rail vacation up until five days prior to departure without any change or cancellation fees. Also, reservations made prior to that can be rescheduled without fees up to five days prior to departure. In either case, customers will be issued a voucher for future travel valid for 24 months, which can be used on a new reservation for any of its brands, destinations, or group or custom itineraries.

Ya’lla Tours USA is offering trip postponement up to one year without penalty for anyone scheduled to travel with them through the end of April.The policy applies to the land portion of tours only. Air tickets are subject to the policies of individual airlines.


Carnival Cruise Lines will allow passengers to reschedule cruises booked between March 6 and May 31, 2020, and is providing them incentives to proceed with their plans. 

Guests who keep their booking as currently scheduled for departures between those dates will receive the following onboard credit amounts: $100 per cabin for 3- and 4-day cruises; $150 per cabin for 5-day cruises; and $200 per cabin for 6-day and longer cruises. 

Anyone booked prior to March 6 can transfer to a sailing between now and May 31 and receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) in the amount of the nonrefundable cancellation fee. 

Passengers booked on sailings departing between March 9 and March 31 can move their booking to a future date up to 3 days before sailing. Carnival says to call to get this offer on cruises departing between March 6 and March 8. Passengers booked on sailings departing between April 1 and May 31 can move their booking to a future date by March 31. Carnival said that travel advisor commission will be protected for all affected reservations.

Oceania Cruises has a new booking policy for all existing and new bookings made by April 30 for any voyages departing between March 10 and Sept. 30, 2020.  

Guests may cancel up to 48 hours prior to cruise departure and will receive a Future Cruise Credit equal to 100% of the cruise fare paid. Up to the day of sailing, should there be another applicable public promotion that offers a better value through amenities or price, guests may take advantage of that promotional offer and/or price.

Princess Cruises is temporarily modifying its cancellation policy for cruises and cruise-tours departing through May 31, with the details varying by departure date.

For April 3 or earlier, guests can cancel up to 72 hours before sailing to receive Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for 100% of cancellation fees; Apr 4 – May 31 guests can cancel by Mar. 31 and receive FCC for 100% of cancellation fees; for June 1 – June 30, final payment moves to 60 days prior to sailing (from 90 days). 

Princess will give guest that choose to keep their booking as currently scheduled for departures between March 9 and May 31 the following onboard credit amounts: $100 per cabin for 3- and 4-day cruises; $150 per cabin for 5-day cruises; and $200 per cabin for 6-day and longer cruises.

The brands of Royal Caribbean Group will allow guests to cancel cruises as late as two days before departure. The new “Cruise With Confidence” policy allows guests on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea to cancel up to 48 hours before a sailing and receive a full credit for their fare, usable on any future sailing of the guest’s choice in 2020 or 2021. The policy applies to both new and existing cruise bookings with a sailing date on or before July 31. 

Holland America Line will allow guests currently booked to cancel their cruise or Alaska Land+Sea Journey departing through May 31 to receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for the amount of the paid fare which can be used for another cruise in 2020 or 2021. The FCC must be booked by Dec. 31, 2020, and the cancellation must be made with a minimum of 72 hours in advance of departure date but no later than March 31. Guests booked between now and March 9 can cancel under this policy despite being within 72 hours. 

Guests who choose to keep their cruise plans on departures through May 31 will get an onboard spending credit of $200 per stateroom/$100 per person for voyages longer than seven days and $100 per stateroom/$50 per person for voyages less than six days. 

HAL is also offering people with specific individual health situations that impact their ability to safely travel during these times a FCC under a “Compassion Policy” for guests booked on any sailing, regardless of departure date. Those guests must be able to provide supporting documents from their health care provider. 

Under a new Book with Confidence program, guests who make a new booking by April 30 for itineraries that depart on or before Oct. 15 can cancel for any reason and receive a FCC in the amount of any cancellation fees applied. The cancellation must be made up to 30 days before departure.

Windstar Cruises rolled out a new policy allowing cancellation on short notice. 

The Travel Assurance Booking Policy applies to bookings departing on or after June 1. Passengers can cancel up to 15 days before sailing without incurring a fee. Windstar will automatically apply the policy to new and existing cruises departing from June 1 to Dec. 31, 2021.

Travelers who cancel up to 15 days prior to departure will receive a 100% future cruise credit to be used on another cruise within one year of the issue date of the credit. 

Norwegian Cruise Line said in a note to travel advisors: “We understand that your clients may be hesitant to plan or confirm their vacation, but we encourage them to get out there and experience the world aboard the best vessels at sea.”

The Norwegian Joy.
The Norwegian Joy. Photo Credit: Tom Stieghorst

To provide “some reassurance,” Norwegian temporarily modified its final payment and cancellation polices to the following:

• Final payment for all June and July voyages will not be due until 90 days prior to sailing.

• Up until 60 days prior to sailing, Norwegian will allow a transfer of the reservation to any other cruise that departs on or before June 30, 2020. The transfer voyage must be of equal or greater value, prevailing rates will apply, and penalties will be waived. 

• If a guest chooses not to sail, the name change restriction will be waived up to 45 days prior to sailing. Name changes will be permitted for the cruise reservation only and excludes flight arrangements through Norwegian Cruise Line and/or pre-purchased travel protection.  

• Guests with non-ticketed Norwegian Cruise Line air may make name changes. 

• Guests with ticketed air may make name changes but will incur a penalty and possibly air change fee, if either is assessed by the airlines.


The Scenic Group updated its cancellation policy across its portfolio of brands, to allow currently booked guests with a departure on or after June 1, or anyone who books after that date, to transfer their booking to an alternate departure without penalty, up to 30 days prior to departure. Scenic Group brands include Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Cruises, Scenic Eclipse, Evergreen Cruises & Tours and Mayflower Cruises & Tours.

Rob Voss, Scenic Group COO, said the new policy “allows guests more time to make decisions about future travel plans.”

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection says until further notice, travelers booked on 2020 cruises departing May 1 or later will have the option to cancel their cruise up to 30 days prior to departure for $200 per person, which is usually the rate for cancellations made 120 days before departure.

AmaWaterways is letting passengers purchase insurance that allows them to cancel anytime and for any reason, even after they are booked. Company president Rudi Schreiner said guests can buy their Waiver Plus Protection Plan even after full payment. The plan allows guests to cancel for any reason and receive a future cruise credit that is valid for 24 months. The insurance usually is offered only at the time of booking.

Avalon Waterways has revised its policies to allow guests to change or cancel their European river cruises up to three days before departure. 

Riviera River Cruises clients who have made deposits or paid in full can cancel any 2020 booking with 24 hours’ notice and receive a credit for a future 2020 booking.

Deposits will be fully refundable up to 60 days after being made. If a client wants to cancel a booking after 60 days, the deposit can be transferred to any other 2020 or 2021 departure.

Clients who have made deposits but not paid in full can delay final payment until 30 days prior to departure or transfer their deposit to any other 2020 departure. If the client wants to cancel and not transfer their deposit, the deposit is forfeited.

If the client is fully paid and traveling to an affected area according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Riviera will offer a full future cruise credit if they cancel. If the client is traveling to a non-affected area according to the CDC and wants to cancel, cancellation penalties will apply.


JetBlue has suspended change and cancellation fees for all bookings made through March 31 for travel to be completed by Sept. 8  The suspension applies to all of JetBlue’s fare classes, including Blue Basic, which usually does not allow for changes or cancellations. Fare differences still apply. Travelers who purchase a package through JetBlue Vacations can contact the carrier to learn about cancel and change policies for rental cars, hotels and other products.

Alaska Airlines is waiving change fees on tickets purchased through March 31 for travel through Feb. 28, 2021. Any fare differences will apply and new travel must be completed by Dec. 31. Those who chose not to travel at all at this time can cancel their trip and receive credit for future travel.   

American Airlines has waived change fees for customers who purchase tickets by March 31. The offer is available for all of the carrier’s published non-refundable fares, including basic economy. 

United Airlines has waived change fees for all bookings made through March 31. No advanced notice is necessary. The waiver applies to all fare types, including basic economy. The offer is only for published fares. United customers who decide to cancel their flights can apply the value of the ticket, without a fee, for travel up to 12 months from the issuance date.

Delta has waived changed fees for all bookings through March 31, as well as for international flights previously booked that are scheduled to fly this month. In addition, the carrier is allowing one-time changes to travel plans through April for Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul and all of its Italian destinations. Flyers can go to the My Trip section of Delta.com for rescheduling and refund options.


Marriott International has expanded the reach of its updated cancellation policy for guests impacted by the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. In addition to continuing to waive cancellation fees for guests with reservations at hotels in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan through March 15, Marriott will now also waive fees for guests with reservations in South Korea, Japan and Italy for stays through the same period.

Additionally, Marriott is waiving cancellation fees for guests traveling outbound from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan or Italy to other Marriott hotels globally through March 15.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has loosened its cancellation rules, with guests traveling to or from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan between Jan. 23 and March 31 and to or from South Korea or Italy between Feb. 28 and March 31 able to change or cancel reservations without penalty, provided the booking was made direct via IHG.com, the IHG app, or the IHG central reservations center. 

Hilton has implemented modification and cancellation fee waivers for guests traveling to, through or from China with stays from Jan. 23 and March 31; to, through or from Italy with stays from Feb. 24 and March 8; to, through or from South Korea with stays from Feb. 24 and March 31; and to, through or from Saudi Arabia with stays from Feb. 27 and March 31.

Hyatt is waiving cancellation fees through March 31 for guests residing in Greater China, South Korea, Japan and Italy with reservations at Hyatt hotels globally and for guests with reservations at Hyatt hotels in Greater China, South Korea, Japan and Italy. 

The World of Hyatt loyalty program is offering members residing in the Asia-Pacific region a series of tier status and benefits extensions. Qualifying Hyatt Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist members will now have a new tier expiration of Feb. 28, 2022 instead of Feb. 28, 2021, while Suite Upgrade Awards, Club Access Awards and Free Night Awards that expire in 2020 for qualifying members will be extended through December 31, 2021. Hyatt said it is currently evaluating tier and benefit extensions for global members who travel frequently to the Asia-Pacific region.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is waiving cancellation and change penalties for guests traveling to or from Greater China, South Korea or Italy with direct bookings for stays through March 31. Wyndham is also extending Wyndham Rewards status for all Gold, Platinum and Diamond loyalty members within the Greater China and Southeast Asia Pacific Rim regions through the end of 2021.

Best Western Hotels & Resorts has urged its hotels, each of which is independently owned and operated, to “exercise flexibility and understanding when deciding cancellation requests.” The group’s Best Western Rewards platform will allow members worldwide to maintain their current loyalty program status through Jan. 31, 2022, without fulfilling any necessary qualifications. Additionally, members who were downgraded at the end of 2019 as a result of restricted travel will be leveled up to their previous tier and will be allowed to maintain that status through Jan. 31, 2022, regardless of necessary qualifications.


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