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