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Apr 10, 2017
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That’s ok because then they will have to offer a refund if it happens and that might be better than a future credit. Who knows if these companies will be in business long enough to use a future credit. We are on a small cruise line so not sure that this would be a bad thing.
Neil (and any others),

Could I ask for some advice? We were going to the Chelsea Flower Show which has now been officially canceled. Our flight on British Airways is scheduled for May 16 and is BWI-LHR. It has not yet been canceled but as BWI is not on the list of airports where flights from the UK may land, I expect that it will be. Currently, BA is offering a voucher for the full amount for travel within a year. While we plan to do the same trip in 2021, I'd rather have a refund. Is there any reason why I should not wait to see if the flight is canceled? Second, I purchased our travel insurance via SquareMouth from HTH travel Insurance. Should I contact SquareMouth or HTH to see if I can get the coverage transferred to next year's trip? Thanks.
 

Neil Maley

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Travel agents are beginning to lobby to get the airlines to change their requirements in rebooking and asking the airlines to allow credits to be used up to one year from the original travel date.

These are extraordinary times and we need to try and get the airlines to change their policies. Write to your congressional Reps and ask them to require this is they are going to bail them out.

I agree with JVille to wait until it gets closer before doing anything.
 
Nov 20, 2015
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BA has liberalized it's re-booking policy during this time period. From their website:

You’re travelling with us between 14 March to 31 May
You can cancel your booking and receive a voucher for the same value. Your voucher can be used as part payment towards a future booking to any destination. It must be redeemed for travel on flights taken within 12 months of your original date of departure.

I have a round trip BA flight between May 23 and June 8 this year. I am still holding out hope for taking the trip. As long as travel begins by May 31, the return leg is covered. You can wait up until the time of check-in to cancel and receive a voucher. I don't see any down side in waiting to see if they cancel the flights, which would lead to a refund.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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BA has liberalized it's re-booking policy during this time period. From their website:

You’re travelling with us between 14 March to 31 May
You can cancel your booking and receive a voucher for the same value. Your voucher can be used as part payment towards a future booking to any destination. It must be redeemed for travel on flights taken within 12 months of your original date of departure.

I have a round trip BA flight between May 23 and June 8 this year. I am still holding out hope for taking the trip. As long as travel begins by May 31, the return leg is covered. You can wait up until the time of check-in to cancel and receive a voucher. I don't see any down side in waiting to see if they cancel the flights, which would lead to a refund.
I wish every airline would do this! Most US are only allowing a year from the date purchased.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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That BA policy is really fair; I too am hoping others will follow suit. These are extraordinary times and I would imagine all are working to come up with changes that keep them in business and keep their passengers as much as possible -
 
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Apr 10, 2017
141
184
43
BA has liberalized it's re-booking policy during this time period. From their website:

You’re travelling with us between 14 March to 31 May
You can cancel your booking and receive a voucher for the same value. Your voucher can be used as part payment towards a future booking to any destination. It must be redeemed for travel on flights taken within 12 months of your original date of departure.

I have a round trip BA flight between May 23 and June 8 this year. I am still holding out hope for taking the trip. As long as travel begins by May 31, the return leg is covered. You can wait up until the time of check-in to cancel and receive a voucher. I don't see any down side in waiting to see if they cancel the flights, which would lead to a refund.
We do plan to go next year around the same time for the same event, but you never know. The voucher is good, getting our money returned is better.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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We do plan to go next year around the same time for the same event, but you never know. The voucher is good, getting our money returned is better.
Giving refunds to everyone would put many of these companies right out of business. Retaining the business would leave them in better shape.
 

Patina

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Dec 22, 2015
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I don't have any complaints with offering vouchers or credits to be used later versus refunds. The only thing that may make things a bit better would be to extend the 'use by' date. Instead of saying from the original purchase date, maybe make it usable until March 1st. There are some people who made flight reservations over six or eight months ago so their time frame to use the credit is quite limited.
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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Giving refunds to everyone would put many of these companies right out of business. Retaining the business would leave them in better shape.
Thank you for this reality reminder, Neil. What the world is going through is unprecedented. Travellers need to think a bit larger than their own plans and needs. A travel provider may seem like a big, strong giant, but they are businesses that have revenue and have expenses. They are responsible to thousands of workers. They need to prioritize their actions, protect the revenue stream and cut expenses. Publishing a policy on refunding their customers probably isn't very high priority. United's website states that only people whose travel is scheduled in 72 hours should be calling. Not that it does much good, I suppose, but maybe a few travellers will hold off and let the people who are stranded or in desperate need of help get taken care of properly. We just all need to take it day by day and wait as long as possible for the corporation to give us information. When our Avalon cruise next week was cancelled, I booked a long weekend over on the coast. Now we're "sheltering at home" (SUCH a San Francisco phrase, isn't it??) so that hotel got cancelled. Those of us without urgent needs should wait to deal with them.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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Thank you for this reality reminder, Neil. What the world is going through is unprecedented. Travellers need to think a bit larger than their own plans and needs. A travel provider may seem like a big, strong giant, but they are businesses that have revenue and have expenses. They are responsible to thousands of workers. They need to prioritize their actions, protect the revenue stream and cut expenses. Publishing a policy on refunding their customers probably isn't very high priority. United's website states that only people whose travel is scheduled in 72 hours should be calling. Not that it does much good, I suppose, but maybe a few travellers will hold off and let the people who are stranded or in desperate need of help get taken care of properly. We just all need to take it day by day and wait as long as possible for the corporation to give us information. When our Avalon cruise next week was cancelled, I booked a long weekend over on the coast. Now we're "sheltering at home" (SUCH a San Francisco phrase, isn't it??) so that hotel got cancelled. Those of us without urgent needs should wait to deal with them.
Both the tour operator that we were using and the hotel where we were going to stay in Cornwall the following week are small mom and pop businesses. They have been great to deal with and I hope that they make it through this pandemic unscathed. As my user name implies, I don't travel much by air because flying has become a chore. When I do, I try to use Southwest as they are the most user-friendly. I won't go through a long list about the other major carriers but the problems are quite evident by the stories that people post here. Their greed is a factor in their inability to weather this (unprecedented) storm. They exhibit disdain for their customers. I see no reason to cut them any slack.
 
Oct 6, 2019
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It’s not disdain for customers- it’s survival. If the government doesn’t bail them out, there might not be any airlines running by the end of the year. Some airlines are better then others. If airlines go under, then a lot more people are going to be left with useless credits for future travel.
Had the airlines taken their unneeded and unnecessary tax cut and saved that money for a rainy day rather than enrich themselves with stock buy backs then perhaps I’d feel a tiny bit sorry for them. But they didn’t. And now they’ve got to pay the piper
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Had the airlines taken their unneeded and unnecessary tax cut and saved that money for a rainy day rather than enrich themselves with stock buy backs then perhaps I’d feel a tiny bit sorry for them. But they didn’t. And now they’ve got to pay the piper
Well unnecessary tax cut was done by the politicians in power now. Unfortunately the laws and regulations and the theories and practice of “shareholder value” have made made this mess— and it will take a lot of changes to stop this practice.

Airlines worldwide not just in the US are at risk— but would having fewer airlines actually help travelers?

I see people complaining that Southwest does not disinfect their planes between flights — but how can they given the short turn around time.

People have gotten addicted to cheap air travel — but that cheap travel comes at a cost.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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Well, things are not as clear as I hoped that they would be and I'm looking for a little further advice. I just received a communication from the tour operator with whom we were going to the Chelsea Flower Show. This is a small company that does not have unlimited funds to pay back their customers. They have to go back to their various contractors and try to get money refunded to them. There will be money that will not be refunded and that they will then be unable to refund to customers. They also state that their providers are not offering credits for future travel. So here are my questions:
1. Credit card charge-back crossed my mind. I do not want to do it because I fear the consequences for the tour operator. I do want my money refunded, but I have no desire to worsen the predicament in which the tour operator finds themselves.
2. I bought travel insurance though not CFAR. I have 20 days to file a claim. It is HTH Trip Protector Classic. The only cancellation provision that I see that might be helpful is this: "(l) Natural disaster at the site of Your destination that renders their destination accommodations uninhabitable."

Do I have any options other than waiting to see how much I am refunded and likely losing a good part of what I paid?
 

Neil Maley

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Unless you bought CFAR insurance, the insurance companies aren’t considering this a natural disaster. A natural disaster is an earthquake, hurricane, etc.

This has been much discussed by articles Chris posted as well as hundreds of other articles on line.

A chargeback will hurt the tour operator and may even put them out of business. What were the cancellation terms when you booked?