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Just a thought.

We signed up over 8 months ahead of time to go to Eastern Europe. Sadly that trip was canceled because of the coronavirus.

I am going to say that while all this virus panic was going on, we had to contend with (1) is Rick going to cancel our trip? (2) will it be rescheduled, refunded credited? (3) What about my airfare? Will it be refunded (nope), credited (yes, but who the heck ever flies Aeroflot if they don't have to?) (4) we had planned other stops before and after our tour. Will our hotel rooms be refunded? Credited? (5) If we reschedule for next year (12 months from now) and do all the arrangements again, will the same thing with the same or different virus cancel us again? Fauci says we can expect to see this virus again- starting in the Fall.

Wife and I had a long discussion on whether to book another trip with Rick for next year- months and months ahead again ... or scrap the idea of traveling abroad until there is more certainty in the world. I guess I'll be sticking to the USA for the foreseeable future.Nothing against Rick- but most likely we're going to be out some big time airfare money and we will have to try to use TAP, Aeroflot, Southwest, American, Iberian Air credits within a year or lose it all. Probably going to lose out on some/many of them. All the gyrations and planning effort we put in were wasted. Like I said- no knock against Rick- we've traveled with him three other times and loved them all. Just not going to reinvest the energy and energy to plan it all out and get smacked in the face a month before by having it canceled.

Maybe I'm just venting- frustrated because I've been homebound here in California for nearly 3 weeks. Has anyone else struggled with decisions such as this? Comments please.

Posted by
11473 posts

If I were in your position and it was a use it or loose it proposition, I would plan my own trip and head out as soon as you are comfortable with the idea of travel again. For me thats as soon as the borders open, for others when there is a vaccine.

Posted by
2116 posts

I understand your frustration with losing money on services you can't use -- especially if you've been homebound for nearly 3 weeks. The only thing I can say is that you got caught in a worldwide pandemic -- who would have thought that would happen? Pretty much none of us. I had a trip to Berlin in April and to Bavaria/Austria in May. Both are kaput. I'm still holding onto hope for a September trip to Poland, but we'll see how the sausage falls. I adore travel, so I just shrug my shoulders and go on, dreaming of the next trip. But... then again... I'm an essential worker...

Posted by
1649 posts

Yes, others are definitely saddened by seeing our hard-worked travel plans being kicked in the teeth by this virus. My May trip is deep in working-on-refunds territory. My September trip to Poland is fading. It was a big year of travel plans. The virus had other plans. For all of us travelers. For the world.

As I read your thoughts, 2 things come to mind.

First, I hope you're holding out for refunds, in cases where your flights are cancelled. I know some airlines are more likely to give refunds than others, and I haven't researched yours.

In the event that you don't get refunds, and have the variety of credits as you mention on all those airlines, my next thought is ...what does it hurt to try again next year. It sounds as though you won't lose anything that isn't at risk already. In the worst case, it all blows up a 2nd time. In the best case, perhaps you get to travel, just one year delayed.

I'm going for a mix of both. Where I don't get refunds (which has been the exception) I'll see if I can work the credit into a do-over.

Posted by
2026 posts

As you note, the main issue is the UNCERTAINTY. I don't care about the loss of deposits usually. But it is the inability to make a plan which we know will take place that is the most annoying. Plus there are other issues which will come into play, possibly.

It's all very annoying. I am sticking with local travel.

Posted by
32 posts

This is not relevant to the main questions, which are of course challenging and sad, but only a comment and individual opinion. I quite like Aeroflot. I fly with them often to and from Russia and other CIS states (usually from Germany, so the flights aren't always too long). But I've also flown their Moscow-New York route once or two, and find them rather OK. In my experience, about similar with the other mid-level national airlines. But, this doesn't help much if the credit is only good for a year and the travel situation does not open significantly.

Posted by
52 posts

Same here. It was not worth the agony waiting for RS to cancel our tour. We are never booking anything far out in advance again. There may not be as many choices and they may be more expensive. But we are not going through this again.

Posted by
1033 posts

We are not agonizing over our RS tours still on the books. Once they are canceled, we will cancel our air and additional hotel bookings. If the tours are not canceled, we will have to reschedule for a future date. It will be what it will be.

Posted by
5572 posts

Join the crowd. I wrote off three nights of non-refundable prepaid hotel rooms in Milan for our canceled March trip. I'm still waiting for 10 nights of prepaid half-board Aosta Valley hotel rooms that will be less administrative cost. And I too have an airline credit that expires this October (United's credit must be used for travel to be completed within 12 months of purchase, not deparature). I expect that my airline credit will expire unused, especially if the the coronavirus + influenza combination is as "difficult" as one government official fears.

But the above said, the best decision we made was to not board the March 1st departure to Milan. With every day beyond March 1 we were happy to not be trapped in Italy and even happier not to contract the coronavirus in a foreign land. While we aren't happy to be sheltering in place, we are happy to still be well and not be a carrier spreading the virus to others.

We are so happy that our losses are just travel money that would have been spend (and more) had we boarded the March 1 flight to Italy. And we are happy that our West Coast governors reacted quickly to slow the spread and flatten the curve (candidates for new phrase of the year).

Posted by
3436 posts

There is always a certain level of uncertainty in any travel (won't provide my boring list of possibilities here, but use your imagination if you must). Depending on what part of the world you are traveling to, it can be many different things that interrupt the journey. But nothing in my lifetime has raised the level of uncertainty like this for my travel and that of many others as well. And knowing, or at least having a very strong gut feeling, that more will be canceled but has not been yet is very frustrating when it holds up your other cancellation or rescheduling needs.

My major concern is the various travel companies that have basically rewritten the contract we have signed to make it nearly impossible to get refunds. Some cannot (or are not supposed to) like US based airlines especially if they want any of the government help money, but they are doing everything they can to convince us that a credit is more useful than an actual refund. I will definitely remember those companies being difficult with providing refunds when it comes time to book travel for me again as well as those who did provide refunds even at the risk of not being around when things get back to semi normal. I am not dense, I know that money has been spent and many companies, large and small, are struggling to even keep the people paid that are still answering the phones much less finding enough to refund every customers' purchases for the foreseeable future. But they should have had contingencies for situations like this. Wimbledon did.

I am sitting on close to $10,000 in credits for United flights I had just completed scheduling for most of the rest of this year when this all hit the fan and cancelled before United officially cancelled them, so I definitely feel the pain. I know I will be flying domestically on United in the next 2 years (they have extended the expiration date to Jan 2022 for the credits I have), but no where near that dollar amount even if all my flights are in 1st class (barring any radical price shifts).

So, good luck, hope things calm down enough in the world that we can all get back to doing what we love.

Posted by
790 posts

I am frustrated along with you. Our RS England in mid May was cancelled too. I had booked last November most stuff and thought this years trip would be fantastic. RS tour, the cotswolds and then the St. Louis baseball game vs cubs. We got all/most of our money back. RS deposit, cotswolds deposit no, but it is on their books for a future trip, but that could be 2 or 3 years down the road, hotels had no money paid out, just cancelled the reservations. Got United mileage awards, taxes and extra leg room back, Ticketmaster uk for one game but lost some money in the exchange rate. Still waiting on the premium rooms with the London stadium for the 2nd game. Has not hit my credit card yet. Well I look at it this way that I can save more money for maybe two back to back tours in a few years. Or take my son and future DIL on a tour with us. Our son is to get married in July so that is a concern right now but can help them out more financially now since no trip . Broken Arrow has been shuttered in place for three weeks or so. I think my husband is bored but I am lucky that I can still work at my pt job. Our store is closed to public but we are shipping out mail orders to our customers. Only 3-5 of us at a time but keeping distance and cleaning our work areas. As for future travel and when, I am not sure. I am not going to plan anything yet for 2021. I am not wanting to think about it yet. I have a trip in December for river cruise thru work. Nothing has been paid yet nor decision on cancelling. At this point, I may not go or am hoping it is cancelled. I don’t want to go thru this again at the present moment.

Hope we can all get to travel soon
Kim

Posted by
679 posts

We have a big 3 week vacation planned for November to SE Asia. We used many points and had our hotels set using hotels.com. We had also planned some our adventures while we were there. Now, we are just waiting to see what happens. Stay safe and healthy everyone.

Posted by
19 posts

Looks like the virus will be around for the next 12-18 months, since that's how long it will take for a vaccine developed. The old me would book far in advance, purchase airfare 6-9 months out to maximize cost savings. Things have changed, it is worth planning too far in advance? I think not.
Had my Greece trip cancelled, I suspect my Turkey trip will be cancelled soon. I'd rather have it cancelled and then show up but the sites are closed, no restaurants, no coffee shops.
Travel as we know will be changed for some time.

Posted by
3542 posts

So even with passengers and flight staff wearing masks, as jetBlue and Frontier have now announced as policies, how do you keep 6 feet away from people on a plane, assuming you find one fly lying? and maybe that distancing and mask situation will go away in the next year, but maybe not. Uncertainty, mixed messages, and a wide variety of governments’ and peoples’ policies and actions is frustrating and angering.

Hope we all get out of this pandemic alive. And I do hope you get a good resolution for your homebound-ness and interrupted travel plans and expenses!

Posted by
11473 posts

Maybe I'm just venting- frustrated because I've been homebound here in
California for nearly 3 weeks. Has anyone else struggled with
decisions such as this? Comments please.

I guess it depends on how much planning goes into your trips. You've done all the research, shouldn't take long to set up a trip once you know it's a go or not. Not sure where you are going in Eastern Europe but you can have a great trip with a few last minute plans. I moved my dates twice, now I have an outline and I will pull the trigger when the borders are open.

Posted by
2909 posts

I was visiting home (California) for a month, with warnings about people coming from Wuhan needing to get screened when I arrived at SFO in mid-January. When I returned to Germany in mid-February my husband and I made the decision to avoid planning 2020 travel to see how this would all shake out, much to the annoyance of his colleagues and supervisor who wanted everyone's vacation requests for the entire year. Looks like a smart decision now. I knew the virus would hit Europe and affect travel although even I didn't realize how transformative the virus would be. I definitely didn't think, in February, that it would affect late summer travel.

It's the one "first world problem" that I'm really sad about but I'm trying not to dwell on it too much. We were lucky enough to do a lot of travel in 2019, even in the fall and winter. I'm trying to reframe and readjust. We haven't gone camping properly in Europe (mostly because as a Californian the German style of camping doesn't really seem appealing) but now I think we're going to try that. Hoping the situation will be good enough that maybe we can rent a vacation some somewhere like Lake Constance in August or September, perhaps. Praying that it's even possible to do a road trip in France or the Czech Republic around that time frame. Thinking, I've never visited the beach resorts of Northern Germany - maybe that's an option down the road? At the very least, there's Black Forest hiking and exploring to do, I'm lucky enough to have a car (many of my friends do not), so there are options.

California is the same! It's a beautiful state, I mean, the best, really, with so much to do and explore. Before I moved to Europe we vacationed primarily within California, particularly on the North Coast, and between the wineries, the landscape, the food - it could be a lot worse! My husband has a colleague who is now in lockdown on base in Djibouti with no idea when he'll be able to leave. Would I rather be spending a week in Greece than say, in the Black Forest? Absolutely, but I know there are plenty of people on this board who'd kill for my restricted travel options so I'm just trying to slow down and appreciate what I can around me and telling myself this isn't forever, because it's not.

Posted by
2529 posts

Please don't think I'm minimizing the financial and vacation losses that so many have experienced. We cancelled three trips scheduled for this year. The bottom line is, we were all so spoiled by how well our plans usually worked and didn't realize it.

Posted by
167 posts

I totally understand everyone’s frustrations. I do want to say one thing though. Even if you book 3-4 months in advance instead of a year, something like this could still come up the month before you’re planning to go. I don’t see that advance planning was detrimental in this situation.

Posted by
982 posts

We will probably wait 2-3 years before traveling to Europe again. It hurts to say this, because our general plan was to take a trip every year. Our RS tour for September 2020 will probably be cancelled, or at the very least we will apply our deposit to a tour to be taken by the end of 2022. Fortunately, I was able to get a refund from Delta since they cancelled the flight. Also, our pre and post tour hotels are all refundable.