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Pulled the plug :-(

(OK, a bit of a whine)

I was booked on a 9-day bike tour, "Italy Coast to Coast," starting Saturday Sept 18. I booked flights back in December departing the 14th, returning Oct 1st, giving me 3 nights pre-tour in Bologna and four nights post-tour in Rome. Scored business class SFO->FRA and FRA->SFO for just over $2400 and 40,000 miles! The trip was supposed to go June 2020, delayed, cancelled, etc., so almost two years in the making.

I've obsessed over this trip the whole year. Would the Europeans and the Italians let us in? Then Italy required "Covid Tested" flights and my PDX-SFO-FRA-BLQ booking wouldn't work. Then Europe opened up to vaccinated US, Yea! Covid Tested flights no longer required! But the bike tour had 12 people, 9 of which were British and they had to quarantine five days, so the whole tour remained in doubt. Flight schedules kept changing, and my final outbound FRA->BLQ leg disappeared twice, had to be re-booked later, finally leaving me with 12 hour connection in FRA. Then I developed hamstring tendonitis and even paid $$$$ out of pocket for Platelet Rich Plasma therapy in an attempt to get healed in time.

The PRP hasn't worked fast enough. I've had to cancel the tour. I considered going anyway and play tourist. But trying to fill a 9-day hole in the schedule, all the other uncertainties of what will be open and how the schedule everything has become just too much. My wife has been worrying that I could test positive before my return flight and get stranded in isolation.

I've been grieving the past week, putting off (to me) the inevitable. Last night I cancelled my flights. Thank you, Air Dolomiti, for dropping my 07:30 FCO->FRA departure and pushing me to the 10:10. That was enough schedule change to allow me to invoke United's two hour schedule change policy and get a full refund of the fares and Mileage Upgrade Award miles and co-pays. I cancelled my hotel reservations this morning. (Pro Tip: I was also able to do the cancellation using the "Message" function in the United app on my phone. It only took about 1/2 hour net, Kindle in hand and phone on my knee, and no long phone wait times.)

Those able to go, I wish you all safe travels and have a fantastic time. I'll be with you in spirit, at least.

Posted by
4697 posts

Sorry you had to cancel your trip, but glad you can get an airfare refund. I hope you were able to recover the cost of the bike tour also. Good luck with the injury, and now you can look for another chance to do this -- maybe a year from now?

Posted by
2788 posts

Alan I'm sorry but honestly it's refreshing to see a person who had to cancel a trip for a health issue that's not Covid-related, like in the olden days. Hopefully you will recover soon and be able to find a great place for a bike trip closer to home and can look forward to doing this trip next year.

Posted by
2880 posts

Sorry to see that you had to cancel too. I will say that it was much easier to fully cancel a trip in 2021 than 2020. We learned some new travel skills in the past year and a half.

Take care and hopefully as you are healing you can start to think about a 2022 trip.

Posted by
1424 posts

Feeling for you. It is so hard to not be able to go on a planned trip, regardless the reason.

Glad you managed to get airfare refund. I am sure that takes a bit if the sting out if it.

Hopefully, you will recover quickly and be able to do your trip.

Posted by
2131 posts

So sorry Alan

( we are actually getting ready to pull plug as well so I understand the disappointment-we were due to leave 9/10)

Posted by
2043 posts

Sorry you had to cancel. We understand your disappointment and frustration. We’ve been through it too. Hopefully next year will be better.

Posted by
4600 posts

Oh, AlanJ, how sad! Here's hoping you heal soon and can start planning again.

Posted by
49 posts

Please know - we are all sad for you. So many cancellations and disappointments. But there will be better times. Hang in there! You must, we must all stay positive through this new normal!

Posted by
783 posts

I'm so sorry to hear this. I hope you still take that time off and do something that brings a smile to your face.

Posted by
6507 posts

Beautifully said, Kristen.

I am sorry, Alan. Glad they moved your flight so you could get a refund. I hope you will be back in the Italian bike saddle soon.

Posted by
2588 posts

Sorry to hear about your trip, Alan. i understand your sadness/grieving.

Posted by
420 posts

Oh, here’s another “I’m sorry” reply and you can whine all you want. It’s so incredible disappointing to cancel a trip. We cancelled our trip for the 2nd time, too. Turn I did it in June,. I just couldn’t take the wondering and worrying anymore. So many hoops to hump through. Let’s all hope 2022 turns out to be a much better travel year,

Posted by
103 posts

It seems like such a trivial thing when compared to all other aspects of life, but I'm in mourning too. We recently canceled our trip to southern France and Catalonia for this October. My heart goes out to you, as mine is broken. I know the answer is that France and Spain will still be there next year (or is it longer still), but it doesn't help. I'm wearing all black.

Posted by
1161 posts

I am truly sorry, Alan. It is heartbreaking but you will be back in the saddle again next year. I hope your hamstring heals soon.

Posted by
2993 posts

Hi AlanJ,

It's absolutely OK to whine - this is a huge disappointment at a time when there are so many! It's been an emotional roller coaster - should we go....should we cancel. We're (almost) ready to cancel as well.

Take care of yourself and plan for the next adventure!

Posted by
45 posts

You should have heard me whining when we cancelled all our trips last year, so please whine away because we all totally understand :)

Such a disappointment, and I feel so bad for you. Allow yourself to wallow and be sad, and hopefully you can plan something else on a smaller scale to look forward to in the very near future as you recover. I hope you start to get better soon.

Posted by
123 posts

Final follow up: Back on the 31st I posted that I had pulled the plug. As p/o that I had cancelled my fligts. Due to a schedule change I was able to invoke United's two-hour schedule change policy and request a full refund.

I've been holding my breath on that. Since I had booked United Mileage Upgrade Awards to get business for the SFO/FRA legs, I had paid Premium Plus fare, plus 40,000 miles, and $850 co-pay over the $1685.85 for the PE seats. The miles were restored rather quickly as were the co-pays.

This morning I got an email from United saying they had processed the fare refund and to allow an additional 7-10 days for the refund to post to the credit card.

Posted by
4600 posts

AlanJ, that's great news. Thanks for catching us up.