Adventure starts here.
3

Does the Corona Virus Affect Travel?

Is Covid-19 affecting travel?

The answer is yes. Covid-19 is affecting just about everyone and everything in some way, shape, or form.

At this point, I’m sure you noticed this already. Up to date, (04/02/2020) there are a total of 1,014,673 cases world wide and counting. The good news though, about 4x the people recovered compared to the number who had unfortunately passed. Over 210,000 people recovered from the Covid-19 virus, and just under 53,000 people have passed away. Corona is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through objects that the infected person has touched.

covid-19

If you’re like me and can’t sit still, especially inside, try to get back to the basics and go for a hike. (if you can) When I get stressed out from being cooped up I go for a hike or mountain bike ride with my dog “Adventure Buddy”. After our ride or hike, no matter how bad or good things really may be, it always seem to lean more towards the good side of things. Most of us have a mandated “stay at home” order, and others may be volunteering to stay at home. While a lot of businesses are forced to close their doors and tempirarily lay off employees, this makes for a good time to get back to your roots.

Spend time to build yourself and self reflect. What are you doing in your life that makes you happy? What are you doing that could use more practice? Are you eating well and exercising enough? Although this isn’t the best time for everyone, maybe it can be. With every negative comes a positive, and the positives can easily outweigh the negatives. It all depends on the view you choose to look at what is presented to you.

Have you had time to step back from work or life in general and audit yourself? Maybe you have been working too much and this virus is giving you the opportunity to spend more time getting closer to your loved ones or even yourself. Sometimes life gives you opportunities that at first glance look like a negative. You have to look closely and put the pieces of the puzzle together to understand the positives that life is presenting to you. This is simply the way of the universe.

covid-19

Precautions:

  • Obviously, washing your hands is always a good idea to prevent bad germs. During this time it’s an even better idea. If you can find hand sanitizer in a whole in the wall shop that hasn’t been scavenged, grab a bottle. Just please remember to be courteous and only take what you need. Don’t be that guy or gal to empty the shelf.
  • Wipe down any surfaces that are being touched often in your workplace or home with disinfectant.
  • Social distancing and self-isolation is important. This doesn’t mean lock yourself in a closet and hide, it just means to be mindful of keeping a safe distance. The new target is to stay at least 6′ away from another person to prevent the spread.
  • Some people may consider this an extremem measure, but better safe than sorry. Wear a face mask and gloves. I’m sure you have seen this popping up more and more. It almost feels like we are in an apocalypse movie, but the more precautions

    we take, the faster we can get back to living our normal lives.

  • You should be doing this anyway, but cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Some germs can travel up to 10′ on a single cough or sneeze.

covid-19

Will airlines refund tickets due to Corona-virus?

What many airlines are doing is allowing travelers to cancel their flights and basically set aside that money to be used on a flight at a later date—and thankfully, you don’t have to book that flight now (wh

ich is good because it’s hard to know exactly h

ow this pandemic is going to play out at this point). The main U.S. carriers (United, American, and Delta) are currently offering that flexibility for flights that were scheduled to depart through the end May.

When it comes to actual refunds, the policies vary by airline.

American Airlines: Flights booked on American prior to March 1, 2020, for travel through May 31, 2020, can be rebooked without change fees; flights booked during the month of March for travel through January 30, 2021, can also be canceled and changed without a change fee.

The airline is encouraging those who don’t plan to travel anytime soon to simply cancel their flight online, and then rebook at a later date as it is currently swamped with requests. When you’re ready to rebook, call the reservations department and be prepared to give them your 13-digit ticket number and 6-character confirmation number.

If a flight was canceled by American Airlines (either due to new travel restrictions or capacity reductions), American said it will send affected passengers an email and they can either rebook the trip or request a refund for the remaining ticket value and any optional fees.

United Airlines: If you booked a flight with United between March 3 and March 31, 2020, you can change it for free—one time—for travel that takes place within the next year. Any flights bo

oked prior to March 3 (regardless of whether they are domestic or international) with original travel dates through May 31, 2020, can be canceled and rebooked later with no change fees.

With regards to flight cancellations that have resulted from the numerous travel bans and restrictions that have been put in place due to Corona-virus, United said that any customers (including residents from other countries), whose international travel has been disrupted by more than six hours, or if the flight was canceled due to government restrictions, will get a travel credit equal to the value of their ticket that is good for up to 12 months from the time of purchase (not from the time the flight was canceled). If the customer chooses not to use the credit, they will receive a cash refund at the end of that 12-month period.

Delta Air Lines: Any De

lta ticket for domestic or international travel in March,

 April or May can be canceled and rebooked without a fee for travel that takes place up until December 31, 2020. For flights canceled by Delta, the airline has said it will contact passengers with additional information. We haven’t been able to find out much beyond that.

JetBlue: Customers who were due to travel with JetBlue through April 30, 2020, can cancel and bank the funds for a future flight up to one year from the date the future flight credit was issued.

Southwest Airlines: Southwest hasn’t changed its policy and that’s because its policy was already pretty lenient. The carrier has tier fares that include refunds (Business Select and Anytime) and a tier fare (Wanna Get Away) that doesn’t include refunds. Those remain the same. But regardless of the type of ticket purchased, it can be canceled sans fee for a future travel credit for up to a year from the original date of purchase.

Alaska Airlines: Similar to other U.S. carriers, Alaska flights purchased on or before February 26, 2020, for travel that was originally scheduled to take place through the end of May can be canceled, the money set aside in an Alaska account and the flight rescheduled for anytime until February 28, 2021. Any tickets purchased between February 27 and March 30, 2020, for travel anytime through February 28, 2020, can also be changed with no fee.

British Airways: The U.K. carrier is allowing customers who have booked or who book new flights between March 3 and May 31, 2020, to change those flights for free—and any existing bookings for departures through May 31, 2020, can be changed without a fee as well.

Air France: The French airline is offering a travel voucher for flights that were scheduled to depart through May 31, 2020, which will be valid for one year on any Air France, KLM, Delta Air Lines, and Vir

gin Atlantic flights.

 

How are Inclusive Excursions, Expedia, Priceline, and other online agencies handling Corona-virus refunds?

Online travel agencies such as Inclusive Excursions, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, and Priceline serve as “middlemen” between travelers and travel suppliers. They have different working relationships with all the suppliers on their sites, which can complicate things a bit.

For instance, Inclusive Excursions, Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity can help change or cancel reservations for some of the air carriers they sell tickets for, but not all of them. For the ones with which they lack that ability, customers will have to work directly with the airline. But the bottom line is: The airline’s policy will be the policy that customers of Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity will have to work with.

Priceline advises its customers that “if your airline does not allow you to cancel or change your flight, we are not able to help you at this time.” The travel booking site offers a very comprehensive contact list, including websites and phone numbers, for all its partner airlines.

On the hotels front, Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz have stated that for hotels booked in the following destinations by people who are not a resident of these countries, they are eligible for a full refund: China, Hong Kong, Macau; South Korea; Israel; Marshall Islands; El Salvador; Denmark and Slovakia; Czech Republic, Oman and India; Poland; Cyprus; Ukraine; and Italy. They advise customers to “check back often as destinations are continually [being] added based on changing restrictions.”

Corona-virus refunds for hotels and vacation rentals

Hotels have always been pretty flexible when it comes to cha

nging and canceling reservations, but in the wake of the Corona-virus pandemic, they are being even more so.

Marriott International: Marriott is allowing all guests at all of its more than 7,300 properties around the world with existing reservations, for any upcoming stay regardless of the date and regardless of whether the original rate had some restrictions, to change or cancel without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival—here’s the important thing to note—as long as the change or cancellation is made by April 30, 2020. For those who make new reservations now through April 30, 2020, they will be allowed to change or cancel at no charge up to 24 hours before arrival, regardless of the date of stay.

Hilton: For guests who have booked stays that were scheduled to begin prior to April 30 at any of Hilton’s more than 6,100 global properties, the change fee is being waived and the company is offering full refunds for all existin

g reservations (including those described as “non-cancellable”) for stays scheduled to begin prior to April 30, 2020, up to 24 hours before arrival. New reservations booked between now and April 30, 2020 for any future arrival date, can be changed or canceled at no charge up to 24 hours before arrival.

Accor: The 5,000-hotel Accor hasn’t offered too much detail on its Corona-virus-related change and cancellation policies other than to say that it has advised all of its hotels to adopt flexible change and cancellation conditions for travelers with new or existing bookings through April 30, 2020.

Intercontinental Hotel Group: IHG has waived cancellation fees for existing and new bookings at all of its hotels the world over for stays between March 9 and April 30, 2020. It is handling groups and meeting bookings on a case-by-case basis. For stays beyond April 30, the company reminds customers that there is flexibility already built into some of its rates—in other words, if ever there was a time to book the slightly higher rate with more options, now would be the time to do so.

Airbnb: Vacation rental powerhouse Airbnb recently issued an upda

ted global change and cancellation policy. Reservations for stays and experiences made on or before March 14, 2020, with a check-in date between March 14, 2020 and April 14, 2020, can be canceled for a full refund by guests, and hosts can cancel without a charge or impact to their Superhost status (and Airbnb will refund all service fees). Reservations made on or before March 14 with a check-in date after April 14 as well as any reservations made after March 14, 2020, will not be covered unless the guest or host has contracted COVID-19. Otherwise, the host’s standard cancellation policy will apply.

Similar to the airlines, hotels are being gracious about bookings through the end of April. Beyond that it’s not clear how generous they will be.

What are tour operators’ policies for Corona-virus changes and refunds?

Given the global health crisis that the Corona-virus pandemic presents, most reputable tour operators have gone ahead and proactively canceled a good portion of their upcoming itineraries (similar to w

hat the cruise lines did—see below). Here are some examples.

Tauck: Long-time tour provider Tauck has canceled its scheduled tours and cruises from March 17, 2020, through April 14, 2020—and for those tours it will refund the affected guests. For tours that were scheduled to take place between April 14, 2020 and June 30, 2020, guests can cancel and received a future travel credit for any tour in 2020 or 2021 (but airline change fees will not be covered).

Abercrombie & Kent: Luxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent has temporarily suspended ground operations globally from March 17 to April 30, 2020 (with the exception of May trips to China, which remain canceled). A&K is offering guests on those journeys a future tour credit (that will include a 10 percent discount) for any trip to be used within 12 months of the original departure date.

Intrepid Travel: Global tour company Intrepid Tr

avel has also suspended its tours from March 16 to April 30, 2020. For those tours, travelers will receive a 110 percent future tour credit that they can put towards any itinerary up until April 30, 2022. For tours departing May 1, 2020, and beyond, Intrepid said they are continuing as planned at this point, but that if customers choose to cancel they can do so and receive a credit for whatever they had paid to be used by April 30, 2022.

What about cruises?

On March 14, the majority of the world’s cruise lines agreed to suspend cruise ship operations from U.S. ports for 30 days in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Affected customers are being offered anywhere between a 100 percent and 200 percent future cruise credit.

How travel advisors can help

During a complicated and overwhelming global crisis such as the Corona-virus pandemic, a travel advisor can serve as a great ally. While travel advisors can’t force travel suppliers to refund their clients, they typically have stronger relationships with suppliers and thus more sway. They will be better able to help you navigate through the options for changing your trip plans. And as a travel professional (who likely has dealt with numerous crises in the past), they can offer their advice and the insights from their myriad of contacts in the industry and from their own personal experience.

Can travel insurance help you get a refund?

With regards to the current Corona-virus crisis, travel insurance providers consider it to be a known event as of January 21, 2020 (or thereabouts, the date can change slightly depending on the provider, but usually falls sometime between January 21 and January 27, 2020). Travel insurance purchased before that date will cover disruptions resulting from the outbreak, but any travel insurance purchased after that date will not.

An exception to that is Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) cove

rage, an optional upgrade to a travel insurance policy that covers cancellations for reasons not otherwise covered by a standard travel insurance “such as fear of traveling due to Corona-virus or simply not wanting to travel to a country that may be affected,” said Megan Moncrief, chief marketing officer for travel insurance search and review site Squaremouth.

There are some limitations, however. The CFAR upgrade has to be purchased within 14 to 21 days of making the initial trip deposit and it will reimburse travelers for up to 75 percent of their trip cost—for a price. Cancel For Any Reason coverage typically costs between 5 and 10 percent of the total trip cost.

-Info courtesy of AFAR. By Michelle Baran

03.23.20

What are the latest Cornoa-virus numbers?

covid-19

04/02/2020
Location Confirmed Recovered Deaths

Worldwide

Worldwide
1,076,017
225,335
58,004

United States

United States
265,001
11,983
6,766

Italy

Italy
119,827
19,758
14,681

Spain

Spain
117,710
30,513
11,009

Germany

Germany
89,126
13,597
1,198

China

China
81,620
76,571
3,322

France

France
58,417
10,935
5,377

Iran

Iran
53,183
17,935
3,294

United Kingdom

United Kingdom
38,168
191
3,605

Turkey

Turkey
20,921
484
425

Switzerland

Switzerland
19,702
5,657
604

Belgium

Belgium
16,770
2,872
1,143

Netherlands

Netherlands
15,723
1,487

Canada

Canada
12,360
2,177
178

Austria

Austria
11,464
2,022
168

South Korea

South Korea
10,062
6,021
174

Portugal

Portugal
9,886
68
246

Brazil

Brazil
8,066
127
327

Israel

Israel
7,428
403
39

Sweden

Sweden
6,122
106
351

Australia

Australia
5,358
636
28

Norway

Norway
5,296
54

Ireland

Ireland
4,273
10
120

Russia

Russia
4,149
281
34

Czechia

Czechia
4,091
72
53

Denmark

Denmark
3,757
1,093
139

Chile

Chile
3,737
427
22

Ecuador

Ecuador
3,368
65
145

Malaysia

Malaysia
3,333
827
53

Poland

Poland
3,266
56
65

Romania

Romania
3,183
283
133

Philippines

Philippines
3,018
52
136

Japan

Japan
2,617
472
63

Luxembourg

Luxembourg
2,612
80
31

India

India
2,547
163
62

Pakistan

Pakistan
2,458
126
35

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia
2,039
351
25

Indonesia

Indonesia
1,986
134
181

Thailand

Thailand
1,978
581
19

Greece

Greece
1,613
53
59

Finland

Finland
1,608
19

Mexico

Mexico
1,510
634
50

South Africa

South Africa
1,505
31
9

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic
1,488
16
68

Panama

Panama
1,475
10
37

Peru

Peru
1,414
537
55

Iceland

Iceland
1,364
336
4

Argentina

Argentina
1,265
248
36

Algeria

Algeria
1,171
62
105

Serbia

Serbia
1,171
54
31

Colombia

Colombia
1,161
55
19

Singapore

Singapore
1,114
282
5

Croatia

Croatia
1,079
92
8

Qatar

Qatar
1,075
93
3

United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates
1,024
96
8

Egypt

Egypt
986
216
66

Estonia

Estonia
961
48
12

Ukraine

Ukraine
942
19
23

Slovenia

Slovenia
934
10
20

Hong Kong

Hong Kong
846
172
4

Iraq

Iraq
820
226
54

New Zealand

New Zealand
772
103
1

Morocco

Morocco
761
56
47

Armenia

Armenia
736
43
7

Lithuania

Lithuania
696
7
9

Bahrain

Bahrain
672
382
4

Hungary

Hungary
623
43
26

Moldova

Moldova
591
26
8

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina
575
27
17

Lebanon

Lebanon
508
50
17

Tunisia

Tunisia
495
5
18

Latvia

Latvia
493
1
1

Bulgaria

Bulgaria
485
30
14

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan
464
29
3

Slovakia

Slovakia
450
7
1

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan
443
32
5

Andorra

Andorra
439
16
16

North Macedonia

North Macedonia
430
20
12

Kuwait

Kuwait
417
82
0

Costa Rica

Costa Rica
396
6
2

Cyprus

Cyprus
391
18
10

Uruguay

Uruguay
369
68
4

Belarus

Belarus
351
46
4

Taiwan

Taiwan
348
50
5
Réunion
321
40
0

Jordan

Jordan
310
58
5

Cameroon

Cameroon
306
10
8

Albania

Albania
304
89
16

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso
302
50
16

Afghanistan

Afghanistan
273
10
6

Cuba

Cuba
267
13
6

Oman

Oman
252
57
1

San Marino

San Marino
251
26
32

Vietnam

Vietnam
237
85
0

Honduras

Honduras
222
3
15

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan
221
25
2

Senegal

Senegal
207
66
1

Ghana

Ghana
205
31
5

Malta

Malta
202
2
0

Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d’Ivoire
194
9
1

Palestine

Palestine
193
21
1

Nigeria

Nigeria
190
20
2

Mauritius

Mauritius
186
0
7

Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands
179
91
0

Montenegro

Montenegro
160
0
2

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka
159
24
4

Georgia

Georgia
155
27
0

Venezuela

Venezuela
146
43
5

Martinique

Martinique
138
27
3

Brunei

Brunei
134
65
1

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo
134
3
13

Bolivia

Bolivia
132
1
9

Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe
130
29
7

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan
130
5
1

Mayotte

Mayotte
128
10
2

Kosovo

Kosovo
125
10
1

Kenya

Kenya
122
4
4

Jersey

Jersey
118
2

Cambodia

Cambodia
114
35
0

Guernsey

Guernsey
114
13
2
Isle of Man
114
1

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago
96
1
6

Paraguay

Paraguay
92
4
3

Rwanda

Rwanda
89
0
0

Gibraltar

Gibraltar
88
46
0
Northern Cyprus
77
29
2

Niger

Niger
74
0
5

Guinea

Guinea
73
0
0

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein
72
0
0

Madagascar

Madagascar
70
0
0

Bangladesh

Bangladesh
61
26
6

Aruba

Aruba
60
1
0

Monaco

Monaco
55
2
1

French Guiana

French Guiana
51
0
0

Jamaica

Jamaica
47
2
3

Barbados

Barbados
46
0
0

Guatemala

Guatemala
46
12
1

Uganda

Uganda
45
0
0

Macao

Macao
42
10
0

El Salvador

El Salvador
41
0
2

Djibouti

Djibouti
40
0
0

Togo

Togo
40
17
3

Mali

Mali
39
0
3

Zambia

Zambia
39
1
1

French Polynesia

French Polynesia
37
1
0

Bermuda

Bermuda
35
11
0

Ethiopia

Ethiopia
35
3
0

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands
28
1

The Bahamas

The Bahamas
24
0
1
Sint Maarten
23
3
2

Eritrea

Eritrea
22
0
0

Republic of the Congo

Republic of the Congo
22
0
2
Saint Martin
22
2
2

Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar (Burma)
20
0
1

Tanzania

Tanzania
20
2
1

Guyana

Guyana
19
0
4

Maldives

Maldives
19
13
0

Gabon

Gabon
18
0
1

New Caledonia

New Caledonia
18
1
0

Benin

Benin
16
2
0

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea
16
1
0

Syria

Syria
16
0
2

Haiti

Haiti
15
0
0

Mongolia

Mongolia
14
2
0

Namibia

Namibia
14
2
0

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia
13
0
0

Dominica

Dominica
12
0
0
Curaçao
11
2
1

Greenland

Greenland
10
3
0

Grenada

Grenada
10
0
0

Laos

Laos
10
0
0

Libya

Libya
10
1
0

Mozambique

Mozambique
10
0
0

Seychelles

Seychelles
10
0
0

Sudan

Sudan
10
2
2

Suriname

Suriname
10
0
0

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda
9
0
0

Eswatini

Eswatini
9
0
0

Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau
9
0
0

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe
9
0
1

Angola

Angola
8
1
2

Central African Republic

Central African Republic
8
0
0

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Kitts and Nevis
8
0
0
Åland Islands
8
0
0

Chad

Chad
7
0
0

Fiji

Fiji
7
0
0

Liberia

Liberia
7
0
0

Somalia

Somalia
7
1
0

Vatican City

Vatican City
7
0

Cape Verde

Cape Verde
6
0
1

Mauritania

Mauritania
6
2
1

Nepal

Nepal
6
1
0
Saint Barthélemy
6
1
0

Bhutan

Bhutan
5
0
0

Montserrat

Montserrat
5
0
0
Turks and Caicos Islands
5
0
0

Botswana

Botswana
4
0
1

Nicaragua

Nicaragua
4
0
1

The Gambia

The Gambia
4
0
1

Anguilla

Anguilla
3
0
0

Belize

Belize
3
0
0
British Virgin Islands
3
0
0

Burundi

Burundi
3
0
0

Malawi

Malawi
3
0
0

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone
2
0
0

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea
1
0
0

Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste
1
1
0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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