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Cancelled/postponed trips due to COVID - please share your outcomes

Discussion in 'General Travel & Vacation Discussions' started by outofofficebrb, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California

    I know many of us are dealing with canceled trips and postponed trips due to COVID. I'm interested to hear what your plans originally were (dates or any specific logistics you want to share), where you were supposed to go and with whom you had booked travel with, what you ended up doing (canceling/postponing) and what solutions your travel suppliers (airline, liveaboard, resort, dive shop, etc.) were able to offer you.

    I think this will help many of us in the same situation see what is possible and with who, and to also think of some creative ideas/alternatives to being flexible during this time.

    I'm still working on details of my postponement and will refrain from sharing until I know what the final word is. However, I would love to hear your story and for others to be able to see them as well. To make it easier for everyone to read through and for me to log everything, please only post if your outcomes are final.

    I am including what everyone is sharing that is a final outcome on a Google Sheet below for easy sorting/view. If anyone wants to volunteer to help keep this updated, please let me know. We can tag-team. I will try my best to update it as much as I can as the new posts come in. I am also trying to post credit to the member(s) who shared their experience with us in this thread. If I have "liked" your post it means it has been added to the database. Thank you for your contributions!

    If you can't access the filters as it is in view mode only, go to "Data" and go to "Filter Views" and then use a new or existing temporary filter.

    Thank you!

    Scubaboard Coronavirus Travel COVID Policies for Refunds/Reschedules - updated Mar 18 2020
    KathyV, Para Goon, CubeF and 10 others like this.
  2. jjmochi

    jjmochi Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Hong Kong
    This is a great idea and will be useful as a guide for what operators are reasonable and which ones I will avoid in the future

    I had 4 trips, 1 full refund, 2 rescheduled, 1 still going back and forth

    Tubbataha liveaboard on Seadoors, March 28 departure, booked directly with the operator
    Travel ban against HK came into effect in early Feb, I reached out to request a postponement to next year, was denied
    Went back and forth for a while and they were unwilling to offer any flexibility, despite their terms clearly stating cancellation due to pandemic is covered for full refund, and despite the fact that it would be illegal to have a HK passenger on board
    Especially infuriating as the trip was not even full, not like I cost them an otherwise paying customer
    Manila fully locks down last week, they finally agree to cancel and issue a full refund, I haven't seen it yet but they have agreed to it, I can chargeback if they renege but I don't think they will because finally the owner stepped in
    Cebu Pacific cancelled all my flights, approved a full refund, again haven't seen it yet but should be there eventually

    Raja Ampat liveaboard on Carpe Diem, departure April 5, booked directly with operator
    What a total contrast to my horrible Seadoors experience
    They were proactive to reach out, answered all my questions, and offered to reschedule no issues
    Sorong is closed to foreign arrivals now
    No cancellation yet from Garuda, suspect it will happen soon, but if not Garuda will allow you to reschedule for free once, and their change fees are really low ($26) if you need to change again

    1 week at Papua Explorers, for April 12-19. Booked directly with the operator and was meant to be the replacement trip for my cancelled Tubbataha trip
    I was thinking of travel bans against HK only and figured situation is under control here, if Indonesia haven't banned HK when they banned China they are unlikely to do so, did not think they would ban all tourists
    I sent them my payment literally 2 days before Soeong ban kicked in (worst timing ever, I even sat on it for 2 weeks to see if any new bans were going to kick in)
    Still waiting for a response but hope they can be reasonable and allow a reschedule

    Lastly trip to Anilao, 5 days at Blue Ribbon, April 28-May 3
    Reached out in Feb and they allowed rescheduling with no fuss

    FWIW my travel insurance through the Chase Sapphire Reserve card will only cover cancellation due to mandatory quarantine, but does not cover travel ban or entry restrictions. Unclear whether you can try to argue cancellation is due to trying to avoid quarantine, but suspect that will not be covered.

    I am curious if most dive operators have business interruption insurance, a blanket ban against tourists like we are seeing now should be considered a force majeure event and be covered.

    The other thing I was thinking through is if dive operators are unwilling to be flexible, are they breaking the law by knowingly breaching travel restrictions. With the Philippines ban it was clear for example any ship with a HK passenger on board cannot dock at a Philippines port for 14 days. If the operator proceeded with the 6 day itinerary with me on board they would have to make a false declaration or not be allowed to dock. So bypassing travel restrictions require both the traveler and the operator to breach the law, and that in itself is sufficient grounds for chargeback due to illegality.
  3. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    Only have couple of flights cancellation and both carriers agreed full refund. I hope they will remain solvent for a while.

    BLACKCRUSADER Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Taiwan
    A friend of mine from the UK had planned to visit Taiwan then go to Bali. He would have flown home from Bali to Singapore then Dubai then London. Well Emirates cancelled their flights to Taiwan after Taiwan announced any travel even through Dubai transit meant 14 day quarantine. Then the UK EU was added to the list same day.

    Then Singapore added Indonesia and Dubai to their travel ban. One resort claims they don't have to honor any refund. We shall see about that as can lodge a complaint with Visa. Also resorts might not like the social media coverage they will get if they refuse a refund as the flight to Bali through Taiwan were cancelled.
    Blueringocto_73 likes this.
  5. diveUAE

    diveUAE Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Abu Dhabi
    Great idea!

    We were supposed to fly to Siem Reap via BKK from Abu Dhabi on 26/3, one way ticket bought with Airmiles.me (connected with my husband’s HSBC bank), flying with Bangkok Airways. Reached out to airmiles.me early March, to see, if we could cancel- our flights were “non cancel” tickets, so did not have much hope. But they contacted BA and we got all miles refunded - outstanding job!

    Our hotels in Siem Reap, Koh Lanta and our LOB from Phuket were all with a “free to cancel”, so no problems (except for the disappointment of not being able to go).

    Flight from Siem Reap-Phuket is with AirAsia, so we have little hope to get the money back - even we have the “flex” option, we don’t know, when we could reschedule to. Flight is not until 31/3, so still hoping they will cancel the flight and give refund, otherwise I’m pretty sure our travel insurance through our MasterCard will cover, as it follows the Danish guidelines and Denmark has a “do not travel” on all destinations.

    Return flight from Phuket to AUH (Etihad) for 2 of us are fully flexible, so I’ve cancelled and is waiting for the money back. However my husband bought his ticket with miles and since the flight is on 13/4 Etihad is not willing to cancel and refund- very disappointed with their handling.

    Now I’m just hoping this will blow over, before July, when we’re due to travel to Bali, Komodo and Alor.
  6. TabeaK

    TabeaK Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Jersey
    Great idea.

    I am still in a back and forth with my travel agent regarding a Raja trip on a high end boat in April. So far, no flexibility at all - no chance of rescheduling they say, go make a claim against your travel insurance - essentially telling me tough luck. The boat hasn't communicated at all so far and not decided what to do about the April departure/itinerary. Definitely disappointed about the lack of flexibility so far - still waiting on some feedback to see if something can be worked out. Will name and shame if it turns out it cannot...
    CubeF and Blueringocto_73 like this.
  7. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    Any chance we can come up with a stream that specifically has named boat's resolutions? I understand why people prefer not to name boats, but i personally also don't really feel it's useful. for the current situation or for future consideration.
    CubeF and Blueringocto_73 like this.
  8. ChrisM

    ChrisM Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    April 10 N Sulawesi trip to two land based operations. I thought (mistakenly) that we had cancel for any reason but we didn't, and I think we all have learned a lot about what trip insurance will and won't cover.

    We were still within a portion of the resorts' cancellation periods, 75% refund for one 50% for the other. But we were able to postpone to a similar time period in 2021 without penalty unless there was an increase in rates (which I would expect). It was either that or partial refund which is taking sunk money out of their pockets. I want them to be there next year.

    International flights were on points so assume if all goes as usual just rebook them. May or may not be a fee for that these days, I am not sure.

    Domestic was Silk Air of about $400 IIRC, I am assuming no refund, just cancellation and can be rebooked but since it's not a part of the world we go to often, and Silk won't be doing the SIN - MAN run anymore anyway, I expect to eat that eventually.
  9. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    like that postpone option. what are the resorts? ill be putting them on my 'green list' for future bookings :)
  10. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    I can try to update my original post with that info as we get them!

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