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

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

  1. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
    3,564
    2,450
    113
    Finally got AIG Travel Guard to pony up $505.00 for our tickets to Denver for last April...first time I purchased insurance ($17.00) cuz it was so cheap on checkout....moneys going towards CZM in a few days:)
     
    outofofficebrb likes this.
  2. shmuggy

    shmuggy Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: virginia
    268
    76
    28
    Turks and Caicos will not accept any Rapid Antigen or home tests. I am not a scientist or medical person but from what I can see, it must be a PCR test which will take 5-7 days to get the results if you are lucky. I don't see how anyone in the US will be able to qualify for travel to Turks and Caicos until this requirement is changed or things change in terms of turn around for testing in the US.

    I hope it all works out for you whatever you decide.
     
    Redfoot likes this.
  3. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    4,210
    4,246
    113
    Booked a trip with WetPixel for July 21-27 2020 to snorkel with whalesharks for my daughter and myself. The package included all transfers, hotel on Isla Mujeres 7 days/6 nights, 5 full days snorkeling with whalesharks, and lunch on the boat. WetPixel cancelled (they said posponed) kept my $3000 deposit and wanted me to wait to go on a (possible) trip in 2021, 2022, 2023 ... When and if a trip happened and when and if I and my daughter were able to go.

    American Airline refunded my airfare without any problem. Because I had paid the WetPixal deposits with PayPal I was able to file a claim. PayPal reviewed my case and decided it in my favor. Full refund. I had also filed a claim with AIG travel insurance which hasn't been decided yet. I emailed them additional information about the PayPal refund so I imagine they will close the claim. I doubt they will refund my trip insurance fee, but that's small compared to just over $3600.

    Won't be booking anything with WetPixel again. They had to cancel the trip because their trip leader was not allowed to leave Great Britain because of CV-19. My daughter & I could have made the trip. Our flight was not cancelled and there were no restrictions on our traveling other than a possible 14 day isolation at home when we got back. So things in England seem to work differently. "Sure, we can't provide the trip we promised, but we'll just hang on to your money until next year, or ... whenever."
     
  4. al248005

    al248005 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Bridgeport, Ohio
    748
    145
    43
    That's exactly what Solmar is doing with their customers right now. Its complete BS! Nothing in the contract says they can do what they are but what can you really do when all of their assets are outside of the county. The contract we signed was for a certain date this year...not next year or the year after. If Solmar doesn't go out this year at all, they would have gotten almost $2 million based off the cost of a Guadalupe trip (which is the lesser of the 2 trips they offer) due to them insisting on full payment even though they aren't going out with no option to refund the money. Be very leary of booking anything with them. I'm worried they won't be here much longer.
     
    living4experiences likes this.
  5. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    4,210
    4,246
    113
    One thing I learned with this experience is to pay using PayPal and spend the money on real trip insurance. It was overkill, but if PayPal had ruled against me I'm pretty sure the full bore travel insurance would have come through.

    Even if I wanted to re-book with WetPixel I doubt I'd be welcomed with open arms. I would bet that PayPal can get the money back from them - or refuse to let them use PayPal in the future.

    One other thing I learned. I had to book my travel to Cancoun on my own. I can book the same hotel for the same dates and book a boat solely for my daughter and myself and not be limited to 5 full days of whale shark snorkeling. We can do the whale sharks as much as we want and then do anything else that might appeal - all for less money. It's a wee bit more work but it's not rocket science. Pretty much any tour operator like this gives a pretty complete description of their full itinary - dates, hotel, etc. You end up paying for someone elses trip and a big premium and all they do is make the reservations and "lead" the trip. I know it's a bit more than that but you really end up paying a big premium. Not sure I feel like doing that given what they tried to pull this time.
     
    living4experiences likes this.
  6. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    3,358
    2,759
    113
    Hi, folks.

    I'm alive and I have updated the sheet up to today. It has been almost a month since I've been on SB...Sorry.

    Which dive resort and river cruise was this with? I would like to include your info and want to ensure I have this information available.

    Look into when the chargeback statute runs out for your credit card company. File a dispute before then if you are still getting jerked around. I was getting the runaround previously as well. I booked a ticket via an agency for a smaller local airline. Their COVID policy then stated that they were offering refunds, less 10% for processing (fine...since my original ticket would not have been refundable so I was going to take it and run). The agency confirmed the refund policy and requested confirmation that it was what I wanted to do. I responded immediately and while waiting for confirmation of the refund being issued with their slowwwwwwwwwww replies, the airline changed their policy and by the time the agency went to issue the refund, they were then quoting the new policy. I was obviously annoyed so I filed a dispute and they ruled in my favor. This was over a period of 3-4 weeks.

    I don't book group trips with shops for this very reason...Most of the time, you can book the same trip and get more flexibility for same or even less if you are not restricted to their specific lodging/diving/flight choices and piece it together yourself. A friend of mine booked a trip with a shop and the flights they chose made it hundreds of dollars more expensive because they were buying everything on one air ticket rather than flying into the large hub in that country then buying a local ticket onwards (which is more commonly done for this destination) to the smaller islands. I also usually have different preferences for lodging and number of dives. There is usually not a financial advantage to booking with a shop or organization and the benefit is more so the company and traveling in a group, especially if you are uneasy about being in a new place yourself or want to socialize with folks that you know from your dive shop, etc. You also take the work out of planning and it's done for you..Just show up...which is nice and has value for some people.

    In general, one would be paying the retail rate for the group and the shop/organization takes advantage of the buy 6 get 1 free or whatever the group discount is but they don't usually share the discount and amortize it across all the attendees. They have everyone pay the retail rate and that is how they profit and make the efforts of planning a trip worthwhile, in addition to networking and building their customer base. Please don't get me wrong; I think it's important to support dive shops, especially your local one. There is absolutely nothing wrong with dive shops doing this as that is how a business is run and coordinating the trips take time and effort, but if you are able to gather a group of your own, you can share the group savings among everyone. This is something I regularly do with friends or people that I meet diving. Another thing is, sometimes the travel supplier has one policy and the dive shop has a different policy for refunds/cancellations so you may be subject to the less favorable one implemented.

    With that said, I do book through an agency which has really helped when suppliers try to screw me over or when I have issues, they have been of great help. They take credit cards and that helps with bonus points and with suppliers that don't take credit cards and want paypal with 3% fees or bank transfers only. I always book my single/small non-group trips and group trips with them (resort or liveaboard portion only). I figure out the rest on our own.

    I love that you are now doing this on your own...the possibilities are endless! It may be intimidating or scary for some to plan something like this on their own, especially in a foreign country with language barriers. Scubaboard is a great resource.

    I have met so many great people at resorts and liveaboards diving and we have planned group trips with others that we each meet and have created a fun network. Some folks, I have gone on a few trips with. It's really fun. Sometimes, it doesn't work out and I end up going as a single and it's fine, too.
     
    living4experiences likes this.
  7. AlvaroDiver

    AlvaroDiver Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Spain
    4
    1
    3
    I don't know how it is in US, but in Spain a PCR in a private laboratory gives you the results between 48-72 hours and prices start at 105 € depending on the place.
     
    outofofficebrb likes this.
  8. JustSurfaceInterval

    JustSurfaceInterval ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Germany
    195
    112
    43
    Frankfurt Airport
    € 59 incl. VAT for a result within 6 - 8 hours
    € 139 incl. VAT for a result within 3 hours (Express Test)
    Link is here
     
  9. JoeFriday

    JoeFriday Photographer

    771
    657
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    The dive resort is Divi Flamingo Bonaire. At the time of the cancellation we considered rebooking for Jan 2021. We took a credit instead. To the best of my knowledge they are currently closed until at least Aug 21 2020.
     
    Redfoot likes this.
  10. JoeFriday

    JoeFriday Photographer

    771
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    The boat was a uniworld river cruise on the SS Catherine....
     

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