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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. Fringehead

    Fringehead Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego
    My husband and I were booked on a March 21-28 trip to St. Eustatius, organized by a nonprofit organization.

    A few days before our scheduled departure from the US, Statia closed its borders to US-originating flights due to the pandemic. We had no beef with that - Statia is a very small island with limited medical facilities. The closure was also completely beyond our group's control.

    The group had booked the trip with Scubaqua/The Old Gin House Hotel. We pre-paid for our rooms, diving and some dining (several thousand dollars' worth). We were able to get back most of our airline fees (only by disputing the credit charges; the airlines were not at all cooperative, even though THEY cancelled our flights); however, we'd paid the Scubaqua/Old Gin House fees by check. The nonprofit tried to negotitate with Scubaqua, but Scubaqua refused to refund a penny, and initially refused even rebooking the group.

    On July 30, we received an email from the nonprofit, stating that Scubaqua/The Old Gin House absolutely will not refund any of our money, but they'll (grudgingly) rebook us - only for the week of July 3 -10, 2021. That's a very narrow window, and much too soon! My husband and I are over 65; we can't make international travel plans until there's an effective COVID vaccine available to the public (which may not happen any time soon, despite all the rosy predictions).

    If I were reckless/brave/desperate enough to do international travel right now, I sure wouldn't book anything with Scubaqua/The Old Gin House.
  2. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto

    they should be negotiating to make the reservations transferable, you may well find others who would be open to paying you for the reservations and just showing up in your place....or showing up and saying they are you :) I would be 100% up for doing this if i wasn't already rebooked somewhere else. Personally I don;t think they should be offering a refund. Just as the pandemic was not your doing, it wasn't theirs either, but they really should be more flexible on rebook dates for you.
    living4experiences and Redfoot like this.
  3. Redfoot

    Redfoot Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Detroit, Michigan
    That stinks- I have heard good things about both operations, but would now hesitate to book with them even under the best circumstances.

    Seeing how things go, maybe you could resell the trip here on SB? just an idea so you do not have to eat the loss entirely.
    living4experiences likes this.
  4. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    I have to say i agree with your grievance here. I did have a couple of trips cancelled because trip leaders couldn't get out of the UK... in honesty I was happy to have them reschedule to next year etc as I was pretty much done with the 'will we/wont we', but if you are not the one cancelling the trip and you could still make it, i feel that a refund should have been offered, it's not as though you aren't going to dispute the charges anyway and then the costs will be more and everyone is annoyed. I don't think operators are going to weather this very well if they don't accept paypal/credit card etc so that you can dispute if they cancel etc.
    Kharon and living4experiences like this.
  5. bshort4

    bshort4 Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Colorado Springs
    Well after four months of fighting with Orbitz and Asiana airlines (mostly Orbitz) and with help from DOT I finally received my full refund for my round trip airfare to the Philippines. Lesson learned--don't purchase ticket with a debit card. I usually don't use my debit card and if I had used my regular credit card I believe I could have gone through them and avoided all the hassle in getting my refund. The live aboard trip to Tubbataha reef was rescheduled for May 2021 with no problem through Liveaboard.com and I only hope the Philippines has opened back up by then.
    living4experiences likes this.
  6. Darnold9999

    Darnold9999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Victoria BC Canada
    Trip to Banda Sea on Samambia late October just got cancelled. No surprise but was hoping it would go. Booked with Underwater Tribe. Only had a deposit and Samambia will hold it for a future trip with them. Flights were booked on points and had been rescheduled a couple of times by the airlines. To the point that I was leaving one country half a day before I arrived in that country. I will cancel and hope I get my points and $ back. Not expecting any issues there. Sadly I doubt that I will be getting business class seats for the same points once this all ends. We will see.
    living4experiences likes this.
  7. scubaNYC16

    scubaNYC16 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New York, NY
    Has anyone had any luck with Blue Manta or White Manta? They are requiring payment in full to reschedule. Thanks.
  8. Churro

    Churro Registered

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: santa cruz
    I had a group going to Truk last July and we were all flying United. Chuuk still isn't open and the Oddessy offered no refund but allowed rebooking at no cost and waived final payment till we knew the trip was a go. Our group rebooked till the end of May 2021 but we are now sweating that one. United fully refunded the trip. I have now rebooked on United for the May trip followed by a week in Palau. I got trip insurance (there are ones that over for Covid)..Travel right now is a leap of faith and difficult to sale. I have a group going in Dec. to the Socorro Islands and that runs out of Cabo. Mexico is open so i fully expect that trip to go. My trips are always sold out long in advance but im still trying to sell the last cabin on the Socorro Trip. This has really be a sucky year.
  9. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    ugh.. well, Socorro will be great anyway. Don’t you get a free berth for booking out the boat anyway?
  10. Ovahimba

    Ovahimba ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Francisco
    I got an email a couple weeks ago inviting me to send in the balance for my Raja Ampat trip for Jan 2021. If I didn't, I would lose my deposit, but if I did and it was canceled I could use the entire amount as a credit for a future trip. I decided to let it go since there are so many unknowns, and it was more of luxury trip costing 25% more than average. There hasn't been much activity on their Facebook page for the last 6 months so the boat is probably still sitting in dock.

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