What has happened in the world of travel since Covid-19 entered our shores is mind-boggling. Like so many industries, this pandemic has hit the travel industry and travelers hard.

The phrase we are now using is “things are fluid.” The travel companies’ policies and procedures change hourly. With no crystal ball, they are trying to protect their customers and make sure they are in business when we come out of this.

Here is a list of what we understand today is happening.

TRAVEL COMPANY CANCELLATIONS: We are encouraged that many travel companies have relaxed their cancellation penalties so that our clients have more time to make the decision to cancel or rebook. Our advice is to wait as long as you can to make any firm decisions. We have asked our travel partners to push off final payment dates to give our clients time to make the right decision.

AIRLINES: Every airline is different and they are constantly changing their rules. Very few are offering refunds. Most are offering travel credits. The time frame on when those credits can be used varies as well. Our bookings are made through air consolidators and we are updated daily.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: Major travel insurance policies do not cover cancellation due to Covid-19. Cancel for any reason insurance waiver will reimburse you for up to 50% to 75% of your policy limits. It must be purchased at the time of deposit. The premium increase is 35% to 50%. If your trip is cancelled due to Covid-19 most insurance companies are allowing a one-time date change for a future trip. The insurance company we partner with offers refunds up to 15 days from the date the policy was purchased.

We are continuing to update our clients on their options. It’s daunting unraveling these bookings. We are working around the clock. With the exception of our trip-planning fee, we do not get paid. Commission from the travel company is paid once travel has commenced. When someone cancels, we do not get paid.

If you booked with an online travel agency or a discount travel agency, it’s next to impossible to get help. These discounters are not in the customer service business. They only work well if you have no problems. The same wait time is for those who booked directly with the travel company.

We are your advocate. If you weren’t using our professional services, now is the time to rethink that.

Next Month: Covid-19 Travel Update #3