COVID-19 is bringing a lot of travelers to a standstill. This can be especially tricky if you have a trip booked and don’t know what to do.
“Supposed to fly into Rome, then go to Florence, Almalfi coast, Sorrento and then back to Rome to finish the trip there,” said 26-year-old Sami Newman.
Philly-based Newman and her 29-year-old boyfriend Scott Rosnov booked their Italian vacation last November. However, the coronavirus caused them to cancel their hotels and most likely their June 25 Lufthansa flight.
“Still haven’t canceled yet because we called them and they are only offering flight credits to use at a certain date,” Rosnov said.
“They can wait up until the day before they are flying. They should wait and hold out,” said Bethlehem-based VIP Vacation head Jennifer Donchez.
Donchez says if the airline cancels the flight a refund is given but if Sami and Scott do it and that flight still takes off a refund is harder, especially with non-US carriers like Lufthansa.
“We’ve seen people cancel their flight get a credit and then find out a week before the trip the airline canceled, and they could have been entitled,” Donchez said.
Over the past two months the travel industry has seen an 81% fall in revenue. This could be “carry on” advantage. This as Donchez says hotels, tour companies and airlines are being more flexible with travelers, especially when extending a flight credit.
“If they say use within a year, you can ask to extend further you can always ask,” Donchez said.
Which could be just the ticket for Sami and Scott, who may be saying arrivederci to Rome this year but Ciao in the summer 2021.
“I feel everyone took for granted how easily people could before and the second we can I want to,” Newman said.
As for a timetable of travel opening up? Donchez said look toward the mouse, as when Disney re-opens will be a good barometer of when the travel season will be getting back underway.