Rebooking, Cancellations, Etc: What Should You Do If COVID-19 Wrecks Your Travel Plans?
Are your travel plans up in the air?
by Cristina Morales | March 05, 2020
Last updated: March 13, 2020
Have your travel plans been upended because of the COVID-19 outbreak? You’re not alone. But because of these developments, many airlines and hotels all over the world are waiving change and cancellation fees.
Because the COVID-19 situation is still developing, the information below could change. When in doubt, consult directly with your travel provider — airlines’ customer hotlines are listed at the bottom of this article.
COVID-19 Travel FAQs
Which countries are covered by travel waivers?
As of this writing, many (not all) travel waiver policies cover flights or hotel stays in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Iran, and Italy. And now that non-essential travel from Metro Manila has been prohibited due to the recently-announced community quarantine, most airlines and hotels will also waive fees for travelers coming from NCR.
If you’re not traveling to an affected area but still want to cancel your trip (just to be safe), you may not be able to get a waiver. However, you might be able to make an appeal by contacting the provider’s customer service hotline.
What if I booked my ticket with miles/points?
If your destination is covered by the travel waiver, you should still be able to have your cancellation fees waived. But if you booked a ticket to a destination outside the provider’s travel waiver policy, get in touch with the customer service hotline to appeal for a refund.
What if the provider refuses to refund my booking?
If your destination isn’t covered by your provider’s travel waiver and they refuse to give you a refund, check your travel insurance policy — you may still be able to get your money back.
Should I cancel my travel plans even though I’m not traveling somewhere with a travel advisory?
This is really up to you. Healthy travelers shouldn’t worry too much because they’re not at risk. However, you may want to take into account the stress and anxiety you may have while you should be enjoying your holiday, especially if it’s a non-essential trip and you’re traveling with elderly or young children.
My travel provider is only waiving fees up till the end of March/early April. What should I do if I’m scheduled to travel after those dates?
First of all, don’t panic. Because the COVID-19 outbreak is still developing, travel providers are being cautious about issuing waivers. This is understandable, because what if the situation is resolved in the next couple of months?
Expect travel waiver policies to adjust to the situation. If the COVID-19 outbreak is still an issue closer to your travel dates, you’ll probably be able to cancel or rebook your flight without incurring a fee.
For different airlines’ travel waiver policies, please refer to their hotlines and respective travel advisories.
Cebu Pacific | (+632) 8702-0888 | Travel Advisories
Philippine Airlines | (+632) 8855-8888 | Travel Advisories
Singapore Airlines | (+632) 7756-8888 | Travel Restrictions Due to Covid-19 Outbreak
Asiana | (+632) 8662 8000 | Ticket Change/Refund Guideline for COVID-19
Cathay Pacific | For Globe: 180089094024 | For PLDT landline & Smart Mobile: 180011102720 | Travel Advisories
EVA Air | (+632) 8864-3800 | Travel News
Cathay Pacific | (+632) 8271-3622 | Travel Advisories
JetStar | (+632) 8396-6940 | Travel Alerts
Scoot | (+632) 7798-4499 | Announcements
Malaysia Airlines | (+632) 8231-3955 | Novel Coronavirus update and temporary travel restrictions
Korean Air | (+632) 8789-3700 | Ticket Change/Refund Guideline for COVID-19
Thai Airways | (+632) 8580-8424 | Information regarding coronavirus
Qatar Airways | (+632) 8519 1888 | COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update
All Nippon Airways | Chat with their Virtual Assistant | Special Handling of International Air Tickets due to Pneumonia Caused by New-type Coronavirus
Saudi Arabian Airlines | (+632) 8333 7777 | Travel Updates to Saudi Arabia Due to Corona Virus (COVID-19)
Stay up to date
It’s essential to stay informed in the midst of this outbreak, whether you have travel plans or not. Take the necessary precautions (avoid crowds, handshaking, etc.), practice good hygiene, and be vigilant to prevent the disease from spreading.
Have your travel plans been affected by COVID-19? Tell us all about it in the comments below!