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Impossible to cancel trips (without Airline or State Dept ordering Travel Ban) - FLIGHT CANCELLED !!! Login/Join 
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With what is going on these days about the Corona Virus, one would be crazy or in a tough situation to still go outside the country. We booked and paid for our flight to Japan last November for Spring Break 2020. My wife’s birthday gift to me and treat for our son’s spring break. Flight is coming up soon. When we purchased the tickets via Travelocity, it was a non-refundable ticket. We agreed on that. We also PURCHASED TRAVEL INSURANCE policy in case one of us gets sick overseas. That flight back to the US will be very expensive.

As of last week (even this morning), State Dept. Travel Advisory to JAPAN is Level 2 (Travel with Caution). Last week, I started calling around asking if we can cancel our trip. We are NOT asking for a full refund. A travel voucher good for a year is good enough. Here are the answers I got:

1. Travelocity - your tickets are non-refundable. We can’t refund or issue a voucher.

2. Japan Airline - unless the US State Department orders a Travel Ban to Japan, Or the Airline Company orders a travel ban to your destination, we cannot issue a refund or even a travel voucher.

3. Travel Insurance Company - you can cancel your trip and file a claim. However, there is nothing in your policy that covers what is currently going on related to the Corona Virus (I read the policy and there is NONE). I was told that there is NO GUARANTY they will pay my claim.

4. Credit Card Company (used to purchase tickets) - said we can file a dispute AFTER we cancel. Same thing. NO GUARANTY that they will honor the dispute since the charge was legit (I agree).

So what do WE DO NOW??? And all of those in the same situation? Confused

I saw on the local news yesterday that both United and Delta Airlines are offering travel vouchers for cancellations. Japan Airline and other International carriers are not offering vouchers at this time. Either you fly, or you don't (on your dime).

How much is our life worth??? I know someone will ask. Not worth losing for sure over 3 round trip tickets. But we surely don’t want to lose all that money we paid for the tickets.

A friend of mine is about to go on their 7-day cruise.


Another thing that is messed up right now is the policy at work places. My wife and I are both in the healthcare field. At her work place, they just imposed a “14 day self quarantine if you travel outside the country”. Her co-worker came back last Friday from the Philippines. She got a call from work telling her NOT TO REPORT to work and stay home for 14 days. That will surely eat up whatever remaining Vacation Day left or Sick Time.

No word yet from my workplace about such self-quarantine.



***UPDATE: I submitted a request for cancellation with Travelocity couple of weeks ago. They have a special form to submit for cancellations. Finally received an email confirming our cancellation. They gave us a VOUCHER valid until Dec. 8, 2020 (one year from when we purchased the tickets). They also advised us to contact JAPAN Airline directly to verify if they can extend the validity of the voucher up to a year of our planned departure date (04/04/2020)***.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ador,


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Posts: 1518 | Location: Las Vegas | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Too late to help you now, but if I'm buying trip insurance for something that far out, I always make sure I buy a policy with an "any reason" rider.

Sure, it's much more expensive (sometimes), but you just don't know what's going to happen between now and then.

-Rob




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Posts: 15340 | Location: Maryland, AA Co. | Registered: March 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It was my fault too. When they offered the Insurance Policy at Travelocity's website, there was no link upfront to review the policy (or maybe there was, but I did not pay attention). I just clicked "purchase". After we paid for the tickets and Travel INsurance Policy, that was when I received a separate email for the actual policy I purchased.

quote:
Originally posted by BurtonRW:
Too late to help you now, but if I'm buying trip insurance for something that far out, I always make sure I buy a policy with an "any reason" rider.

Sure, it's much more expensive (sometimes), but you just don't know what's going to happen between now and then.

-Rob


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Posts: 1518 | Location: Las Vegas | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You clicked on the “protect your trip now” button? Ouch. Like you said...

Again, not helpful now, but you’ll get much better coverage at much better prices if you buy your own policy. I really like squaremouth.com for quick and easy policy comparison (and immediate purchase) from several A+ rated carriers.

-Rob




I predict that there will be many suggestions and statements about the law made here, and some of them will be spectacularly wrong. - jhe888

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Posts: 15340 | Location: Maryland, AA Co. | Registered: March 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Check and see how much it is to change your tickets, for spring break 2021 perhaps or another time way in the future. That might be relatively cheap in comparison.
 
Posts: 19146 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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By 2021 we'll also have the Dos Equis virus




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Posts: 4974 | Location: District 12 | Registered: June 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I will try calling Japan Airline again tomorrow and ask if there are any changes in the current policy. We are even willing to pay a fee to change the flight to some other time in the future. We have another week off approved for the 4th of July week.

quote:
Originally posted by jimmy123x:
Check and see how much it is to change your tickets, for spring break 2021 perhaps or another time way in the future. That might be relatively cheap in comparison.


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Posts: 1518 | Location: Las Vegas | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Would it be different had you bought directly from JA? I found this:

https://www.jal.co.jp/jp/en/in...020/inter/200127_02/

We fly United international usually 2x/year, sometimes the agent sets up the flights, most recently I called United directly.

By going thru Travelocity (and presumably saving a fistful of few dollars) did you lose the cancellation benefits?
 
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Can you sell the tickets and such to others who would take the risk? Maybe at a slight loss, but better than a total loss?

Like stub hub of some sort?


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Posts: 5927 | Location: South East, Pa | Registered: July 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I’d probably just go and enjoy the trip as best I could. Even if you accept the high end estimates of a 3% mortality rate, which I think is a vast overestimate, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the virus in the first place and I’ve done other things that probably carry a 3% fatality rate. My level of concern for Covid-19 is at the point of ensuring good hand washing and that’s about it. Pissing away several thousand dollars would probably have at least as much of a chance of killing me because I’d probably stroke out. I understand your concern but I just don’t share it.



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Posts: 5018 | Location: Albany, NY | Registered: February 28, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Might be the best trip of your life. Seriously. With travel way off you might enjoy a vacation with no crowds and basically top shelf service. Now a cruise is different. They seem to be willing to hold you hostage. Unless they outright ban airline travel you will get home. I say go for it and enjoy.
 
Posts: 2570 | Registered: June 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sigmund, thank you very much for sending me that link. If you notice, that JAL directive is dated today. I hope my ticket purchased through Travelocity is included in that directive. I will check my ticket number as soon as I get home.

We always book through Travelocity only because they pull up all available airline when we search for flights. I am really hoping now (in this case), that we did not forfeit our cancellation benefits by booking through them, instead of going direct with the airline.


quote:
Originally posted by Sigmund:
Would it be different had you bought directly from JA? I found this:

https://www.jal.co.jp/jp/en/in...020/inter/200127_02/

We fly United international usually 2x/year, sometimes the agent sets up the flights, most recently I called United directly.

By going thru Travelocity (and presumably saving a fistful of few dollars) did you lose the cancellation benefits?


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Posts: 1518 | Location: Las Vegas | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We really want to go, despite of what is going on. I honestly believe that as long as we take the necessary precautions, we should be OK. But with the “14 day self-quarantine” that my wife’s employer imposed at her jod (dialysis center), it makes it even worse for us to travel outside the country.

quote:
Originally posted by pedropcola:
Might be the best trip of your life. Seriously. With travel way off you might enjoy a vacation with no crowds and basically top shelf service. Now a cruise is different. They seem to be willing to hold you hostage. Unless they outright ban airline travel you will get home. I say go for it and enjoy.


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Posts: 1518 | Location: Las Vegas | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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14 day self quarantine is no joke. Tough decision. On the other hand I have always come home from vacation wanting another week off to decompress. Now you have 2 weeks off.
 
Posts: 2570 | Registered: June 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Since the 14 days is required by the employer, are they paying for hours missed?

That would give me pause. If not, at two, 40-hour weeks, that's 80 hours of vacation or sick time to burn. That's a significant hit, on top of whatever is being used for the trip.

If they are paying, I'd go-without hesistation.




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Posts: 10672 | Location: NC | Registered: August 16, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by chongosuerte:
Since the 14 days is required by the employer, are they paying for hours missed?

That would give me pause. If not, at two, 40-hour weeks, that's 80 hours of vacation or sick time to burn. That's a significant hit, on top of whatever is being used for the trip.

If they are paying, I'd go-without hesistation.
Yeah, as an employer I wouldn't be paying that and I think it's likely to be that way with the OP.
 
Posts: 44881 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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According to my wife, her co-worker was asked to use her own “available sick time first, then available vacation hours”. So the answer is NO. Her employer will NOT pay for the self-quarantine directive. That will take a big chunk of any available PTO and Sick Time.

For us at the VA hospital where I work, “14 day self quarantine” is advised ONLY if you are symptomatic or you know for a fact that you were EXPOSED. And we have to use own PTO or Sick Time.
If you are exposed to someone “at the work place from a patient”, then they might pay.

quote:
Originally posted by chongosuerte:
Since the 14 days is required by the employer, are they paying for hours missed?

That would give me pause. If not, at two, 40-hour weeks, that's 80 hours of vacation or sick time to burn. That's a significant hit, on top of whatever is being used for the trip.

If they are paying, I'd go-without hesistation.


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Posts: 1518 | Location: Las Vegas | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by ador:
Sigmund, thank you very much for sending me that link. If you notice, that JAL directive is dated today. I hope my ticket purchased through Travelocity is included in that directive. I will check my ticket number as soon as I get home.

We always book through Travelocity only because they pull up all available airline when we search for flights. I am really hoping now (in this case), that we did not forfeit our cancellation benefits by booking through them, instead of going direct with the airline.



What I've found, is I had a similar situation with Travelocity or Priceline, where I had to change my ticket and it was a royal ordeal with them. I travel often and much of it International for work. What I've found is I search the sites like Travelocity for flights, then I go directly to the airline and book it, usually the flight is within a few $$$ or sometimes a few $$$ cheaper, but generally get a few benefits like a free checked bag, or much easier and cheaper to change the flight if booked directly with them. I would be delaying this trip if your wife has to take 2 weeks off of work at her expense on top of the trip......
 
Posts: 19146 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yep...burning 80 hours of benefit time...

I'd be out. That's probably a year's worth of accrual for most people. If they even get that much.

Unless I had it and wanted to do some serious home projects for 2 weeks.




Knowing what one is talking about is widely admired but not strictly required here.

Although sometimes distracting, there is often a certain entertainment value to this easy standard.
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Posts: 10672 | Location: NC | Registered: August 16, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No way would I take that trip, with your job situations. I'm not sure I would, even if I were able to go right back to work afterwards.

Japan is nice. And it'll still be there to visit after the infection/quarantine risks have faded.

I'd push Travelocity hard for a full refund. I would not pretend to know how long the issue will remain, so personally I would not accept either a specific later flight or a travel voucher with an expiration date. As a compromise, a travel voucher with no expiration date might be an acceptable middle ground.
 
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