Share with friends who are paying retail price for their travel!

Coronavirus (COVID-19) policies vary by travel provider and booking channel. The situation is fluid, so it’s important to know the updated policies for any current or future reservations you make. I’ve created a list of travel policies and links that I will frequently update.

This is a great time to get yourself organized.

With all that lies ahead of us, I encourage you to keep taking advantage of Travel Freely right now since you can be filling up a treasure chest of points from your home for long-term luxury travel. In the coming weeks, I’ll be addressing the best flexible strategies that can include cashback options AND future free travel. Some of this will be through live, interactive videos. Join the next live webinar here.

Are you part of a business, group or association that is no longer getting together face-to-face with each other or with clients? I’d love to do a Free Travel 101 webinar for you! I’ve been doing these seminars all over Denver, but now they’ll be online and available for your group anywhere in the country! These are really fun, informative. and interactive. Plus, it’s a great time to get started. Go here to learn more about hosting a free online seminar.

Some Travel Freely Advice and Tips

Use Southwest points right now and keep rebooking!

Southwest Points during Coronavirus Pandemic

It’s always been a no-brainer. Southwest has no change or cancellation fees. If you use points, you will get them back instantly if you cancel a flight. I have rebooked several flights as prices keep dropping.  Remember, many Chase cards earn points that can be transferred to Southwest, but they allow you to remain flexible if you do not end up needing more Southwest miles. For that reason, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are the most valuable and flexibility for the short and long-term. Read Chase Ultimate Rewards Guide; Southwest Companion Pass Guide.

Use Twitter

Pretty much the only reason I use Twitter (besides trying to get breaking sports news) is to contact airlines. Sometimes they can make changes for you and circumvent long wait times on the phone. I don’t remember the last time I called an airline. Twitter is very helpful. Here are the handles…

@AmericanAir@British_Airways@Delta@United@SouthwestAir@jetBlue@AlaskaAir; @Lufthansa_USA@Iberia_en; @KLM

Pile Up the Points with Savvy Strategy

If you are not going to travel much in the next year, why not rack up points so that you can fly international business class and stay in 5-star hotels when you do start to travel? The best part of the Travel Freely strategy is that you are accumulating massive amounts of points without traveling. Your regular bills and monthly expenses are still happening, so keep racking up sign-up bonuses! Check out Our Best Monthly Offers or your Customized CardGenie Recommendations.

Get the right kind of rewards. Those who ONLY have an airline or hotel card are not following the best advice, get cards that can flex to any travel you need. I call these cards the “Wildcards” because, like the game of Uno, you can always make a play. Even now, if you aren’t going to travel, you could trade your points in for cash or gift cards.

Check out the best cards with Ultimate Flexibility for cash back and free travel.

Earn points during COVID 19 Pandemic

Deals will be amazing once this all ends.

DO NOT WAIT until you want to travel again to start looking at pointsEvery country, airline, and hotel will want your business. So if you have piled up your points, the value of your free travel will skyrocket and you should be able to go business class and 5-star on any future trips. That’s why these flexible points cards will be best.

Coronavirus Cancellation Policies Contents:

Airline Coronavirus Cancellation Policies

Airline Cancellations Coronavirus

Alaska Airlines

coronavirus cancellation policies

Link to waiver policy

Alaska is offering or no change or cancellation fees on flights booked between 2/27/20 and 3/12/20 for travel by June 1, 2020.

Update 3/21/20: This has been extended for those who had booked prior to 2/26 for travel through 5/31 as noted below.

For tickets purchased on or before February 26, 2020 for travel 3/9-5/31/20:

  • If you purchased a Saver fare for travel through May 31, 2020, you may:
    • Cancel your trip and deposit the funds into your My Account wallet.
  • If you purchased a nonrefundable First Class, main, or award ticket for travel through May 31, 2020, you may:
    • Change without fee. New travel must be completed by February 28, 2021. A fare difference may apply to your new itinerary.
    • Cancel your trip and deposit the funds into My Account wallet or credit card certificate via email.

For tickets purchased 2/27 to March 31, 2020:

  • If you purchase a Saver fare between February 27, 2020 and March 31, 2020 for travel through February 28, 2021, you may:
    • Cancel your trip and deposit the funds into your My Account wallet.
  • If you purchase a nonrefundable First Class, main, or award ticket between February 27, 2020 and March 31, 2020 for travel through February 28, 2021, you may:
    • Change without fee. New travel must be completed by February 28, 2021. A fare difference may apply to your new itinerary.
    • Cancel your trip and deposit the funds into My Account wallet or credit card certificate via email.

American Airlinescoronavirus cancellation policies

Link to waiver policy

Link to latest AA news regarding COVID-19

For tickets purchased before March 1, 2020:

  • If you bought your ticket before March 1, 2020, for travel through May 31, 2020, you can rebook without change fees.

For newly tickets purchased on or after March 1, 2020:

  • If you purchased a ticket on American Airlines between March 1, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. CT and April 30, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CT, will not incur change fees prior to travel.

New travel must be completed within 1 year of original ticket issue date.

Delta Airlines

coronavirus cancellation policies

Link to policy

Delta is waiving change fees on all domestic and international travel departing in March, April, or May 2020 and for all tickets purchased between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020.

This change fee waiver means that you can move your travel dates and/or select a new destination. The value of your unused ticket will be applied toward your new flight. If the new flight is more expensive, you have to pay the difference. If the new fare is lower, you will receive an eCredit for the difference.

purchased on or before March 9th for travel March 1 – April 30 2020.  Rebooked travel must begin by December 31 2020. Any ticket for travel in March or April that is set to expire before June 30, 2020 will be extended to be valid for travel until December 31, 2020. If you purchased a ticket in March, you can adjust your travel as many times as you’d like without a change fee for an entire year from the date you purchased it.

Notably, those have upcoming travel in April or May that was booked as of April 3, 2020 and/or those who have existing eCredits for canceled travel from March, April, or May 2020 can rebook for travel within the next two years. Travel in these cases must be completed by May 31, 2022.

Elite status

Delta has announced that they are extending elite status through 2021.

JetBlue

coronavirus cancellation policies

Link to policy

JetBlue has expanded their change/cancellation fee waiver policy. Currently, all change and cancel fees for travel through 5/31/20 are waived. Re-booked travel must occur by January 4, 2021. If you choose to instead cancel, you’ll receive a JetBlue TravelBank credit that is valid for 18 months from the date of issuance.

If you have a Travel Bank credit from a previous flight purchase that is expiring between February 27 and May 31, it will now expire December 31, 2020.

Travel Bank credits issued between February 27 and May 31 for flight purchases will now have an 18-month expiration period as opposed to the typical 12 months.

Spirit

coronavirus cancellation policies

Link to policy

Those who must change plans due to COVID-19 have the option to receive a reservation credit for the full value of their reservation that can be used for up to 6 months to book any flight through the end of the schedule.

Southwest

coronavirus cancellation policies

Link to policy

Southwest never charges change or cancellation fees. As long as you cancel at least 10 minutes prior to departure, you receive a travel credit valid for up to one year from the original date of purchase. If you cancel an award booking at least 10 minutes prior to departure, points post back to your account immediately.

However, those scheduled to travel by April 30th can change to a date within 60 days of the originally-scheduled travel date without paying any fare difference as long as your origin and destination cities do not change. Look for flights that display as “Available.” Flights that show a price point are not eligible for a change without paying a fare difference. This can be done online.

If you have unused travel funds that have expired or will expire between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020 will now expire June 30, 2021. Additionally, any new travel funds created as a result of a cancellation between March 1 – May 30, 2021 will also expire June 30, 2021. Unfortunately, flights canceled because of travel bans / airport closures will be given a credit rather than a refund.

United

coronavirus cancellation policies

Link to policy 

For tickets purchased on or before March 2, 2020 for travel from March 3 to May 31, 2020:

  • All change fees are waived
  • New tickets must be reissued on/before December 31, 2020 or 12 months from original ticket date, whichever is earlier
  • Rebooked travel must commence within 12 months from the original ticket issue date

For tickets issued March 3 through April 30, 2020:

  • Customers will be permitted to change free of charge to a flight of equal or lesser value up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date.
  • If the new flight is priced higher, the customer may change for no fee but must pay the fare difference.
  • If the new flight is priced lower, the customer may change for free but no residual value will be given.
  • If the customer decides to cancel their flight, they can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date.
  • This applies to all tickets, all fare types, all destinations, all points-of-sale, all travel dates available for sale, provided ticket number starts with 016.

Elite status

United is extending elite status by 1 year.

Frontier

Frontier Airlines Corona Virus Updates

Link to policy

Existing Reservations
For tickets issued prior to March 10, 2020 and with travel through April 30, 2020: 

  • Customers may make a one-time change to their itinerary without a change/cancel fee.

Flexibility for new bookings
For tickets issued March 10 through April 15, 2020: 

  • Customers may make a one-time change to their itinerary without a change/cancel fee.

Keep in mind these restrictions on your change:

  • If you change to new flight of equal or lesser value, the change fee is waived, no residual value retained by customer
  • If you change to new flight at a higher price, the change fee waived, customer pays fare difference
  • If you cancel your flight: the cancel fee is waived, customer retains the value of the ticket to be applied toward the purchase of a future ticket within 90 days of cancellation. Note that you need to bookyour new ticket within 90 days of the day you cancel, but travel can occur through November 9, 2020
  • For flights changed or cancelled under this policy, rebooked travel must be completed by November 9, 2020.
  • Changes must be made at least 24 hours in advance or standard change fees apply

Again, the key restrictions to keep in mind are that you can only make one change and if you cancel you have 90 days to rebook (though you can rebook for travel until November 9th).

.

Hawaiian

Hawaiian Airlines Corona Virus Updates

Link to policy

Travel Flexibility

  1. Tickets purchased between March and May 2020 will incur no change fees for any changes made within one (1) year of the original ticket purchase date. A fare difference may apply.
  2. Tickets purchased before March 1, 2020 with travel dates between March and May 2020: No change fees for rebooked travel that begins on or before Dec. 31, 2020. A fare difference may apply. Tickets must be changed no later than Dec. 31, 2020 or one year from the original ticket purchase date (whichever is later). If the ticket expiration date occurs prior to Dec. 31, 2020, a one-time exchange (without charge) can be applied to extend the ticket validity another 12 months.

If your travel dates for any Hawaiian Airlines flight between the US mainland and Hawaii are between March 1-April 30, 2020, you’re welcome to change your flight to a new travel date without being charged a change fee. Please note that the new travel dates must begin by Dec. 31, 2020 and that any applicable fare difference will apply. Hawaiian Airlines Reservations handling fees and HawaiianMiles award redeposit fees will be waived.

Hawaiian flights to New Zealand purchased by March 13th or flights to Australia purchased by March 14th for travel by June 30, 2020 can also be changed for travel until December 31, 2020 with no fee. More information can be found on the waiver policy page linked above

Cruise line Coronavirus Cancellation Policies

Carnival

Link to policy

As of 4/5/20, Carnival has canceled the following:

  • All ships sailings through and including May 11, 2020
  • All Alaska sailings through and including June 30, 2020
  • All San Francisco sailings through 2020
  • All Carnival Radiance sailings through and including November 1, 2020
  • All Carnival Legend sailings through and including October 30, 2020

Those with cruises scheduled during the above period can either receive a 100% refund of the price paid or:

  • Cruise lengths of 6+ days: get a 100% future cruise credit + $600 onboard credit per statement if rebooked by 12/31/20 for sailing by 12/31/22.
  • Cruise lengths of 5 days or less: get a 100% future cruise credit + $300 onboard credit per statement if rebooked by 12/31/20 for sailing by 12/31/22.

To make your selection for a cruise canceled as per the above-listed cancellations, choose your preferred option online by using this form.

Note that Carnival had previously published the following additional details for future sailings. I no longer see this information reflected on their site, but it is possible that this still applies. You’ll need to contact Carnival to be sure, but I’m leaving the information here since they had previously published these policies:

If your original sailing date is scheduled for May 2020:

    • Change/cancel by 30 days prior to sailing
    • Sail within 1 year of your original sailing date
    • Keep your booking as scheduled and get an on board credit: $50 credit for 2-day cruises, $100 credit for 3-4 day cruises, $150 credit for 5-day cruises, $200 credit for 6+-day cruises, $300 credit for European cruises (should post automatically)

    If your original sailing date is scheduled June through September 2020:

    • Change/cancel by 30 days prior to sailing
    • Sail within 1 year of your original sailing date
    • Keep your booking as scheduled and get an on board credit in the amount of $50 for short (2-5 day) or $100 for long (6+-day) cruises

Celebrity

Link to policy

Change or cancel up to 48 hours prior to sailing for cruises departing up to 9/1/20 and receive a future cruise credit in the amount of the penalty that is valid for sailings up to 12/31/21. Note that if you booked through a travel agent, you’ll need to contact your agent. Note also that this policy does not apply to residents of mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

If you apply your future cruise credit to a cruise of lesser value, the remaining value will be issued as a new future cruise credit.

If you wish to cancel instead of taking a future cruise credit, Celebrity’s standard cancelation policy applies. You’ll receive a full refund of the amount paid to date prior to final payment, and the nonrefundable deposits will be returned in the form of an Future Cruise Credit. After final payment, the standard cancellation penalties apply.

Disney Cruise Lines

Link to policy

All new departures through Tuesday, April 28, 2020 have been suspended. Those booked on effected sailings can either receive a cruise credit valid for 15 months from original sailing date or a full refund. A full refund gives you cash that is valid forever. Not sure why anyone would take a credit tied to a cruise within 15 months rather than cash if the cruise line isn’t offering any incentive to take the credit (in the form of onboard credit or higher monetary value as other cruise lines in this section are offering).

Disney Magic European Sailings

  • Those booked on European sailings through the July 25 departure can change up until the day before embarkation and get a 100% cruise credit to be used for future sailing within 15 months of their original sail date. Call 1-866-325-2112 or 407-566-3510 or your agent.

Disney Magic sailings through May 8, 2020, and Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wonder Sailings through May 31, 2020

  • If you are scheduled to sail on the Disney Magic between now and May 8, 2020, or the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wonder between now and May 31, 2020, you can change your reservation up until the day before embarkation and receive a 100% cruise credit to be used for a future sailing within 12 months of your original sail date by calling 1-866-325-2112 or 407-566-3510 or your agent.

Norwegian

Link to policy

Sailings scheduled through September 30, 2020 can be cancelled up to 48 hours prior to start of the sailing date and receive a 100% future cruise credit that is valid for new sailings through December 31, 2022, but the new booking must be made within one year of the cancellation date.

All cruises scheduled for October 1st and beyond can be cancelled for a full refund up to 120 days before departure.

Oceania

Link to policy

  • Cancel for any reason up to 48 hours prior to departure and receive a Future Cruise Credit equal to 100% of the cruise fare paid
  • Valid for all existing reservations for voyages departing from March 10, 2020, through September 30, 2020
  • Valid for all new reservations through April 30th for voyages departing from March 10, 2020 through September 30, 2020
  • Future Cruise Credit is valid for redemption for one year from date of issue for travel departing no later than December 31, 2022

Princess

Link to most recent update and earlier policy (which still applies to cruises from May 11-31, 2020)

Princess Cruise Lines has announced that they will voluntarily pause operations from March 12, 2020 to May 10, 2020. If you were scheduled to sail during this time, you can request a refund here.

Note that those impacted have the option to take a higher future cruise credit (as high as 225% of the price originally paid) valid for sailings through May 1, 2022, as follows:

  • Departure dates March 12 – 25, 2020, choose either:
    1. 225% future cruise credit
    2. 100% refund + 100% future cruise credit
  • Departure dates March 26 – April 8, 2020, choose either:
    1. 175% future cruise credit
    2. 100% refund + 50% future cruise credit
  • Departure dates April 9 – May 10, 2020, choose either:
    1. 150% future cruise credit
    2. 100% refund + 25% future cruise credit

Note: Be sure to click the box that says “Option 2” if you want the refund as shown here:

For departures May 11-July 31, 2020:

  • Cancel by 48 hours prior to sailing and receive a 100% future cruise credit in the amount of the cancellation fees

Note: This policy applies retroactively to cruises canceled on or after January 20, 2020, for sailings from March 6-May 31, 2020.

Those who booked by March 13th and chose to keep their bookings for sailings from May 11-May 31, 2020 qualify for an onboard credit in the following amounts:

  • $100 USD / $150 AUD per stateroom for 3 and 4-day cruises
  • $150 USD / $225 AUD per stateroom for 5-day cruises
  • $200 USD / $300 AUD per stateroom for 6 days and longer cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Link to policy

Cancel up to 48 hours prior to departure for all existing reservations and all new reservations made by April 30, 2020, for all voyages embarking on or before September 30, 2020, and receive a 100% Future Cruise Credit, which can be applied to any new reservation made within one year on any Regent voyage sailing before December 31, 2022.

Royal Caribbean

Link to policy

Change or cancel up to 48 hours prior to sailing for cruises departing up to 9/1/20 and receive a future cruise credit in the amount of the penalty that is valid for sailings up to 12/31/21. Note that if you booked through a travel agent, you’ll need to contact your agent. Note also that this policy does not apply to residents of mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Viking River Cruises

Link to policy

As of March 11, 2020, Viking is temporarily suspending operations of all river and ocean cruises, for embarkations taking place through June 30, 2020.

For those guests whose cruise falls within this window of suspended operations, Viking is offering the choice of a Future Cruise Voucher valued at 125% of all monies paid to Viking or a refund equal to the amount paid. Note that if you prefer a refund, the terms suggest that you must request it by April 6, 2020.

Guests will have 24 months to use their Future Cruise Voucher to make a new reservation on any river, ocean or expedition cruise. For additional flexibility, if you are unable to use your voucher, Viking will automatically send you a refund equal to the original amount paid to Viking after the voucher expires. These Future Cruise Vouchers will also be fully transferable.

Hotel Coronavirus Cancellation Policies

Airbnb

While not a hotel, it made sense to include AirBnB with lodging providers here.

AirBnB has updated its policy to allow guests and hosts to change or cancel reservations worldwidewithout charge for those reservations made on or before 3/14/20 with check-in dates between 3/14/20 and 5/31/20.

Reservations for stays and Airbnb Experiences made after March 14, 2020 will not be covered under AirBnB’s extenuating circumstances policy, except where the guest or host is currently sick with COVID-19.

COVID-19 related circumstances not covered include: transportation disruptions and cancellations; travel advisories and restrictions; health advisories and quarantines; changes to applicable law; and other government mandates—like evacuation orders, border closures, prohibitions on short-term rentals, and shelter-in-place requirements. The host’s cancellation policy will apply as usual.

Airbnb explains this by saying that the extenuating circumstances policy would not apply after March 14th since COVID-19 is no longer an unforeseen issue but rather a known issue. Essentially, if you take the risk of a new booking, that risk is on you.

Accor

Link to policy

For existing reservations for upcoming travel through May 31, 2020:

  • Guests who booked a non-flexible rate with Accor for travel prior to May 31,2020 may modify their reservation for future travel through May 31, 2021 without any modification fees by contacting the hotel directly.  For a list of hotels, please refer to https://all.accor.com/gb/world/hotels-accor-monde.shtml 
    Note: changes to existing reservations will be subject to availability and any rate differences

In regions affected by government-issued travel restrictions, the following applies:​

For hotels in North and Central America, Europe (Except France and Italy), the United Kingdom, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific:

  • For a stay between March 17th, 2020 and May 1st, 2020, may modify their reservation for a future date to May 31st, 2021 without any modification fees (subject to availability and applicable rates and conditions) or cancel their reservation and be refunded without penalty. To cancel or modify your reservation, please contact the hotel directly.

For hotels in France (including French Polynesia):

  • For a stay cancelled between March 1st, 2020 and prior to September 15th, 2020, guests may cancel their reservations and receive a credit voucher only for the full value of their reservation for use within 18 months. To cancel and receive a credit voucher, please contact the hotel directly. https://all.accor.com/gb/country/hotels-france-pfr.shtml

For hotels in Italy:

  • For a stay cancelled between March 1st, 2020 and prior to April 12, 2020, Guests may cancel their reservations and receive a credit voucher only for the full value of their reservation. To cancel and receive a credit voucher, please contact the hotel directly. https://all.accor.com/gb/country/hotels-italy-pit.shtml.

Choice Hotels

Link to policy

  • For guests with existing individual reservations, including reservations with non-cancellable, pre-paid rates made directly with Choice Hotels, we will allow changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival as long as the change or cancellation is made by June 30, 2020 and is compliant with hotel country regulations. You can cancel or modify your reservation here. If you are experiencing difficulties cancelling your reservation, you may use this online form.
  • For a limited time, guests making new individual reservations directly with Choice Hotels, we will allow those reservations to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before a guest’s scheduled arrival date. Modifications can be made here.
  • Guests who booked via online travel agents or other third parties are advised to contact their booking provider for information on their policies and for assistance.

Note that Choice Hotels was previously offering the following change policy but I believe this no longer applies. I am leaving the information here for anyone who previously canceled to refer back to if they have an issue getting their points, but I do not believe that new cancellations will receive this option (not sure when this changed):

For travel within the United States or Canada, Choice Hotels is now extending special exceptions for all Advance Purchase Rate non-refundable reservations made directly with Choice Hotels on or before March 10, 2020 for travel through April 30, 2020. If interested, guests holding these prepaid reservations who choose not to travel may opt to receive Choice Privileges points for future travel. Reservations less than $75 total (local currency) receive 5,000 points, $75-$150 total (local currency) receive 7,500 points, and reservations greater than $150 total (local currency) receive 10,000 points. To receive points, you must contact our call center at 1-888-770-6800 more than 48 hours in advance of your stay.

Hilton

Link to policy

Reservations

  • Existing Reservations. All reservations—even those described as “non-cancellable” (“Advanced Purchase”)—that are scheduled for arrival on or before June 30, 2020 can be changed or cancelled at no charge, up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival day.
  • New Reservations. Any reservations you make—even those described as “non-cancellable” (“Advanced Purchase”)—that are booked between March 25th and June 30, 2020 for any future arrival date can be changed or cancelled at no charge, up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival day.
  • See this post for more.

Elite Status

  • If your 2019 status was expiring in March 2020: For those who had status in 2019 (which was based on stays in 2018), status would ordinarily expire on March 31, 2020. However, Hilton is extending the expiration of that status (again, if you earned it in 2018 and it was set to expire this week) until March 31, 2021.
  • If you have 2020 status: For those who earned status in 2019 (which ordinarily gives you status in 2020 up until March 31, 2021), Hilton is extending status until March 31, 2022.
  • See this post for more.

Points

  • Points extension: Hilton is pausing the expiration of all points set to expire between now and December 31, 2020. In other words, points scheduled to expire any time in the rest of 2020 will expire on January 1, 2021.

Free night certificates

  • Weekend free night certificates: Hilton previously announced that certificates that were unexpired as of March 11, 2020 and all new certificates issued until August 20, 2020 will be extended until August 31, 2021 (the end of next summer).

Hyatt

Link to policy

Reservations

  • Existing reservations for upcoming travel through June 30, 2020: All existing reservations (booked April 1 or before) for arrivals through June 30, 2020 can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations.
  • New reservations for any future travel: With some very limited exceptions noted below, reservations you make between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 – for any future arrival date – can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations. The only exceptions are reservations booked after April 1, 2020 at select Destination properties and Special Events Rate reservations booked after April 1, 2020. The cancellation policies for a Special Event Rate will be noted in the rate’s Rate Rules section when booking.
  • Existing Advance Purchase Rate non-refundable reservations for travel through June 2020: As announced earlier, special exceptions are in place for all Advance Purchase Rate non-refundable reservations made directly with Hyatt on or before March 8, 2020 for arrivals before June 30, 2020. Guests holding these fully prepaid reservations who have decided not to travel may still opt, at least 24 hours before their stay, to receive 10,000 World of Hyatt Bonus Points compensation in lieu of both their stay and the offer above (if eligible). World of Hyatt points may be used toward future travel at any of our 900+ hotels across 17 brands globally.

Peak and off-peak pricing

  • Hyatt has delayed the introduction of peak and off-peak pricing until 2021 and only 5 properties will be changing category on March 22, 2020. See this post for more.

Elite status

  • Status and benefits will be extended for all existing elite members without having to re-qualify. This means that whatever your status was as of March 31, 2020 – whether Discoverist, Explorist or Globalist – it will be automatically updated to reflect a February 28, 2022 expiration date. All elite tier extensions should be reflected in members’ accounts no later than April 15, 2020. See this post for more.

Extension of earned awards

  • All unused Free Night, Suite Upgrade or Club Lounge Access awards with expiration dates between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 will be extended to December 31, 2021. This includes existing awards and awards that may be earned throughout this year with a 2020 expiration date. The award extension will be generated by World of Hyatt – members do not need to take action. Awards that expired between March 1 and March 31, 2020 will be replaced with new awards on April 20, 2020. All other qualifying, unused awards will be updated by the 20th day of the month in which the award would have originally expired.

IHG

Link to policy

Reservations

IHG is waiving cancellation fees for existing and new bookings at all IHG hotels globally for stays between March 9, 2020 and June 30, 2020.

IHG is not selling advance purchase/non-refundable rates until later this year.

Elite status

Additionally, IHG has reduced elite status qualification requirements:

  • Gold
    • Normal requirement: 10K points / 10 nights
    • 2020 requirement: 7K points / 7 nights
  • Platinum
    • Normal requirement: 40K points / 40 nights
    • 2020 requirement: 30K points / 30 nights
  • Spire
    • Normal requirement: 75K points / 75 nights
    • 2020 requirement: 55K points / 55 nights

Anniversary Night Certificates

If you had any anniversary night certificates expiring (earned through your credit card(s)), those will be extended. Any certificates expiring from March 1, 2020 will now be valid until December 31, 2020. All certificates that are issued in 2020 will have an expiry date of 18 months.

Points Expiration

IHG Rewards Club points usually expire after 12 months of inactivity for members without status (it never expires for Gold, Platinum and Spire members which is a great program feature). If you’re an IHG Rewards Club member without any status and your points were due to expire between April 1 and June 30, 2020, your points now won’t expire until December 31, 2020 which gives you more time to ensure there’s some kind of activity on your account

Marriott

Link to policy

Reservations / Cancellations

  • For guests with existing reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive, we will allow full changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival,* as long as the change or cancellation is made by June 30, 2020. Please note that any changes to existing reservations will be subject to availability and any rate differences.
  • For guests making new reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates, between today and June 30, 2020, we will allow the reservation to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival date.* Please note that changes to the reservation will be subject to availability and any rate differences.

Note that:

  • Individual (transient) guestroom reservation refunds of any kind (e.g., cash or credit voucher) may take up to 90 days from the date of cancellation to be processed. The form and timing of refund may be subject to applicable laws where each hotel is located.
  • Design Hotels and Homes & Villas by Marriott International (HVMI) are excluded from this policy.

Points

  • Points will not expire until 8/31/20

Free night certificates

  • Free night certificates, including annual credit card free night certificatesannual choice benefit certificates, and travel package certificates that were scheduled to expire in 2020 will be extended to January 31, 2021. See this post for full details.

Suite Night Awards

  • Suite Night Awards set to expire on December 31, 2020 (i.e. those earned last year as 50-night or 75-night choice benefits) will not expire until December 31, 2021. See this post for full details

Update 3/13/20: Marriott has made significant enhancements to its cancellation policies and has extended free night certificates and choice benefits. See this post for full details, but here is a brief summary:

  • Reservations for arrival through April 30 can be cancelled up to 24 hours prior to arrival. While most hotels have a 72-hour cancellation window, this could be huge for some properties with more restriction cancellation policies.
  • All new reservations made by April 30 can be cancelled up to 24 hours prior to arrivalregardless of travel date. That’s a decent incentive to book future travel, especially at properties which traditionally have those 14-day, 30-day, or 45-day cancellation windows.
  • Points will not expire until 8/31/20.
  • Free night certificates, including annual credit card free night certificatesannual choice benefit certificates, and travel package certificates that were scheduled to expire in 2020 will be extended to January 31, 2021.
  • Suite Night Awards set to expire on December 31, 2020 (i.e. those earned last year as 50-night or 75-night choice benefits) will not expire until December 31, 2021

Peninsula Hotels

Apparently all bookings worldwide can be canceled without a fee for stays scheduled for arrival by April 30th. Note that I can only find this information in this news release but no direct information on the Peninsula website.

Radisson Hotels

Link to policy

Radisson has extended elite statussuspended point expiration, and extended free night certificates as per the following:

  • Point expiration policy is suspended for 6 months effective March 1st (This is not totally clear to me — I think this means that if you had points scheduled to expire within 6 months of March 1st, they will either not expire until September 1st or perhaps you’ll get an additional 6 months added)
  • Elite status: Extended until February 2022 for those whose status would otherwise expire in February 2021. In other words, if you earned status last year (in 2019), your status would ordinarily be valid until February of next year (February 2021). Now you’ll be extended to February 2022 — in other words, you don’t need to make any more stays this year to maintain status.
  • Free night certificates: If you have a free night certificate earned from spending $10K on the Radisson credit card and it was set to expire between 3/1/20 and 6/30/20, it will now be valid until 6/30/2021

Wyndham Hotels

  • New or existing direct bookings for stays through May 31, 2020 will have their cancellation or change penalties waived if the request is received at least 24 hours (or less if permitted by the hotel’s policy) prior to arrival.
  • Guests who are prohibited from traveling to their booked hotel under applicable law will have their cancellation or change penalties waived on direct bookings.
  • For new or existing direct bookings with arrivals after May 31, 2020, all Wyndham properties are required to accommodate non-cancellable rate reservation changes if the request is received at least 48 hours prior to arrival and the same number of room nights or more are booked for a future stay.
  • We are pausing the expiration of any Wyndham Rewards points scheduled to expire between March 25 and May 31, 2020 and have extended current Wyndham Rewards Member Levels (status) for all members in the Greater China and Southeast Asia Pacific Rim regions through the end of 2021.

Credit Card Booking Portal Coronavirus Cancellation Policies

coronavirus cancellation policies

The best piece of advice if you’ve booked through any sort of travel agent — whether that may be Expedia, Priceline, or one of the credit card travel sites — is to call the travel agent directly about your booking. It is difficult to impossible to predict each possible travel agent booking situation and outcome.

Amex Travel

Link to more information

Based on my reading of their announcement linked above, I think Amex Travel intends to follow the waiver policy of the travel provider with whom you are booked. In other words, if your airline/cruise/hotel is offering a waiver and your dates of booking and travel fit the requirements, I believe you will be able to change or cancel through Amex the same as you would booking direct.

Additionally, they will waive the American Express Travel fee on flight modifications made now through May 31, 2020.

If you cancel a flight directly with your airline that was booked with Membership Rewards® points (Pay with Points), your cancellation will be handled by the airline in accordance with their policies. If your flight is not refunded or you are issued a credit with the airline, you will not receive the points back in your Membership Rewards® account, nor will you receive a credit on your Card statement in dollars.

However, if your flight is refunded by the airline, then you will receive a credit on your Card statement (in dollars) in the amount equivalent to the refund issued by the airline. You may be able to convert it back into points by contacting Membership Rewards® at 1-800-AXP-EARN (297-3276).

Chase Ultimate Rewards

If your airline is waiving cancellation fees, you can now submit a cancellation request through our online chat tool or by using a cancellation form in Ultimate Rewards.

Chase’s FAQs prompt you to check the travel provider’s current cancellation policies (which are frequently changing) before submitting your request.

Chase will work on requests in order of urgency based on travel date. Depending on your travel provider’s policies, Chase may contact you in one of the following situations:

  • If the travel provider offers a future travel credit, details will be emailed to you so that you can rebook your trip at a later date.
  • If your travel provider does not permit a full refund or if your booking consists of two one way airfares, we’ll contact you to advise on the next best available option.

The ability to do this online should be a major time savings provided that your travel provider’s policies don’t change before your request is processed.

If you used a Chase debit or credit card to book travel directly with a hotel, airline, or other travel provider and your trip is within the next 30 days and has been canceled by the airline/hotel/travel provider and you’re unable to get help after contacting your travel provider, you can submit a billing dispute online.

Citi ThankYou Travel

The Citi booking engine currently only says:

Due to the Coronavirus, we are unable to book travel to China. This has caused us to experience high call volumes. We ask that if your travel is not related to this region or is not immediate to any region, please book online or consider calling back at a later time.

Again, it is expected that flights are be easier than hotels, but either way, you will need to call the ThankYou Rewards center.

Event and Tour Coronavirus Cancellation Policies

Events and Tours Cancellation COVID 19

StubHub

Link to policy

StubHub was originally offering either a refund or a StubHub coupon valued at 120% of your original purchase price, but they have since ceased offering refunds and are now only offering the coupon if you have a ticket for an event that is cancelled. Refunds will only be offered in jurisdictions where they are required.

Note that if the event is not cancelled, StubHub will not refund your order.

Viator

Link to policy

Most Viator bookings can be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance. However, for those bookings marked “All sales final” or with “non-standard” cancellation policies, Viator is offering full refunds on all COVID-19 impacted bookings for travel occurring through May 31, 2020.

Note that this waiver for nonrefundable bookings does not apply to activities in other countries at this time (though I’d expect we’ll see this expanded given the travel restrictions put in place between the US and Europe).

Note: This article was inspired by Frequent Miler – any content used with permission.

 

Your next vacation could be free with TRAVEL FREELY.

shares