With coronavirus hitting headlines on a daily basis and entire countries going into lockdown, what are your and your clients’ rights if a trip is cancelled?
We’ve pulled together a list of the cruise lines, airlines and operators that have made temporary changes to their booking policies in light of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
Updated by TTG on 18 March, 10.45am.
Clia has announced all ocean cruise lines will be suspending cruise ship operations from US ports of call for 30 days.
P&O Cruises and Cunard
Both lines have revealed an interim policy for guests with bookings departing prior to 31 August 2020. All guests booked to sail ahead of the date can cancel 48 hours before departure and receive future cruise credit, redeemable against any sailing until the end of March 2022.
Guests booked before 11 March [date of policy announcement], and travelling before August, will have additional onboard credit applied to their booking.
Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises
All sailings have been suspended from March 13 until April 11. Customers on impacted voyages will receive a 125% refund of the fare paid in the form of a future cruise credit, which can be applied toward any future cruise through December 31, 2022. Guests who do not wish to have the 125% future cruise credit will receive 100% refund of the fare paid. Agent commissions on the cancelled cruises would be protected.
Meanwhile can cancel existing and new bookings up to 48 hours before embarkation for sailings through to 30 September 2020.
Customers who decide to cancel will receive cruise credit, which can be used for any itinerary operating worldwide until 31 December 2022.
Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea
Following Clia’s announcement, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd is suspending cruising in the US for 30 days. From 13 March Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises and Silversea have paused their US sailings.
Elsewhere, the lines are allowing guests to cancel their bookings up to 48 hours before departure.
The initiative applies to all sailings on or before 31 July 2020. Guests will receive credit for their cruise fare usable on any sailing of their choice in 2020 or 2021.
From 13 March, MSC is launching a Flexible Cruise Programme. This means any booking for travel on or before 30 June can be amended for a trip scheduled until 31 December 2021.
People with cruise-only tickets can change their booking up until 48 hours before departure and people with fly and cruise bookings can change the date 96 hours before.
MSC has said the new bookings must be within the same geographical area as the original trip.
Hurtigruten guests can change their booking to another of the cruise line’s trips.
This applies to bookings before 30 April for departures until 30 June 2020, for rebooking between 1 July 2020 to 1 July 2021.
Passengers can cancel their booking up to 48 hours before departure and receive future cruise credit for use until 31 December 2020 for travel before 31 December 2021.
Trips scheduled for 1 August to 15 October can be cancelled up to 30 days before sailing.
CMV has suspended all sailings for six weeks and is aiming to restart operations on 24 April. All impacted passengers will be offered a full refund or a future cruise credit of 125% of the value of their cruise plus other onboard benefits. The future cruise credit can be used to purchase any published cruises featured in CMV’s 2020 and 2021 programmes and must be booked by 31 July 2020.
Marella Cruises has canceled all sailings due to travel between 14 and 28 of March. The Tui-owned line said impacted customers would be "proactively notified and automatically issued a full refund".
Bookings made between 16 March and 1 May, for departures until 31 August, can be cancelled for free up to 30 days before departure date.
The introduction of Kuoni Flex allows clients to change the dates of a holiday up to a week before departure, free of charge, available on holidays to: Mauritius; Maldives; Thailand; Bali; Sri Lanka; Caribbean; Mexico and certain group itineraries in India booked between 6 and 16 March departing until 15 February 2021.
There is a Flexible Booking policy for customers to delay their holidays until 11 weeks before their original departure date and rebook their trip for a date within 11 months.
Bookings must be made by 31 March 2020 to qualify, with the policy available across Premier’s product range.
The operator has introduced a collection of UK Flexi Holidays, offering customers the option to amend their departure date free of charge, up to four weeks prior to departure for any new 2020 UK holiday booking.
Shearings is also offering a guaranteed 10% discount on all UK holidays departing in April and May 2020.
Gold Medal and Travel 2
Agents will only have to pay any fare difference with the airline and/or hotel, if applicable. The operators will also be releasing Facebook deals featuring savings and free upgrades for customers and rewards points for agents.
The operator has waived amendment and cancellation fees on all new bookings made from 10-31 March 2020.
It is relaxing its booking policy to enable clients to alter dates and destinations free of charge for holidays up to one month before departure.
Valid for departures up to 31 October 2020 on new bookings made from now until 31 March for travel to many of the operator’s destinations, including Madeira, Malta, Croatia, Algarve and Bermuda.
Citalia and Exodus Travels
Any Citalia trips to Italy scheduled to take place in the next week have been cancelled, and the Travelopia brand is contacting travellers to arrange amendments or cancellations.
Deposits on Exodus Travels trips can be transferred to a new booking and there are no amendment fees.
Hayes and Jarvis
Hayes and Jarvis has launched a collection of holidays which can be booked and changed up to a week before departure for no fee.
Destinations included in the collection include South Africa, Mexico, New York, Costa Rica and Abu Dhabi.
Cosmos is pausing global operations for travel through 30 April 2020 and offering customers the option to move travel dates or cancel bookings.
Travellers with existing bookings and for new bookings after April 30, deposits on future Cosmos holidays can be moved to any other brand (Globus, Cosmos or Avalon Waterways), destination or itinerary in 2020 or 2021 without penalty. Cosmos is also temporarily waiving cancellation penalties until three days before Europe departures.
G Adventures has suspended all tours departing between 16 March and 30 April 2020.
Any traveller booked on a tour departing between 16 March and 30 April 2020 is eligible for a 110% travel credit of all land services, including pre or post nights and transfers, which can be used on any tour departing within the next two years.
Agents in the UK with questions can contact G Adventures’ sales team by email or telephone - 0344 272 0000.
It has said "most" of its hotels are refunding customers who cancel seven days before a booking, and Jetwing will not charge a cancellation fee for any service it directly provides.
Kosmar Holidays has suspended its 2020 holiday programme. Bookings made via Tailor Made by Kosmar are not affected by this decision, which only applies to Kosmar's tour operating business. Those due to travel within the next 72 hours can call its 24/7 duty office on +44 114 470 1049 or those with future bookings can email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This train provider is offering customers the option to amend their ticket for free.
Fixed Day Single Standard tickets, including Duo Saver and Group Saver bookings, for travel up to 30 April can be exchanged for another day up to six months later.
Latin Routes is waiving and amendment fees, as follows, on all new bookings made between 13 March and 31 March.
The Canada-based luxury tourist train has cancelled all April trips, and is assessing later departures.
Guests with cancelled tickets will be offered 110% of their trip value in credit for use by the end of the 2023 season.
Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Emirates, Norwegian, easyJet and Qatar Airways
All these airlines have pledged to waive amendment fees for bookings.
This applies to bookings made between 4 and 31 March for travel up to and including 30 September for Virgin Atlantic; between 6 and 22 March for travel between 7 March and 31 August for Norwegian, completed before 31 March for Emirates, for bookings from 13 March with easyJet, made between 3 and 31 March for BA and for anyone travelling with Qatar until 30 June 2020.
Virgin Atlantic has also introduced flexibility to its Flying Club members. The airline is offering customers more time for members to maintain their status and also use any rewards such as Clubhouse entry or upgrades, to ensure they don't lose out on their Flying Club benefits.
Wizz Air and Ryanair
Wizz customers will be offered a choice of rebooking on an alternative Wizz Air flight or comparable route at the “earliest opportunity”, receiving a total refund or being given credit to the value of the cancelled flight plus 20% extra.
Ryanair has waived its change fee, only requiring customers to pay any difference in fare.
South African Airways
Ticket-holders can have one free flight change on SAA operated flights, if it was booked on or before 15 March for travel between 15 March and 30 April 2020.
The amended flight must be rebooked by 30 April for travel by 28 February, 2021