Travel companies relax change cancellation policies coronavirus

With the spread of coronavirus, travel
companies are relaxing cancellation and change policies. 


The Globus family of brands (Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and
Avalon Waterways) instituted a temporary policy for 2020 travel allowing
travelers with existing bookings or deposits on Globus vacations to move to any
of its other brands, destinations or itineraries in 2020 or 2021 without
penalty, prior to final payment.

The Globus brands are also temporarily waiving cancellation
penalties until 30 days prior to departure. 

“With the safety, security and peace-of-mind of our
travelers as our primary goal, we believe in giving them more time and
flexibility with their travel decisions,” said Scott Nisbet, CEO of the Globus
family of brands. “Traveling the world is a joyful experience and we want to do
our part to keep the anticipation stress-free.”


Windstar Cruises rolled out a new policy allowing
cancellation on short notice. 

The Travel Assurance Booking Policy applies to bookings departing on or
after June 1. Passengers can cancel up to 15 days before sailing without
incurring a fee. Windstar will automatically apply the policy to new and
existing cruises departing from June 1 to Dec. 31, 2021.

Travelers who cancel up to 15 days prior to departure will
receive a 100% future cruise credit to be used on another cruise within one
year of the issue date of the credit. 

Norwegian Cruise Line
said in a note to travel advisors: “We understand that your clients may be
hesitant to plan or confirm their vacation, but we encourage them to get out
there and experience the world aboard the best vessels at sea.”

To provide “some
reassurance,” Norwegian temporarily modified its final payment and cancellation
polices to the following:

• Final payment for all June and July voyages will not be due
until 90 days prior to sailing.

• Up until 60 days prior to sailing, Norwegian will allow a
transfer of the reservation to any other cruise that departs on or before June
30, 2020. The transfer voyage must be of equal or greater value, prevailing
rates will apply, and penalties will be waived. 

• If a guest chooses not to sail, the name change restriction
will be waived up to 45 days prior to sailing. Name changes will be permitted
for the cruise reservation only and excludes flight arrangements through
Norwegian Cruise Line and/or pre-purchased travel protection.  

• Guests with non-ticketed Norwegian Cruise Line air may make
name changes. 

• Guests with ticketed air may make name changes but will
incur a penalty and possibly air change fee, if either is assessed by the


The Scenic Group updated its
cancellation policy across its portfolio of brands, to
allow currently booked guests with a departure on or after June 1, or anyone
who books after that date, to transfer their booking to an
alternate departure without penalty, up to 30 days prior to departure.

Scenic Group brands include
Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Cruises, Scenic Eclipse, Evergreen
Cruises & Tours and Mayflower Cruises & Tours.

Rob Voss, Scenic Group COO,
said the new policy “allows guests more time to make decisions about
future travel plans.”


JetBlue has
suspended change and cancellation fees for all bookings made through travel
March 11 for travel to be completed by June 1. The
suspension applies to all of JetBlue’s fare classes, including Blue Basic,
which usually does not allow for changes or cancellations. Fare
differences still apply. Travelers
who purchase a package through JetBlue Vacations can contact the carrier to
learn about cancel and change policies for rental cars, hotels and other

is waiving change fees on tickets purchased through March 12
for travel by June 1. Any fare differences will apply and new travel must be
completed by Dec. 31. Those who
chose not to travel at all at this time can cancel their trip and receive
credit for future travel. 


will waive change fees on all tickets purchased through March
16, provided that travelers make the change at least 14 days prior to travel.
The offer is only available on American’s published fares.


Marriott International has expanded
the reach of its updated cancellation policy for guests impacted by the
Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. In addition to continuing to waive cancellation
fees for guests with reservations at hotels in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau
and Taiwan through March 15, Marriott will now also waive fees for guests with
reservations in South Korea, Japan and Italy for stays through the same period.

Additionally, Marriott is waiving cancellation fees for
guests traveling outbound from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, South
Korea, Japan or Italy to other Marriott hotels globally through March 15.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has loosened
its cancellation rules, with guests traveling to or from mainland China, Hong
Kong, Macau or Taiwan between Jan. 23 and March 31 and to or from South Korea
or Italy between Feb. 28 and March 31 able to change or cancel reservations without
penalty, provided the booking was made direct via, the IHG app, or the
IHG central reservations center. 

Hilton has implemented modification and cancellation fee
waivers for guests traveling to, through or from China with stays from Jan. 23
and March 31; to, through or from Italy with stays from Feb. 24 and March 8;
to, through or from South Korea with stays from Feb. 24 and March 31; and to,
through or from Saudi Arabia with stays from Feb. 27 and March 31.

Hyatt is waiving cancellation fees through March 31 for
guests residing in Greater China, South Korea, Japan and Italy with
reservations at Hyatt hotels globally and for guests with reservations at Hyatt
hotels in Greater China, South Korea, Japan and Italy. 

The World of Hyatt loyalty program is
offering members residing in the Asia-Pacific region a series of tier status
and benefits extensions. Qualifying Hyatt Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist
members will now have a new tier expiration of Feb. 28, 2022 instead of Feb.
28, 2021, while Suite Upgrade Awards, Club Access Awards and Free Night Awards
that expire in 2020 for qualifying members will be extended through December
31, 2021. Hyatt said it is currently evaluating tier and benefit extensions for
global members who travel frequently to the Asia-Pacific region.

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