I’m one of the travelers whose travel plans were affected or cancelled as a result of COVID-19. The government is implementing strict stay-at-home orders and travel bans throughout the Philippines. Traveling for both business and pleasure is now unpredictable for the foreseeable future.

So, how do you get a travel refund during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here are a few tips.

1. Push Your Trip Back (even if you don’t know when).

Consider delaying your travel but not canceling it entirely if you know you’ll be flying or going to a place at some point in the future, even if you don’t know when.

In fact, that’s what most airlines are offering instead of reimbursements right now. You can postpone your flight indefinitely. The money paid is set aside for use at a later time.

This is what I did with my supposed March trip to Cappadocia and September trip to Iceland. Instead of canceling, I chose to have it rescheduled. Refunding a flight with some airlines may be a pain in the butt. However, it is not impossible if they, rather than you, cancelled the flight due to COVID-19.

2. Research Companies Impacting Your Travel

You might be able to get a refund from some companies (but not all). If you bought your trip through a third-party website such as Expedia or Hotwire.

However, it is possible that it may not provide a full refund for canceled travel for your accommodations. Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz are all providing full refunds to customers who booked hotels in specific countries. China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Israel, Marshall Islands, El Salvador, Denmark, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Oman, India, Poland, Cyprus, Ukraine, and Italy are among the countries included. More countries are added to the list on a regular basis.

3. Don’t Shy Away From discounts

What if the travel provider (hotel, airline, or tour operator) does not allow refunds? If that’s the case, you may be able to negotiate a discount. Some tour operators give this option, providing customers future credit to utilize on a future trip. Some are even crediting them for more than their original cost.

4. Wait for a Bit Before Trying to Get A Refund

As the situation worsens, several travel companies are easing their restrictions on refunds. If your departure date is not imminent, you may find that waiting until closer to your departure date gives you a higher chance of getting a refund. Furthermore, due to COVID-19, the airline may cancel that flight or the hotel may close for a small period of time (fingers crossed). You’ll most certainly get a refund, even if you don’t ask for one.

5. Look Into Your Credit Card Benefits

It wouldn’t hurt to look into the insurance offered by the credit card you used to book your trip. Your travel credit card insurance may provide cancellation coverage.

BONUS TIPS:

  • The level of service that you receive may vary depending on the customer support representative with whom you are talking. If your airline, hotel, or other travel provider is unhelpful, you can try again another time. Don’t be angry with the agent you’re speaking with because they’re also stressed out right now. You might try contacting the company using an online chat or speaking with someone else.
  • Loyalty Status (if applicable): If you are a regular traveler on a particular airline, you may be able to get help by mentioning your loyalty status. You never know what it might get you. If not a full refund, a significant credit for future travel is better than nothing.

26 Comments

  1. avatar
    Elizabeth O says:

    This is super helpful. My friend is struggling with getting a refund for a Europe trip. I’m gonna share this to her.

  2. avatar
    Olympia Ulloa says:

    This is the right site for everyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic that’s been discussed for a long time. Excellent stuff, just excellent!

    1. avatar

      Thank you very much! I appreciate the kind words. 🙂

  3. avatar

    well done Polly…this was an awakening for many….keep it up and be blessed as you share such useful tips for many

  4. avatar
    Marissa says:

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and the rest of the site is very good.

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About Author

Polly Amora is the señorita behind GoldenIslandSenorita.Net and the general manager of a privately-owned company in Manila, Philippines. She is a lifelong learner who is very outgoing, speaks four languages, is loud and outspoken, and loves to have adventures in the mountains, on the beach, and in the city. You can throw her anywhere, and she'll handle it like a pro. Ice cream and beer are two of her weaknesses.