The New York Times penned an article today entitled, Once Again, Travelers Ask: ‘Should I Cancel My Trip?’ “As the fourth wave of the coronavirus swells across the United States, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, travelers who had booked late summer travel are now facing a familiar quandary: Should they once again cancel their plans?”
I get this question all the time and the truth is, there are so many variables. When the COVID-19 numbers were way down, we took our first family plane trip (my daughter Olivia was born in 2019 and we canceled all of our 2020 and early 2021 trips.) Things were looking up and our Los Angeles to New York trip was a huge success.
When we returned from giving much needed hugs to our friends and family (I grew up in nearby Connecticut) we started planning and booking trips for the remainder of the year. We even went to Catalina Island a few days later and had a marvelous time. But then information about the Delta variant started coming, warning that it would soon be running rampant, like it had in India and the UK.
A few days before a July 4 trip to the east coast, my wife and her mother talked me out of going. They were right as usual, because COVID numbers since then have skyrocketed and even people, like my dad, who has been fully vaccinated, are catching it. Unfortunately, my dad is currently in a CT hospital trying to recover from the virus.
I’m so thankful we canceled our travels because our two little kids are obviously not vaccinated. I canceled all my trips because I felt that, as a parent, it was the responsible thing to do since the long-term COVID effects remain largely unknown. I have a cousin who has long-haul COVID from over a year ago and he’s still messed up with lung problems. Another family member thinks he has long-haul COVID but it hasn’t been confirmed, unlike my cousin’s case.
If my kids were protected, we would be traveling, but only to places with low case numbers and where hospitals aren’t at capacity. It was easy for me to cancel our plane tickets because they were booked with miles and after just a couple of taps on the American Airlines app (or website), the trip was cancelled and my miles and fees were redeposited and refunded.
However, that leads me to another question I’ve been getting a lot lately from readers:
“I have a general question about flight cancellations. Are you able to negotiate full refunds on flights using British Air and American? We [are] beginning to get a “sinking feeling” that our annual fall-winter trip to Portugal, via the UK and Lisbon, will be canceled and I am fully paid into business class…all prepaid. I was wondering if you might have some great tips for me to be able to fully utilize the thousands of US dollars that I will likely have “in voucher form” should the Delta variant shut it all down. Thanks for any advice that you may have for my wife and I.” DJ
I thought I would share with you my answer to DJ:
“You can always try but I doubt it. It’s probably best to wait until the last moment to see if the flight gets severely delayed or canceled. If it does then you can get your money back. Call BA and find out what their cutoff time is for canceling because you don’t want to miss that cutoff and keep in mind the long wait times.”
So, if you purchased airline tickets and decide you don’t want to go, then call the airline and find out what their cancellation policy is. If you’re okay getting a future credit, then take it and change your destination or wait until things calm down again. However, if you don’t want a credit or you purchased a basic economy ticket and the airline is sticking to their ‘use it or lose it’ policy, then follow the advice I gave to DJ.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.