FILE – Many airlines and hotels are offering free cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)

Worried about your vacation amid the COVID-19 pandemic? Here’s what you can cancel

Many airlines, hotels and Airbnbs have updated policies due to the novel coronavirus

Were you looking forward to a vacation this spring but are now worried about the COVID-19 pandemic?

You may be able to cancel free of charge, especially if you are travelling to an area listed in a Canadian travel advisory. As of Thursday, B.C. health officials have advised against all travel outside of Canada, including into the U.S.

For hotel stays and airlines outside of Canada, check with your airline, your hotel or your travel agent for their cancellation policies. Some travel insurance is continuing to cover COVID-19 but many providers are not, deeming it a “known circumstance,” which is typically excluded from coverage. Trip cancellation insurance may be an option for those who booked before news of COVID-19 broke.

READ MORE: B.C. recommends no travel outside Canada during coronavirus pandemic

READ MORE: Thinking of travelling? Your insurance policy might not cover COVID-19

READ MORE: Canada’s top doctor warns against travelling on cruise ships over COVID-19

Air Canada

Air Canada is cancelling or suspending a variety of flights and routes due to COVID-19. All routes to China are suspended till April 30, while many flights to Europe, Asia and around the world are suspended for several weeks.

For exact details on route suspensions go to: https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/china-travel.html.

According to Air Canada, customers with cancelled flights will be notified. Some people will be eligible for a refund. To apply, visit: https://accc-prod.microsoftcrmportals.com/en-CA/reservation.

WestJet

Following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s message telling Canadians abroad to come home and for those here to not leave the country, WestJet is suspending international ticket sales as of 11 p.m. PT on Wednesday.

At end of day Sunday, WestJet will suspend all commercial international flights for a 30-day period. After that, CEO Ed Sims said the airline will focus on repatriation and rescue flights.

Sunwing

Sungwing is suspending all southbound flights and vacations between March 17 and April 9. Customers can get either a full refund in the original manner of payment or as a travel credit. Those opting for a travel credit will get an extra $100.

Swoop

In a statement on the company’s website, Swoop said travellers booked on flights between Canada and the United States, Mexico and Jamaica, between March 14 and May 20, have been contacted by email with instructions on how to cancel for Swoop travel credits.

Everyone who is not a Canadian citizen or resident, or others exempted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will be denied boarding to flights going to Canada. All people with symptoms will be denied boarding.

Cruises

Major cruise lines, including Princess Cruises and Viking Cruises, have cancelled trips for the next two months. Princess Cruises has cancelled operations for 60 days, which Viking has cancelled until May 1.

READ MORE: Princess Cruises, Viking Cruises pause global operations due to COVID-19

Airbnb

People who have made reservations for stays and experiences on or before March 14, for check-in dates between March 14 and April 14 may cancel before check-in.

Reservations made on or before March 14 but with a check-in date after April 14 will not be up for free cancellation, except if the host or guest have tested positive for COVID-19. The host’s usual cancellation policy will apply.

People who have booked an Airbnb in China may be covered by a separate policy: https://www.airbnb.ca/help/article/2730/mainland-china-extenuating-circumstances-for-covid19.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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