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COVID-19 ruined my travel plans. Now what?

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If COVID-19 canceled your travel plans, you are likely disappointed and wondering about refunds, credits, or vouchers for plane tickets, cruise bookings, tours, and more. Even if your scheduled travel is months away, you might be weighing your options. And many travel service providers seem to be working to address concerns about upcoming trips. 

Start by reviewing the travel provider’s refund policies and the terms of your reservation to see your options. In addition, many companies are posting information on their websites about COVID-19 travel-related questions. Many are offering refunds or rebooking options in light of the situation. Of course, check to see if you purchased travel insurance and what it covers. Some travel insurance policies may refund your cancelled trip.

Here’s what we know right now:

Airlines: According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, airlines must offer refunds, including the ticket price and any optional fee charged for cancelled or significantly delayed flights, even when flight disruptions are outside their control. If your airline isn’t doing that, you can report it to the U.S. Department of Transportation.


Cruise Lines: If you booked a cruise, your options will vary by cruise line. Your ticket contract lays out cancellation policies and your rights. For example, you may be offered a refund, or a credit or voucher for a future cruise. If you opt for a credit or voucher, make sure the expiration date is far enough out that you can use it. Read more from the Federal Maritime Commission about your rights and the recourse that might be available to you.


Trains: Amtrak is waiving change fees for reservations made before May 31, 2020; you can make changes online at For cancellations and refunds, call 1-800-USA-RAIL.


Lodging: Some hotel chains may be loosening their cancellation policies, waiving change and cancellation fees that would normally apply to non-refundable rates. Check with the hotel for your options.


As with many purchases, your best option is usually to directly contact the company you booked with to see if you can resolve a problem. So, whether you booked directly with an airline or hotel, or you used a travel site or consolidator, start with them. Then, to report a travel-related problem, contact your State Attorney General’s office or tell the FTC at

To learn more about consumer issues resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic, sign up for the FTC’s consumer alerts at

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


I purchased $4,000 of Disney tickets from a "reputable" 3rd party that my employer is registered under. Of course, the Disney trip is off. They want to give me a voucher!!! NO!! I want my money back....Voucher's don't cut it! Who knows what the future brings as far as travel....Why should they have my money?!

Had tour to South Africa with EF tours. It was canceled for May 2020, rescheduled to June of 2021, does not look like that will happen. Trying to get full refund, so far they are keeping the travel insurance and nonrefundable deposit. They canceled/rescheduled but two years out: not going to happen. Why are we punished for something not under our control.

I was supposed to go to CozMel Mexico April 11th through the 18th, Originally I was told I couldn't get refund From hotel because it was within 72 hrs of trip. One of airlines said They can't refund I have to reschedule I had like I think 18 months to reschedule the hotel offered 12 months to reschedule other airline supposedly refunded then the government says we should get a refund and everybodys suppose be refunding me I made all my payments up until that point, as matter of fact I was paying $60 extra on each one of them now they have me a collections for $341 for int'rest

We had a rugby tour planned for players and parents which we rescheduled once already. The flights are with EasyJet . Of course the ‘Rule of 6’ makes group travel illegal but the flights are still live. I tried to reschedule to next year but EasyJet say the flights have gone up by another £9k. There is no way the team can stretch to that. If we cancel we lose all the Mo way £12k. What ca we do?

We are trying to get a refund for a credit voucher issued for a reservation we had back in March. We had to cancel because of Covid-19. We were originally supposed to stay 2 nights in Key West. The Inn we chose is unwilling to refund our $800 and wants us to use our voucher within 365 days. We don't even know what the pandemic will look like by March 2021. FRUSTRATED! Ps. Airline and car rental refunded money with no problems.

I was exposed and had to cancel reservations how do I get a refund

We cancelled trip in March with United. I also charged 2 up grades few days after initial purchase. They refunded upgrades but will not refund base 881.00. Only offer credit. This is a scam..... they're getting fed assistance while ripping off consumers.

Priceline is giving us a hassle to cancel airline tickets due to new strict quarantine lockdown in Chicago.

I had a trip booked to Belize for a wedding in April, due to the flight being cancelled we had to reschedule the wedding for August. Again the flight was cancelled and we had to reschedule again for December. Now I will not be able to attend the wedding while American Airlines refunded the full amount for my air fare (non-refundable ticket) Bazilean Dreams Resort in Belize only want to refund 50% for my room and accommadations (which I paid for in March). Anyone have a suggestion?

How about I booked my trip in February because the airline shut down and paid for travel insurance also. I received my refund from the airline but not the travel insurance protection. How was I to know to cancel within 10 days if I wasn't going to travel according to Tripmate. I made plans to travel the airline cancelled all international flights until after August 11th and my trip was for July 5th. Has anyone else had this problem?

I had tickets for travel in June 2020 where flights were canceled due to Covid. I was promised a refund but the travel agency is now saying they can't refund me the "taxes and fees" that an airline charges in the ticket price and also wants to deduct a "recall fee"
They also want to wire me the money since the credit card I used has been replaced by one with new numbers and are asking for a lot of personal information. Am I getting scammed? Should I get 100% of ticket price back. I also had travel insurance. And is it safe to send info to get money wired? Ive never done this before.

I'd love to know how you obtained a refund from Trafalgar. We lost our June 2020 trip to Italy for our family of nine. We asked for a refund with the idea of booking again when it's safe to travel but they would only give us future credit vouchers. It's iffy at best if we can make this trip in June of 2021 because of our health and the various schedules in our family - plus Covid will probably still be a problem until everyone is vaccinated, etc. and allowed to enter Europe again. We've spoken to several agents (waiting on hold forever) but they won't budge. They are holding $30,000 hostage. I would appreciate knowing how you got your refund. Thank you.

I Was Supposed To Go To Pennsylvania & See Extended Family, But Stupid COVID-19 Has Basically Ruined Everything For Me. I Just Want This Pandemic Over With.

I had booked a trip to Belize along with 3 other, with Island Expeditions which is located in Canada. Our trip was to depart on April 13,2020. We received notification from Island Expeditions that the government mandates were not allowing flights to Belize. They would not refund our money and neither would the travel insurance company that we purchased insurance through. Island Expeditions is now almost a year later saying that they are not going o be providing our trip in 2021 and still refuses to refund our fees. Any suggestions. All of us are in are mid to late 60's.

Can someone tell me what the regulations are regarding to RV rental companies? We Booker for 3 months and were only able to go during that specific time but it got cancelled due to covid. The company only wants to give us a voucher (and only pay out when we don't use it in the coming year). Is that legal or do we have the right to get our money back?

Break Away Belize Travel is also refusing to refund our April 2020 trip to Belize. We paid $6500. Rather than returning our money, they stated we could travel in April 2022 (we can't). I find it unbelievable that a company can do this.

I live in California and booked a trip in 2019 for a trip to Belize with a Belize Tours company located in Canada. My trip was scheduled for April 14, 2020. In March they sent notification that they were not going to be able to hold the trip due to government mandates due to Covid. They refused to refund my fees and would only reschedule my trip for 2021. I have now found out that they are not planning on holding my particular trip until 2022 or 2023. They say they will only refund 35% of my fee because that is what their cancellation policy is. My question? They cancelled not me. How can I pursue this with a company in Canada? Any advice would be apprieciated.

I've booked a ticket via a travel agency. My trip was canceled due to covid-19 related restrictions. I've rebooked 3 times, paying the fare differences and all 3 times, my flts were canceled. I requested a refund but the travel agency said that their request was denied by the air lines and there was nothing that they could do but offer me a credit for future use. They also stated a DOT quote which protects them from such requests, “What if I purchased or reserved my ticket through a travel agent or online travel agency?
- The refund/reservation requirement for airlines does not apply to tickets booked through online travel agencies, travel agents, or other third-party agents. However, these agents are free to apply the same or similar procedures to provide equivalent or similar customer service.”

Given the current pandemic restrictions and from what I understand that all airlines must offer refunds, is there anything I can do to get my refund? Thank you

Left $1700 US deposit for vacation rental in 2020 . Rebooked for 2021. Travel restrictions are now worse. Is there any recourse to get our deposit back?

My May 16, 2021 cruise was canceled yesterday by Regent Seven Seas RT UK. I paid $7943 for trip insurance to Tin Leg a Square Mouth Brand underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Speciality Insurance Company. Tin Leg refuses to give me my money back or transfer my payment to a rescheduled cruise. All because of the world wide outbreak of Covid 19 and through no fault of my own they refuse to give me my money back. It's fraud plain and simple!

My cruise was cancelled due to covid and the airline gave me a year to use the credit but I can’t fly still and I’m losing my money. There should be some kind of special exceptions for this. Instead the airlines are complaining they are losing money but aren’t saying anything about all the money they are getting from consumers that can’t book flights because of the risk of covid. They better not get any help from our government.

We had a trip book 5/19 to Italy and it was cancelled due to Covid-19. We have contacted the agent and they directed us to file a claim with the insurance company Alianz to return our money. Each are throwing the responsiblilty back and forth because Covid-19, although it is a Pandaemic issue, is not a personal injury! Thanks for these agencies contact addresses that we will be sending our complaint to for a refund.

A friend of mine bought a tkt to Bogota, Colombia traveling from AMSTERDAM via NY but the american borders were already closed for EU citizens when he bought the tkt and when he has to travel still were closed. Nobody advise him bef buying to make sure he has a permission to fly to EeUu or advised him to dont buy it if he has an EU passport! My friend was on time stbthe airport with the PCR test resdy and loosed the flight cause at the checkning desk they told him that he cant take the plane! Ww called to united airlines and they only offer him to change the tkt to another day patong 250eur penalty and service cost. The problem is that american borders are still closed! (?) How they can offer that solution that doesnt help? There is any form to claim this? Thank you.

Is there any way to claim this loss on your 1040? Can it be called a national disaster?

Hi need help I bought airlines tickets from Vayma and have not had a refund of my tickets to Paris.

We booked a trip cross Canada with the first leg being the Rocky Mountaineer and then with Via from Toronto to Halifax. We paid in full in2019 and also had travel insurance. The trip which to be in May 2020 was cancelled by the providers and we were told that once COVID restrictions ended we could rebook and had a voucher for the trip, flights etc we are now trying to rebook for August and have been told that prices have gone up and the same trip will be approximately $5000 more for my husband and myself and we are not eligible for a refund. They have held our money for 2 years and now said that the voucher for the trip will be honored only if we pay additional money. We were told that the trip would be the same and at the same price a year ago. What are our rights?

I have over $1,000 in flight credits with Travelocity, which I have tried repeatedly to have refunded instead. I requested a refund from Travelocity, my credit card company, and even filed a case with the Department of Transportation. The DOT sent the complaint to Travelocity who acknowledged they can only issue me a credit that can be applied for travel. Well, I have now tried to book travel with Travelocity (I'm all vaccinated), but Travelocity won't even allow me to book any flights because my credits are restricted from being used on flights. What? ... I have called Travelocity over 5 times since, each time the reps just put me on hold and are never able to help me book my tickets. Does anyone else have a similar experience? If you do, please feel free to email me at wheelliam7 at gmail dot com

AVIANCA gave me a phony voucher for a flight they canceled to a country they no longer to and are now refusing me service. Why are they allowed to continue business in the United States?

Need help getting my money back from travel agent COVID cancelled my vacation also was charged interest rate while disputing the cost from the credit card company can some one tell me what to do.

We are trying to recoup our payment to a tour company for a trip in India. No airfare is involved. It is an Indian company, but they have offices in the USA. Our trip was cancelled 2 weeks prior to departure in April 2020 due to Covid-19. The tour company wants to reschedule us for March 2022, but we do not feel safe to go.

When I booked a flight to Israel on September 19, the country was open to tourists. Now its closed to tourists and expected to remain so during the period September 19-29, my vacation. The airline is prepared to refund my tickets subject to a cancellation fee. Are they entitled to a cancellation fee under the circumstances?

Early 2019 I paid in full for a trip to Scotland in June 2020. The tour bus company won't refund even though I purchased travel insurance to cover any unforseen medical issues. They just keep pushing my trip up to the next year. It has now been moved again to Aug 2022. Do I not have a legal leg to stand on?

I bought the tickets through a consolidator. Could not use the return (international) flight due to Covid-19 & borders closing. I get a refund for the unused return but the travel agency or consolidator is charging me for commission on the return sector. Is this legal?


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