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?

Canada is under a global travel advisory due to the novel coronavirus. Canadians are being urged to avoid non-essential travel and Transport Canada is warning that repatriation flights are not currently being operated, which could leave those who choose to go abroad stranded.

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.

All air passengers are required to wear masks, although some airlines have removed or relaxed physical distancing requirements on board.

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

READ MORE: Safety is the new hospitality: A guide to summer travel during COVID-19

READ MORE: Travel will have to wait, despite calls from Canada’s business leaders, Trudeau says

Air Canada

Air Canada is cancelling or suspending a variety of flights and routes due to COVID-19, although some travel is beginning to start up again for the summer both here at home and abroad, with increased sanitation practices.

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

WestJet

WestJet is beginning to add back international destinations as the traditional summer travel season starts up. The airline has brought in more flexible options for travellers to cancel or change their flights, and said they’ve increased safety practices, including extra sanitation, on their flights. For more information, visit: https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/travel-info/coronavirus.

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 has suspended all southbound flights and vacations between March 17 and July 31, and will be giving affected customers a travel credit. Travel is set to resume as of Aug. 1 and standard change and cancellation policies will apply. For more information, visit: https://www.sunwing.ca/en/promotion/packages/travel-advisory.

Swoop

Swoop has paused all international flights due the the COVID-19 pandemic, and suspended travel to some of its domestic destinations. Travellers with cancelled flights can receive a travel credit or be rebooked by Swoop. The airline is also applying temperature checks to all passengers before they board, as well as increasing sanitation. For more information, visit: https://www.flyswoop.com/coronavirus.

Cruises

All cruises are banned in Canada for the duration of the 2020 travel season

Airbnb

Airbnb has brought in a new enhanced cleaning protocol for some of its hosts, and customers will be able to see if their destination has the practices in place. People who have made reservations for stays and experiences on or before March 14, for check-in dates between March 14 and July 31, are covered by the extenuating circumstances policy as long as they cancel before they check-in.

The host’s usual cancellation policy will apply to reservations made after March 14, unless the host or guest becomes sick with COVID-19. For more information, visit: https://www.airbnb.ca/resources/hosting-homes.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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