With all the new Shelter In Place Orders going into effect (including Michigan), travel is essentially at a stand still. For those of us who had trips planned for April, we had to make some decisions. We could either reschedule or travel for a later date or cancel it altogether.
My Annual Girls Getaway trip with my daughter was planned for Arizona in late April. We were going during ideal weather conditions that wouldn’t be scorching hot. Spring is also the best time when she and I are available for travel together. Since we have no crystal ball to tell us when the Covid19 outbreak will be under control in order to determine when to reschedule this trip for, I decided it was time to just cancel the trip.
Our car rental was a payment at pickup reservation through Autoslash. It only took a few minutes for me to cancel the rental online and the process was super easy. I really love booking my car rentals through Autoslash!
We had one reward night booked at the Hyatt Pinon Point in Sedona for this trip. I made a quick call to Hyatt Customer Service and was pleasantly surprised that there was virtually no hold time. The process to cancel the reservation was both quick and easy and the points were back in my account right away.
We had booked flights with 2 different airlines for this trip because I had a variety of deals and discounts that made this a very economical way for us to travel. However, this now meant that I had to work with 2 airlines to cancel our flights. This was the part I was dreading most.
Because the airlines were already drastically cutting flights, last week I had started getting notices about reservation changes from both airlines. The last one from Delta had completely changed the day we would be flying to a day that wouldn’t work with our schedule.
I reached out to Delta first via Twitter support. It only took about 10 minutes to dissolve the reservation and get future flight credits that are good through 2/21/21. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the cancellations were going considering what I have been reading on the travel sites.
I tried to cancel the Southwest reservations on their website, but it was not going to give me credit back for the Early Bird Fee on my daughter’s ticket. Part of their Covid19 Cancellation Policy stated that those fees would be refunded. So I did not complete the process online and instead made a call to their Customer Service team. Again I was pleased that although I was bumped around the phone tree a little, I had virtually no hold time before an Agent came on. She was able to cancel the flights and provide us with travel credits good through 6/30/21. Additionally, she was able to refund my credit card for the $25 Early Bird Fee. Although the process to cancel the Southwest reservation took the longest of any of these parts, it was still timely based on the sheer volume of calls they are getting right now.
The Take Away
Sadly that did it and our trip was now fully cancelled. The entire process took less than 1 hour to complete. I even pulled back my PTO request from work to save the days for future travels when the world feels better again. In the big picture, it’s just a trip and there will be others if we can just stay well during this crisis. Staying well means staying home and not traveling for now. This too shall pass.
One important thing I would like to express about this process is that 2 of the Customer Service Representatives I spoke with thanked me just for being nice. Apparently, people are calling in and really raging on these folks who are just trying to do their job within the parameters set by their companies. Try to remember that that CSR you are speaking to is a person too and they are not usually personally responsible for whatever bad scenario is happening to you. Most of them are really nice people that just want to help you the best that they can. So when you are working through any cancellations during this crisis, take a minute to remember that the person you are speaking to is taking a zillion calls right now, getting verbally abused all day and can only do what is within the power provided to them by their company. They are not your enemy.
We are all in this together! A little patience and kindness could go a long way in someone’s day right now.