What to do if you're planning or cancelling travel due to COVID-19

SEATTLE, March 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on travel continues to change rapidly. As a result, many customers who have booked travel through online travel agencies have been experiencing difficulties either connecting with travel advisors or cancelling and changing plans directly on these sites.

Teams at Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and CheapTickets are working around the clock with their travel partners to process an unprecedented number of customer requests. As a result, they have taken several steps to help travelers, including increasing the number of travel advisors available, improving existing self-service options and introducing new automated ways for travelers to take action.

Here's what you need to know if you are attempting to cancel or change travel plans on these sites at this time.

CHANGING OR CANCELLING TRAVEL

  • If your travel plans are more than a week out, please wait to contact customer support. This ensures that our travel advisors can prioritize travelers with the most immediate needs.
  • Travelers with trips in the next seven days are encouraged to visit customer service pages for Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and CheapTickets before contacting customer support for up-to-date guidance and options.
  • Have your itinerary number ready or login to your account to locate your trip. This will ensure quicker service, whether travelers use new self-service options online or contact travel advisors directly.

Service offerings from Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and CheapTickets are evolving to better assist travelers. Representatives currently recommend one of the following options.

  1. Change or cancel travel plans from your account online or via mobile apps without additional fees. Travelers are encouraged to login to their accounts online or through Expedia, Orbitz, CheapTickets and Travelocity mobile apps to cancel or change travel plans. Use the "Change" or "Cancel" buttons in your itinerary for details. Upcoming trips can be found under "My Trips".
  2. Chat with a virtual agent online for direct assistance. This new chat feature can be found on customer service pages for Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and CheapTickets via the "Chat now" button. It's recommended travelers login before initiating a chat session for quicker service.
  3. If your hotel or airline is eligible for refunds or free cancellations, fill out an online form. Travelers with tickets on eligible airlines or reservations at eligible hotels can submit online cancellation forms to receive credit for a future flight or a full hotel refund. Check customer service pages for Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and CheapTickets before submitting for latest guidance. NOTE: If you have already submitted a request, you do not need to call us for a status update.
  4. Contact customer support. Travelers can also reach travel advisors using the "Contact us" button on resource pages for these sites.

TRAVEL PARTNER POLICIES
Researching travel partner policies is another way travelers can take action. While policies are changing rapidly and at the discretion of cruise, hotel and airline partners, updates are frequently posted on Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and CheapTickets customer service pages. Here's the latest information.  

Airlines

  • Travel advisors at Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and CheapTickets cannot change or cancel reservations for all air carriers. Please check our resource page to see if you need to contact your airline directly to make changes.
  • If your airline policy allows you to change or cancel your flight without a fee and is eligible for assistance via our travel advisors, you can submit an online cancellation form to receive credit for a future flight. **If you have already submitted a request, you do not need to call us for a status update.

Hotels

  • Due to COVID-19, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and CheapTickets are waiving change fees for many hotels based on where you are traveling to or from and travel dates. If you booked hotels for the following destinations and are NOT a resident of these countries, you are eligible for a full refund.
    • China, Hong Kong, Macau; South Korea; Israel; Marshall Islands; El Salvador; Denmark and Slovakia; Czech Republic, Oman and India; Poland; Cyprus; Ukraine; Italy.
    • Check back often as destinations are continually added based on changing restrictions.
  • Travelers with eligible hotel reservations can submit online cancellation forms to receive a full refund. **If you have already submitted a request, you do not need to call us for a status update.

Cruise

PLANNING TRAVEL
If you are planning new travel, we strongly recommend booking options with built-in flexibility like free cancellation and changes. Look for "free cancellation" messaging or use the payment type filter online or in mobile apps.

For the most up-to-date traveler advisories and information on cancellations and refunds from Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity or CheapTickets visit the customer support pages below.

 

SOURCE Orbitz; Expedia; Travelocity

For further information: Mel Dohmen, mdohmen@expediagroup.com