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Published on Thursday, March 19, 2020

Latest changes to booking and payment policies

Holiday Extras has introduced a flexible booking policy for airport car parking, meet and greet service, airport hotels and lounges. Clients can change their dates and details as many times as they like. Free cancellations are allowed up to the day before travel.

Centre Parcs has closed all its UK villages from Friday until April 16. It is offering affected guests the change to postpone their break for arrivals up to December 2021 for no fee and with a £100 discount, plus a refund if the new break is cheaper. If the break is more expensive, customers will need to pay the difference. 

Heathrow Express is offering customers with fixed date tickets, including Duo Saver and Group Saver tickets, the option to change their travel date for free. If customers have a Fixed Day Single Standard ticket for travel in March and up to April 30 they can exchange it for another day up to six months from the date shown, free of charge.

Disneyland Paris has waived change and cancellation fees until April 15 for stays in its hotels until June 1, which can be postponed until October 15 2020. For all new reservations made through April 15, it is offering free cancellation for arrivals before October 15, exluding transportation. Although the park remains open, all indoor and outdoor parades have been cancelled and restrictions on numbers have been imposed for some shows and restaurants.

Hilton is allowing guests to cancel or change bookings for arrival before April 30, even bookings described as non-cancellable, at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. The conditions apply to any new bookings make up to April 30 for future arrival dates. 

London's City Cruises including ThamesJet - the 50 minute speed boat experience - is waiving the amendment fee for customers who want to postpone their bookings until 48 hours prior to departure of the planned cruise to another travel date in 2020. It has also implemented a new cleaning directive on boats. Staff on board have been issued with hand-sanitiser, and those preparing food and serving drinks will wear protective gloves at all times.  All surfaces which customers may come into contact with will be cleaned with anti-bacterial spray every 30 minutes and every boat is being cleaned with disease control chemicals at the end of the day.

Abercrombie & Kent is allowing more flexible booking terms for new and existing clients. For all new tailor-made and Luxury Expedition Cruising bookings made between now and the end of March, clients may postpone or transfer their bookings to the same or a new destination up until 60 days prior to departure to an alternate date that departs before the end of 2021. Clients with existing bookings can also postpone and rebook to the same or new destination for travel up to the end of December 2021. For villa bookings across Europe, the operator said it will work with individual villa owners on a case-by-case basis. Given that its Escorted Touring programme offers set departures, standard booking conditions apply.

Cox & Kings has introduced free changes on departure date or destination before December 31 2021 on new tailor-made bookings made before the end of March 2020.

Airbnb will waive its 3% host fee for those hosts who refund more of the guests' money than the cancellation policy mandates. When cancelling a booking, the guest fee paid to Airbnb will be credited in the form of a voucher to be used for a future booking at a later date. Airbnb will also feature more prominently rentals with the new 'More Flexible Reservations' tools. Hosts are still able to set their own cancellation policies and are being encouraged to be as flexible as possible in the current situation.

Norwegian Cruise Line has introduced a Peace of Mind policy, allowing guests who book up to September 30 to cancel up to 48 hours prior to departure and receive a 100% future cruise credit for use on any sailings up to the end of 2022. The offer applies to all new and existing bookings beginning on March 10.

P&O Cruises and Cunard are allowing all guests with existing and new bookings on holidays departing before August 31, 2020 to cancel up to 48 hours prior to departure and receive a future cruise credit equivalent to the cancellation fees and refunds on any remaining monies paid. The credit may be redeemed against any sailing up to the end of March 2022 for bookings made before December 31, 2021. The credit is non-refundable, but may be used on multiple sailings. Travel Agent commission will be protected on the cancellation fees and the future cruise credits will be fully commissionable. In addition, guests traveling before August this year will receive additional onboard credit for bookings made before March 11 of £100 to £600, depending on the length of their cruise.

Guests who cancelled bookings between February 1, 2020 and March 11, 2020 for sailings before the end of August 2020, but who did not opt to convert their cancellation charge into a future cruise credit, will have this automatically credited to their account for use on a future holiday. 

Guests travelling after August 2020 are able to transfer free of charge to any alternative cruise date, prior to paying the balance of their holiday.

The future cruise credit given to P&O Cruises guests following Arcadia's itinerary changes will now be extended until the end of December 2021.

If Only is waiving amendment and cancellation fees on all new bookings made for the rest of this month. It said customers will have the flexibility to cancel if the situation or their customers' circumstances change. "As always, we will follow the advice of the World Health Organisation in terms of the destinations we promote, so rest assured that your customers' safety remains a top priority," it added.

Premier Holidays has launched a Flexible Booking policy for new bookings until 31 March. Customers can delay their holidays until 11 weeks before their original departure date and rebook their trip for a date within 11 months.

Silversea is protecting travel agent commission on all bookings cancelled under the Cruise with Confidence programme set to depart between 9 March and 31 July 2020.  This is offered in addition to the Royal Caribbean Group's Cruise with Confidence programme, in which guests with cruises departing from 9 March to 31 July 2020 may cancel their voyages up to 48 hours prior to their sailing date and receive a future cruise credit valid for two years. Silversea will allow travel partners to retain any commissions already paid, and pay commissions on bookings cancelled between 9 March and 31 July 2020 after they were paid in full, provided the cancellation occurs outside of the 48-hour cancellation window outlined in the Cruise with Confidence programme. 

Gold Medal and Travel 2 have changes their cancellation and amendment policies so agents booking new packages until the end of March will be able to amend or cancel their package holiday booking at no extra charge. Trips can be amended at any time, free of any charges, and customers will only pay the fare difference with the airline/hotel if applicable. Cancellation fees are also being waivered. 

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has launched a temporary initiative, Regent Reassurance, for all Regent voyages embarking March 10, 2020 through September 30, 2020. Guests who have a confirmed booking by 30 April 2020 now have the option to cancel their voyage up to 48 hours prior to sailing and receive a 100% Future Cruise Credit, for the cruise portion value of the cancelled cruise. The Future Cruise Credit can be applied to any new reservation within one year on any Regent voyage sailing between now and December 31, 2022.

Balkan Holidays has pushed back its balance due dates to four weeks before departure in light of coronavirus concerns. Previously balances were due 10 weeks in advance. For new summer 2020 package holiday bookings to Bulgaria made March 31 clients can change their holiday to another date in the summer 2020 or summer 2021 seasons with no admin charge up to 14 days prior to departure.

Kuoni has launched Kuoni Flex, a new initiative which allows people to switch their holiday to alternative travel dates without charge right up until up seven days before departure. It is available until March 16 on holidays departing from now until the 15 February 2021 to Mauritius, the Maldives, Thailand, Bali, Sri Lanka, the Caribbean and Mexico amongst others, plus selected group tours to India. It hopes the move will bring peace of mind about the impact of coronavirus. Kuoni has also beefed up its customer service team to deal with consumers' concerns and enquiries.

Emirates has introduced a new waiver policy for all booked tickets issued from March 7 until March 31 2020. Should customers decide to change their travel plans due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, customers can change their booking to any date for travel within an 11-month date range in the same booking class without change penalties. Difference in fare, if applicable applies. The policy covers all existing destinations across the Emirates network. The airline says it is also taking its aircraft cleaning process 'to the next level'. If the airline is alerted to any suspect or confirmed cases of infectious diseases, teams will be immediately deployed for a deeper cleaning with stronger, approved chemicals.

Royal Caribbean Cruises is now allowing customers to cancel up to 48 hours before departure for sailings on all of its brands - Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea - and switch to another date. The policy applies to both new and existing cruise bookings and means guests will get a full credit usable on any future sailing in 2020 or 2021.

British Airways is waiving its change fee for new bookings until March 16. The policy applies to all BA routes. Any fare differences due to a date change will apply.


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