NEWS: Alex Cruz takes a pay cut, Emirates update, What are online travel agents, booking sites, BA cars and Air BnBs policy for cancelling/refunds?

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Alex Cruz takes a pay cut

Last week I talked about the BA pilots taking a pay cut of around 50% in this article and the lack of any sign of Alex Cruz doing anything in solidarity. Well, he must have read my article (haha, I think not) as he has just announced he will take no salary for 2 months. Willie Walsh has said he will take a 20% pay cut. In his latest email, he comes across far more sympathetic to BA staff which I am glad to see. Being a former manager myself, I have always believed in leading by example so it is good to see Alex taking one for the team as well. 

Emirates update

Further to Emirates announcement that they will stop ALL flights from 25 March, they have now said they will continue some flights at specific governments request to repatriate people abroad. The countries they will continue to fly to and from will be: the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, South Korea, USA, and Canada.

On line travel agents

Sadly many of these are just as bad as the airlines at offering a cash refund if your flight is cancelled. 

Expedia

If you are travelling within the next 72 hours

If you purchased a flight+hotel package or 2 one-way flights, each flight and each hotel reservation must be changed or cancelled separately.

If you are travelling within the next 7 days

You can change or cancel many reservations from within your account without any additional fees as per below. 

Flights

Like many other travel companies they seem to be reluctant to mention cash refunds. You need to check if your airline is one offering refunds from the list on this page. Expedia say “If your flight was cancelled you can get a refund (but not cash according to their website). Submit this form to receive credit for a future flight. We will contact you with any additional information. If you have already submitted a request, you do not need to call us for a status update.” 

Hotels

If the virtual agent is unable to assist, submit this form.

If are travelling in more than 7 days time and you have a hotel, car, or activity booked, you may already be eligible for free cancellation. To cancel eligible bookings:

  • Use your account, itinerary number, or confirmation number to locate your trip.
  • Use the Change or Cancel buttons in your itinerary for details about changing or cancelling each reservation. You can also click the blue Chat Now button to connect with a virtual agent for assistance. If you are unable to change or cancel your trip, or if there is a fee to change or cancel your reservation, check back when you are within 7 days of your travel date.

Ebookers

Same as Expedia – the official page is here. 

Hotels.com

  • For customers who booked a non-refundable rate prior to March 19, 2020 for stays between March 20, 2020, and April 30, 2020, hotels.com will email you in the coming days to ask if you wish to keep or cancel your existing booking. If you decide to cancel, you will be eligible for a full refund or, in some cases, a voucher allowing you to rebook the original property at later dates. There is no need to call, however, you must cancel your booking at least 24-hours before check-in in order to be eligible for this offer.
  • For customers who have booked a refundable rate, please visit the Customer Service Portal to change or cancel.
  • For those looking to make a new booking, hotels.com strongly recommend choosing a rate that allows for free cancellation.

 

Agoda

Agoda are currently prioritizing support to those bookings that are within the next 2 weeks. If your travel period is more than 2 weeks away, check back closer to the check-in date before making any changes or cancellations, as conditions change rapidly, including the availability of free cancellation.

To access the “My bookings” self-service option:

 

  • Using the app: Log in to the Agoda App –> click on Bookings icon at bottom –> select the booking that you would like to cancel –> check the “booking conditions” section.
  • Using the website: Go to Agoda website and log-in –> select “My bookings” –> select “Edit booking” on the booking you would like to cancel –> check the “booking conditions” section.

 

If your booking is eligible for free cancellation, you will see the message: “This booking may be affected by a current emergency or developing situation. Due to these exceptional circumstances, Agoda will waive all fees on cancellation for your affected booking.” You may then proceed to cancel through this self-service option without contacting customer service.

 

Booking.com

Very vague advice about contacting the property to see if they are open. Most properties are concealable usually anyway. If you booked a property that was not free cancellation you may be out of luck. You can try contacting Booking.com via their Help centre or the property directly. If not the only option is travel insurance. 

 

Opodoopodo

Contact Customer Service ONLY if your flight will depart within the next 7 days. 

Many airlines are offering refunds or rebooking options for flights to/through/from areas impacted by the virus, but each airline has its own conditions. A list of links to airlines is provided here to check their policy. 

If you are flying with a low cost airline (for example Ryanair, Easyjet, Norwegian, Eurowings, Transavia or Vueling) you need to contact the airline directly for changes and cancellations. 

Cancelled flights by the airline

If your flight has been cancelled or rescheduled, you will be contacted via email either by the airline directly or by our Customer Services team and offered alternative travel arrangements or a refund.

If you have taken out insurance with them, they are trying to wriggle out of paying out. Their stance is that the situation is considered as “force majeure”, so many insurance policies plus “Cancel for any reason” and “Flexible Dates” products, will not be applicable. 

 

British Airways car hire only

BA usual terms and conditions state that you get a free partial refund up to 48hrs before travel of 20% of the total booking value. If it’s less than 48hrs before travel you lose 100% of the total booking value.

 

Miles hotel booking sites

Rocketmilesrocketmiles avios offer

For reservations 30 days or more in the future, please email [email protected]. If you’re at a hotel now and need immediate assistance, call us 1-855-355-7625

To cancel a refundable reservation, log into your account or follow the link from your original confirmation email to “manage your reservation.” Some non-refundable reservations are unable to be cancelled, however, they are happy to attempt a refund for you.

To begin the process of cancelling a non-refundable reservation, follow the “manage your reservation” link from the confirmation email that you received on the day you booked your reservation.

 

KaligoKaligo.com double avios

If you want to cancel your bookings, please first log into your Kaligo account, find My Account, then Manage Bookings. Eligible bookings can be cancelled directly through the site.

In the event that your booking is non-refundable or your for other issues, please contact our Customer Service staff at [email protected] or via the Contact Form on the website.  Provide your booking reference, the name under which the booking was made, and a clear statement that you wish to cancel.

They are prioritising customers with bookings within 2 weeks, who require urgent support.

 

Airbnb

 

Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances policy allows hosts and guests to cancel eligible reservations with no charge or penalty. This policy now applies to existing reservations for stays and Airbnb Experiences made on or before March 14, 2020, with check-in dates between March 14, 2020 and April 14, 2020.

This policy applies to bookings of places to stay and Airbnb Experiences in every country and region around the world, with the exception of domestic travel in mainland China which is scheduled to return to normal rules on April 1. (a ray of hope for us all!)

Thanks to readers Andy and my Twitter friend for the info!

13 Comments on "NEWS: Alex Cruz takes a pay cut, Emirates update, What are online travel agents, booking sites, BA cars and Air BnBs policy for cancelling/refunds?"

  1. ClaytonTheCruton | 23 March 2020 at 6:38 am | Reply

    Great news! i’ll change my stay at a Hilton in the US in May to a weekend in an AirBnB in Wuhan, China on the 2nd April

    Said nobody ever.

    Sorry I could not resist such flippancy

    On a more serious note it’s nice to see Mr Cruz has been shamed into taking a financial hit( imho it is precisely that and not something he did out of choice or solidarity) just as he is asking BA staff to take on the chin. Michele I think you under estimate yourself tbh. I think it’s exactly articles like yours, from the lads at TPG and the HfP team calling him out that have had a notable effect on him, late in the day, forsaking his salary for a bit. IMHO he shouldn’t be cashing a cheque until front line staff can do the same.

  2. I have a slightly different opinion on people running companies taking a pay cut. In times of need such as these, the leaders are working even harder and longer to help maintain the longevity of their business and employees, so that others don’t have to be made redundant on a permanent basis. If anything, they deserve every penny they are owed, assuming they are doing a good job of course.

    The staff taking unpaid leave, whilst most would prefer to get paid I’m sure, aren’t actually working during this period so to expect the leaders to continue to work but without pay is a little step too far.

    • I agree they are definitely working hard in Senior management and will likely lose money from loss of bonus etc. But for me, it’s not about who deserves more pay or not. It’s about the survival of the company. At times like this you need buy in from staff and taking a temporary hit in pay is a way to make staff feel you are all in it together. Several other airline executives are also taking no salary for a couple of months.

  3. I have car only booked with Avios through BA which are according to them non refundable, where do I stand if they cancel?

    • Do you mean if they cancel a separate flight booking? If so you would have to look at your insurance. You can try BA for a voucher but legally they don’t have to do anything if it is a separate booking.

  4. Why are flights from China Italy and Iran continuing to arrive in the UK (source Sunday Times 22 March)? Passengers are asked to sell isolate but they’re in contact with people on the plane, at the airport and en route to their place of stay beforehand.

    • I do find it odd that almost every country in the world has banned entry except to nationals. Except us. Why would you burden the NHS with visitors! And why would anyone come here more to the point?

  5. A quick Google suggests that Willie Walsh earns £71,000 a month. Very good of him to sacrifice £14000 a month…

  6. Whilst airlines and travel sites have got some flack I have to say I have had a generally positive experience. BA have refunded two of my flights automatically and Expedia have refunded 2 of my hotel bookings despite me booking non refundable
    I don’t think I could have asked for more

  7. Michele,

    Wondered if you could give me a steer?

    I have a 5 day holiday package (which includes none refundable Hotel accommodation and I booked the seats on the plane) with BA to go to Lisbon in mid May. I have paid the a deposit of approx £1K But still have the balance of £1K to pay by 9 April. The BA website says they will give me a Voucher if I want to move my holiday to mid May next year. I really want my money back (as I am self employed and working as normal just now) so to get it do I have to pay the outstanding Balance by 9 April and then claim the £2K back. Or, would I be better not paying and on 8 April say I want my money back as the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel and I cannot see the position changing.

    Would appreciate any thoughts.

    • With the article I have just published they may change the law to say you have to take a voucher even if your flight is cancelled. It is a tricky one as unless they cancel it before they change the law (if they do), then you will be stuck with a £2000 voucher. I would be inclined to take a voucher now on a package deal and not pay anymore.

  8. David Chittenden | 23 March 2020 at 5:48 pm | Reply

    Leadership starts at the top. For a CEO and other executives at major corporations NOT to take a BIG paycut whilst asking/demanding that their employees take a 100% cut is obscene. Most CEOs have lots of money,stocks, and benefits stashed away. The average hourly worker has none of this and may live from paycheck to paycheck.
    At some point we may all relearn the lessons of the early twentieth century. Think PULLMAN- read and learn your history

  9. Michele

    Many thanks re your feedback.

    Re the 2 for 1 Companion Voucher news that you have just posted. BA need to extend them for 12 months as I have another trip booked in December (to Chile) and have used a Voucher. A six months extension would be no good for me as we need to travel during the Southern Hemisphere summer. So good news but should be 12 months.

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