Consumers Urged to Check Travel Booking Terms as Thousands of People Consider ‘Freedom Day’ Holiday
After three and a half months of confinement, the people of Sydney are desperate for a getaway.
And if you’ve prepaid, it could cost a small fortune.
The travel site Expedia saw its traffic increase by almost 30% in the week following the announcement of “Freedom Day”, compared to the previous week.
The most popular destinations are the Gold Coast, NSW Mid-North Coast, NSW South Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Sunshine Coast, Byron Bay, Whitsundays, Cairns and Brisbane.
But spokeswoman Lisa Perkovic said flexibility is the top priority for travelers, with most taking advantage of built-in search filters like “book now, pay later” and “free cancellation.”
“For added peace of mind, be sure to use these filters to narrow down your searches,” Ms. Perkovic told 9News.
Airbnb changed its policy last year so that COVID-19 would not be considered “extenuating circumstances” if canceled. It all depends on the discretion of the owner, whether or not to reimburse.
Spokesman Derek Nolan said the website recently introduced a flexible cancellation policy search filter.
“Almost two-thirds of active listings on Airbnb now offer flexible or moderate cancellation policies, giving our customers the flexibility they need and the comfort of knowing that if their situation changes, they can change their bookings as well,” Mr. Nolan said.
Some accommodation providers will charge a cheaper initial non-refundable rate, but for an additional $ 20- $ 40 per night, you have the option to cancel up to 24 hours prior to arrival with a full refund.
NRMA Parks and Resorts will offer a full refund for people who need to cancel due to Covid, while Reflections Parks will offer credit or a date change.
Janelle Boyd, director of NRMA Parks and Resorts, said she wants people to take vacations, but they also want people to know that if they are caught off guard by COVID-19, they can change their dates, get credit for future travel, or get a full refund.
“Everything related to COVID, the reservation promise protects you, and we work with each individual to make sure they have the right option for them,” Ms. Boyd told 9News.
As for flights, it depends on the airline. You will not be refunded if you cancel your flight and you may be required to pay a premium when you rebook if the new fare is more expensive. Qantas will only reimburse in the event of flight cancellation. And with so many flights affected recently, there is currently a delay of about eight weeks in processing refunds.
The advice is to read the fine print when booking and check the cancellation policy. Not all companies will be able to offer a full refund, but most will provide a partial refund or credit to reserve at a later date.