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COVID Reimbursements from travel co.

Kjell family

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pontferrada to Santiago ( April 2018), Porto to Santiago (April, 2020)
Hi folks,
I very seldom book accommodations more than a few days ahead when traveling and I very rarely use tour co. However, on this trip the two others I was walking with, one celebrating her 70 the birthday, felt more comfortable prearranging accommodation and their bag delivery. My question for folks is what experiences are you having with cancellation and fees due to Covid 19. The co. we booked with will allow for free rebooking within a year and while that works for my cousins who live in Europe and are retired, I can not leave so easily with kids, work and a PhD program.
Given that the service up front was minimal and that all other co. are being flexible with cancellation policies I am surprised and disappointed that,to date, that the tour operator is a) sticking strictly to the cancellation policy and b) the fee is so high. It definitely taints my perception of the co.
What is your experience? Do I have any recourse?
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to start the Camino Frances from St Jean at the end of May (2020).
When were you scheduled to go? Are they a registered travel agent? Presumably if the situation remains as it is they will be unable to provide those services and will have to refund. I think trying to cancel early is a mistake.
 

Kjell family

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pontferrada to Santiago ( April 2018), Porto to Santiago (April, 2020)
We were to start three days ago. We left our cancellation until the date a) my flight was canceled and b) travel restrictions were in place. The airline gave a 100% refund and I had no issues cancelling the accommodation booking I made for April 6 and 7.
 

Kjell family

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pontferrada to Santiago ( April 2018), Porto to Santiago (April, 2020)
And they are registered and receive high ratings
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to start the Camino Frances from St Jean at the end of May (2020).
And they are registered and receive high ratings
My understanding is that if they are unable to provide the services they have to refund you. Since they are registered, it might be worth contacting the regulatory body.
It may be the case that they actually don't have the money to refund you.
A company I used to book accommodation for work takes a 10% deposit on booking, the remainder to be paid on arrival at the accommodation. They have lost all their business. They say they will refund, but don't know when. They have laid off all their staff. I no longer expect to get a refund. It's only about £75 so I'll get over it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
We planned for our fourth camino beginning mid-September. I carried my backpack the three prior caminos, but this time was following my wife's practice of forwarding her backpack each day to our destination via Jacotrans (due to severe knee pain Cindi developed during our first camino). In January, I sent Jacotrans our itinerary and we made reservations for them to transport both our backpacks every day. We paid in full and received a nice discount. I contacted Jacotrans earlier this week and asked them if they have a policy regarding refunds if travel is restricted. They responded immediately and assured me that we would receive a full refund (except very low credit card fee charged by the bank) or we could use this as a pre-paid credit whenever we decide to walk. Quite helpful and reassuring. Bob
 

Liana

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP Central July 25, 2015
CP Coastal July, 5, 2016
Burgos to Santiago, Sept 2018
CP Central 6/2020
I was scheduled to fly out of Boston to Porto on 6/3 and just got notice I have been canceled also. Because
I purchased a non-refundable flight, the airline is allowing a credit to re-book but not refund, do I have a chance to get $$$'s refunded or should I be happy with a credit? Difficult for my group of 7 to walk together again
 

Liana

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP Central July 25, 2015
CP Coastal July, 5, 2016
Burgos to Santiago, Sept 2018
CP Central 6/2020
Are you talking about a tour group, or a travel agency? If it is a tour group company, which arranges hotels and baggage transport only, then the issue of refunds may not be a regulated requirement, but dealt with based on that tour company's stated policies.
Neither, booked thru Orbitz myself, but thought I'd ask anyway, sorry
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Neither, booked thru Orbitz myself, but thought I'd ask anyway, sorry
Unfortunately, you are not a customer of the airline, you are an Orbitz customer so this puts you in a tighter spot. Orbitz is the airline's customer, and so will probably work with the airlines to try and come up with a solution to keep you from losing the value of what you purchased.

With Orbitz (or any of the others), that product value that you lost was the cost of buying the Orbitz product. So it may be that a 'credit' of some kind is all they need to provide.

I learned my lesson the hard way to never buy a third-party booking product (Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity) for airline tickets. While sometimes more expensive, if something happens to one's ability to keep a flight reservation, being the airline's customer gives you far more flexibility than being a customer of a third-party booking company - - which is NOT the same thing as a travel agency, who is buying a ticket on your behalf.

If, for instance, you needed to change a Travelocity booked flight, oftentimes the airline may decide to charge up to the cost of a new ticket in order to make that change for you. Whereas if booking the reservation thru an airline, you can often make such a change, although an additional fee may be charged.
 

Liana

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP Central July 25, 2015
CP Coastal July, 5, 2016
Burgos to Santiago, Sept 2018
CP Central 6/2020
Unfortunately, you are not a customer of the airline, you are an Orbitz customer so this puts you in a tighter spot. Orbitz is the airline's customer, and so will probably work with the airlines to try and come up with a solution to keep you from losing the value of what you purchased.

With Orbitz (or any of the others), that product value that you lost was the cost of buying the Orbitz product. So it may be that a 'credit' of some kind is all they need to provide.

I learned my lesson the hard way to never buy a third-party booking product (Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity) for airline tickets. While sometimes more expensive, if something happens to one's ability to keep a flight reservation, being the airline's customer gives you far more flexibility than being a customer of a third-party booking company - - which is NOT the same thing as a travel agency, who is buying a ticket on your behalf.

If, for instance, you needed to change a Travelocity booked flight, oftentimes the airline may decide to charge up to the cost of a new ticket in order to make that change for you. Whereas if booking the reservation thru an airline, you can often make such a change, although an additional fee may be charged.
I haven't lost anything, so am happy about that, only hope I can get there same time next year! Hopefully other pilgrim's will be afraid of the crowds, since it will be a Holy Year, and it won't be so bad. I'm just blessed to be able to have the opportunity to walk another camino, whenever that may be!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Unfortunately, you are not a customer of the airline, you are an Orbitz customer so this puts you in a tighter spot. Orbitz is the airline's customer, and so will probably work with the airlines to try and come up with a solution to keep you from losing the value of what you purchased.
@davebugg hinted at the agency issues here a bit later.

If the company is trading as an agent, you might find that you are both their customer and the airline's customer, inasmuch as the agent is booking on your behalf. Key is to understand whether you or the airline is paying the agent. If you pay them a fee separately from the ticket price, it would indicate that they are your agent, ie owe you the duty of care. If the agent's fee is hidden in the ticket price, I would presume that they are the airline's agent.

So what? Well, if they are your agent, you might expect to have to pay their fee for the work that they have done on your behalf, but you should also expect that they would be ensuring that you are refunded costs where the service cannot now be delivered. Depending on the ticketing conditions, this might include some transaction fee. The airline I booked with is charging this for a refund, but waiving fees to provide a credit.

If they are the airline's agent, then you shouldn't have to pay them any fees, but you could be expected to pay a fee to cancel in line with the ticket conditions.

All this has become a bit clouded as airlines try and avoid repaying anything at all in the current circumstances, and are sweetening the arrangements for taking a credit. They keep your money, avoiding the immediate hit on their cash flow position, and keep your custom, even if they don't then offer you as good a price when you do travel as the one you have previously.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
I was scheduled to fly out of Boston to Porto on 6/3 and just got notice I have been canceled also. Because
I purchased a non-refundable flight, the airline is allowing a credit to re-book but not refund, do I have a chance to get $$$'s refunded or should I be happy with a credit? Difficult for my group of 7 to walk together again
Please search one of my threads on the subject I posted last week.
US laws now REQUIRE US air companies to issue a cash refund and not credit.
Now, you have to decide for yourself what will work best for you; some folks here have indeed opted for latter as they felt it indeed worked to do so for them
In case you decide to do cash - insist on it and don't be bullied into accepting anything else.
Good luck 👍
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
I haven't lost anything, so am happy about that, only hope I can get there same time next year! Hopefully other pilgrim's will be afraid of the crowds, since it will be a Holy Year, and it won't be so bad. I'm just blessed to be able to have the opportunity to walk another camino, whenever that may be!
The way things are going right now, based on lots of posts on this Forum - does not look too good for "other Pilgrims being afraid of the Holy Year crowds". If anything, it's the other way around (folks who were forced to cancel this year walks are eagerly awaiting a chance to rebook for next year) and it is probably us - the folks who made original plans to do it in 21 (taking deep breath and committing to increase that is surely to happen) and now may have to deal with even more - that could be 'afraid'
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
US laws now REQUIRE US air companies to issue a cash refund and not credit.
I have my flights to Spain and within Spain with Iberia, not a US airline. The international flights have been canceled on us and Expedia's recordings say to wait 72 hours before the flight to call back. The flights we have within Spain have not been canceled. Not sure how this will play out for my group of three persons, all booked together.
 

Liana

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP Central July 25, 2015
CP Coastal July, 5, 2016
Burgos to Santiago, Sept 2018
CP Central 6/2020
Please search one of my threads on the subject I posted last week.
US laws now REQUIRE US air companies to issue a cash refund and not credit.
Now, you have to decide for yourself what will work best for you; some folks here have indeed opted for latter as they felt it indeed worked to do so for them
In case you decide to do cash - insist on it and don't be bullied into accepting anything else.
Good luck 👍
Tx, read your post, but you didn't mention if the customer purchased a non-refrundable ticket?
 

Liana

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP Central July 25, 2015
CP Coastal July, 5, 2016
Burgos to Santiago, Sept 2018
CP Central 6/2020
Tx, read your post, but you didn't mention if the customer purchased a non-refrundable ticket?
Sorry, read further and found the info, tx so much!
 

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