Traveling in times of coronavirus – What rights do I have as a traveler?


Can I cancel my trip free of charge due to the spread of coronavirus?

If you have already booked a trip, the usual cancellation conditions apply according to the Package Travel Act. This means that if you are unsettled due to the virus and no longer wish to travel, the cancellation fees are still due as noted in the terms and conditions. (from 10% of the travel price until 30 days before the trip. The shorter the cancellation, the higher the cancellation fee).



What happens if there is a travel warning for my vacation destination?

If a travel warning is issued for your vacation destination, the tour operator must reimburse the costs of your trip. The travel warning must be valid for the period in which the trip is to take place.

Most travel warnings are time-limited, i.e. if, for example: a travel warning is issued today for the next 4 weeks, but you do not travel until August, the normal cancellation conditions apply.

In addition, the travel warning must be issued for the region in which you are vacationing. If you e.g.: booked a vacation in Calabria and the travel warning was issued for Lombardy, you cannot cancel free of charge.

And if I have only booked the hotel?

The free cancellation in case of a travel warning is only valid for package tours, not for individual trips. This means that at least two main travel services (e.g.: flight+hotel) must have been booked.

If you have booked only the flight or only the hotel or both separately, you are dependent on the goodwill of the airline or the accommodation. In principle, the service provider does not have to agree to a free cancellation.

An exception is if the hotel is located directly in the restricted area and is therefore not accessible.

I am an exhibitor at a trade fair that has now unfortunately been cancelled. Will I get my money for flight and hotel refunded?

If events that have already been booked (e.g. trade fairs, concerts, business trips) are cancelled due to the virus and the flight or hotel room that has already been booked becomes invalid, you will have to rely on the goodwill of the service provider. In this case, simply send an e-mail to the airline and the hotel with the request for concession.

What if I travel to my vacation destination and museums and other attractions there are closed? Will I get my money back?

For a free cancellation, the canceled service must be part of the package tour. For example, if you book a package tour to Rio Carnival with a tour operator and it is canceled, the tour operator would have to cancel the trip free of charge. However, if you have only booked a package tour to Rio and wanted to visit the carnival on your own, the normal cancellation conditions apply.

To what extent will my cancellation insurance cover the costs if I no longer wish to travel?

This depends on the insurance, but usually the insurance only covers unforeseeable illnesses and accidents before the trip, which lead to the fact that you can not go on the trip, including death in the family, loss of employment, etc.. The fear of infection with the virus is unfortunately not enough to claim the insurance.



What actually happens if I am already on site and am no longer allowed to leave or, in the worst case, my hotel is under quarantine?

As far as I know, it is not clear who will bear the costs for quarantine if the vacation has actually already ended. When the volcano in Iceland erupted in 2010 and air traffic was paralyzed for days, tour operators reacted very differently. Some tour operators covered the cost of two nights, others the entire stay. In any case, the tour operator must support you as much as possible on site, e.g.: rebook the flight, find alternative accommodations and keep you informed about the current status.

What happens if I get sick myself while on vacation?

As a rule, the statutory health insurance does not cover you when you are abroad. Should you fall ill, in the worst case with the coronavirus, an additional foreign health insurance is worth its weight in gold.

Why should I still book a vacation at the moment?

Of course, many customers are currently unsettled and wait first. Many organizers therefore advertise with promotions, where you can cancel free of charge, for example, up to 14 days before the start of the vacation. Who books now has partially still mad early bird offers, much selection and carries no risk by the offer of the free cancellation.

To which destinations can you actually still travel safely?

Personally, I would also refrain from traveling to destinations where a travel warning has already been issued. Basically, there is no guarantee that there are not already or will not be Corona cases in my vacation destination. My tip is to skip the Malle vacation this year and choose a vacation destination where there is no mass tourism, e.g.: Corsica, Moldova, Pelion (Greece), Kiev, Porto Santo (Portugal), Montenegro, Romania etc. I would also refrain from booking large hotels with over 300 beds and huge buffets and book a small breakfast hotel by the sea or a self-catering apartment.

My recommendation: Keep calm, do not get crazy but stay informed. Who still wants to book, in any case all-inclusive!

All information is without guarantee. For questions about your booking, it is best to contact your tour operator or booking platform.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *