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Discussion Starter #161
My prediction is there will never be an effective vaccine.

Assuming that herd immunity can be attained, what with "social distancing" and "flattening the curve" it will take at least a decade to achieve. Just take a look at the world population (or just look at Canada if you like) and the numbers that we know of that have been infected already. Minuscule. Those puny numbers will hardly bring about herd immunity. So lockdown will be the order of the day for at least 10 years, unless we get sensible and decide to allow nature to take her course. I also predict that will happen because too many will become disenchanted with the effect of lockdown on the economy and on life as we know it in general. Further, I don't believe government can sustain CERB and all the other handouts for a decade or more.

All the present talk about re-opening the economy is just plain silly unless one agrees to a lot more infections. After all, what has changed in the past few weeks to suggest that we can now ease restrictions without feeling the lash? Absolutely nothing.
It is as they are now saying, 'health or wealth'. Why some people seem to think we can 'ease open' without an increase in cases I don't know. Opening up comes at a cost in lives, there is no way to avoid that.

I just hope you are wrong about a vaccine. Without it, I cannot see the economy ever recovering and in fact expect it would continue downwards until some kind of final collapse and we end up with total anarchy before we can reach 'herd immunity' assuming that it exists, there is no guarantee of that either.
 

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Does travel have to be 'forbidden' or is it enough that BC is saying they don't want you nobleea? Does the fact that some people are 'ignoring' the recommendation regarding non-essential travel, excuse you deciding to do some non-essential travel?
I like to plan ahead. It's 3 months away. If things open up and they welcome tourists again with some precautions, then I have a reservation booked at an unheard of price. If they don't and people are advised to limit travel across provincial lines to essential travel, then we cancel it for free. Big deal. Same goes if there's massive forest fires in the region that would make it unenjoyable.
 

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Discussion Starter #163
People are complaining that they are not receiving refunds or even an offer to allow them to reschedule their bookings on sites like VRBO and AirBnB. Families struggle to get refunds for short-term rentals cancelled due to pandemic

I wish when they report on cases like this, they would at the same time report on what would have happened if they had booked with say Marriott or directly with an independent hotel. Answer, they would not have paid UP FRONT and they would be able to cancel without any penalty.

I feel sorry for people who lose money but I wonder how many of them will learn not to use third party booking sites and not to pay in advance.
 

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I think everyone understands that we must pay extra for flexibility. So we get rewarded for committing in advance. Of course that logic breaks down during a pandemic or natural disaster.
 

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People are complaining that they are not receiving refunds or even an offer to allow them to reschedule their bookings on sites like VRBO and AirBnB. Families struggle to get refunds for short-term rentals cancelled due to pandemic

I wish when they report on cases like this, they would at the same time report on what would have happened if they had booked with say Marriott or directly with an independent hotel. Answer, they would not have paid UP FRONT and they would be able to cancel without any penalty.

I feel sorry for people who lose money but I wonder how many of them will learn not to use third party booking sites and not to pay in advance.
... too bad. I guess there's no fine print to read and regulators to turn to with using such services. Cry them a river.
 

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We occasionally use third party booking sites when they offer better prices or better conditions. Many third party booking sites are excellent. Others are not. We did two late bookings with a third party this past winter while traveling in Mexico. Both were RIU hotels. Our best price came from TUI Vacations in the UK. Twenty percent saving over what RIU or anyone else could offer. Our last 5 day stay was in PV ending in mid/late March. Hotel was perfect. Recently rec'd a credit note from TUI for the entire amount because the last two days they were closing part of the resort. We did not ask for it or expect it because it had no negative impact on our enjoyment. Some people are struggling to get refunds. But some who have had vendor cancellations are immediately booking charge disputes with their credit card providers and are having success.

Book direct? We do. But not always. We have booked and paid in advance with Marriott and with Accor numerous times on a no cancel/no refund basis. Only when the saving is 25 percent over their best rate and we are certain of going. The amount at risk is low. We have done this in a few cities in SE Asia for five of the past six winters. This past fall in Greece we booked an Aegean flight on Expedia (and I dislike expedia) for $75 each. Booking direct on Aegean's website, as we would normally do, would have been $129. for the same flight. We experienced exactly the same this winter in Mexico when booking an Interjet flight. I have no idea how this occurs but it does from time to time.

After eight/nine years of frequent travel we have found that late booking prices are often as good or better than advance bookings. We have had lots of great offers by booking hotels three days out or air 4-6 weeks out, sometimes less. Nothing is set in stone. It is all based on supply and demand.

Our experience is that there is not set rule.
 

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Discussion Starter #167
I think everyone understands that we must pay extra for flexibility. So we get rewarded for committing in advance. Of course that logic breaks down during a pandemic or natural disaster.
I disagree with your basic assumption kcowan. It's all in how you look at it, isn't it. I see it as LOSING something that we used to get as standard. There is no 'reward' being gained, only a loss.

Remember that old saying, 'the customer is always right'? We, the customer, used to get what we wanted but now it is the airlines, hotels, and third party travel agents who are getting what THEY want. They are driving the bus now, not the customer. The customers have GIVEN away their control to them.

You do not need a pandemic or natural disaster for the system to break down. All you need is to want to cancel something for any reason at all. Either you can cancel without penalty or you cannot. In the past you always could, now people usually cannot.

I know why people agree to accept such conditions is price but if they do so, then they have no cause to complain when they lose their money. If they 'understand they must pay extra for flexibility' kcowan, then why are they complaining? They do not UNDERSTAND at all, what agreement they have entered into.
 

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Discussion Starter #168
We occasionally use third party booking sites when they offer better prices or better conditions. Many third party booking sites are excellent. Others are not. We did two late bookings with a third party this past winter while traveling in Mexico. Both were RIU hotels. Our best price came from TUI Vacations in the UK. Twenty percent saving over what RIU or anyone else could offer. Our last 5 day stay was in PV ending in mid/late March. Hotel was perfect. Recently rec'd a credit note from TUI for the entire amount because the last two days they were closing part of the resort. We did not ask for it or expect it because it had no negative impact on our enjoyment. Some people are struggling to get refunds. But some who have had vendor cancellations are immediately booking charge disputes with their credit card providers and are having success.

Book direct? We do. But not always. We have booked and paid in advance with Marriott and with Accor numerous times on a no cancel/no refund basis. Only when the saving is 25 percent over their best rate and we are certain of going. The amount at risk is low. We have done this in a few cities in SE Asia for five of the past six winters. This past fall in Greece we booked an Aegean flight on Expedia (and I dislike expedia) for $75 each. Booking direct on Aegean's website, as we would normally do, would have been $129. for the same flight. We experienced exactly the same this winter in Mexico when booking an Interjet flight. I have no idea how this occurs but it does from time to time.

After eight/nine years of frequent travel we have found that late booking prices are often as good or better than advance bookings. We have had lots of great offers by booking hotels three days out or air 4-6 weeks out, sometimes less. Nothing is set in stone. It is all based on supply and demand.

Our experience is that there is not set rule.
Yes, there will always be acceptions to any general rule. That's why we call things a 'general rule' rather than an 'absolute rule' isn't it.

When I phone a hotel and make a reservation with that hotel directly, I ask for a price and they give me one. Then I ask for their terms and perhaps they tell me, 'non-cancellable, non-refundable price is X and flexible price is Y.' I respond that I like X but want Y conditions or I will not book. I have done this repeatedly and ALWAYS got Y terms at X price. You can't do that with Airbnb, or Expedia, etc. can you.

The difference is that some people ACCEPT such conditions while others REFUSE to accept such conditions and we the public should NEVER have started accepting such conditions to begin with. As I wrote to kcowan, the travelling public have given away their control over their travel.
 

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People accept them because the price of the package is often well below the sum price of the individual parts. There is not secret to this. Sometimes vendors such as TUI sell off unsold rooms at an attractive rate from blocks they have pre- purchased . We are more than happy to accept the restrictions and the risk. In the past year we have done this for five night stays. Twice in Cyprus this past fall, twice in Mexico this winter. As late walk ins in other areas we have benefited from some excellent prices and some wonderful upgrades. You sometimes simply have to ask the right way! Like all other purchases there are trade offs. It also helps to sign up for memberships in the various hotel programs...Marriott, Accor, Rui, Melia, etc Often membership is good for a last minute room or complementary amenity.

In our experience there is no one set way to obtain the best price or the best booking conditions-advance, same day, direct, third party, cash payment, credit card payment. Our experience is that there are so many variables and so many options on the web. The constant variable always seems to me to be supply and demand, not direct vs indirect. People make the buy decision based on the best information they have and weigh the risk and rewards of the various booking conditions. No right or wrong way, and certainly many ways to get the best of both.
 

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Discussion Starter #170
People accept them because the price of the package is often well below the sum price of the individual parts. There is not secret to this. Sometimes vendors such as TUI sell off unsold rooms at an attractive rate from blocks they have pre- purchased . We are more than happy to accept the restrictions and the risk. In the past year we have done this for five night stays. Twice in Cyprus this past fall, twice in Mexico this winter. As late walk ins in other areas we have benefited from some excellent prices and some wonderful upgrades. You sometimes simply have to ask the right way! Like all other purchases there are trade offs. It also helps to sign up for memberships in the various hotel programs...Marriott, Accor, Rui, Melia, etc Often membership is good for a last minute room or complementary amenity.

In our experience there is no one set way to obtain the best price or the best booking conditions-advance, same day, direct, third party, cash payment, credit card payment. Our experience is that there are so many variables and so many options on the web. The constant variable always seems to me to be supply and demand, not direct vs indirect. People make the buy decision based on the best information they have and weigh the risk and rewards of the various booking conditions. No right or wrong way, and certainly many ways to get the best of both.
Some do as you say ian, most do not as far as I can see. You are more sophisticated travellers in terms of understanding how it all works than most typical tourists. So I am back to 'general rule' and not your 'specific' experiences.

I can agree with you there is no 'one way' on a given day for a given travel purchase. But the majority of people are in fact using only ONE way. They are not doing the research to find the BEST way today and in most cases, the ONLY criteria they consider is price. They click on 'book' without even knowing the conditions.

In any case, the issue today is people are losing their money due to the agreements they entered into that have been upset by Covid19 and yet they are complaining about it as if they had some right to complain. They do not, they AGREED to the conditions. They need to learn to look at more than price.
 

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As with anything, it's up to the buyer to do their research and homework. I have had absolutely no problems with any of my bookings through 3rd parties or air bnb's. I just got my full refund for a condo I booked at the beginning of March. I double checked the cancellation policy with both Air BnB and the owner. I was holding out to the last minute for a miracle that didn't happen. Two clicks of a button, 5 days later and the I received the full refund.

Our work just reminded us that our travel health benefits will not apply if there is a travel advisory and we have to cancel or isolate when we return home. It did pay for people who had recently returned home and had to isolate for 14 days because there was no advisory at the time they booked and left.

We had planned for a family reunion cruise or vacation this year but now will be looking very carefully at what we may do. Instead the celebration may be more local at a resort like place which will require no flying. However, nothing will be booked until we are clearer on risks and impacts. I am okay without paying for complete flexibility under certain circumstances.
 

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Discussion Starter #173
Hawaii have been cracking down on people who ignore their 14 day quarantine.

I guess since travel between states is not restricted, these are people who had vacations booked and no doubt,, said as people did before the March Break, 'well, I've bought and paid for my trip and can't get my money back, so I'm going'. Then when they got there said, 'well, no way am I spending my 2 week vacation in quarantine, screw your rules.'

Air Canada has just announced a layoff of 20,000 employees again. They rehired under the government subsidized pay program but are now saying they are going to have to lay employees off long term.

Clearly, they are bowing to the inevitable and for the consumer that has ramifications as well obviously in terms of price for a far more limited number of seats and availability of flights to anywhere. Air Canada will not be alone in that regard. I wonder what will happen with the majority of the Low Cost Carriers who fly so many of the cheap package vacation flights people buy.

I think Plugging Along may be right in thinking about a domestic vacation assuming that is reasonably possible anytime soon (as in this year or next). The issue there though already is that many domestic vacation spots are also saying, 'we don't want you'.

So while a hotel might open or someone might be willing to rent you a cottage, how comfortable would it be to go somewhere when you know the locals do not want you there? I certainly wouldn't go somewhere and ignore the locals just to meet my own selfish wishes.

There is a definite disconnect between what local residents may want and what local businesses may want. Contrast the link above to this link: Pandemic threatens survival in Grand Bend, Port Stanley, other tourist towns along lakes

So business wants tourists to return and residents do not want them to return anytime soon. My guess is we will see people saying, 'well, the hotel took my booking, so it's OK if I go there.'
 

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We have three trips at the very top of our respective bucket lists. But that is where they will stay. We cannot see making any firm plans for until at least next spring, probably longer. We do not know enough about the virus, how it is being handled in those countries on our list, and whether there will be a drug that is somewhat effective in combating the symptoms. Cannot imagine a vaccine in the next year, let alone mass availability of same.

Sure, people are booking cruises. Two big questions. Will those cruises ever leave the dock? Cruise line have a desperate need for cash, they will do anything to grab a fare, hold on to it for 120-180 days, and then refund or perhaps even provide credit incentives in lieu of refunds. Beats the 11 or so points that they are apparently paying on short term money now..
 

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Discussion Starter #175
We have three trips at the very top of our respective bucket lists. But that is where they will stay. We cannot see making any firm plans for until at least next spring, probably longer. We do not know enough about the virus, how it is being handled in those countries on our list, and whether there will be a drug that is somewhat effective in combating the symptoms. Cannot imagine a vaccine in the next year, let alone mass availability of same.

Sure, people are booking cruises. Two big questions. Will those cruises ever leave the dock? Cruise line have a desperate need for cash, they will do anything to grab a fare, hold on to it for 120-180 days, and then refund or perhaps even provide credit incentives in lieu of refunds. Beats the 11 or so points that they are apparently paying on short term money now..
I also wouldn't want to try and guess what it will cost to get medical insurance that would cover anyone for Covid19 before there is a cure or vaccine ian and that's assuming you could get coverage at all.
 

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Agree completely.

I cannot imagine any out of country health insurer underwriting covid19 related coverage in their travel medical insurance package.

Even more to the point, I cannot see them including evac or repatriation costs for the patient. Same for the trip interuption insurance policies.

I am not smart enough to know where this is going but I am fairly certain that we will not have any solid answers to the question for some time to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #177
An item on the news this morning was about people who had flights booked including with third party 'flight cancellation/interruption insurance' and who have been given a 'credit' by the airlines for a future flight. Some wanted a refund instead and turned to the insurance companies for that.

The insurers have stated that the coverage is for 'financial loss' and there is no such loss if you get a voucher for a future flight. That applies to flights booked before the virus and so it is not hard to know what to expect for any future flight someone might book today.
 

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An item on the news this morning was about people who had flights booked including with third party 'flight cancellation/interruption insurance' and who have been given a 'credit' by the airlines for a future flight. Some wanted a refund instead and turned to the insurance companies for that.

The insurers have stated that the coverage is for 'financial loss' and there is no such loss if you get a voucher for a future flight. That applies to flights booked before the virus and so it is not hard to know what to expect for any future flight someone might book today.
I guess those folks will have to return to their insurers when the airline giving the 'credit' goes under and the credit has become worthless. That I would consider a 'financial loss'. They should not have long to wait in many cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #179
I guess those folks will have to return to their insurers when the airline giving the 'credit' goes under and the credit has become worthless. That I would consider a 'financial loss'. They should not have long to wait in many cases.
Yes, that may work out for some of them Mukhang pera.

I do not like to pay in advance for any travel related item. I will not pay for a hotel in advance for example. It has always annoyed me that airlines now all insist on payment in advance. I can actually remember when this was NOT the case. In fact, I can even remember when Air Canada offered, 'fly now, pay later' tickets. There are still a few options but none worthwhile.

The only real way to avoid paying in advance these days is to book a flight on the day of departure.
 

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[QUOTE="Longtimeago, post: 2089030, member: 349718"

The only real way to avoid paying in advance these days is to book a flight on the day of departure.
[/QUOTE]

Even then, my experience has been in recent years, in various parts of the world, you still must pay in advance to be assured you'll get on. For example, if you call at 10 a.m. and say to the airline that you want a seat on the 2 p.m. flight to Oxdrift, the airline will not hold a seat for you until you show up with cash in hand at boarding time. You will be required to pay with a credit card to get a confirmed booking. At least, that has been my experience. At the same time, I must say it has never occurred to me to resist paying in advance on the day of travel. But I suspect that if I told the airline that I'll wait to pay until I get to the ticket counter, I'll be told my reservation won't be guaranteed. And I am not sure I would consider the airline to be behaving badly in that circumstance.
 
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