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Canceling Travel Plans Due to Covid-19

Updated:  March 19, 2020

Canceling Travel Plans Due to Covid-19: My Experience

As spring break travel season approaches, there has been a lot of uncertainty about whether to travel both domestically and internationally due to Covid-19, also known as the Coronavirus. Here at, I (Buzz) have canceled two trips that I was going on during March.  I hope the below information is helpful for anyone canceling their travel plans due to Covid-19.

My first trip would have included meeting my parents in Anchorage, Alaska, and then going all the way to Utqiagvik (formally Barrow,) which is above the Arctic Circle.

The second trip was to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, with a brief stop in Amman, Jordan. This is a trip that I had been looking forward to taking for years.

For Anyone Struggling with Receiving Refunds - Try this Website (Link HERE) provides alternate phone numbers, email addresses, and contact info.

The US State Department has issued a LEVEL 4 – DO NOT TRAVEL – advisory for all foreign countries.  Click HERE for details

Canceling Travel Plans Due to Covid-19: Getting Refunds

My Alaska Trip

My Alaska trip was very complex to cancel as I had flights for both me and my parents on a variety of airlines. I also had accidentally booked one set of hotel rooms as non-refundable. Here was my experience canceling each part of the trip.

Outbound Flight - Delta Airlines

My outbound flight was direct from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Anchorage on Delta Airlines. My ticket was in economy, but I paid $379 to upgrade to first class. Typically, that upgrade is non-refundable. On Thursday, March 12, I called Delta and was disconnected the first five times. I kept trying and eventually was able to get placed in the queue. Two hours and forty-five minutes later, I was able to speak to a very helpful agent named Leo. Leo explained that my first class upgrade was non-refundable, but he would speak to a supervisor to attempt to refund it. After another ten minutes on hold, Leo was able to secure my refund as long as I canceled the ticket. Canceling the ticket meant I would receive a refund in the form of a voucher. Leo processed the refund, issued the voucher, and then helped me rebook my flight for late August. Two days later, the first-class refund was credited to my Delta American Express Credit Card.

In addition to being in communication with Delta via phone, I also reached out via Twitter. Sending a private message to @Delta resulted in a reply about five hours after it was originally sent. I responded, telling Delta that Leo had already helped me change my flight.

Delta’s most recent Covid-19 policies can be seen by clicking HERE.

Delta Airlines A330-200
Delta A330-300 from a Previous Trip to Amsterdam

Return Flight - American Airlines

My return flight was much easier to change. I went to the American Airlines website and clicked on “My Trips.” There was a button that said, “change flight,” and I was able to change the date of my flight to late August. The change fee was waived, and I was refunded $10 via a voucher for the fare difference.

American Airlines’ most recent Covid-19 policies can be seen by clicking HERE

American Airlines 777-300er
American 777-300 from a Previous Trip to Hong Kong

Flight to Utqiagvik (Barrow) - Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines has made it extremely easy to rebook on their website. Once I logged into my Mileage Plan account, I was able to select my flight and change my dates for my flight to Utqiagvik. The new dates included a slight $10 increase in the fare, but the change fee was waived.

Alaska Airlines’ most recent Covid-19 policies can be seen by clicking HERE

Alaska Airline's 737-800 in Las Vegas, NV
Alaska Airlines 737-800 from a Previous Trip to Vancouver

Canceling Travel Plans Due to Covid-19 - A Non-Refundable Hotel

Hyatt Hotel Room - Anchorage, AK

This is somewhat embarrassing to admit, but even as a seasoned traveler I sometimes make mistakes. Somehow, I accidentally booked a non-refundable reservation on Hyatt’s website. Hyatt’s current policy is to offer a generous 10,000 point credit to members “World of Hyatt” account in exchange for canceling a non-refundable reservation and forfeiting the cost of the room. While 10,000 points would be better than nothing, it was not close to the value of the room that I had pre-booked.

I reached out to Hyatt’s frequent guest program, World of Hyatt at, and explained my situation. The agent understood my situation and quickly refunded my $450 reservation to my credit card. With the unprecedented situation the travel community is facing, it never hurts to ask for a refund. Agents are more likely to assist if you are polite and type a short, but clear message.

Hyatt’s most recent Covid-19 policies can be seen by clicking HERE

Other Rooms, Car Rental, and Tours

All of my other reservations were completely refundable. My rental car was booked through Costco Travel and was refundable even on the day of arrival.  

I had another hotel room in Utqiagvik which I had prepaid. It was refundable within the five day cancellation period. I emailed the King Eider Inn, and they refunded my money to my credit card the next day.

I was also able to cancel a Hilton Award Night online. All points were back in my account within 30 minutes.

Thankfully, all the tours were refundable as well.

Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik
Hilton Hotel - Dubrovnik, Croatia

Canceling Travel Plans Due to Covid-19: My Dubai Trip

Dubai Flights - Royal Jordanian Airlines

I have had a terrible time trying to get a refund, or any information, about my Royal Jordanian flight. My flight was purchased in July of 2019 when I came across an unheard of fare of $709. I added about $150 worth of services, including seat reservations. As of Friday, Royal Jordanian would only let me change the flight free of cost if I was willing to pay the fare difference. In addition, travel would have to be completed by July 2020 as that was one year from the purchase date of my ticket.

On Saturday, Amman closed their airport, and Royal Jordanian suspended their service. The Royal Jordanian website provided the following information.

Royal Jordanian's Covid-19 Policy - As of 2:00 pm (CST) on 3/15/2020 (Screenshot from

I have yet to get through to anyone or have an email response, other than one that tells me to call customer service. @RoyalJordanian on Twitter responds quickly but tells me to email or call. I am sure Royal Jordanian is trying their best, but due to my flight being officially canceled I will accept nothing other than a full refund. A voucher that is good for a year still doesn’t do me much good as most of their flights currently priced at more than double the cost of my ticket.

If all else fails, I will try once again to contact Chase Sapphire and see if I can make a travel insurance claim now that the airline officially canceled my flight. I also might consider trying to dispute the charge since Royal Jordanian’s policies offer a refund if a flight is delayed for more than 12 hours.  If you are interested in a Chase Sapphire Credit Card here is my referral link.  If you are approved I receive 75,000 bonus points.  Please only use my link if you are actively interested in the credit card.  

Dubai Hotels

All my Dubai hotels were booked on and were able to be canceled without paying fees.  Be careful, as some of my cancelation policies included canceling 5 days in advance.  Thankfully, I was still in that time frame.

Travel Con 2020

Travel Con 2020 in New Orleans has officially been postponed until September 18-20, 2020. As of March, 19th, Travel Con is not giving refunds. Instead, they are allowing the ticket to be used for the September reschedule or Travel Con 2021. I have flights on Delta (To New Orleans) and Sun Country (Return to Minneapolis) that will need to be canceled. Currently, neither Delta or Sun Country are allowing flights during May to be changed without incurring a penalty.

Thankfully, my hotel was fully refundable. If I cannot attend the September reschedule, I will have to look into my Chase Sapphire travel insurance or possibly dispute the charge. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

Costa Rica/Panama Trip - July 2020

As of March 19th, 2020 I am still planning on going to Costa Rica and Panama.

Helping Readers with Canceling Travel Plans Due to Covid-19

Leave a comment with your unique situation and I will do my best to advise you in any way I can.  Stay Safe!

-Buzz (Owner of