As the Covid-19 pandemic rages through the world, I’ve started thinking about the trips and getaways that are not taking place. This is a historical situation, probably not unprecedented but unseen in the modern world is a general catastrophe translated into the high mortality rate first, the impact on the economy later. After being on lockdown basically since the 13th of March 2020, I’ve thought that recording information about the trips that I haven’t carried out might also be interesting for future reference.
As I write these lines on the 29th of March 2020, there are 681,706 confirmed cases, but we know that the number is much, much higher as many people have not been tested. The number of people who have got over the illness is 145,625, and the deaths are 31,734, which leaves 504,347 active cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. By the time I finish this post there will be more.
15th March 2020: Drive to Presa de Manzanares el Real (Spain) [Scrapped]
This was a low-impact cancellation as the only thing I lost was the time invested in reading up how to get there.
21st March 2020: Barcelona (Spain) daytrip [Completely cancelled]
I was planning to go to Barcelona and back on this Saturday. I had booked train tickets and upon the lockdown order Renfe gave me my money back without even having to do anything myself. The lockdown order became effective on a Saturday, I received the email on a Monday and the refund was really fast.
7th – 10th April 2020: Berlin (Germany) for MUCC [Completely cancelled]
This trip had been in planning since December, but got caught up in this whole thing.
Even before the border closing was ordered in Europe, on the 17th of March, booking.com had already contacted me to ‘re-organise’ my trips. I had free cancellation on my hotel anyway, so I just went ahead with that.
On the 20th of March, the airline informed me that my flights and that I could apply for a refund. It was acknowledged on the 24th of March.
On the 19th March 2020, both Ganshin and Nine Lives Entertainment announced the cancellation of the whole tour. We immediately went on to ask for the ticket refund on the webpage, which was accepted.
On the 26th of March we had another email that told us the refund would come within four weeks.
✈ Edit 10th April 2020: The airline sent me an automated e-mail telling me that the refund was being processed.
✈ Edit 20th April 2020: Turned out that the refund was a voucher. I tried not to accept the voucher and use the automatic service for a cash refund, but it was impossible.
✈ Edit 2nd March 2020: Managed to get in touch with customer service and they told me they set the actual cash refund process in motion. A few hours later I received an email that I was in the “refund queue”.
✈ Edit 10th June 2020: The Madrid → Paris airline sent an email that the refund had been issued.
✈ Edit 20th July 2020: I had to start a complaint with the bank because the airline refunds have not been processed!
✈ Edit 29th July 2020: After giving the bank a few days to process the claim, in the morning I got in touch with the airline to get the transaction numbers and comfirm the data of the refund so I could pressure the bank a little further. I don’t know if it was triggering or pure chance, but in the late afternoon I received a message from my bank to check my account – and the refunds had shown up!
18th & 19th April 2020: Paris (France) for Saint Seiya Symphonic Adventure [Concert rescheduled / trip cancelled]
I have to admit that this was a bit of a crazy one. I found out about it way late in the year (three months after sales had started) and thus I had no option for a VIP or anything. I tried to talk myself out of it but in the end I decided to get me a ticket as a Christmas present. And when I did, I found out that the “Christmas plan” was so that I could get tickets for both sessions for the price of a one session in normal pricing. Well, to be honest, for 5€ more. So I decided to do it because what the hell could go wrong. Then I arranged transportation, but as I had work on Friday evening, I had to take a red-eye flight and directly go from the airport to the venue, then come back with a different airline on Sunday to make it affordable and doable time-wise. It mostly worked until this whole thing went down.
As of now, the concert has been rescheduled
to October 2020, for the second time to May 202 third time to October 20211 fourth time to May 2022, and the companies I was flying with (I had two completely different flights for getting there and return) have both offered me “free rescheduling”. I’ve not taken up their offer yet, because I’m waiting for the evolution of things. I’ll probably have to do it next week, but as of now I’m waiting to see how things are the second week of April and whether it makes sense to reschedule. I’ll try to arrange a less-crazy schedule for October if I can travel at all…
Again, booking.com offered mediation with the Paris hotel, but this one was non-refundable and the hotel is not making an exception. I did request a change of dates for the new concert date, still not an answer on that.
✈ Edit 30th March 2020: The Madrid → Paris airline sent me text / e-mail regarding the cancellation of the 18th of April flight. I claimed the refund
✈ Edit 4th April 2020: The Paris → Madrid Airline sent me an automated e-mail (in English) telling me that they would get back to me “regarding my options”: change, voucher or refund.
✈ Edit 10th April 2020: The Madrid → Paris Airline sent me an automated e-mail telling me that the refund was being processed.
✈ Edit 14th April 2020, Paris → Madrid airline: Second automatic email, in local language, telling me about my options: change or voucher. I got in contact with the airline pointing out that on the 4th of April there had been a refund option.
✈ Edit 20th April 2020, Madrid → Paris Airline: Turned out that the refund was a voucher. I tried not to accept the voucher and use the automatic service for a cash refund, but it was impossible.
✈ Edit 28th April 2020, Paris → Madrid Airline: I received an email regarding the start of the refund process.
✈ Edit 1st May 2020, the ticket vendor contacted me with a “refund form” and I am considering taking it… but on the other hand I want to keep a little hope.
✈ Edit 2nd May 2020, Madrid → Paris Airline: I managed to get in touch with customer service and they told me they set the actual cash refund process in motion. A few hours later I received an email that I was in the “refund queue”.
✈ Edit 20th May 2020, Paris → Madrid Airline. To make everything worse, the idiots got their database hacked and my name and email leaked. I never save my card on these websites, so I’m relative calm about my financial information but really? FML.
✈ Edit 18th June 2020: The Paris → Madrid airline sent an email that the refund had been issued.
✈ Edit 30th June 2020: The Madrid → Paris airline sent an email that the refund had been issued.
✈ Edit 17th June 2020: The refunds for the ticket arrived in the bank account though the credit card and the date of the concert.
✈ Edit 20th July 2020: I had to start a complaint with the bank because the airline refunds have not been processed!
✈ Edit 29th July 2020: After giving the bank a few days to process the claim, in the morning I got in touch with both airlines (remember that I had different flights for Madrid → Paris and Paris → Madrid) to get the transaction numbers and comfirm the data of the refund so I could pressure the bank a little further. I don’t know if it was triggering or pure chance, but in the late afternoon I received a message from my bank to check my account – and the refunds had shown up!
✈ Edit October 2020: I gambled a refundable high-class hotel and a super-cheap but non-refundable flight for the 16th – 18th October just in case the concert happened on the 17th, but as France was hit harder and Paris started enforced restrictions again, the concert was postponed again. Obviously, in the end I did not travel, so I lost the money from the flight, but the hotel had no expenses. To be honest, the airline’s publicity was misleading regarding changes – you could only access those if you booked the super-expensive tariff. But well, it was a gamble, and when you gamble you sometimes lose. So at this time, this is the only open front with active tickets.
✈ Edit March 2021: Concert rescheduled again for October 2021.
✈ Edit October 2021: Concert rescheduled again for May 2022.
✈ Edit March 2022: Correspondence with the promoter regarding the VIP tickets made me feel hopeful…
✈ Edit May 2022: It finally happened!
1st May 2020: Aranjuez (Spain) [Scrapped]
This would have been just a drive away too, and we were still negotiating whether to stay overnight or not, so we had not booked anything. In the end, there was no definite plan.
23rd May 2020: Crazy London escapade (Great Britain) [Scrapped]
This was only a silly thought, but plane tickets to London for a round trip on the same day were ridiculously doable, and I could hit the Victoria & Albert Museum to watch the Kimono exhibition, along with Yoshikimono, for less than 100 quid. I never materialised anything – I was going to the weekend lockdown came. Still, as the date came and went, it hit me quite hard.
23rd June 2020: Madrid (Spain) for Babymetal [Completely cancelled]
The hotel has free cancellation and the trip itself has not been booked. Waiting for word on whether the concert (which btw is sold-out) gets cancelled or not, but I think all events are officially cancelled till September, so it’s only a matter of time.
🚗 Edit 23rd April 2020: Tweet from the organiser, Resurrection Fest, about “rescheduling to a later date”, and that there is more information to come (the tweet was actually pretty confusing due to very weird use of adverbs).
🚗 Edit 4th May 2020: The official notification of the tour cancellation came through. Resurrection Fest said that they had tried to reschedule, but that had not worked. The refund process would be automatic. I proceeded to cancel the hotel booking and cited Covid-19 restrictions as a reason.
🚗 Edit 3th July 2020: Refund notification for the tickets arrived. Back in the day I paid for them with a credit card that is no longer valid, so the actual refund did not come through until the 17th July. And thus this trip is completely cancelled now.
4th – 9th July 2020: London (Great Britain) [Completely cancelled]
The airline has offered rescheduling credit, and the hotel has free cancellation. I did not make this reservation so I’m waiting for the decision by the person who did, aka my father. I’m not hopeful for this for two reasons – one, the UK is having a less than stellar moment managing the virus due to Johnson’s idea of “building herd immunity”, and two, my mother has already made up her mind that it’s too dangerous, and this trip had been organised because she wanted to see London one more time before they left the EU.
✈ Edit 17th May 2020: In the end, the airline is only offering refunds up until June, so we have probably lost those tickets, but hotel was cancelled for free.
✈ Edit 29th May 2020: Airline offered a voucher (not sure if it is general or just because I’m in the rewards program). I will write to them about the possibility of a refund, but we will take the voucher in case there is no refund offer.
✈ Edit 12th June 2020: After being originally told that we did not qualify for the refund, in the end the flight was cancelled. Once that happened, we could initiate the refund process.
✈ Edit November 2020: When the refund was not there yet after almost half a year, we called the airline again, and the refunds were in the credit card account by the end of the month.
4th – 7th August 2020: Athens (Greece) [Completely cancelled]
All bets are off on this one. I’m trying to convince myself that it is not going to happen, but I am waiting for further information and how things are developing. I guess I’m still hoping that things get better by June.
✈ Edit 2nd May 2020: I’ve given up on this by now. I’m going to reach out to the airline and check my options.
✈ Edit 17th May 2020: Airline is only offering refunds up until June. The hotel is free-cancellation until the day before so I’ve left it for now.
✈ Edit 7th June 2020: The airline changed flight times and they offered a voucher, which I took, and I cancelled the hotel. I was very sad to do this, because I’ve been trying to get my butt back to Greece for a few years now.