Coronavirus concerns may make you think twice before traveling.
Smith Burgos, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, says he doesn’t have a choice. He and his wife were supposed to fly to Shanghai, China, next month to catch a cruise. The airline already canceled his flight and refunded his money. But Royal Caribbean has not canceled his cruise.
“They actually told me if I cancel it's on me and they're going to keep my deposit,” Burgos told NBC10 Responds. According to Burgos, that would cost him one-thousand dollars. The travel insurance he purchased through Royal Caribbean does not cover this situation.
“All they could do is give me 70% of credit,” says Burgos.
He called NBC10 Responds and we reached out to Royal Caribbean.
“That sailing has not been canceled or altered,” the cruise line told us. Royal Caribbean’s insurance provider says: “Fear of something potentially happening," like coronavirus concerns, entitles the traveler to a 75% future cruise credit.
So what can a traveler do in this situation?
Advocacy group Travelers United said companies are not required to follow the U.S. Department of State's "Do Not Travel" Advisory. Travel insurance may protect you, but each policy is different. When it comes to non-refundable hotels, some offer credit for a future stay. However, you must often re-book within one year.
According to Travelers United, airlines that cancel flights due to coronavirus are often issuing full refunds. Each carrier’s policy may be different.
As for Burgos, he told NBC10 he understands Royal Caribbean has a business to run. He’s holding off on canceling his cruise in hopes the company will change its policy.
What to Know
- Travel companies such as airlines and cruise lines are not required to follow the U.S. Department of State's "Do Not Travel" Advisory.
- Travel Insurance may protect you, but each policy is different. When it comes to future travel: read policies before you buy.
- Some non-refundable hotels may offer you a credit for future stay.