Family holidays and trips are the little breaks that most of us look forward to amidst this super busy lifestyle that we all lead. Unfortunately, just because you have planned something for a long time, there is no guarantee that it won’t have to be cancelled at the last minute. The question is, how do you handle such last-minute cancellations? Well, unfortunate as the scenario may be, there are certain steps you can take to manage the financial situation in the best way possible.
Ask for Compensation
If your trip had to be cancelled, shortened, or delayed because of a cancelled flight, you are eligible for flight cancellation compensation of as much as €600. Of course, there are certain stipulations and eligibility criterions that the claim must meet, but AirHelp can usually sort those out and tell you right away whether you have a claim or not. Cancelled flights are not always reason enough to cancel the entire holiday, but when you are short on time or on a tight schedule, it could make all the difference.
Ask for a Refund
If you are the one who had to cancel the hotel booking and the flight tickets, then there won’t be any compensation (of course), but you can still get a portion of your booking amount back in most situations. The good news is that under certain circumstances you can even get a complete refund on your booked tickets, without having to pay any fees at all. The federal stipulations are as follows:
- The ticket must be cancelled within 24-hours from the time of booking
- The time and date of the booking should be at least seven days prior to the departure date
- The tickets need to be purchased directly from the airline’s authorised online/offline outlets, not third-party sites
Check the Hotel’s Refund Policy
This is a step that you need to take before actually booking the hotel, so that’s something to keep in mind for your next trip booking. However, even if you have not looked at the hotel’s cancellation policy yet, do so now before calling them to cancel. It might give you an advantageous insight into their legal policies regarding cancellation refunds.
Talk to the Staff
Call up the manager of the hotel and explain your predicament to him/her because it isn’t uncommon for some hotels to give you a full refund, provided it’s the peak season. In any case, you might be able to shave off at least some of the cancellation costs. This will likely never happen over an email or a chat, so call them up instead and trust the human connection for old time’s sake! Speaking of human connection, remember to be polite about it and even if they don’t refund you right away, don’t let your anger get the best of you. Try and negotiate a better deal. Maybe the hotel is willing to give you a heavy discount when you are actually ready to make it to the spot on your next trip? Perhaps you are visiting one of their partner hotels anytime soon? Ask them about your options and be willing to accept some other form of refund than simply getting the money back.
Think About Rescheduling
Be absolutely 100% sure that you have no option other than to cancel the trip, because if you can simply reschedule it, most hotels won’t mind, unless there is absolutely no room left for them to reschedule you on your preferred date. Even a later date is acceptable in most cases, as hotels bank on returning customers.
Make Use of Your Travel Insurance
A lot of people make the mistake of not opting for travel insurance, but it’s a must for big trips and it could come in particularly handy in situations like this. In case you have not made the mistake of skipping travel insurance, rest assured that you will likely get most of your money back under almost any situation and much faster than usual.
The most important thing to remember is that once you are sure that the trip has to be cancelled or rescheduled indefinitely, you should not be wasting any time and must act as fast as possible for maximum recovery. Most flight and hotel bookings usually have a window to cancel free of charge, so speed is of the essence here. There is little you can do to stop the heartbreak from happening if you must cancel that long-planned trip with the family, but as you can see, the money invested can mostly be recovered or reutilised if you just put some effort into it. Don’t let the cancellation get you down, salvage what you can and look forward to a more successful trip the next time around.