Coronavirus: Vietnam Budget Tours allow trips to be postponed free of charge

Travel companies are relaxing their booking policies in a bid to encourage people to keep booking holidays during the coronavirus crisis.

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Tour operators including Kuoni, Hayes & Jarvis, Prestige, G Adventures, i-escape, On Foot Holidays and Camino Ways are among those waiving fees if clients want to change the destination or date of their trip.

Most of the policies apply to bookings made between now and the end of March, and allow clients to postpone their trip to later this year or, in some cases, into 2021. But the time frame for switching varies between operators. The majority require changes to be made up to 30 days before departure but some, including Kuoni and Hayes & Jarvis, are allowing clients to switch holidays up to seven days before departure, while luxury operators Cox & Kings and Abercrombie & Kent say clients must rebook up to 60 days before.

On Foot Holidays, whose main destinations are Italy, France and Spain, has gone further and is advising customers not to consider travelling at all before June.

The virus presents the tourism industry with an unprecedented challenge. Noel Josephides, founder of Greece specialist Sunvil, said: “This is our 50th year, and for us the only thing that compares to it is the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, when we specialised in Cyprus holidays. This is far worse because it’s very uncertain. The way the government is playing it – trying to flatten out the peak – means it will continue through to June. But if it goes beyond that the whole summer will be wiped out.”

While bookings to Europe have slowed to a trickle, long-haul tour operators say there is still demand for holidays in 2021. Sam Clark of Asia specialist Experience Travel Group said: “The majority of our clients would travel at the moment but they can’t because they can’t get a visa,” referring to restrictions put in place by India and Vietnam. India has suspended all tourist visas, effective from 13 March until 15 April, while Vietnam said UK passport holders will be unable to apply for a tourist visa for Vietnam until further notice. Clark added: “People seem very relaxed about travelling, but later in the year and beyond. A lot of people are looking for deals in late 2020.”

Vietnam Airlines

Ticket change and refund are applied in the following cases:
-Tickets issued at Vietnam Airlines’ ticketing offices, ticket agents, general sales agents, website or mobile app.

  • Flights wholly or partly operated by Vietnam Airlines (flight number starting with VN).

− Rebooking:

  • Free of charge
  • New flight date: until 31st December 2020
  • Fare differences, taxes, fees, charges and surcharges and other fees are to
    be paid by passengers.
    − “Go-show” (): free of charge and fare differences, given the passenger board another Vietnam Airlines flight on the same segment before 24 March 2020. () Go-show passenger: Passenger holding a ticket with no reservation, or
    having confirmed on one flight requests to board another flight on the same
    segment.
    Such flight is under stopped-booking status and passenger is accepted if space
    available at check-in closure time.

Form of refund and refund period for irregular flights
− Refund in the original form of payment: after 3 months since refund request submit date.
− Refund in voucher form to use on your next trip:

  • Voucher refunds with immediate effect
  • Refund value: If your ticket is issued on our website or mobile app: please contact onlinesupport@vietnamairlines.com, otherwise please contact your
    place of purchase. In both cases you can also contact Vietnam Airlines’ branches for more information.
    − Other terms and conditions:
  • Voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of refund.
  • The redeem value is only up to the amount listed on the voucher.
  • Voucher is redeemable in the original form of payment. The refund value is based on original booking value.
  • To use the voucher: If your ticket is issued on our website or mobile app: please contact onlinesupport@vietnamairlines.com, otherwise please contact
    your place of purchase. In both cases you can also contact Vietnam Airlines’ branches for more information

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