Coronavirus travel advice: Everything you need to know
The entire travel industry is experiencing an unprecedented increase in service requests from customers due to the overwhelming impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We're really sorry for such long wait times due to the increase in call volumes. Every Expedia team member who can help is working to add more capacity, self-service options, and collaborating with many thousands of our global travel partners. If your travel is not immediate, please visit our Customer Service Portal that includes new online tools to help you change or cancel travel plans electronically yourself.
Important message for customers with upcoming bookings – here's what you need to know:
Customers with Lodging Bookings (non-package/bundle):
- For customers who booked and paid for a non-refundable rate prior to March 19, 2020 for stays between March 20, 2020, and June 30, 2020, you may be able to cancel your upcoming hotel reservation at no penalty and be eligible for a full refund or, if your reservation does not qualify for free cancellation, a voucher allowing you to rebook the original property at a later date. Please check your reservation in My Trips to see if a cancellation penalty will apply.
- For customers who booked a non-refundable rate for stays after June 30, 2020, with the situation continuing to evolve, we will continue to work with travel partners as necessary to implement flexible policies.
- For those looking to make a new booking, we strongly recommend choosing a rate that allows for free cancellation.
Customers with Flight Bookings (non-package/bundle):
- For customers with a flight booking, if your flight is scheduled to return on or before June 30, 2020, you may be able to cancel at no penalty and receive a full refund or credit with the airline for future travel. If you wish to cancel, please visit our Customer Service Portal and follow the instructions. Note that terms and conditions for credits of each specific carrier will apply.
- For customers whose flights have already been impaired by COVID-19 and whose travel date has passed, we want to assure you that we are working with our partners to attend to your needs.
- If your airline canceled your flight, we are working through those bookings with our airline partners to issue credits where applicable and will be in touch —there is no need to call.
Customers with Package/Bundle Bookings:
- We’ve worked closely with our travel partners to provide options to cancel package bookings. For customers who have booked a package, each component of that holiday package needs to be cancelled separately and our Customer Service Portal has the latest travel information and instructions on how to service each part of their holiday package. We are also contacting customers who are due to travel imminently to give them information on options to cancel their upcoming package bookings.
If you booked a vacation rental on Expedia and your travel plans have been affected by COVID-19, we want to share an important policy update:
- For several of you, changes or cancellations will need to be managed by visiting our sister site VRBO. Full refunds are subject to each individual property’s policy, but we are encouraging properties to be compassionate in these unprecedented times. We’ll be reaching out to you directly if your itinerary has been impacted.
Customers who purchased Travel Insurance:
If I intend to file a claim, do I still need to cancel my travel booking?
- Yes, if you are not planning to travel due to COVID-19, you should cancel your travel before your travel start date to ensure that you do not forfeit any refunds, vouchers or credits offered by the travel suppliers. You can initiate cancellations and check booking status by logging in to your online itinerary at My Trips or by following the instructions above. If your travel is not immediate, please note that you may want to check back closer to your travel date as cancellation policies continue to evolve.
How do I submit a claim?
- Please visit the AIG website to submit a claim directly. Be sure to have your policy or itinerary number handy, as well as the last name the booking is under. Please note that AIG is currently processing insurance claims in order of trip date.
- Please visit our Customer Service Portal to find the most up to date information about Travel Insurance.
While we are adjusting our operations and policies as quickly as possible, we do ask for patience and reiterate that if your travel is not within the next 10 days, please hold off contacting us so we can prioritize urgent customer queries and resolve cases faster. We thank you for your continued understanding. There’s nothing more important to us than you, our customers, remaining safe through this anxious and stressful time. All of us at Expedia value you and are grateful for your business.
We will keep this page regularly updated to ensure we are providing the latest guidance, travel suggestions, and links to pertinent coronavirus information so you can rest easy when making your travel plans.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I already have travel booked, but want to cancel or change my plans as a result of COVID-19?
- We are experiencing unprecedented volumes in our call centers worldwide which means it’s tough to get through whether you're trying to contact Expedia or our partners. You can save yourself some time by going to their policy pages online where all of the information is posted on the status of any booked travel.
- Visit our Customer Support Portal to see learn more about what policies are available for your trip.
- In many instances, you can change your booking online yourself, but if you absolutely can’t, that’s when you should call in.
- Check your travel insurance policy to see if changes and cancellations due to unforeseen events like coronavirus are covered. If you purchased travel protection through Expedia, you can learn more about your coverage on our Travel Guard page.
- Look at potential dates for rebooking your travel according to the airline or hotel policy coverage. Policies may change or be added at any time, so check for updates before rebooking.
How do you know if you are eligible for the policies?
- Policies will vary from partner to partner, but many of them cover travel to highly impacted areas through the end of May. The dates and destinations change frequently as more is learned about the situation, so it’s super important for travelers to check in with their airline or hotel partner if they have an upcoming trip.
- Some hotels are also offering various flex policies, and if you’ve booked through Expedia, we have our own flex policy in place for all hotel bookings through May where we will take care of any fees upfront and make it as painless as possible.
What if I already have travel booked?
Consider following the below tips for a seamless trip:
- Check your local airport to find out if there is specific travel advice for passengers; depending on your departure or arrival airport, there may be additional security checks so allow yourself plenty of time to get checked in and to your gate.
- Stay up to date on the latest travel advisories, in case your origin or destination is impacted by coronavirus. Check these regularly so you have time to adjust travel plans as needed.
- If you do wish to make changes, we’re here to help. Visit our Customer Support Portal to find out your options.
If I booked a non-refundable ticket, am I still eligible for a refund?
- Policies will vary by carrier. Many airlines are issuing flex policies that offer flight credits for non-refundable travel through the end of May and eliminate cancellation and change fees. The easiest way to find out what your travel is eligible for is to check the airline’s website.
- In some cases airlines are required to provide a refund when a flight is cancelled or significantly delayed by the airline and no alternate flight is provided. For this to apply, a traveller usually must have an active ticket on that flight at the time it’s cancelled by the carrier. If the flights are still operating and the traveller elects to cancel a non-refundable ticket, any refund, credit or voucher will be at the airline’s discretion based on their policies.
- If you believe you’re eligible for a refund and you received a flight credit instead, you can get in touch with us and we’ll work with you and the airline to determine your eligibility.
When will I get my refund?
Due to the unprecedented volume of travel disruptions, there may be delays in processing reimbursements. We apologize for any wait and appreciate your patience.
- Lodging, Car and Activities: It may take up to 30 days to receive your refund. If the hotel processed the charge, they’ll determine the refund timeline.
- Flights: With the significant increase in flight cancellations across the travel industry, please note that most refunds will be issued within 8 weeks. Some refunds may take longer depending on the airline.
- Packages: Refund times for components of your trip including hotel, car and activities may take up to 30 days to process, while the flight portion of your trip may take up to 8 weeks.
What are general tips for travelers who still need or want to get away despite coronavirus?
Travelers should try to adhere to the guidance from government and public health officials to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The U.S. State Department has also warned Americans to no longer travel abroad. Of course, traveler safety is the most important thing so ultimately, it’s up to you to determine what’s best for you and your family.
- As a first step in planning any trip, check the Global Health and Travel Advisories for your intended destination. As the situation continues to evolve, airlines may change or reschedule flights.
- For a limited time, several airlines are waiving change fees on select flights booked in March. So we suggest filtering for those airlines where possible. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of your ticket before making any purchases.
- Most of our hotels offer free cancellation, so consider booking refundable hotels vs. non-refundable. Just look for the “free cancellation” message during your search. Prices can vary, but right now we believe that flexibility matters.
What’s the best way to find flights that have flexible change policies or are refundable?
Due to COVID-19, many of our trusted airline partners are waiving change fees for eligible new bookings,* so consider filtering for these airlines during your search.*Fares, fees, rules and offers are subject to change without notice. Please reference the airlines policies directly to verify eligibility.
How can I stay informed about COVID-19?
When making any decisions, make sure you stick to the facts. Trusted sources of information should be government websites, including the following: