Canceling a Trip: You should know about it

Despite the many customer-friendly offers, vacationers can incur high costs if they cancel the booked trip. Because the organizers’ flexible cancellation policies often only apply up to fourteen days prior to travel. So what to do?

Even if the rules on the crown have long since been relaxed in many countries around the world and entry is possible in many places without any problems: at the moment no one knows what the situation will be in the fall or winter. Nobody is immune to the (recovery) corona infection that forces you to isolate – and therefore cancel your vacation. And this is not uncommon: in around two-thirds of the cases, the customer leaves the service shortly before the start of the journey – as a consequence, he has to bear the costs himself. And steep: shortly before departure, about 80 percent of the travel price is due on average.

Another problem: the traveler is already there and has to interrupt his journey due to illness. Without insurance cover, he is then left with the cost of lost travel services. The same applies if he has to unintentionally extend his trip, for example due to illness or quarantine.

Here are the most important answers to questions about canceling a trip:

Can the trip generally be canceled?

Yes of course. Booking a tour is an agreement with the tour operator which you can withdraw from. However, time is of the utmost importance. First things first: if you are unable to go on a booked tour it is a good idea to contact the tour operator at an early stage. With a bit of luck and negotiation skills, you can find a solution together. This applies, for example, to rescheduling a trip or rebooking to another person. All you need to do is pay the processing fee.

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Cancellation of an organized trip

If no alternative is found and the trip has to be canceled, the booking party will be charged a fee. Their amount depends on the type of trip and the time of cancellation. And they vary depending on the provider. It is therefore worth getting acquainted with the General Conditions of Travel (ARB). There are tiered rates listed there. The sooner you have to cancel your trip, the higher the fares. Everything less than 30 days before departure will then be expensive. If you cancel shortly before starting, you even have to pay the full price of the trip.

Cancellation of an Individual Trip

If you have booked the hotel and flight separately, please refer to the relevant contractual conditions. Hotel operators determine if the cancellation is free, if a cancellation fee is due, or if the full amount is to be paid. It is best to pick up the phone and talk to the hotel employee.

Many airlines offer cheap airline tickets that cannot be canceled. The right to terminate is contractually waived upon booking. However, the costs of taxes and fees are still recoverable. However, the airlines need strength. Consumer ombudsmen have long complained about completely unacceptable airline reimbursement practices.

A woman looking at the departures board at the airport

Daniel Lim

Cancellation Fees: Who Pays Now?

In fact, the person who booked the trip pays the costs. However, in the case of travel cancellation insurance, the situation is different. This includes cancellation costs in the event of any unexpected serious illness, accident, job change, sudden unemployment, pregnancy complication or property damage (e.g. house fire). Some insurers, such as Debeka, offer packages that even include travel cancellation and baggage insurance.

With additional protection against Covid-19, Ergo travel insurance offers campers comprehensive protection for their travels. Additional Covid-19 coverage is purchased in addition to your travel cancellation or interruption insurance or Ergo comprehensive travel insurance coverage and costs € 13 with or € 15 net of deductible, regardless of age. Additional coverage can also be purchased with the annual travel insurance.

Subsidiary protection includes personal quarantine and quarantine ordered individually by the authority. In the event of an extension of the holiday stay due to quarantine, all additional accommodation costs up to EUR 1000 are covered, as well as the costs of a new, changed air ticket.

Trip cancellation: specific case “force majeure”

If your trip becomes unacceptable due to “force majeure”, you can cancel your trip free of charge. Force majeure includes, for example, political unrest, natural disasters – or the price of travel suddenly soars. Incidentally, the threat of terrorism does not justify the free cancellation of your trip. Only if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a travel alert, this can be a guide and should be contacted with the tour operator.

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