A little over two weeks back I wrote about A Deal Too Good To Pass Up- $291.39 Roundtrip To Beijing, China.
I booked flights for myself and 8 year-old son Lucas to Beijing. We were both really excited to head back to China for a quick visit to Beijing and the Great Wall. It would also be our first Father- Son Trip in quite some time.
However, things changed around 10 days after booking.
Initially, news about the coronavirus in China didn’t sound so bad. It was reported that two people died at the beginning and around 100-200 were infected. However, as the days went by, the news seemed to get worse. More people died and many more were getting infected.
When I first started keeping a closer eye on what was going on, the CDC Traveler’s Health page listed China as a Watch Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions.
Regardless, I decided to reach out to Expedia about canceling my flight.
It took a while to explain the situation to the customer service reps, one of the downfalls of call centers being outsourced overseas… The reps initially thought I was worried that the airline might cancel our flight; this was never my concern.
(After failing to get my point across as to what I wanted to do, I requested a supervisor.)
Initially, the supervisor told me that the flight was only cancelable for a fee. He said Expedia was the travel agent and the airline made the rules. I understood the situation but mentioned that due to the coronavirus, which was essentially an outbreak, it probably wasn’t smart to travel to China with a child.
The supervisor said that Expedia would reach out to the airline (China Southern) to see if they’d allow for the cancellation. I got an e-mail confirming my request from Expedia and then a follow-up stating how they were coordinating with China Southern with regards to my request.
After a couple of more e-mails and days, I received an e-mail from Expedia. They had advocated for my request and China Southern gave them a “waiver to cancel the reservation without any penalty.”
So that deal which was too good to be passed up had to be passed up…
What can you do?
There are other deals to be found and I’m hoping something comes our way before mid-February. IMHO it isn’t worth the risk with something this serious.
Oh and as of today, the CDC finally raised China’s Hubei Province Warning Level to a 3- avoid nonessential travel.
Hopefully China gets the coronavirus under control soon. As each day passes, reports come out about more people getting infected. The death toll also keeps going up. Some cities are under lockdown, hopefully this helps.