About That $291 Roundtrip Deal To Beijing, China…

coronavirus
image: google maps

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…

Final Thoughts:

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.

8 thoughts on “About That $291 Roundtrip Deal To Beijing, China…

  1. I was able to get our flights to Shanghai on Air Canada fully refunded today as well with Expedia. It took 2 hours 20 min on the phone, but got 5 tix at $380 each fully refunded with no penalty.

  2. I’m sure a savvy traveller such as yourself has travel insurance, if not for you, for your child. Claim on that.

  3. Dennis T- Excellent. I think if I had waited a few days before calling, Expedia would’ve been able to cancel in a quicker time.

    Eagertraveler- I have nothing to claim, Expedia was able to cancel without any penalty. As for travel insurance, we rarely buy it. We have considered annual plans but never committed to one.

  4. Beijing to Wuhan is like Paris to Rome, a huge distance. If your trip had been to Wuhan itself, cancelling would have been the obvious move, but over a thousand kilometers away? A personal choice, I suppose. I presume you were supposed to leave in the very near future?

  5. I agree with your decision to be on the safe side and cancel the trip.
    Just to clarify, the CDC Level 3 warning is in effect for Wuhan, not for (all) China as you stated. The rest of China is still Level 1.

  6. Christian- Our flights both ways stopped in Wuhan. I don’t think I mentioned that in this post. Regardless, with the coronavirus spreading so rapidly I don’t think it would be wise to go to China at this time.

    Rupert- Thanks for pointing that out. I checked the CDC again and the Hubei Province which Wuhan is a part of is a Level 3. The post has been updated.

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