Work from Home Diary 3: Upcoming Travel Plans (Cancel Now or Wait it Out?)

Good afternoon everyone, happy Friday.  I started sharing my thoughts regarding working from home in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.  For today’s update, I wanted to discuss upcoming travel plans and my plans for those trips.  As of today, I have 4 trips on the books.  These trips are not set in stone and could be cancelled by myself or the airlines before departure depending upon how things are going in the world.  We are taking things slowly and focusing on 1 day at a time.

Trip 1 – Mother’s Day Weekend

My next trip is in mid-May for Mother’s Day Weekend.  I was planning on flying down from San Francisco (SFO) to Orange County (SNA) to visit my parents and grandparents.  I have flown down for Mother’s Day weekend for the last few years and enjoy seeing my family.  This trip was booked with Citi Thank You Points for basic economy travel on Alaska Airlines.  If the situation in California remains the same (all Californias are told to stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus), I will probably cancel my trip and hold onto travel funds for a future trip.

Mother’s Day dinner in St Kitts (2017)

Trip 2 – Rescheduled Kauai Trip

After we cancelled our last minute trip to Kauai for Laura’s spring break, I decided to move this trip to June.  I have 2 roundtrip flights booked with Southwest Airlines points for travel from Oakland (OAK) to Lihue (LIH).  Based on how things stand in May / early June, we may need to move this trip.  Since we booked the flights with SWA points, we can easily change our travel dates or completely cancel this trip and have the SWA points redeposited into our SWA accounts.  I do not have any hotels, rental car, or activities booked.

Grant enjoying shaved ice in Kauai

Trip 3 – Boston, New York City and Orange County

Laura and I are planning to visit Boston and New York City at the end of June and then spend Fourth of July weekend in Orange County.  We really wanted to see the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and New York Mets play along with seeing a few Broadway musicals, but that is seriously in jeopardy.  If baseball is cancelled / postponed and Broadway remains closed, we will cancel our trip to Boston and New York City.  We booked redeye JetBlue flights from San Francisco (SFO) to Boston (BOS) and I used my American Express Business Platinum airline credit for upgraded seat assignments.  In Boston, I used my Hilton free weekend night certificate to stay at the Hilton Boston Downtown/Faneuil Hall.  We booked an Amtrak train ride from Boston to New York City using Amtrak points.  In New York City, I used my 50K Marriott free night certificate to stay at the Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel.  I have a 2 night stay at a Hilton timeshare property in NYC.  We are then flying from New York LaGuardia (LGA) to Dallas (DFW) to Orange County (SNA) on American Airlines.  I used my American Express Gold Card airline travel credit for preferred seat assignments.  I picked these flight because I wanted to check out the LGA Centurion Lounge and show Laura the DFW Centurion Lounge.  I hope those lounges reopen by early July.  In Orange County, we plan to stay at my parents house for Fourth of July weekend before flying back up to San Francisco.

If we do not go to Boston or New York City, I will cancel our JetBlue flights booked with points, our Amtrak trip booked with points, and our American Airlines flights booked with points.  We may fly down to Orange County for the weekend or drive down for the entire week.  We will have to wait and see what happens in the next few months.

Not quite Broadway… Mrs. Doubtfire Musical at 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle

Trip 4 – Victoria Falls, South Africa & Madagascar

My friend and I planned a big trip to Africa in mid-August.  We are planning to fly Ethiopian Airlines from Toronto (YYZ) to Addis Ababa (ADD) to Victoria Falls (VFA).  Explore Victoria Falls for a few days.  Then fly down to Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB) for a few days and then over to Antananarivo, Madagascar (TNR) for a few days.  Then we would fly Ethiopian Airlines back home to the US.  My flights are booked with a combination of Air Canada Aeroplan miles, Avianca LifeMiles, Citi Thank You Points, and Chase Ultimate Reward Points.  All of our hotels are booked with Marriott points.  Cancelling the hotels will be easy, but I’m not sure how difficult it will be to cancel the award tickets with Air Canada Aeroplan miles and Avianca LifeMiles, or what the process will be to cancel the paid tickets bought with Citi TYPs and Chase URs.  The paid tickets cost ~$720 so not a huge loss if we can’t get a refund or use the travel credits.  I am really hoping I can get back all the miles used for the long distance international business class flights – hopefully the cancellation fees won’t be too expensive.

Victoria Falls in Africa. Image source: https://victoriafallstourism.org/

As of today, I am planning to wait and see how events unfold around the world in the next few weeks / months.  I would rather wait a few weeks / months for the airlines to cancel the flights and give me a full refund, instead of me calling to cancel the tickets and paying cancelation fees.  I just have to wait and see what happens.

If you are in a similar situation, are you more inclined to wait it and see what happens or are you more proactive and cancelling your upcoming trips?  Let me know your logic / thought process in the comments section.  Have a great weekend everyone!

6 thoughts on “Work from Home Diary 3: Upcoming Travel Plans (Cancel Now or Wait it Out?)

    1. Grant Post author

      Yes, that is always a possibility. If the airlines go out of business next week or next year before I have a chance to use my travel credit, I think I am both out of luck. I don’t think my travel reward credit cards (Chase Sapphire Reserve) works if the airline goes out of business, but I would still try that approach first.

      Reply
  1. Liz

    A friend and I were planning on Vegas, 4/25-28, and our Cirque show was just canceled so we decided to call it. Hoping to reschedule in Sept. I was flying SWA there and Delta back, both booked with miles; both were surprisingly easy to get my mileage refunds – Delta normally charges $150 change fee but they waived it. Right now they’re doing that for flights through 4/30.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Liz, sorry about your trip to Las Vegas. I think you made the right call to reschedule your trip to September. I’m glad to hear that Delta was able to waive your $150 change fee. Have a great weekend :)

      Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      I just checked and it looks like it would cost $150 to cancel my JetBlue award ticket. I’ll just wait it out and try again in a month.

      Reply

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