Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Coronavirus and travel
Reload this Page >

6 weeks of hotel reservations, down to 2 that won't cancel/refund

6 weeks of hotel reservations, down to 2 that won't cancel/refund

Old Jul 4, 20, 10:57 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 336
6 weeks of hotel reservations, down to 2 that won't cancel/refund

I had made 6 weeks worth of hotel reservations in Europe for this summer (supposed to be there now) but obviously, Americans are banned.

Some took longer than others to be reasonable, but only two hotels over a dozen have refused to do so.

The first is AG Hotels in Italy. They bought the hotel I had booked in Rome, and they are adamantly refusing to refund our money, even though they know (or maybe because they know) we are not allowed in the country.

The second is *********** Hotels in Greece. Same story. They have had months and months of warning where they could have rebooked our villa to someone who can come into their country - I begged them to, and they still could (UPDATE BELOW) - but they absolutely refuse to and its seems their plan is to keep our money instead.

The Italy one I can eat, but the Greece one is $3k.

Every other hotel in Europe has been reasonable (eventually) and this has me pretty much swearing off anything but international chains for the rest of my life. And no I cannot just go back to Europe next summer and accept a voucher - which is what they really want, keep my money and keep someone else's money too, during a pandemic! - as we will be unable to travel for at least two years after this.

I haven't filed chargebacks against either of these two companies. They were both booked on Chase Sapphire Preferred. I have read the trip cancellation insurance and it seems unless one of us gets Covid just in time, we won't meet their limited criteria. I have tried to reason with them. Does anyone have any idea what I could do, any options I may not have thought of? It's insane we are banned from their countries now and they just get to keep our money when they didn't even try to rebook their rooms. And 90%+ of hotels have been reasonable.

UPDATE: On a hunch, I checked the hotel in greece, and they have our nights listed, and they've already re-rented our villa for two of our four nights, so they can't even accommodate us even if we could come now. So clearly the plan here is they know we are Americans and can't come, so we can't show up and prove that they can't give us our villa (there aren't two rooms available or something, its an entire house), but to keep our money *and* re-rent it to someone else.

What do I do about this? It's completely insane these people are profiteering off a pandemic. I am so disgusted by this whole situation.

Last edited by miadeals; Jul 4, 20 at 11:48 pm
miadeals is offline  
Old Jul 4, 20, 11:17 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,809
This has been the experience of travellers from all over the world the last few months.

​​​​If you booked a non refundable rate, and they are not closed, then insurance is your only bet. Chargeback will also fail as they are able and willing to provide you with a service.

Good luck. It's become almost a hobby for me to try to get refunds.
Dan1113 is offline  
Old Jul 5, 20, 2:09 am
  #3  
Senior Mod and Moderator: Aegean Miles&Bonus and British Airways
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Norwich, UK
Programs: A3*G, BA Gold, BD Gold (in memoriam), IHG Spire Ambassador
Posts: 6,704
Originally Posted by miadeals View Post
Every other hotel in Europe has been reasonable (eventually) and this has me pretty much swearing off anything but international chains for the rest of my life. And no I cannot just go back to Europe next summer and accept a voucher - which is what they really want, keep my money and keep someone else's money too, during a pandemic! - as we will be unable to travel for at least two years after this.
Fortunately I only had one pre-paid forward booking, which was with a Radisson hotel - they didn’t refund but only gave me a limited time credit for that specific hotel that I may or may not be able to use given it’s in Sweden, so I don’t think refunds are necessarily a certainty even with international chains.

There’s a really good chance that Europe will be open to US visitors next year, so if you are being offered a credit in the absence of a refund then maybe that’s something you should reconsider. If, on the other hand, it’s your own decision not to travel for two years then perhaps you’ll understand why the hotel isn’t offering you a refund - it’ll probably never see you again!

UPDATE: On a hunch, I checked the hotel in greece, and they have our nights listed, and they've already re-rented our villa for two of our four nights, so they can't even accommodate us even if we could come now. So clearly the plan here is they know we are Americans and can't come, so we can't show up and prove that they can't give us our villa (there aren't two rooms available or something, its an entire house), but to keep our money *and* re-rent it to someone else.
When you asked the hotel for a refund, did you also categorically state you wouldn’t be travelling? If so, they may have processed your cancellation and just applied the non-cancellable, money forfeited criteria you booked under. That would leave them free to re-offer the villa for hire. It’s probably also pertinent to ask when you asked for your refund. If it was many weeks ago, at the point when the US infection rate was still declining, the hotel could not have known what the position was going to be. If now, for imminent travel, then you have more of a case.

Last edited by NWIFlyer; Jul 5, 20 at 2:21 am
NWIFlyer is offline  
Old Jul 5, 20, 2:19 am
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, SW Florida, and Toronto
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Discovery Black, and assorted others
Posts: 27,761
I’m not taking sides with the hotel, but would like to offer you a different perspective.

If you have booked a non-refundable rate and don’t show up, that’s not the hotel’s problem. That’s why non-refundable rates are usually lower than flexible or refundable ones. The reason for you not showing up is also not the hotel’s problem, even if, in this case, you might like to travel but are not permitted into the country. That is what is called force majeure and is usually covered by your travel insurance (have you checked into yours?). Also, hotels often overbook, knowing that some people don’t show up. Checking the website for a booking isn’t usually conclusive proof that your room/villa has been double-booked. As noted above, a chargeback will most likely fail as the hotel is willing to provide the service or offer you a reasonable alternative (voucher).

But I agree, the whole thing is a pain.
LondonElite is offline  
Old Jul 5, 20, 8:06 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 7,913
You can possibly get a dr's note advising against all non-essential travel due to your medical status/covid. With this you can try to make the insurance claim.
erik123 is offline  
Old Jul 5, 20, 8:15 am
  #6  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 91,862
Can the OP possibly sell the booked reservation for another guest’s use, maybe at a discount? Or add a different guest’s name and let them check it out?

Even if the hotel were to appear overbooked before check-in date, it may not be oversold and available on check in date.

[Redacted OT comment and response]
ajGoes likes this.

Last edited by NewbieRunner; Jul 5, 20 at 8:55 am
GUWonder is offline  
Old Jul 5, 20, 9:27 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Programs: Delta
Posts: 16
You mention you have not initiated charge backs? Why not? Another poster indicates that option would not work if villa is open and available etc. It is NOT available to this traveler and therefore I think a charge back is worth a try. After repeated attempts to reason with a hotel in France where US travelers cannot enter I got my refund. I would try it on both bookings. Insurance will never help with Covid at least not the US insurance we get. I too verified that my exact room was fully rebooked for my dates. You cannot collect money twice for the same room and a voucher is of no value to me nor do I want to have to wait the 18 months.
Turaj is offline  
Old Jul 5, 20, 12:41 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 34
I will initiate the chargeback regardless the outcome. At this point, it's better to work with chase than those hotels.
Taikucing is offline  
Old Jul 5, 20, 1:27 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, SW Florida, and Toronto
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Discovery Black, and assorted others
Posts: 27,761
Originally Posted by Turaj View Post
You mention you have not initiated charge backs? Why not? Another poster indicates that option would not work if villa is open and available etc. It is NOT available to this traveler and therefore I think a charge back is worth a try. After repeated attempts to reason with a hotel in France where US travelers cannot enter I got my refund. I would try it on both bookings. Insurance will never help with Covid at least not the US insurance we get. I too verified that my exact room was fully rebooked for my dates. You cannot collect money twice for the same room and a voucher is of no value to me nor do I want to have to wait the 18 months.
Sure you can collect money twice for the same hotel room or airline seat. It happens every day! Iím fairly certain a chargeback will fail but there is no harm in trying.
LondonElite is offline  
Old Jul 5, 20, 5:51 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 138
First of all. Congratulations on getting most of your refunds back! Major accomplishment. I know that this doesn't make the sting of losing money any easier. You do have good company. Almost everyone who has had to cancel a trip this summer has had some loses. It's not fun, sometimes it feels unfair, but you eventually have to accept that it has happened and move on.
pt flyer is offline  
Old Jul 5, 20, 7:12 pm
  #11  
_fx
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: SEA
Programs: AS 75K
Posts: 359
You filed with Chase and they denied it? I was under the impression inability to travel due to mandatory quarantine or border restriction WAS covered (while simple disinclination to travel was not).

ďQuarantine of you or your travel companion imposed by a physician or by a competent governmental authority having jurisdiction, due to health reasons, is a covered event.ď

I would assume the Italian government counts as a ďcompetent governmental authority,Ē and not being permitted to enter counts as a form of quarantine.

Nothing in this phrasing says you must have Covid. Iíd argue the clause ďDue to health reasonsĒ could be referring to the health of the general public.
_fx is offline  
Old Jul 5, 20, 10:41 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: BDU
Programs: DL:MM, Marriott:LTT
Posts: 8,778
Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Sure you can collect money twice for the same hotel room or airline seat. It happens every day! Iím fairly certain a chargeback will fail but there is no harm in trying.
OT, but several years ago I had finished an engagement in CVG and was being dropped off at the airport when my phone rang. My boss asked if I could fly to DFW to cover something the next day. Cost did not matter as it was not coming out of our budget but out of the salesperson's budget because she caused the underlying mistake. The salesperson knew the walk-up fare would be high. The flight to DFW was boarding but the check-in agent was able to sell me the ticket for $1,500 o/w. As soon as the agent got the cc approval an announcement was made looking for a volunteer who would accept a $500 credit to fly the next day. The volunteer and I stood at the gate desk together while the paperwork was completed. He told me how great it was that he was getting $500 for a $199 ticket. I told him I was happy that I was able to get to DFW and we both agreed the airline was happy to come out $1,300 ahead of where they thought they would be when the flight started to board. Win-win-win.
LondonElite and the810 like this.
CJKatl is offline  
Old Jul 6, 20, 1:57 am
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 336
Originally Posted by NWIFlyer View Post
Fortunately I only had one pre-paid forward booking, which was with a Radisson hotel - they didnít refund but only gave me a limited time credit for that specific hotel that I may or may not be able to use given itís in Sweden, so I donít think refunds are necessarily a certainty even with international chains.

Thereís a really good chance that Europe will be open to US visitors next year, so if you are being offered a credit in the absence of a refund then maybe thatís something you should reconsider. If, on the other hand, itís your own decision not to travel for two years then perhaps youíll understand why the hotel isnít offering you a refund - itíll probably never see you again!

When you asked the hotel for a refund, did you also categorically state you wouldnít be travelling? If so, they may have processed your cancellation and just applied the non-cancellable, money forfeited criteria you booked under. That would leave them free to re-offer the villa for hire. Itís probably also pertinent to ask when you asked for your refund. If it was many weeks ago, at the point when the US infection rate was still declining, the hotel could not have known what the position was going to be. If now, for imminent travel, then you have more of a case.
We have not cancelled the reservation because we do not want to forfeit the money; we have been absolutely clear about that. And in fact our reservation is still showing active and confirmed in their system. We also have not asked for a voucher or to move to different days. Unfortunately they know we are from the US so I guess they took it upon themselves to double dip here. Even after greece was closed for good I contacted them again to inquire about a refund if we are banned and their response was "the list is reevaluated every 14 days" so on one hand they are telling us we might be allowed in greece (aka, its our fault for not showing), and on the other hand they've already rented out our villa for half our trip to someone else (because they've obviously concluded we will not be allowed in.)

We originally asked if our reservation could be refunded in March (when my spouse was thrown out of work and her vacation time stripped from her) and they told us that was too early (but we are not horrible people, so we wanted to give them the opportunity to re-rent it if it was in fact open later in the year.) Then in April. Then in May. Then in June. They kept telling us that it would be reevaluated later. I'm not stupid, I would never ask, nor agree to, cancel a reservation without a refund - I lose everything, and in the end I might as well leave it open in case the Travel Insurance is triggered for some reason. But again, they clearly have taken it upon themselves to double dip based on their belief we will not be able to show up. Pretty disgusting. They've already been paid in full for the room. Now they're profiteering.

My wife will not be allowed to travel next year, and we will be in no financial position to do so in any case. We have to save vacation for two years to take trips like this, and its was all taken from us when our country failed. A voucher would be of no use to us whatsoever. (The funniest part is all these hotels won't let you transfer the vouchers either - again, disgusting. There is absolutely no basis for this - why I am not allowed to gift this trip to my best friend if I know I am unable to go? They are hoping you can't come and they profit.)

Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Iím not taking sides with the hotel, but would like to offer you a different perspective.

If you have booked a non-refundable rate and donít show up, thatís not the hotelís problem. Thatís why non-refundable rates are usually lower than flexible or refundable ones. The reason for you not showing up is also not the hotelís problem, even if, in this case, you might like to travel but are not permitted into the country. That is what is called force majeure and is usually covered by your travel insurance (have you checked into yours?). Also, hotels often overbook, knowing that some people donít show up. Checking the website for a booking isnít usually conclusive proof that your room/villa has been double-booked. As noted above, a chargeback will most likely fail as the hotel is willing to provide the service or offer you a reasonable alternative (voucher).

But I agree, the whole thing is a pain.
The world finds itself in a pretty unique place and I am not a horrible person so I would never do this to my customers, figuring they're never coming back anyways. What I would do in the situation is offer a deal - I would relist the room, and if its sold, refund the money. Almost 20 other hotels aren't acting like this - this behavior isn't normal. This is the small minority of people, the type of people who horde masks and hand sanitizer and price gouge, the people profiteering off a pandemic. I would even understand if they refuse to refund but also don't attempt to re-rent this unique villa in greece - I fully realize they didn't cause this pandemic. But what they are doing is absolutely disgusting. I know it has been rebooked for the second half our nights, and it is available to book for the first two also (I went through the entire booking process to see if that was the case; it is.)

The travel insurance we have on this room is only through Chase, and none of the clauses have been triggered yet. Ironically, if we would be allowed in but quarantined in greece, we would have a fighting chance. But because they've banned us outright, none of the situations covered apply.

Its weird to me that anyone would defend them in this situation: imagine someone comes to you in advance trying to work our something that would work for both of you, but instead you use that information to double dip and force a hardline instead, in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. But this is the world we live in I guess. I should count my blessings that the majority of humans aren't like this.
miadeals is offline  
Old Jul 6, 20, 2:24 am
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 336
Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
You can possibly get a dr's note advising against all non-essential travel due to your medical status/covid. With this you can try to make the insurance claim.
One of our travel parties has a note to that effect (a serious lung condition) but the not does not say "quarantine" on it. I know chase is not looking to pay out millions of claims this year so I imagine you will have to follow every rule to the T. But this could be an option; it just isn't a slam dunk, more of a hail mary.

Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Can the OP possibly sell the booked reservation for another guest’s use, maybe at a discount? Or add a different guest’s name and let them check it out?

Even if the hotel were to appear overbooked before check-in date, it may not be oversold and available on check in date.

[Redacted OT comment and response]
They will not allow me to; obviously because they have already sold half my nights to someone else and this would cause quite the issue! This is not a hotel, this is a unique villa of which only one exists.

Originally Posted by Turaj View Post
You mention you have not initiated charge backs? Why not? Another poster indicates that option would not work if villa is open and available etc. It is NOT available to this traveler and therefore I think a charge back is worth a try. After repeated attempts to reason with a hotel in France where US travelers cannot enter I got my refund. I would try it on both bookings. Insurance will never help with Covid at least not the US insurance we get. I too verified that my exact room was fully rebooked for my dates. You cannot collect money twice for the same room and a voucher is of no value to me nor do I want to have to wait the 18 months.
Another party traveling with us freaked out and initiated a chargeback against a hotel that wouldn't work with them and it was denied. You can't just chargeback non-refundable hotel rooms without the reason basically being "the hotel itself has canceled your reservation" - they are very difficult to win otherwise. (Maybe you'd have a shot with Amex lol.)

Originally Posted by _fx View Post
You filed with Chase and they denied it? I was under the impression inability to travel due to mandatory quarantine or border restriction WAS covered (while simple disinclination to travel was not).

Quarantine of you or your travel companion imposed by a physician or by a competent governmental authority having jurisdiction, due to health reasons, is a covered event.“

I would assume the Italian government counts as a “competent governmental authority,” and not being permitted to enter counts as a form of quarantine.

Nothing in this phrasing says you must have Covid. I’d argue the clause “Due to health reasons” could be referring to the health of the general public.
We are not technically quarantined by the Italian government - they won't let us in to be quarantined! Had we not been banned, but put on 2 weeks quarantine, we could have won! This move royally screwed us. My point was that *if* one of us got it, we would then in fact be quarantined - however, I bet Chase is going to be fighting these on the grounds that we were not allowed to fly anyways, even if we were quarantined. I'm worried they'll make the same argument no matter which condition is triggered! So this is a hail mary again...it may work? But I imagine Chase (or the reinsurer) is not trying to pay out millions of these claims.

Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Sure you can collect money twice for the same hotel room or airline seat. It happens every day! I’m fairly certain a chargeback will fail but there is no harm in trying.
Sure, provide me compensation for my room. They can refund it tomorrow. Again, this is a unique villa, not an interchangeable airline seat or generic hotel room. The only reason they are attempting this is because of the pandemic.

Originally Posted by pt flyer View Post
First of all. Congratulations on getting most of your refunds back! Major accomplishment. I know that this doesn't make the sting of losing money any easier. You do have good company. Almost everyone who has had to cancel a trip this summer has had some loses. It's not fun, sometimes it feels unfair, but you eventually have to accept that it has happened and move on.
The majority of people on earth have not been horrific during this pandemic so that has helped in our favor. Most humans are empathetic to each other at times like these. There are just some that see an easy profit to be made at others expense. But again, this is a small minority. And I have other losses, these are just my two hotel losses so far. There are plenty of nonrefundable plane tickets as well; we are losing thousands. On top of the thousands in wages we have lost. This has been an absolutely horrific year. In any case, I haven't given up hope yet, I just came here to see if anyone had any other ideas I could try or that hadn't occurred to me.

Originally Posted by CJKatl View Post
OT, but several years ago I had finished an engagement in CVG and was being dropped off at the airport when my phone rang. My boss asked if I could fly to DFW to cover something the next day. Cost did not matter as it was not coming out of our budget but out of the salesperson's budget because she caused the underlying mistake. The salesperson knew the walk-up fare would be high. The flight to DFW was boarding but the check-in agent was able to sell me the ticket for $1,500 o/w. As soon as the agent got the cc approval an announcement was made looking for a volunteer who would accept a $500 credit to fly the next day. The volunteer and I stood at the gate desk together while the paperwork was completed. He told me how great it was that he was getting $500 for a $199 ticket. I told him I was happy that I was able to get to DFW and we both agreed the airline was happy to come out $1,300 ahead of where they thought they would be when the flight started to board. Win-win-win.
That sounds wonderful, I wish that instead of trying to sell my seat and not provide me compensation, they would instead provide me compensation. In fact that is exactly what I am asking. They should see if someone else wants the villa, and if they do, refund me after accepting payment from the other people. Or let me sell my reservation. But weirdly (not weirdly, actually) they won't let me sell it, nor gift it, because it will put them in a huge bind, having profited off a pandemic, having sold the same villa twice.

Last edited by miadeals; Jul 6, 20 at 3:11 am
miadeals is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: