Decided to cancel vacation to Egypt, what are my options?

Old Jan 27, 11, 11:17 am
  #1  
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Decided to cancel vacation to Egypt, what are my options?

My wife and I were slated to depart for Cairo, Egypt February 10th. We have decided to cancel due to recent protests. We have been to 23 countries, some of them dangerous, but this time we have a gut feeling that this is not the time to go. We do not want to spend our anniversary vacation in our hotel room.

KLM has been very unresponsive to this so far. Does anyone know my options? Yes, we have booked non-refundable tickets, and we've NEVER done this before, but we consider these extenuating circumstances. Can anyone help??

PJ
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Old Jan 27, 11, 12:01 pm
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Once (and if) the Dutch State Department issues an advisory recommending that Dutch nationals do not travel to Egypt, KL is likely to annouce a rebooking/refund policy.

Johan
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Old Jan 27, 11, 12:10 pm
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I dont nessicarily need a refund. Id be happy to just have a full credit without any change fees to rebook another trip. Does anyone know if thats possible?

PJ
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Old Jan 27, 11, 12:13 pm
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Not until the government declares it so....
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Old Jan 27, 11, 1:26 pm
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KLM has not issued a rebooking policy yet. Based on the current situation for Cairo I expect it to come soon.

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Old Jan 28, 11, 9:55 am
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Dutch Department of Foreign Affaires has changed the traveladvise from 2/6 (on 27/02) to 4/6 (at 28/02) which advises against 'non essential travel to certain areas', which includes (parts of) Cairo. Don't know at which level KLM will put a special rebooking policy in place. Website states nothing at the moment.
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Old Jan 28, 11, 3:36 pm
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KLM has changed the schedule temporarily to adapt to the curfew.
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Old Jan 28, 11, 6:44 pm
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I really hope KLM does something to help us out here. Obviously it's not wise for us to go. We'd be stuck in our hotel room the whole trip. Either that or lose our $775 each.

PJ
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Old Jan 28, 11, 7:53 pm
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Originally Posted by poppajon View Post
My wife and I were slated to depart for Cairo, Egypt February 10th. We have decided to cancel due to recent protests. We have been to 23 countries, some of them dangerous, but this time we have a gut feeling that this is not the time to go. We do not want to spend our anniversary vacation in our hotel room.

KLM has been very unresponsive to this so far. Does anyone know my options? Yes, we have booked non-refundable tickets, and we've NEVER done this before, but we consider these extenuating circumstances. Can anyone help??

PJ
Have you thought about going to Israel?
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Old Jan 29, 11, 2:10 am
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There is a rebooking policy in place for CAI flights:
Originally Posted by KLM
Rebook options
If your journey to, from or via Cairo is between Friday 28 January 2011 and Friday 4 February 2011 you may either change your travel dates, or change your destination. Please see below for more information.

If you have a fully flexible ticket, you can change your travel dates yourself via Manage my Booking.

If you have another fare type, you can contact us by telephone. Did you book your ticket via a travel agent? Please contact them to change your travel dates and/or destination.

We can also rebook your journey via Twitter and Facebook!
Go to www.Facebook.com/KLM
Go to twitter.com/KLM
We offer you the following rebook options and conditions:

1. Change of travel dates
The following conditions apply:

•If your journey is to, from or via Cairo, change of 1 outbound journey and 1 inbound journey on KLM, Air France and Delta Air Lines flights is permitted free of charge
•Outbound travel should occur no later than Monday 28 February 2011
•Penalties and change fees do not apply
•Re-booking is possible only if seats are available in the same booking class as stated in the original ticket
•If only a higher booking class then the one stated in the ticket is available, then the difference in fare will be charged when rebooking. Penalties and change fees do not apply
•Rebooking must be completed at the latest on Friday 4 February 2011



2. Change of destination
You may use the full value of your original tickets to buy new tickets of the same or a higher AIR FRANCE, KLM and/or Delta Air Lines fare.

•When rebooking to a higher booking class, you need to pay the fare difference (change fee penalties will be waived).
•When rebooking to a lower booking class, the fare difference will not be refunded.
•If your journey is to, from or via any of the above mentioned airports, rebooking and re-issuing of tickets must be done by the end of the day on Friday 4 February.

Refunds
If your flight to, from or via Cairo was cancelled by KLM or the flight was delayed for more than 5 hours and you did not travel, you are entitled to a full refund of your ticket. Refunds are not possible in other cases.

If you bought your ticket via KLM.com, a KLM ticket office or KLM Telephone Reservations, and your ticket number starts with 074, you can apply for a refund by filling out our online refund form. This will avoid long waiting times at our sales and service centres. If you booked via a travel agent, you should contact them directly.
Link
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Old Jan 29, 11, 3:14 am
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KL Cairo rebooking policy here.

Johan
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Old Jan 29, 11, 6:37 am
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The problem faced by the OP is that their departure is outside of the period covered by the rebooking policy. This means that they will either have to wait and - sorry for the paradox - 'hope things get worse' in Egypt so that the policy is extended, or hope for a gesture of good will.

Sadly, the first possibility sounds very likely to me as it seems that the situations could become increasingly chaotic and violent in days to come. I would consider the second possibility quite likely but there is clearly no guarantee.

BTW, you said you had a non-changeable ticket and have 'decided to cancel' the trip. What does it mean in practice? Have you effectively cancelled any part of your trip already or have you actually only asked KL what was possible?

My advice would be as follows. Go to a KL ticket counter (airport or otherwise) and explain that you are booked to go to Egypt for your anniversary on 10 February and just don't want to because of the situation. Explain that you know that so far the rebooking policy is only for trips till 4/2 but that this is your anniversary trip and you need to change hotel plans etc before you start losing out big. Explain that you would be happy with a change of destination (if you have a plan B, someone mentions Israel which is very nice but you can think of other places with similar fares if you want) or a change of dates (if this would indeed be an option for you).

My guess is that with this approach, you would have a good chance to obtain a sensible solution. What would hinder your efforts would be (1) if they think you are going there righteously (technically, you have no 'right' as yet but you want a swift solution that would be reasonable for all involved), (2) if you choose any other communication channel (phone and email are just not the same as face to face and ticketing offices have supervisors who can authorise those things), (3) if you ask for a credit (let alone a refund of course) - those are much more hassle to issue/process than a rebooking, so if you want to maximise your chances, do your homework first and go to the ticket office with your planned itinerary in mind and ask for the rebooking instead.

There is of course no guarantee that this will work but I would think that this would maximise your chances...
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Old Jan 29, 11, 8:31 am
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We will probably wait a few more days before we seriously approach KLM for a rebook, as sadly - the situation appears to only be getting worse. We've talked to a few people from KLM who pretty much said at the least we can rebook with no fees, and we have a few weddings to go to this year.

Otherwise, yes we have officially canceled our trip. Was able to cancel all hotels with no fees, and now working with Egypt air (who is being a lot more cooperative), even though that flight wasnt much money.

Thanks for the suggestions on Isreal... It is definatly on the list. But we really had our hearts set on standing next to the pyramids for our aniversery...

PJ
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Old Jan 29, 11, 9:37 am
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I'm quite confident the rebooking policy will be extended. Good luck to the OP.

There are many great places to visit on this planet. Surprise yourself!
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Old Jan 29, 11, 5:11 pm
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Originally Posted by poppajon View Post
Thanks for the suggestions on Isreal... It is definatly on the list. But we really had our hearts set on standing next to the pyramids for our aniversery...

PJ
The Pyramids are beautiful, and the Cairo museum is fantastic, but to be honest, Jerusalem is pretty magic, and I'm sure that if you are standing on the Mount of Olive Trees looking down at the Old Jerusalem with its fascinating history for your anniversary it will be at least as unforgiveable (even more so in my mind because the Pyramids are more or less swallowed by growing modern Cairo and more 'contaminated' by a fairly aggressive tourism industry)...
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