The i-escape blog / Michael Cullen

By Michael Cullen, Director 

Coronavirus is playing havoc with travel: cancellation confusion, quarantine chaos, loosening lockdowns. Through it all, we are committed to staying positive, patient and open in our dealings with all parties, so as to come out of this with partnerships, friendships and spirits intact. 

If you have a booking which you want to reschedule or cancel, read on for our guidelines. 

If you are making a new booking, or rescheduling a cancelled stay, check our special Flexible Booking Policy below. This is designed to give you as much peace of mind as possible.

 

Last updated: 23 June 2020


Our Flexible Booking Policy for new bookings

“Any initial deposits paid through i-escape are freely transferable to a different date or property on i-escape, if you have to cancel due to government-imposed Covid-19 travel restrictions.”

> This offer applies if the FCO (or your nation’s equivalent) advises against all but essential travel to your destination; or if the property closes or cannot honour your booking.

> It does not apply if the property remains open and there are no government restrictions in place. For example, if your flights are cancelled, or if you choose not to travel due to quarantine procedures, then normal cancellation terms apply.

> This offer covers initial deposits paid to i-escape. It does not cover any subsequent payments to the property.

> Terms and conditions apply: all bookings and rebookings are subject to paragraph 3 below.

> Valid for bookings made before 30 September 2020.

Always travel responsibly: observe current hygiene and distancing guidelines from government and health bodies, and do not travel if any of your party is showing symptoms of Covid-19.

 

Rescheduling or cancelling existing bookings

1a. If you can change the dates of your stay, this is our recommended course of action. It avoids making any claims, keeps the hotel or property afloat, and gives you something to look forward to. Please contact the hotel or property directly (their details are on your booking form) and forward the agreed new dates to us by email so that we can update your booking. We won’t charge any administration fee for this.

1b. If you want to cancel a stay which is over a month away, please wait! Unless the property has cancelled your stay from their site, any cancellation at this point may be considered ‘disinclination to travel’ on your part, and may be charged accordingly.

1c. If you definitely want to cancel a stay in the coming month, then read on.

2a. If you have travel insurance, please consult your insurers first. It is worth clarifying to them that i-escape is a booking agent rather than a tour- or package operator, and that you have presumably booked different travel elements individually (hotel, flight etc). If you need confirmation that your hotel is closed or has cancelled your booking, please first ask the hotel and if they are not answering, ask us.

2b. If you can’t change your dates or claim on travel insurance, then read on. You will need to know the payment policy on your reservation.

3. For flexible bookings where you paid an initial deposit (typically 10-20% of the total) to i-escape at the moment of booking, this initial deposit may be freely transferred to any future date, or to any other property (with flexible booking) on i-escape.

3a. If you want to reschedule at the same property, please contact them directly (their details are on your booking form) to rearrange dates; then let us know the new dates, and any adjustment to the cost or the room details, so that we can update your booking details on “My Escapes”. We won’t charge you for this adjustment – though there may be a change to the stay cost.

3b. If you want to book a different property, please first log in to My Escapes and cancel the original booking. Then email us with your cancellation reference; we will reply confirming the credit we are holding. If you have made further payments to the property (or if their cancellation policy suggests further charges are liable), please ask them if they can refund (or waive) these charges. They are not obliged to do so, especially if the rate is labelled “non-refundable”, but many will.

Note on stays in France, Greece, Italy or Portugal: these countries’ governments have passed laws which permit hotels to offer credit vouchers rather than refunds (even where the cancellation policy promises a refund). Whilst we are urging our partner hotels to offer refunds especially for overseas guests, it may be the case that they cite this law and offer you a credit voucher instead. This is beyond our control. We understand that these credit vouchers can be used within 12-18 months, or may be exchanged for cash thereafter. Further details:  FranceGreeceItalyPortugal

3c. When you are ready to rebook, please forward us the email credit note so that we can refund the relevant amount to you.

3d. Rebookings must be on a flexible rate i.e. where you are asked to pay an initial deposit (typically 10-20% of the total) to i-escape at the moment of booking. Bookings which require immediate full prepayment, or no deposit at all, are excluded.

3e. Rebookings must be made by 31 December 2020.

3f. The stay can be at any time in the future, including 2021 or even 2022.

4. For prepaid bookings where you paid the full amount at the moment of booking, please contact the hotel directly to request a refund or credit. These prepaid bookings are normally non-refundable, but under the circumstances some of our partner hotels are offering a credit (or occasionally a refund). If so, an admin charge of up to 15% may be deducted from your credit (or refund).

5. For all bookings made with an i-escape gift voucher, please contact us at [email protected]

 

What about my other travel costs?

For any travel expenses booked outside i-escape, such as flights or car hire or non-i-escape accommodation, unfortunately we cannot assist you.

 

Further advice on coronavirus

For the latest UK government advice around travel and coronavirus, see the FCO page.
For current UK government policy around coronavirus and staying healthy, see the NHS page.
For details on each country’s entry rules and restrictions, see the IATA page.
For the latest numbers of confirmed cases per country, see the Worldometer page.

 

We reserve the right to withdraw this Flexible Booking Policy at any time. Any qualifying bookings made before that point will still benefit from our Flexible Booking Policy.

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