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Coronavirus travel advice: Everything that you need to know

The entire travel industry is experiencing an unprecedented increase in service requests from customers due to the overwhelming impact of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

We’re really sorry for such long wait times due to the increase in call volumes. Every Expedia team member who can help is working to add more capacity, self-service options, and collaborating with many thousands of our global travel partners.

Importantly, we are focused on customers with travel in the next 72 hours. If your travel is not immediate, please visit our Customer Service Portal that includes online tools to help you change or cancel travel plans yourself.

Here's what you need to know:

Customers with Hotel Bookings (non-package/bundle):

  • For customers who booked a non-refundable rate prior to March 19, 2020 for stays between March 20, 2020, and April 30, 2020, we will email you in the coming days to ask if you wish to keep or cancel your existing booking. If you decide to cancel, you will be eligible for a full refund or, in some cases, a voucher allowing you to rebook the original property at later dates. There is no need to call us, however you must cancel your booking at least 24-hours before check-in in order to be eligible for this offer.
  • For customers who booked a non-refundable rate for stays after April 30, 2020, with the situation continuing to evolve, we will continue to work with travel partners as necessary to implement flexible policies.
  • For customers whose accommodation plans have already been impaired by COVID-19 and whose travel date has passed, we want to assure you that we are working to attend to your needs as well. We appreciate your patience.
  • For customers who have booked a refundable rate, please visit our Customer Service Portal to change or cancel.
  • For those looking to make a new booking, we strongly recommend choosing a rate that allows for free cancellation.

Customers with Flight Bookings (non-package/bundle):

  • For customers with a flight booking, we will email you in the coming days to ask if you wish to keep or cancel your existing booking. Terms and conditions for credits of each specific carrier will apply.
  • For customers whose flights have already been impaired by COVID-19 and whose travel date has passed, we want to assure you that we are working with our partners to attend to your needs.

Customers with Package/Bundle Bookings:

  • We want to assure you that we are working to assess the needs of customers who booked a package/bundle and will provide guidance as soon as we can. We appreciate your patience.

While we are adjusting our operations and policies as quickly as possible, we do ask for patience and reiterate that if your travel is not within the next 72 hours, please wait until your trip is closer so we can prioritise urgent customer queries and resolve cases faster.

We thank you for your continued understanding. There’s nothing more important to us than you, our customers, remaining safe through this stressful time. All of us at Expedia value you and are grateful for your business.

We will keep this page regularly updated to ensure we are providing the latest guidance, travel suggestions, and links to pertinent COVID-19 information so you can rest easy when making your travel plans.

 

Important links

  • If you’re looking for more information on how to change a potentially impacted trip, please visit our Customer Service Portal
  • To learn more about COVID-19, including what the symptoms are and how to protect yourself against getting sick, we recommend visiting the World Health Organization and the Department of Health
  • For the latest information and advice on travel restrictions, we recommend visiting SmartTraveller

 

Frequently asked questions

What’s the best way to find flights that have flexible change policies or are refundable?

Due to COVID-19, many of our trusted airline partners are waiving change fees for eligible new bookings*, so consider filtering for these airlines during your search.

*Fares, fees, rules and offers are subject to change without notice. Please reference the airlines’ policies directly to verify eligibility.

What if I already have travel booked?

Consider the following tips for a seamless trip:

  • Stay up to date and review the latest travel advisories implemented by the government before travelling in case your origin or destination is affected by COVID-19. Check these regularly so you have time to adjust travel plans as and if needed.
  • Check your local airport to find out if there is specific travel advice for passengers; depending on your departure or arrival airport, there may be additional security checks, so allow yourself plenty of time to get checked in and get to your gate.
  • If you do wish to make changes, we’re here to help. Visit our Customer Support Portal to find out your options.

What if I already have travel booked but want to change my plans as a result of COVID-19?

  • Customer service centres are seeing unusually high numbers of calls, which means that it’s tough to get through, whether it’s to Expedia or our partners. The quickest way to find out if your travel plans can be changed without a penalty will be to check the airline or hotel website directly; please verify with your provider first before contacting Expedia. As always, Expedia follows the policies of our partners, which means that any credit, refund or change will be at the discretion of the airline, hotel or other travel provider.
  • Visit our Customer Support Portal to learn more about what policies are available for your trip.
  • In many instances, you can change your booking online yourself, but if you absolutely can’t, that’s when you should call in.
  • Look at potential dates for rebooking your travel according to the airline or hotel policy coverage. Policies may change or be added at any time, so check for updates before rebooking.

How do you know if you are eligible for the policies?

  • Policies will vary from partner to partner, but many of them cover travel to highly affected areas until the end of March. The dates and destinations change frequently as more is learned about the situation, so it’s very important for travellers to check with their airline or hotel partner if they have an upcoming trip.
  • Some hotels are also offering various flexibility policies if you’ve booked through Expedia. We have our own flexibility policy in place for all hotel bookings through March, where we will take care of any fees upfront and make it as seamless as possible.

What are some general tips for travellers who are still looking to get away, despite COVID-19?

As the current situation continues to evolve, travellers should try to adhere to the guidance from government and public health officials to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The Australian government has also advised Australians to avoid non-essential travel both internationally and domestically.

Of course, traveller safety is the most important thing so ultimately, it’s up to you to determine what’s best for you and your family.

  • As a first step to planning any trip, check the latest travel advisories for your intended destination. As the situation continues to evolve, airlines may cancel or reschedule flights, we recommend travellers to regularly check updates and carefully review the fine print before booking any travel.
  • Consider booking refundable hotels rather than non-refundable ones. Most of our hotels offer free cancellation, so just look for the ‘free cancellation’ message during your search. Prices can vary, but right now we believe that flexibility matters.
  • Remember to check the fine print, especially when purchasing flights. Depending on what type of fare you choose, changes may either not be an option or could potentially incur a hefty fee. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of your ticket before making any purchases.

How can I stay informed about COVID-19?

When making any decisions, make sure that you stick to the facts. Trusted sources of information should be government websites, including the following: