Canceling A Vacation Due To Swine Flu? Expect The Runaround

So, you’ve decided to cancel your “nonessential” trip to Mexico to avoid the swine flu outbreak. Great. Just don’t expect the cancellation process to go smoothly.

Travel expert Christopher Elliott has been getting lots of emails from consumers who are trying to cancel — only to be passed back and forth between the hotel and the travel agency:

I have booked a vacation package to Cancun from Phoenix through Travelocity and now need to cancel my trip due to the swine flu outbreak. I contacted Travelocity’s customer service department and they said that they needed to contact the hotel in order to see if a refund is available.

When I tried to contact the hotel myself, the Fiesta Americana Condesa said that I will need to get a refund through Travelocity! I am going around in circles trying to get a straight answer.

What a mess. Elliott predicts that if the swine flu situation gets worse, consumers will be stuck negotiating with each airline, hotel and car rental agency individually. Sounds like a lot of fun.

“This is a disaster” [Elliott]

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