Author Topic: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?  (Read 23062 times)

former player

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #300 on: May 18, 2020, 02:12:21 AM »
For those of you fighting with AirBnB, did you ever get it resolved? My wife and I had a trip booked to USA in middle March and cancelled less than a week before going. That meant $0 refund from the host, according to their rules. They were quiet dicks about it so we took our troubles to corporate. AirBnB itself were great. Refunded us the whole cost.

I wouldn't be so quick to call the hosts dicks.  You knew the rules when you booked the trip, and the pandemic wasn't their fault any more than it was yours.

Hosts seem like dicks to me. It was cancelled due to the pandemic, so refund the money fully. The normal argument is that if not cancelled the booking could have been given to someone else. But not in this case. Very wrong to keep that money when the customer enjoys no benefit. That’s just bad, greedy business and not the attitude when people need their money. So if they’re going to punish the guest for taking the chance and booking with them then they deserve to be called out for being dicks.
The "hosts" (ie the business owners) were legally in the right and may have lost their main source of income for a year or more.  Maybe they can't afford the charitable gift, or prefer to give to a different cause?

The situation is no-one's fault, so surely this is the situation that travel insurance was designed for? (Although of course the travel insurance companies are going to the small print too, and not many people read the small print before buying which itself is a problem - particularly for those who just go for the cheapest quote without comparing what is actually covered.)

beltim

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #301 on: May 18, 2020, 06:02:08 AM »
For those of you fighting with AirBnB, did you ever get it resolved? My wife and I had a trip booked to USA in middle March and cancelled less than a week before going. That meant $0 refund from the host, according to their rules. They were quiet dicks about it so we took our troubles to corporate. AirBnB itself were great. Refunded us the whole cost.

I wouldn't be so quick to call the hosts dicks.  You knew the rules when you booked the trip, and the pandemic wasn't their fault any more than it was yours.

Hosts seem like dicks to me. It was cancelled due to the pandemic, so refund the money fully. The normal argument is that if not cancelled the booking could have been given to someone else. But not in this case. Very wrong to keep that money when the customer enjoys no benefit. That’s just bad, greedy business and not the attitude when people need their money. So if they’re going to punish the guest for taking the chance and booking with them then they deserve to be called out for being dicks.
The "hosts" (ie the business owners) were legally in the right and may have lost their main source of income for a year or more.  Maybe they can't afford the charitable gift, or prefer to give to a different cause?

The situation is no-one's fault, so surely this is the situation that travel insurance was designed for? (Although of course the travel insurance companies are going to the small print too, and not many people read the small print before buying which itself is a problem - particularly for those who just go for the cheapest quote without comparing what is actually covered.)

There are too many different circumstances to say that the hosts were legally in the right.  Depending on the timing and location, there are plenty of places where it would not have legal to stay in an AirBnB.  In those cases a refund would legally be required, since the business could not offer the product that they had accepted money for.

One can just as easily put the burden of insurance on businesses.  Business interruption insurance is a real thing, and can cover pandemics (see for example Wimbledon).  It is not the consumers fault if the business does not carry such insurance.

former player

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #302 on: May 18, 2020, 06:47:05 AM »
For those of you fighting with AirBnB, did you ever get it resolved? My wife and I had a trip booked to USA in middle March and cancelled less than a week before going. That meant $0 refund from the host, according to their rules. They were quiet dicks about it so we took our troubles to corporate. AirBnB itself were great. Refunded us the whole cost.

I wouldn't be so quick to call the hosts dicks.  You knew the rules when you booked the trip, and the pandemic wasn't their fault any more than it was yours.

Hosts seem like dicks to me. It was cancelled due to the pandemic, so refund the money fully. The normal argument is that if not cancelled the booking could have been given to someone else. But not in this case. Very wrong to keep that money when the customer enjoys no benefit. That’s just bad, greedy business and not the attitude when people need their money. So if they’re going to punish the guest for taking the chance and booking with them then they deserve to be called out for being dicks.
The "hosts" (ie the business owners) were legally in the right and may have lost their main source of income for a year or more.  Maybe they can't afford the charitable gift, or prefer to give to a different cause?

The situation is no-one's fault, so surely this is the situation that travel insurance was designed for? (Although of course the travel insurance companies are going to the small print too, and not many people read the small print before buying which itself is a problem - particularly for those who just go for the cheapest quote without comparing what is actually covered.)

There are too many different circumstances to say that the hosts were legally in the right.  Depending on the timing and location, there are plenty of places where it would not have legal to stay in an AirBnB.  In those cases a refund would legally be required, since the business could not offer the product that they had accepted money for.

One can just as easily put the burden of insurance on businesses.  Business interruption insurance is a real thing, and can cover pandemics (see for example Wimbledon).  It is not the consumers fault if the business does not carry such insurance.
I was going by jouer saying the hosts were within the rules to refuse repayment.  If the rules put the risk on the buyer then it's for the buyer to cover with insurance, if the rules put the risk on the business then I agree it's for the business to insure.  I would guess that in future any accommodation business wanting advance bookings and goodwill would be looking to do that.

spartana

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #303 on: May 18, 2020, 08:32:58 AM »
Lots of Nat Parks starting to open today. Trails, bathrooms and some camping sites. Here's a site that tracks Nat Parks in all states and seems to update daily. For example: I'm heading out today to Joshua Tree in Cali which opened today with hiking, climbing, parking, bathrooms, and family camping. No entrance fees right now either. Grand Canyon and some others are open too but very limited hours for hiking only.

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/alerts.htm
« Last Edit: May 18, 2020, 08:34:41 AM by spartana »

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #304 on: May 18, 2020, 08:47:54 AM »
For those of you fighting with AirBnB, did you ever get it resolved? My wife and I had a trip booked to USA in middle March and cancelled less than a week before going. That meant $0 refund from the host, according to their rules. They were quiet dicks about it so we took our troubles to corporate. AirBnB itself were great. Refunded us the whole cost.

I wouldn't be so quick to call the hosts dicks.  You knew the rules when you booked the trip, and the pandemic wasn't their fault any more than it was yours.

Hosts seem like dicks to me. It was cancelled due to the pandemic, so refund the money fully. The normal argument is that if not cancelled the booking could have been given to someone else. But not in this case. Very wrong to keep that money when the customer enjoys no benefit. That’s just bad, greedy business and not the attitude when people need their money. So if they’re going to punish the guest for taking the chance and booking with them then they deserve to be called out for being dicks.
The "hosts" (ie the business owners) were legally in the right and may have lost their main source of income for a year or more.  Maybe they can't afford the charitable gift, or prefer to give to a different cause?

The situation is no-one's fault, so surely this is the situation that travel insurance was designed for? (Although of course the travel insurance companies are going to the small print too, and not many people read the small print before buying which itself is a problem - particularly for those who just go for the cheapest quote without comparing what is actually covered.)

There are too many different circumstances to say that the hosts were legally in the right.  Depending on the timing and location, there are plenty of places where it would not have legal to stay in an AirBnB.  In those cases a refund would legally be required, since the business could not offer the product that they had accepted money for.

One can just as easily put the burden of insurance on businesses.  Business interruption insurance is a real thing, and can cover pandemics (see for example Wimbledon).  It is not the consumers fault if the business does not carry such insurance.
I was going by jouer saying the hosts were within the rules to refuse repayment.  If the rules put the risk on the buyer then it's for the buyer to cover with insurance, if the rules put the risk on the business then I agree it's for the business to insure.  I would guess that in future any accommodation business wanting advance bookings and goodwill would be looking to do that.

Air BnB, the company, is over riding it's hosts policies and refunding non-refundable deposits even where the host has refused. So, good on them. They make you jump through lots of hoops to get there, but at least they are trying to keep their reputation for customer service intact. They are also compensating the hosts for these losses. This is an unprecedented situation.

Air BnB started out on the premise of people renting out extra rooms or spaces in their own homes. Now people buy or lease lodgings specifically for Air BnB purposes, as a business. This is where the wheels fall off the bus in this situation, imho. Those people are looking at mortgages or lease payments with little or no income coming in. One host described it to me as a "disaster". I asked the host in Paris if I could just change my reservation to 2021, but she said she couldn't do that because she is giving up the apartment after the end of the year. Case in point. This is actually illegal in Paris, by the way. To have an apartment for Air BnB purposes. They are only supposed to rent out their own place for a limited number of weeks per year, and live there themselves the rest of the year.

One thing is for sure, I will never book an Air BnB (or VRBO) again that doesn't have a liberal cancellation policy. Interestingly, they now have a filter for this.

JoJo

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #305 on: May 18, 2020, 09:14:05 AM »
Lots of Nat Parks starting to open today. Trails, bathrooms and some camping sites. Here's a site that tracks Nat Parks in all states and seems to update daily. For example: I'm heading out today to Joshua Tree in Cali which opened today with hiking, climbing, parking, bathrooms, and family camping. No entrance fees right now either. Grand Canyon and some others are open too but very limited hours for hiking only.

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/alerts.htm

I'm going to check out Yellowstone tomorrow.  It's quite a drive - all accommodation including camping is closed so it's a day trip for everyone. 

spartana

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #306 on: May 18, 2020, 09:40:33 AM »
Lots of Nat Parks starting to open today. Trails, bathrooms and some camping sites. Here's a site that tracks Nat Parks in all states and seems to update daily. For example: I'm heading out today to Joshua Tree in Cali which opened today with hiking, climbing, parking, bathrooms, and family camping. No entrance fees right now either. Grand Canyon and some others are open too but very limited hours for hiking only.

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/alerts.htm

I'm going to check out Yellowstone tomorrow.  It's quite a drive - all accommodation including camping is closed so it's a day trip for everyone.
You might want to make sure it's open all day as I read some places, like Grand Canyon, are only allowing people in to hike until 10 am. Don't know if that's true or not. It just started raining here so guess I will have to wait to somewhere

mm1970

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #307 on: May 18, 2020, 11:00:50 AM »
For those of you fighting with AirBnB, did you ever get it resolved? My wife and I had a trip booked to USA in middle March and cancelled less than a week before going. That meant $0 refund from the host, according to their rules. They were quiet dicks about it so we took our troubles to corporate. AirBnB itself were great. Refunded us the whole cost.

I wouldn't be so quick to call the hosts dicks.  You knew the rules when you booked the trip, and the pandemic wasn't their fault any more than it was yours.

Hosts seem like dicks to me. It was cancelled due to the pandemic, so refund the money fully. The normal argument is that if not cancelled the booking could have been given to someone else. But not in this case. Very wrong to keep that money when the customer enjoys no benefit. That’s just bad, greedy business and not the attitude when people need their money. So if they’re going to punish the guest for taking the chance and booking with them then they deserve to be called out for being dicks.
The "hosts" (ie the business owners) were legally in the right and may have lost their main source of income for a year or more.  Maybe they can't afford the charitable gift, or prefer to give to a different cause?

The situation is no-one's fault, so surely this is the situation that travel insurance was designed for? (Although of course the travel insurance companies are going to the small print too, and not many people read the small print before buying which itself is a problem - particularly for those who just go for the cheapest quote without comparing what is actually covered.)
Yeah, this is a tricky bit.  I gather it varies a lot by location.  An AirBNB host with a nice beach cottage or cabin in the mountains within a few hours drive of Los Angeles can probably afford to have a more liberal cancellation - compared to our hosts in Kauai.  Their cancellation policy is: you forfeit the deposit.  However, I got word from AirBNB this weekend that they will refund our money due to the quarantine requirement.

Travel insurance, in general, does not cover pandemics.  Shutting off the economy like this is going to hurt someone (everyone), but who?

Pandemics hurt everyone, yes, but the travelers should not eat the cost if they aren't able to go.  If you cancel for other reasons (I don't feel like going), fine, eat the cost.

Had we not gotten refunded I would have immediately tried to rebook this exact same condo for next summer.  I actually want to do that, but feel like it's smarter for me to wait until next spring to see how things are.  It was supposed to be my 50th birthday trip.  Well, 51st birthday next year or our 25th anniversary, whatever.  Except the condo is 1BR with a sofabed, and next year my kids are gonna be 15 and 8.  The 14 yo is almost bigger than me and he could grow a LOT in a year.

yyc-phil

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #308 on: May 18, 2020, 01:50:46 PM »
COVID-19 has pushed me to re-evaluate some of my priorities and as a result, I decided to quit a couple of part-time gigs I really love in order to pursue other interests, one of which is to drive down to Mexico for the winter after exploring some of our favourite camping and hiking spots in the US Southwest, then go to Panama later in the spring. Problem is, the Canada-USA border is closed to non-essential travel so I need to think of something to do in the meantime. My wife would like us to spend some time in Okinawa where her family is. Tempting, but I really hate flying...I am looking at the option of sailing on a cargo ship, maybe a trans-Pacific cruise (eeewww), but the pickings are slim...

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #309 on: May 18, 2020, 01:55:52 PM »
I would really like to find travel options to get overseas without flying, for the long-term future.  I won't be able to avoid it entirely (I assume), but I'd like to be confident and have easy ways to look up options, the same way we do for flying.  Even as a FIREd person, I'm not sure I'll have the patience and time to get to places like Africa (from CA) without flying, even if there are reasonable options.  But I'm very serious about minimizing flying more in the future.  For so many reasons.

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #310 on: May 18, 2020, 02:15:03 PM »
I would really like to find travel options to get overseas without flying, for the long-term future.  I won't be able to avoid it entirely (I assume), but I'd like to be confident and have easy ways to look up options, the same way we do for flying.  Even as a FIREd person, I'm not sure I'll have the patience and time to get to places like Africa (from CA) without flying, even if there are reasonable options.  But I'm very serious about minimizing flying more in the future.  For so many reasons.

I'm really curious why you'd rather be on a ship than plane, given the horror stories of people trapped on cruise ships. Everything I've read suggests that if the plane is not at maximum capacity and you can maintain social distancing, it's not as much of a germ spreader as we initially assumed due to the way the air circulates and is filtered. Obviously it's not risk free, but once we get to the point where overseas travel seems worthwhile to me again, it seems WAY safer than a ship.

sui generis

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #311 on: May 18, 2020, 02:35:37 PM »
I would really like to find travel options to get overseas without flying, for the long-term future.  I won't be able to avoid it entirely (I assume), but I'd like to be confident and have easy ways to look up options, the same way we do for flying.  Even as a FIREd person, I'm not sure I'll have the patience and time to get to places like Africa (from CA) without flying, even if there are reasonable options.  But I'm very serious about minimizing flying more in the future.  For so many reasons.

I'm really curious why you'd rather be on a ship than plane, given the horror stories of people trapped on cruise ships. Everything I've read suggests that if the plane is not at maximum capacity and you can maintain social distancing, it's not as much of a germ spreader as we initially assumed due to the way the air circulates and is filtered. Obviously it's not risk free, but once we get to the point where overseas travel seems worthwhile to me again, it seems WAY safer than a ship.

Most of my concerns aren't about health, and as I mentioined this is a long-term goal, not a pandemic-period goal.  I think the airline industry is dangerously monopolistic which is a detriment to our economy and consumers and am not happy about the bailouts they've gotten during this period, followed by layoffs and preceded by stock buybacks, etc.  I'm sick of being treated like shit by most of them and I continue to be concerned about the environmental impact.  I'm hoping things don't just go straight back to normal in air travel after the pandemic.

But yeah, I'm definitely not getting on a boat, in particular a cruise ship, any time soon.

mancityfan

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #312 on: May 18, 2020, 03:52:34 PM »

I live in hope that air carriers in the US will look to improve their service. How they treat passengers. Greater leg room. Stop charging people add on fees. They are a monopoly, and they collude on pricing. It really has been difficult to see them get bailed out again, because they treat  people like s*it.

DadJokes

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #313 on: May 19, 2020, 09:38:14 AM »

I live in hope that air carriers in the US will look to improve their service. How they treat passengers. Greater leg room. Stop charging people add on fees. They are a monopoly, and they collude on pricing. It really has been difficult to see them get bailed out again, because they treat  people like s*it.

I've only flown Southwest for years and have no complaints (I also haven't actually paid for a flight in years due to credit rewards).

I dread flying international since I'd have to use one of the other airlines. Maybe Southwest will expand to Europe one day.

sui generis

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #314 on: May 19, 2020, 11:00:02 AM »

I live in hope that air carriers in the US will look to improve their service. How they treat passengers. Greater leg room. Stop charging people add on fees. They are a monopoly, and they collude on pricing. It really has been difficult to see them get bailed out again, because they treat  people like s*it.

I've only flown Southwest for years and have no complaints (I also haven't actually paid for a flight in years due to credit rewards).

I dread flying international since I'd have to use one of the other airlines. Maybe Southwest will expand to Europe one day.

This is my wish. I remember the days when we used to call Southwest "Southworst". But those days are long gone and they are by far my favorite noe. Luckily they do fly to a few places in Mexico, central America, maybe the Caribbean if I remember right. And I haven't had a chance to take them to Hawaii (obvs that's not international, but it was big news when they started those routes). And they make everything so easy. If possible, they are the only airline I'd fly, but lacking routes to Europe, Asia and Africa certainly limits things.

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #315 on: May 19, 2020, 11:09:05 AM »
Wow, lots of comments about my AirBnB comment about the hosts being dicks. A few things I'd like to clear up:


- this isn't a single family owning a second home; this is a corp owning multiple resort-like rentals
- I didn't call them dicks b/c they didn't refund us; they were dicks b/c of the way they spoke to us and handled things
- a business can be within their rights to do something, and still be dicks for doing it; that's how we decide to say fuck them and do business elsewhere. 'Within your rights' is the bare minimum expectation around these parts, not the definition of good service.

I'm glad my post sparked some comments, though. Cool to see how others think and see the situation.

Splashncash

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #316 on: May 20, 2020, 02:49:41 AM »
Another AirBnB question/issue - our visit to Southern CA for college tours set for mid-June is out.  Our AirBnB host in LA refunded us 100%.  The AirBnB host in San Diego will not.  His response was this:

"Also, travel is fine. I have a lot of people/guests staying aboard throughout this time so the cancellation reason has nothing to do with travel not being open."

So... for those of you in CA (I'm looking at you, @spartana, @Dicey), is the host correct and travel has been happening as cavalierly as he is suggesting?  My state just extended our 14 day quarantine for visitors/returning residents until the end of June so I kinda assumed travel was not yet back in full swing.  Are we getting a skewed version of what is happening on the mainland?  Thanks for any insight.


edited to fix poor bat signaling...
« Last Edit: May 20, 2020, 10:22:17 AM by Splashncash »

Prairie Gal

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #317 on: May 20, 2020, 08:34:24 AM »
Another AirBnB question/issue - our visit to Southern CA for college tours set for mid-June is out.  Our AirBnB host in LA refunded us 100%.  The AirBnB host in San Diego will not.  His response was this:

"Also, travel is fine. I have a lot of people/guests staying aboard throughout this time so the cancellation reason has nothing to do with travel not being open."

So... for those of you in CA (I'm looking at you, spartana[/member]]@spartana, Dicey[/member]]@Dicey), is the host correct and travel has been happening as cavalierly as he is suggesting?  My state just extended our 14 day quarantine for visitors/returning residents until the end of June so I kinda assumed travel was not yet back in full swing.  Are we getting a skewed version of what is happening on the mainland?  Thanks for any insight.

You should be able to get a refund through Air BnB's extenuating circumstance policy. They will make you jump through some hoops, though. You will have to submit documentation. The state 14 day quarantine policy should be enough.

mm1970

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #318 on: May 20, 2020, 12:49:26 PM »
Another AirBnB question/issue - our visit to Southern CA for college tours set for mid-June is out.  Our AirBnB host in LA refunded us 100%.  The AirBnB host in San Diego will not.  His response was this:

"Also, travel is fine. I have a lot of people/guests staying aboard throughout this time so the cancellation reason has nothing to do with travel not being open."

So... for those of you in CA (I'm looking at you, spartana[/member]]@spartana, Dicey[/member]]@Dicey), is the host correct and travel has been happening as cavalierly as he is suggesting?  My state just extended our 14 day quarantine for visitors/returning residents until the end of June so I kinda assumed travel was not yet back in full swing.  Are we getting a skewed version of what is happening on the mainland?  Thanks for any insight.

You should be able to get a refund through Air BnB's extenuating circumstance policy. They will make you jump through some hoops, though. You will have to submit documentation. The state 14 day quarantine policy should be enough.

Yes, this is what I did for my Hawaii trip.  I had to upload a screen shot of the current status of Hawaii (14 day quarantine).  But they said they'd refund me (didn't check credit card to confirm).

Los Angeles still has a lot of cases, so I'm not surprised they refunded. 

For San Diego, I would go to their local/ county website, and check the status.  California is starting to reopen, but we are only on stage 2.  So, if you are unable to do the things you are there to do, then you should be able to cancel.

https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemiology/dc/2019-nCoV/health-order.html

spartana

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #319 on: May 20, 2020, 03:05:17 PM »
Another AirBnB question/issue - our visit to Southern CA for college tours set for mid-June is out.  Our AirBnB host in LA refunded us 100%.  The AirBnB host in San Diego will not.  His response was this:

"Also, travel is fine. I have a lot of people/guests staying aboard throughout this time so the cancellation reason has nothing to do with travel not being open."

So... for those of you in CA (I'm looking at you, spartana[/member]]@spartana, Dicey[/member]]@Dicey), is the host correct and travel has been happening as cavalierly as he is suggesting?  My state just extended our 14 day quarantine for visitors/returning residents until the end of June so I kinda assumed travel was not yet back in full swing.  Are we getting a skewed version of what is happening on the mainland?  Thanks for any insight.

You should be able to get a refund through Air BnB's extenuating circumstance policy. They will make you jump through some hoops, though. You will have to submit documentation. The state 14 day quarantine policy should be enough.

Yes, this is what I did for my Hawaii trip.  I had to upload a screen shot of the current status of Hawaii (14 day quarantine).  But they said they'd refund me (didn't check credit card to confirm).

Los Angeles still has a lot of cases, so I'm not surprised they refunded. 

For San Diego, I would go to their local/ county website, and check the status.  California is starting to reopen, but we are only on stage 2.  So, if you are unable to do the things you are there to do, then you should be able to cancel.

https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemiology/dc/2019-nCoV/health-order.html
Not sure if this site will help but it has info from all Calif counties about covid restrictions from May 10th (San Diego County). Things are changing rapidly here but at the start of the shut down many AirBNBs only allowed monthly stays and not nightly or weekly stays.

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2754/travel-restrictions-and-advisories-in-california

This is from Alpine Country but it was a statewide order. However it may have been lifted not that the state is in various stages of reopening:

"Governor's stay at home order applies to all lodging uses

Effective immediately do not conduct short term rental and lodging uses per the stay at home order to protect public health.  Dr. Richard Johnson, Alpine County Public Health Officer, has issued a statement regarding the stay at home order and non-compliant lodging uses."
« Last Edit: May 20, 2020, 03:12:02 PM by spartana »

JoJo

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #320 on: May 20, 2020, 05:25:52 PM »
I had a really long day yesterday, day tripping to Yellowstone.  Least people I've ever seen by far - imagine a parking lot for 50 cars but only 2 or 3 there.  Lots of pictures, including some wildlife shots...

https://thehotflashpacker.com/yellowstone-national-park-the-day-it-opened-post-covid/

spartana

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #321 on: May 21, 2020, 08:37:38 AM »
I had a really long day yesterday, day tripping to Yellowstone.  Least people I've ever seen by far - imagine a parking lot for 50 cars but only 2 or 3 there.  Lots of pictures, including some wildlife shots...

https://thehotflashpacker.com/yellowstone-national-park-the-day-it-opened-post-covid/
I just posted about your trip on your journal. I'm still undecided about going anywhere yet - at least somewhere far like Yellowstone - but I'd sure love to go now when so few people are around. In Calif only Joshua Tree and Redwoods Nat Parks are open, and only Joshua Tree allows camping.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 08:39:46 AM by spartana »

mm1970

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #322 on: May 21, 2020, 10:56:54 AM »
I had a really long day yesterday, day tripping to Yellowstone.  Least people I've ever seen by far - imagine a parking lot for 50 cars but only 2 or 3 there.  Lots of pictures, including some wildlife shots...

https://thehotflashpacker.com/yellowstone-national-park-the-day-it-opened-post-covid/
I just posted about your trip on your journal. I'm still undecided about going anywhere yet - at least somewhere far like Yellowstone - but I'd sure love to go now when so few people are around. In Calif only Joshua Tree and Redwoods Nat Parks are open, and only Joshua Tree allows camping.
And it's quickly becoming too hot for Joshua Tree.  I've camped there in Feb, March, April, May (twice), November and September maybe?  May was hot both times.  April was the best, Feb was freezing.  March is hit or miss.  It was hot and windy once and on the cold side once.

JoJo

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #323 on: May 21, 2020, 11:04:59 AM »
If anyone is hoping to camp closer to Yellowstone... the WY state parks are open.  There's a really great campground near a reservior off the east entrance, only had a few campers when we drove by a few nights ago.

On sunday I'm relocating to my parent's house for a few weeks, and will drive by the Badlands on the way, thinking of doing a little detour there to break up the drive. 

Arbitrage

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #324 on: May 22, 2020, 03:09:39 PM »
We're wondering about renting a cabin somewhere in July or August, but I just don't know...

We still have an AirBnB reservation in early-mid August (no cancellation fee), but haven't booked anything else yet for that trip.  I'm hopeful that we'll be able to do it, but it would require taking the family on planes.  The destination is our planned early retirement area, so I'd really like to spend more time there (even if early retirement received a COVID-crash delay). 

Definitely not willing to spring for plane tickets yet.

Well, I sprung for the plane tickets a couple of weeks ago.  Price was dirt cheap and, as others have experienced, could be delayed without charge for at least a year.  Unfortunately, yesterday my AirBnB cancelled on us due to their own COVID-19 concerns (at least they indicated their intention to cancel; they haven't officially done so through the site, so we haven't been refunded).  So far, the available listings are much worse than that one. 

T-Money$

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #325 on: May 22, 2020, 04:59:50 PM »
I would really like to find travel options to get overseas without flying, for the long-term future.  I won't be able to avoid it entirely (I assume), but I'd like to be confident and have easy ways to look up options, the same way we do for flying.  Even as a FIREd person, I'm not sure I'll have the patience and time to get to places like Africa (from CA) without flying, even if there are reasonable options.  But I'm very serious about minimizing flying more in the future.  For so many reasons.

I'm really curious why you'd rather be on a ship than plane, given the horror stories of people trapped on cruise ships. Everything I've read suggests that if the plane is not at maximum capacity and you can maintain social distancing, it's not as much of a germ spreader as we initially assumed due to the way the air circulates and is filtered. Obviously it's not risk free, but once we get to the point where overseas travel seems worthwhile to me again, it seems WAY safer than a ship.

Most of my concerns aren't about health, and as I mentioined this is a long-term goal, not a pandemic-period goal.  I think the airline industry is dangerously monopolistic which is a detriment to our economy and consumers and am not happy about the bailouts they've gotten during this period, followed by layoffs and preceded by stock buybacks, etc.  I'm sick of being treated like shit by most of them and I continue to be concerned about the environmental impact.  I'm hoping things don't just go straight back to normal in air travel after the pandemic.

But yeah, I'm definitely not getting on a boat, in particular a cruise ship, any time soon.

There were a large amount of airlines to choose from before the pandemic.  Ticket prices were very cheap compared to inflation, you could get to almost anywhere for a lower cost than anytime in history of the aviation industry. 

There are yet to be any layoffs in the airline industry, the CARES Act prohibits layoffs until October 1, 2020.  There will probably be tens of thousands after that date.

As far as stock buybacks are concerned.  Airlines have two options, either repurchase shares (this mitigates a hostile takeover from vulture companies that want to use excess cash) or grow.  It was good that airlines didn't grow as they would have even more overcapacity and losses than they do now.  Stock buybacks aren't ideal, but do you have a better suggestion?

Regarding the environmental impact, aircraft have never been more efficient and the entire industry accounts for 4% of the total global carbon emissions.  Theoretically, you can halt all aviation and it won't do anything to mitigate climate change. 

I would assume air travel will get worse after the pandemic.  Tickets will be more expensive and there will be much less flights to choose from.   I doubt the employees that are left will care much for the fickle and hypochondriacal flying public.

You said in another post you like Southwest.  For the few years leading up to COVID-19 they had highest cancellation rate of any major airline.  Why did you like them so much?
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 05:35:56 PM by T-Money$ »

sui generis

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #326 on: May 22, 2020, 06:01:22 PM »
I am not buying that line on stock buybacks.  They are a mechanism for executives to artificially inflate stock prices and extract value for themselves at the expense of the long-term health of the corporation, forcing them to count on the US taxpayer yet again the minute they stub a toe. To imagine the executives are motivated by preventing a theoretical hostile takeover and not lining their own pocket is naive. Regardless of the motivation, this cycle privatizes the benefits and socializes the inevitable losses, just like we are seeing now.  Perhaps they should return the money to the US taxpayers for always covering their asses the next time they are suffering the distressing circumstance of excess cash.  I'm sure we could figure out something better to do with it than enrich a handful of already very rich people.

Southwest: 1. Makes it far easier to use their rewards/points/miles than any other airline. 2. They have a generous cancellation policy - up to 10 minutes before the flight leaves, you can cancel your ticket and you lose not a single dollar.  3. There are no change fees. 4.  They have the fastest turnover of airplanes in the business.  5.  They have no bag fees.  6.  They make seating easy.  Their seating used to be the worst when they just had A, B and C, but now that each person has a place in line, there's no stress and no herd of people pushing up to be near the front the moment their boarding group is called as happens with other airlines now (even though those other airlines have assigned seats; this is now a function of the fact that people have to elbow their way in early to avoid their bags being checked due to lack of overhead space).  7. Not for nuthin', the culture of front line employees having genuine fun just feels better.

spartana

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Re: Anyone altering travel plans in USA due to Corona?
« Reply #327 on: May 22, 2020, 06:22:44 PM »
I had a really long day yesterday, day tripping to Yellowstone.  Least people I've ever seen by far - imagine a parking lot for 50 cars but only 2 or 3 there.  Lots of pictures, including some wildlife shots...

https://thehotflashpacker.com/yellowstone-national-park-the-day-it-opened-post-covid/
I just posted about your trip on your journal. I'm still undecided about going anywhere yet - at least somewhere far like Yellowstone - but I'd sure love to go now when so few people are around. In Calif only Joshua Tree and Redwoods Nat Parks are open, and only Joshua Tree allows camping.
And it's quickly becoming too hot for Joshua Tree.  I've camped there in Feb, March, April, May (twice), November and September maybe?  May was hot both times.  April was the best, Feb was freezing.  March is hit or miss.  It was hot and windy once and on the cold side once.
Yeah no way I'm going there now. Well over 100 this coming week. I'm more a cool weather coastal fog person or cold mountain person so the desert is done until the winter for me. Looks like lots of people renting RVs and vans now so it may be crowded everywhere anyways for road trips in the US.