Thanks to the current pandemic, back in April I decided to push back my massive 2020 around-the-world trip. I also scaled it back. Instead of bouncing around Central and South America before making my way to Africa and the middle east, I changed my route to visit Isreal, Ethiopia, and Taiwan instead. Still, at the time of rebooking I wondered, should I cancel my flight altogether?
Thanks to Aeroplan’s generous cancellation policy I opted to rebook and see where the world was at with COVID-19 in a few months. Well, those few months have come and gone and I am once again asking myself if I should cancel my flight. As many are pondering cheap airfares or going ahead with their own travel plans, I thought it would be beneficial to share my thought process when I asked myself should I cancel my flight?
Is It Essential?
This is the first thing you should think about if you are asking yourself if I should cancel my flight. To be clear, there are very few things that qualify as essential. To me, it is for those that may have to travel to see a sick relative or take care of someone or get home. There is, of course, essential travel for work. That said, I would be asking if the work can be done remotely before stepping on a plane.
Even though there are plenty of great flight deals out there, visiting Ibiza in the middle of a pandemic, for example, is not essential. Even if there are no travel restrictions in place. Every day there are reports of COVID tracing through YVR Airport, my local hub, so there will be a risk no matter where you fly. Keep this in mind.
Are You OK With the Safety Measures?
That said, if you are travelling for something essential, I would ensure you know what you are getting into. Wearing a mask is mandatory for the duration of the flight. Also, meal and drink services are largely gone. This might not be for everyone. Erin for example, asked if she should cancel her flight to Africa because it is in business class and the perks are largely gone. This is very much a small annoyance but still, if you are spending that much on a flight, is it worth it right now to be both at risk and uncomfortable?
Are You Willing to Self Isolate?
Even if you are going to fly and are OK with the safety measures, your destination may still require you to self-isolate for 14-days upon arrival. Be sure to check this in advance as I am sure you don’t want to fly across the globe only to spend two weeks in a hotel.
Even if your destinations have no restrictions, your home by might. Upon return, you may be required to self-isolate. Even if there aren’t restrictions at home, as a courtesy, I would self-isolate and minimize interactions for two weeks. Again, there is a risk no matter where you fly right now.
What Is the Cancellation Policy?
Most airlines are offering credit and not refunds for flights affected by the pandemic. If you booked on points like Aeroplan, you may be in better shape. They are offering full refunds on both points and fees until the end of August. This deadline has been pushed back several times so I would think this will be extended if things don’t drastically improve.
Even if you are only able to get credit vs. a refund, coupled with the above factors, it still may be the better option for you.
So, Should I Cancel My Flight?
If you are asking “should I cancel my flight?“ Know that I have personally just cancelled all my 2020 international travel plans. I already had a Costa Rica trip cancelled in May then my massive five continent trip around the world. Now, I have just flat out cancelled my scaled-back trip to Isreal, Ethiopia, and Taiwan. This stings as it was my last crack at Aeroplan’s mini-RTW itinerary under the old 2-stopover rules.
I could have changed my route again and went to European countries instead and still capitalize on the old Aeroplan rules. So why didn’t I do that? The idea of travelling around the world just isn’t appealing to me right now. As a travel blogger, I really struggled with this. I know people are curious about flying conditions right now and this would have certainly made some great content, but that just feels selfish. On top of that, Tel Aviv and Ethiopia will still be there. On top of that, I want to enjoy getting there. Hopefully, this will be sooner than later.
What I am doing instead is driving across Canada in a brand new Tesla! Come along through my new site myevtrips.com!