Thinking about taking a quick trip out of town? With Omicron still spreading, you may want to do your homework before booking that flight. Here are some tips.
This is the time of year to book vacations, but omicron has been wrecking plans for many people.
Uniform maker Jan Ball recently canceled a trip to visit friends.
“We decided because of the virus that we didn’t want to take that risk, bringing something into their home,” Ball said.
So she and her husband logged onto Allegiant‘s website and requested a voucher for future travel. But she was charged more than $300 on four tickets for excise taxes, security fees, and baggage fees.
“I didn’t know they were going to charge all those fees, that totaled $344.”
Ball said she tried calling Allegiant but she couldn’t get through.
Airlines and resorts have made canceling easier during the pandemic. But you can still be hit with all sorts of fees, especially if you book a discount airline or a “basic economy” fare at a major carrier.
“Those are those super deep discount tickets. I avoid those because, in many cases, these cannot be changed,” said Zac Griff with The Points Guy.
Griff gives the following tips in avoiding unnecessary travel fees during the pandemic:
- Avoid basic economy
- Check cancellation policies before you book a vacation
- Consider what’s called “cancel for any reason” insurance
- Pay a bit more for a fully refundable ticket
“Airlines during the pandemic have lowered the upcharge for these tickets. It used to be hundreds of dollars, now it is tens of dollars,” Griff said.
Allegiant eventually removed Ball’s fees for canceling, but she worries for other travelers.
If you are hit with cancelation fees, contact the airline and explain it was COVID-related. And check the rules before you book so you don’t waste your money.