COVID-19 has upended and disrupted many of our fun plans for the summer and the rest of the year. Some had weddings plans, others had entertainment plans, and most of us lost our travel plans for the summer. What are some of your options if you have already planned your event and paid in part or in full? Are both the funds and the experience lost for good? Let’s look at these three major areas to see if and how we can get our money back.
Let’s consider weeding plans first. You’ve selected the wedding location and paid the deposit but because of the virus you had to cancel the date, what can you do? You probably have never paid attention to this clause in your contract or agreement when booking the hotel or location for your event, but most contracts have what is called a “force majeure” clause. This means that the hotel may not have to refund you the deposit when there is a natural disaster, war or act of God.
If you find yourself in that position without cash, call the hotel or vendor and suggest changing the day of your event to a week day or some off peak season. You may also inform your vendor immediately that you are requesting a refund and share perhaps that you have reduced the size of your wedding party and guest. Try to negotiate a refund even though by law the vendor may not be required to refund your deposit.
If you have booked flights to travel and have decided not to travel because of the pandemic, what can you do? Airlines owe passengers an estimated thirty-five billion in cancelled flights obligations. You now have the option to rebook flights at no cost. Delta Airlines has indicated that tickets purchased between March 1st, 2020 and September 30, 2020 can be rebooked up until September 30, 2022. A key factor to know is whether or not the airline has cancelled your flight. If the airline has cancelled your flight even though you cancelled your trip, under the Department of Transportation rules, you are entitled to a cash refund.
If you purchased concert tickets and the event is cancelled your refund is automatic. In fact, you can receive your refund in cash even though the performers have not cancelled the event. In some instances if you would not like a refund, your credit can be up to 150% of the original price you paid for the event. However, if your show has been rescheduled, you are entitled to a refund within 30 days after the rescheduled date has been announced.
While venders are reluctant to refund cash. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!