Even though I just returned from a vacation as COVID-19 quarantine started we had several personal trips planned throughout the summer season. The first two were to visit our older sons and their families. The third one was to celebrate a couple of milestones in my husband’s favorite spot… Hawaii.
Branson and Arkansas
Our goal is to visit our oldest son and his family every year. They live in Arkansas about a two hour drive away from Branson, Missouri. Normally we fly into Little Rock or Memphis but decided this year to use the Springfield/Branson airport and treat them to a few days at a resort. It would be a treat for us as well seeing the grandkids enjoy the water park and the adult kids enjoy getting away.
Everything was arranged for an extended Memorial Day weekend trip until it became abundantly clear we weren’t going anywhere. We were able to cancel the resort hotel package and the rental car with no cost. However, we have credits with American Airlines and Delta Airlines that I hope we can use before it expires. As you will, see the airfare credit will become a recurring theme.
July in South Carolina might be extremely hot and humid but we booked a trip there to see the next oldest son and his wife and take advantage of the Fourth holiday weekend. Again, we realized pretty early on we wouldn’t feel comfortable traveling so cancelled our plans.
Since we were staying with them this meant cancelling a rental car and the flights. Again, we have credit on American Airlines. We might not even fly there next year because they plan to come to San Diego later this year.
Our big vacation of the year was 10 days on the Big Island at the end of the summer. We were planning to celebrate both our 25th wedding anniversary (May) and hubby’s milestone birthday ending with a zero. I went ahead and cancelled our condo rental to ensure we got the deposit money back. It was promptly refunded back to my credit card where I still have a nice size credit even after two months. Side note: If you know how to get cash returned from credit card refunds please share!
We cancelled the airfare without penalty but getting a credit only to ensure there wasn’t going to be a change fee if we waited. I am finding Alaska Airlines has the worst use by date of the four airlines that we have credit balances. I was hoping this trip could still happen and I could just rebook everything but it’s not looking likely.
We still want to see our sons and their families and are considering a road trip later this year. No matter what, I think as soon as we’re vaccinated there will be a lot of travel for us. Can’t let those airline credits go to waste! Has the pandemic changed your travel plans?
Like you, we had several trips that had to be cancelled: one to Honolulu the first week in April to see our new grand baby and one to the Big Island for 10 days in September for Mick’s birthday ending in zero. Both trips left us with very large credits for Alaska that I doubt we’ll be able to use before they expire; donating them to a charity might be our only alternative, but we’ll see where things are next Spring.
Denise, I’m so sorry you couldn’t visit your new grandbaby! Here I am whining about not seeing ours whom we’ve visited before. I hope Alaska Airlines extends the expiration date for those not able to travel in a year. Here’s hoping a vaccine comes sooner than later and we can soon hug and kiss those grandkids.
I’ve heard that people are starting to push back on the airlines to issue refunds rather than flight credits. Have you tried that? I’m surprised that Alaskan is giving you problems, I usually find them pretty easy to work with.
I remember having a refund on a credit card that I didn’t use very often. Since there was a credit, they had to send me a statement every month (normally, since I didn’t carry a balance, I didn’t get a statement). Finally, they just sent me a check to get the amount off their records. If requesting a check doesn’t work, I guess you could use the card to purchase things until the credit is used up. I imagine a lot of credit card statements are showing refunds now.
Yes, I used the chat feature and arranged for a check. Thanks for the suggestion. I wouldn’t say Alaska Airlines is causing a problem but that they seem to have the least friendly policy in terms of how long the credit is good for; I’m hopeful if push comes to shove, they will extend it for those of us who shouldn’t travel.