Travel agents ask people not to panic as hotels offer refunds and airlines provide credit vouchers
For the Bahl family in New Jersey, the news of the easing of restrictions by the United States on travel from 33 countries, including India starting in November, came as a happy, albeit difficult, surprise. Over the past three months, the Bahls have debated whether to bring their parents to the United States.
After consulting with travel agents, immigration forums and expecting the presidential proclamation restricting the entry of travelers from India to not end, they decided to have their parents travel via Dubai. to the United States. With plans in place for a visit around Diwali, they made arrangements for visas, hotel stays, and flight reservations through a travel agent.
Now, with the sudden announcement of the easing of restrictions from November, the family are wondering whether to cancel their connecting tickets and stay in Dubai or still wait for confirmations. On top of that, the family is worried about how much they will lose if they are canceled as well.
The Bahls aren’t the only ones worried about what new developments might look like. Ashutosh Kumar, a Delhi-based tour operator and tour operator who had recently seen unprecedented demand for UAE visas and stay requests for Indians wishing to travel to the United States, has already received several cancellation requests.
Read: Covid Travel: Getting To The United States Via Dubai To Defeat The Ban (September 21, 2021)
“It’s only been two days, but we’ve already received a dozen calls from concerned travelers about whether they can cancel their visa applications and their travel arrangements in Dubai,” he said.
“Some of my other work colleagues who have organized trips to the Maldives and Serbia also have a similar problem. They don’t know what the procedures are. There is almost a rush right now with people looking for possible ways to cancel their extended stay plans in a third country, ”Kumar said.
However, New Jersey-based Leena Bhatt, owner of Shivam Travels who organized a trip during the Covid from India to the United States via a third country, advises travelers not to panic.
“Hotels are refundable provided they cancel in a timely manner. People shouldn’t worry about losing their money either. The airlines will issue a credit voucher to be used within a year, ”she said. “It doesn’t have to be for the same route, they can use it for the same airline to travel around the world.”
Read: What are India’s latest guidelines on international travel? (September 21, 2021)
Anushka Shah from Colorado said, “I always keep my plans as planned. We have a provisional trip coming up for my in-laws, but we are not changing anything yet because from what we understand, no confirmed date has been announced to end the travel ban.
White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients announced Monday that the United States will ease travel restrictions for travelers from countries such as the United Kingdom and India on condition that they are fully vaccinated. The changes will take effect in early November.