Travel Program FAQs Related to Covid-19

What do I do if I need travel assistance for myself of for a student?
If you need assistance with travel rebookings or cancellations, you can reach the University’s travel agency, World Travel at 1-888-530-4087 or via email at Princeton@worldtravelinc.com.  If you are calling from outside the U.S., the phone number is 1-484-722-6215.  World Travel can be reached 24/7.  The dedicated Princeton University agent team is available Monday through Friday from 8 am – 6 pm, and emergency service agents are available outside of business hours.

Can World Travel assist me with any reservation? 
World Travel can assist with any reservation booked through World Travel.  If you booked an airline ticket directly with an airline or through an OTA (online travel agency) such as Expedia, World Travel will not be permitted to access that reservation.  You will need to call the airline or the OTA that you used to purchase your ticket in order to make any changes or cancellations.

Will I have to pay cancellation fees if I cancel my ticket?
Unless an airline has stopped flying the route on which you are traveling or has chosen to issue fee waivers, you will most likely have to pay a cancellation policy on a non-refundable ticket.  These policies vary greatly from airline to airline and have been changing fairly frequently based on developments in current health conditions in various countries.

What will I pay in cancellation fees if I cancel my ticket?
Most non-refundable tickets have a cancellation penalty of around $200- $300 per ticket, but again, this varies by airline and many are waiving cancellation fees or permitting rebookings for a later date.  It is best to check the individual airline website for the most up-to-date cancellation policies, or World Travel can provide you with the policies that apply specifically to your ticket.  

Can World Travel get my airline cancellation fees waived due to Covid-19?
Despite the fact that Covid-19 is worldwide, ALL cancellation fees are airline-dependent.  Each air carrier is setting their own cancellation fees, refund policies, and rebooking windows.  No travel agency has the ability to override any cancellation policies set forth by any airline at this time.

Should I cancel my flight now or should I wait to cancel closer to the day of my flight?
Because airline cancellation fees and refunds are at the sole discretion of the individual airline at this time, it may be beneficial to postpone your cancellation until a day or so before your flight if refunds are not being offered at the time you decide to cancel. Because the worldwide health situation is rapidly changing, airline cancellation policies are as well.  So sometimes waiting until you get closer to you flight date to cancel, will result in more favorable cancellation policies.  World Travel can advise you on this.

Does it matter if I cancel a flight or just don’t show up?
If a flight is still scheduled but you will not be taking it, it is better to cancel your flight rather than be a no-show. If you cancel, there may be an opportunity later to receive a partial or full credit for the fare purchased (depending on the type of ticket), to be applied to a future flight.  If you are a no-show, you will most like forfeit any opportunity to recoup any portion of the fare.

Where can I find the most updated information on travel policies related to Covid-19?
Princeton University is actively monitoring the situation around coronavirus (Covid-19) and the evolving guidance from government and health authorities, in keeping with our commitment to ensure the health and safety of all members of the University community. The latest University guidance for students, faculty, and staff is available on the University’s Emergency Management website.

Will trip insurance cover my trip cancellation due to Covid-19?
Most travel insurance plans do not cover policyholders’ costs if they cancel planned travel to areas of the world affected by a pandemic or epidemic. Even though the Department of State has raised its global health advisory for U.S. citizens to Level 3, which means Americans should reconsider travel abroad because of the global impact of COVID-19, it is highly unlikely that the epidemic will be covered by your policy.  Cancel-for-any-reason (CFAR) travel insurance policies are available, but they need to be purchased within 21 days of your trip deposit.  One additional note if you are contemplating purchasing a CFAR policy:  they are rather costly and they do not cover the entire price of your trip.  They usually only cover around 60%-75% of the total trip cost.

I have a group coming to the University that is booked at the Nassau Inn and I need to cancel.  What can I do?
If your department has a group booking scheduled with the Nassau Inn for arrivals that were planned after March 9, 2020, there are now master terms in place to permit you to reschedule within one year without penalty. These terms are retroactive to any group booking affected by COVID-19, regardless of whether you recently signed or were presented with a separate amendment with the Nassau Inn. Highlights of the master terms: (1) you may reschedule within one year of your originally scheduled arrival date without penalty; (2) you may change the date of that re-booking without penalty provided you do so up to 90 days before the newly scheduled arrival date.

Updated 3/16/20