As the new coronavirus spreads, travel plans are being postponed – or canceled altogether – leaving many North Texans wondering what to do about purchased tickets they can no longer use.

From hotel reservations to vacation rentals and airline reservations, many North Texans have canceled their plans and are now having trouble recouping their funds, said Phylissia Clark of the Better Business Bureau of North Central Texas.

She said the most common complaint the Better Business Bureau has received recently is regarding travel. 

“We can only imagine there will be more because in the past couple of weeks we’ve seen a pretty significant spike,” she said.

If you are planning future travel, Clark says there are several things to pay attention to before clicking the purchase button.

Travel insurance

People often don't realize that the travel insurance they purchase doesn't cover everything they expect, Clark said. 

The BBB encourages consumers to read the fine print.

“It will say the circumstances under which you can evoke the insurance and use it. But if your circumstance isn’t one of them you may be out of luck," Clark said. 

For example, many types of travel insurance may not cover pandemics.

If insurance will not refund your money, the BBB recommends consumers call the airline or venue directly. Some airlines and venues have put policies in place for handling refunds during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Beware bargain tickets

As airlines struggle to fill planes, low ticket prices can be enticing.

“But we don’t know if you’ll even be able to take that planned travel, so slow down," Clark said. 

She encouraged consumers to check the airline's policy on cancellations before buying. 

Other cancellations

Not only travel, but the schedules of large-scale events such as sporting events and music festivals are being affected. 

The BBB recommends you visit the venue’s website or contact the hosting business to find out the cancelation policy. 

Refunds, exchanges or rescheduling options may be offered. 

If the venue is unable to refund your money and the purchase was made on a credit card, you can always contact your credit card company to see if they are able to remove the charge.

BBB of North Central Texas

If you are having trouble recouping your funds from a canceled trip, Clark advises consumers consult with the Better Business Bureau.

“We can help walk you through what you can do to make sure you get that credit or refund that is entitled to you," she said. 

Contact the BBB at 214-220-2000 or visit their website. 

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