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Interlaken hotel cancellation via Booking.com

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Theresa bloc
Theresa bloc
8 posts
new member
Apr 8, 2020 - 8:43 AM

Hi,

Does anyone know how I can get a refund for hotel accommodation that was booked through Booking.com? The bookings are non-refundable, but under the current circumstances the hotels should be accommodating. I've booked 7 nights in Luzern and Interlaken and both hotels have refused to give me a refund or even allow me to change my dates. I am really disappointed.

The hotels in Austria offered a refund without any problems.

Maloja Snake
Maloja Snake
70 posts
active member
Apr 8, 2020 - 11:10 AM in reply to Theresa bloc

Hi,

When did you make them, and what dates are they for, and where are you from? In this evolving unprecedented time, cancellation policies are constantly changing. For example, if you aren't even allowed to enter the country (due to visa or travel restrictions) the policies may change in your favor.

Ildiko
Ildiko
990 posts
top member &
moderator
Apr 8, 2020 - 12:31 PM in reply to Theresa bloc

Hi Theresa bloc,

I am sorry to hear that you have a problem with the hotel cancellation and I understand your disappointment. Have you tried the Help Centre of Booking.com?

Their FAQ says that it depends on the condition of your reservation, your traveling dates, destination, your country of origin even on your reason of travelling. I recommend to write to the Customer Service Help Centre at Booking.com through your booking.com account.

Ildiko

Last modified on Apr 8, 2020 - 12:33 PM by Ildiko
harveyshot
harveyshot
48 posts
active member
Apr 8, 2020 - 12:55 PM

Hi Theresa, I have the same problem with a Hotels.com booking, albeit to a lesser scale. We had reservations in Domodossola for one night at Appartamenta Mara for April 3 that was non-refundable and they have refused to refund even though their country was the first to close. Hotels.com also refuses to make it right. So, unless these hotels or booking agencies have a change of heart, I’m pretty sure we’re SOL I’m going to try our credit card company to see if they will help. I’ll also file a complaint with the BBB. That worked with the travel insurance company. They agreed to refund or move the coverage to our next trip.

Good luck with your fight and don’t give up.

We also had other non-refundable reservations that were nice enough to refund us.

Theresa bloc
Theresa bloc
8 posts
new member
Apr 8, 2020 - 1:05 PM in reply to Maloja Snake

Hi,

I'm from South Africa, I made the bookings last year in Oct. I had planned an amazing 2 week holiday in Switzerland and Austria for my daughter and I, that's in her last year of school. We would have been in Switzerland mid June. The hotels in Zurich and Montreux were amazing and gave me a refund without asking any questions. However, the hotel in Luzern and Interlaken have flatly refused.

It's still early days and I will try again because these hotels were not cheap, CHF600 (3 nights) and CHF365 (1 night in Interlaken - boutique hotel)

The scientists reckon that the covid wave will only hit SA in May/June, our winter, so I'm sure there will be no possibility of us getting to Europe then.

Just wanted to give a thumbs up for SBB and Getyourguide, I had no problems getting a full refund from them.

alimac
alimac
10 posts
new member
Apr 8, 2020 - 1:44 PM

Hi,

I also booked two self catering accommodations through booking.com. One in Basel that we paid the full cost up front, the second one in Interlaken that we were due to pay the full cost on arrival. Both places were on a non-refundable basis. I emailed booking.com on the 17th March to say that we would not be able to travel to Switzerland and asked if there was a possibility that we could get a part refund. The property in Basel said No and the property in Interlaken waived the total cost. 1 out of 2, so happy.

On the 2nd April, I started filling out a travel insurance claim form to reclaim money for the Basel property but decided to approach the company direct. They said that I needed to go through booking.com to cancel the property and also stated that due to circumstances that they might refund. I still wasn't expecting a full refund but once I cancelled the booking , I got two automatic emails to confirm that a full refund would be processed. I was very happy that I didn't cancel the booking when I originally got in touch in March as the outcome would probably have been different.

I also had no problem getting full refunds from SBB and STC for Saver Day Passes and Swiss Travel Passes.

I was delighted and very grateful that our accommodation & train pass providers have refunded in full. We will visit Switzerland as soon as we can & will book our accommodation and train tickets through the same companies.

All that we've left to approach to get refunds from are for our flights and concert tickets - both I thought would be no problem at all but looks like will be the most problematic!!

I should have said, our holiday dates were 10th April to 18th April.

Kind regards,

Ali

TUKAIKOL
TUKAIKOL
35 posts
active member
Apr 8, 2020 - 2:03 PM

Dear team,

My travel date was from June 6 to June 21 starting with France, Switzerland and austria. I will also share my experience with hotel bookings which may help other unfortunate passengers like me. All my bookings was non refundable.

France - booking done through booking.com - request for date change accepted.

Switzerland and Austria booking through makemytrip

All the hotels I mailed directly..all of them agreed for date change...however makemytrip to my surprise said..first I have to make a new booking for the new dates and then they will refund me the earlier amount. Obviously I am being forced to pay more than my earlier booking. Will continue my fight against them.. All fellow travellers making booking through makemytrip be alert.

The most pleasant experience..Hotel Belvedere in Wengen though booked through hotels. com which was also non refundable agreed for any date change request in this year.

Conclusion..it is always better to book directly with the hotels since all five hotels individually agreed to my request.

Hope things get better soon.

With regards

Arijit Basu

Quratulainz
Quratulainz
14 posts
new member
Apr 9, 2020 - 8:45 AM

We also got a 50% refund of our nonrefundable booking in Wengen with Wengen Apartments. The lady first refused to refund any but then we further described our situation that our country doesn't allow any nonessential travel and also our flight has been suspended so how can we make it? So she agreed to pay us back 50% now the other half we are going to get claim from our travel insurance. I hope we get it .

Yshu krishna
Yshu krishna
50 posts
active member
Apr 9, 2020 - 10:21 AM

i also got date change option from three hotels.

but i am not sure whether this year all the travel across different countries would be possible.

Bless10s
Bless10s
11 posts
new member
Apr 9, 2020 - 10:53 AM

HI,

I am a travel agent in the US and not that this will help you now but maybe for the future. I have always found that I get better service and the same or better rates if I deal directly with the hotel, especially in Europe. If you find a cheaper rate on booking.com or hotels. com contact the hotel directly. The hotels pay a commission to those agencies and they pay no commission if you book direct with them.

I have our first trip to Switzerland planned to leave NYC on 6/20. I am doubtful it will happen but I am waiting another month or so to unwind our trip. I booked all refundable hotels even though the rates were higher and thank goodness all air was booked with miles.

Praying for all of you!

Hattyclm
Hattyclm
1 post
new member
Apr 9, 2020 - 11:43 AM in reply to Theresa bloc

I was booked in Lauterbrunnen in June 30/July 1 via booking.com. I also booked non refundable but when I went on line and cancelled they did refund my money to me, I got a message that said it was non refundable and would not get a refund but when I got my credit card statement it had been refunded! Booking.com were the first to offer refunds, recognizing that people book holidays to go to events and events are now cancelled. Travelodge UK ALSO recognized this and allowed us to receive vouchers valid until the end of 2021! Accor Hotels (Ibis), PremierInn, Eurostar and British Airways have so far NOT recognized this. We were going to Switzerland for a week and then Euro 2020 in London. We will hopefully take our trip next year!

Theresa bloc
Theresa bloc
8 posts
new member
Apr 9, 2020 - 12:04 PM in reply to Hattyclm

Booking.com have not been helpful and have been giving me the run around. They say contact the hotel and the hotel say contact Booking.com. One of the hotels agreed to change my dates to June 2021, the response I got from Booking.com was "sorry but their system cannot accept bookings a year in advance". Can you believe that! A booking system that processes millions of bookings online everyday cannot do that In 2020.

I've definitely learnt my lesson,book directly with the hotels, don't book non-refundable and don't book with large expensive hotels because they are the worst. Next time I will be very careful where I book and through whom I book. So much planning went into this holiday, it's such a pity that my interaction with some of these hotels have left a bitter taste in my mouth. It's a bad reflection for the country.

Ildiko
Ildiko
990 posts
top member &
moderator
Apr 9, 2020 - 12:10 PM in reply to Bless10s

Hi Bless10s,

I understand your point of view but I have not that clear experience. I would say that sometimes booking .com is the cheaper one, not to mention that I have found that cancellation policies can be worse for the private website than they are on booking.com. As I have small kids I always book refundable accommodation so that is very important for me.

I can imagine that our different experiences came from different destinations.

Once, a long time ago I booked a nonrefundable room, but our flight was cancelled. I wrote to the hotel via booking.com asking them to get a refund or change the dates but they refused. Then I wrote to the Help Centre of Booking. com and they were able to help (I guess they also wrote to the hotel) and in the end we were able to change the dates. I was very thankful for booking.com.

Anyway, I hope, that everybody gets a solution and no one will lose a fortune.

Stay healthy,

Ildiko

Last modified on Apr 9, 2020 - 12:10 PM by Ildiko
Conrobkhab
Conrobkhab
1 post
new member
Apr 9, 2020 - 2:45 PM

I had a booking in Interlaken through booking.com and had to pay over $100 in advance for 2 rooms for 2 nights in June. I cancelled the rooms and wrote the hotel about getting that refund. They said no. Well, I’ll probably be going over in 2022, as the main reason was to see the Passion Play, and we will spend a week in Switzerland as originally planned, but we will not book that hotel again.

Arno
Arno
14343 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 9, 2020 - 5:00 PM

Hi everyone,

Regarding refunds because of coronavirus related cancellations: I recommend to not cancel too far in advance. If you cancel hotel bookings for June or July right now, they may apply their regular cancellation policy as there's no way to know for sure yet if and how hotels will be able to operate by that time. Only once the government has extended all current measures to your travel period, it will be clear for hotels that you don't have a way to come and stay with them. Some may be more flexible, others may not. For you as a traveler who has already spent the money, it probably doesn't really matter when you cancel. I think your chances of getting a refund or voucher will be better when you cancel closer to the date.

I personally do book through booking websites, though not always. It's very handy if you have multiple bookings to manage, and if you want to cancel a room it can often be done with a few clicks. I found very good prices that way. Of course things can go wrong, as they do with direct bookings too sometimes. In this specific coronavirus case, I think it helps to apply my above tip, regardless of how you booked.

More virus information is here: www.myswissalps.com/forum/topic/does-the-corona-virus-affect-trips-to-switzerland.

All the best to everyone! Switzerland will wait for you!

Theresa bloc
Theresa bloc
8 posts
new member
Apr 10, 2020 - 8:56 AM in reply to Arno

Thanks Arno for your sound advice. I will wait and try again closer to the time. We are all in a terrible space at the moment, both hotels and travellers, hopefully all will turn out alright.

I'm looking forward to coming to Switzerland, thank you all for the suggestions and advice that has gone into my travel plan. Also, for all the wonderful travel stories, please keep them coming. It's shines a little light at the end of the tunnel.

Keep safe, that's my priority at the moment.

p.s. I've become a webcam addict, thanks to some expert and active members!

Maloja Snake
Maloja Snake
70 posts
active member
Apr 10, 2020 - 9:52 AM

"p.s. I've become a webcam addict, thanks to some expert and active members!"

This is the way I get my daily Switzerland fix. I'm becoming such a Swiss webcam aficionado that I can even judge how new the webcam is based on improved resolution :) Fortunately, my top favorite roundshot site has just updated to the newest cam, which has simply beautiful resolution and vibrant color, especially on a sunny day. But yesterday was the kicker. At dusk, not only could I clearly see a star filled sky, but a really bright village. The new enhanced low light sensitivity of this camera was the best I've ever seen.

Again to share this site:

sils.roundshot.com/

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