Following governor’s call for visitors to stay away, travel agents see more cancellations

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The CDC is asking unvaccinated Americans to forgo travel over Labor Day weekend, and says even vaccinated travelers should delay unnecessary travel.

The alert comes after Gov. David Ige asked visitors to stay away and residents to avoid non-essential travel amid a continuing rise in COVID infections.

Now travel agents in Hawaii are starting to see cancellations – and disputes over refunds.

According to the Coconut Condos in Maui, the governor’s “ambiguous instructions” make it difficult. Their small business has recorded $ 35,000 in cancellations since its announcement last week, but mainland travelers who have booked there and other local businesses are also frustrated.

Los Angeles residents Irene and Brandon Tosch, seasoned travelers from Hawaii who are both vaccinated, wanted to take their little one to Maui later this month but decided to cancel.

“LA was a hotspot a short time ago and it’s difficult. Now Hawaii is crossing it. I hate to see this happen and I don’t want to make it worse, ”said Irene Tosch.

But in the fine print, Coconut Condos policy says that unless there is a mandatory quarantine, there is no change of reservation. This means the Tosches came out over $ 2,000.

“We’re really stuck waiting to see if there’s going to be a lockdown,” Brandon Tosch said.

He says they have no recourse until the government issues an order.

“It’s a difficult situation. Money is a big deal, ”he said.

“It’s been a few days and we’ve had about eight cancellations so far. That’s a lot to us, ”said Bruce Fisher of Hawaii Aloha Travel.

He says he’s not worried about widespread cancellations at this time, but says uncertainty over a lockdown is causing conflict between travelers and businesses.

“This disruption that’s starting to happen is that there are these fine print that you have to read carefully. It is a lot of “jurists”. Nobody reads that stuff, ”Fisher said.

“It’s such a point of frustration, especially when trying to get money back,” he added.

It won’t book any customers until the end of October unless they purchase a travel protection plan.

“They are a void for any type of travel protection,” Fisher said.

“It’s not the same as insurance in this sense, because insurance has many requirements. There must be a death, some sort of medical problem, ”he added.

The Tosche say the insurance policies were too expensive and it is now too late since they booked in May.

“I feel like everything we’re trying to do is the right thing,” said Brandon Tosch.

Travel experts say residents of Hawaii should also inquire about travel insurance or protection, as pandemic travel issues are still with us.

Coconut Condos says if people book a trip now, they are aware of the risks.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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