London Bound: Some Hotels & Airlines Waive Fees

July 8, 2005

(12:43 p.m.) -- While cruise lines have not yet reported any changes in U.K.- or Europe-oriented itineraries as a result of yesterday's tragic bombings in London, some hotels and airlines are waiving penalties for travelers who want to postpone trips there.

Amidst reports of sporadic hotel price gouging last night, most hotels and B&Bs are acting a shade more benevolently. At least one major company -- InterContinental Hotels Group, which owns eight London area properties under the Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental brands -- has announced it will "enable any guests who wish to amend or cancel pre-paid reservations at any U.K. hotel for arrivals up to and including Saturday 9th July to do so without penalty."

For information on airlines that are waiving fees, check out The Independent Traveler, Cruise Critic's sister site.

Folks who purchased travel insurance prior to yesterday's events may be covered for "fear of travel." Dan McGinnity, spokesman for TravelGuard, tells Cruise Critic that call volume yesterday was up 30 percent (though he says that customers were equally divided between the London bombings and Hurricane Dennis). According to McGinnity, TravelGuard policies generally include cancellation coverage for 30 days after a terrorist attack (or major weather incident) occurs in a city or destination on customers' itineraries. In this case, travelers who want to postpone a trip to or through London through August 6 can cancel without penalty. Access America also offers the coverage.

The U.S. Department of State issued a public announcement yesterday covering travel in the U.K. (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar) that basically addresses transportation issues in London; it has not issued any kind of advisory warning people not to go there.

Stay tuned for updates as we receive them.