Cancelled by COVID: Our Round the World Trip 2020

This week would have seen us leaving on our much-anticipated, hard-earned, desperately-yearned-for, 5 continent, circumnavigating the globe trip. But alas, the world’s train has gone off the tracks and derailed these and many other plans.

While I understand that the “new normal” during these “unprecented” and “uncertain times” has affected people in different ways and to different degrees (same storm, different boats), this post reflects my, arguably privileged experience of having to dismantle a dream that was very important to me.

Our trip would have had us stop in Montreal, Zurich, Namibia, South Africa, Western Australia, Singapore, and Shanghai. We had big plans for all those places. We had made reservations, booked flights, tours, and rental cars. We had talked up all the things we were going to see and do.

Over the coming days, I plan to write about what each day would have held for us as the trip progressed, as well as a bit about what it took to cancel and request refunds, etc for the various bits and pieces that make a trip happen.

DAY 1:

We booked our main flights using 150K Aeroplan points per person and paid roughly $460 each in taxes and fees (including the phone booking fee, since this itinerary could not be booked online). We decided to pull the plug on the trip within the dates Aeroplan offered free cancellations. After an astonishing 0 minutes on hold (PRO TIP: call early in the morning), I got through to a pleasant agent who cancelled our trip for us. We got the points back almost immediately, and were told we’d get the money back, but so far, nothing.

Today, we would fly in Air Canada Rouge’s “Business Rouge” to Toronto. Not the fanciest service, I know, but that’s what’s available directly from here.

Business or Premium Rouge has been described as a “totally UNACCEPTABLE business class experience“, and “A big mistake“.

At the very least, that would have allowed us access to the Maple Leaf Lounge,

except that we had a quick connection before our flight to Montreal in the more grown up Business Class cabin of Air Canada.

On arrival, we planned to stay at the Marriott right in the airport for 25K Bonvoys and hope for a bump up to a nicer room and lounge access due to our status with Bonvoy. By the time we cancelled, we were well within the dates, so got all the points returned with no problem.




Today was to be a stressful travel day of last-minute stress packing, preparing to leave our home and cat, followed by a mad dash to the last possible transit connection that would get us to the airport in time for a leisurely meal at White Spot before our flight. We would have had two flights with a tight transit in between, and been happy to check in right at the airport to the hotel so we could crash knowing we were finally starting our holiday.

Stay tuned for Day 2!


For referral links to American Express cards like the Bonvoy, Cobalt, Gold, or Platinum, please don’t hesitate to send me a message. These cards have contributed greatly to my travels and could do the same for you.






8 thoughts on “Cancelled by COVID: Our Round the World Trip 2020

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