Cancellation of an event can result in emotional and financial cost: how to recover.
Minneapolis, MN (SMA) – The recent cancellation of the 2016 Gator Nationals has left competitors and families wondering how to recover emotionally and financially. The Gators cancellation is not the first time a major event has been taken off the books. Being aware and prepared to deal with the situation is important. Here are some tips to help make you whole again.
Registration Fees: The event promoter should refund all entry fees, pre-purchased merchandise and spectator tickets that were pre-paid for the event. Check your receipt or credit card to see the full amount you paid for registration to track your refund. If a refund has not been received within 7-10 days, contact the promoter. Also track the “convenience fee” that was charged by the registration system (usually $5-7.50) to be sure that is refunded as well.
If you do not see a refund on your credit card receipt or receive confirmation of a full refund, you can contact your credit card company and cancel the charge.
Hotel Bookings: Most hotels allow a cancellation within 24-48 hours of the reservation date and will refund any deposits in full. Be sure to call the hotel where you booked your rooms as soon as possible to ask about the cancellation policy.
Car Rental: Nearly every car rental agency will refund all pre-payments and allow cancellation of a reservation with no penalty. In fact, you can book a car without any money down so there is no risk. If you pre-paid, make sure to read the cancellation policy for the agency and cancel as soon as possible to assure no hidden fees.
Airfare: Most airlines offer a refund policy, however, if you purchased a non-refundable fare, there will likely be a change or refund fee that will be very expensive. If your family or team is planning to travel to other tournaments within the next twelve months, you may be able to recover the full price you paid for your ticket and use it on a future purchase.
Call the airline or carefully check the online information about refunds and cancellations. If the information is not clear, call the airline. If you want to use the ticket credit for a future airline ticket, be aware that you will likely (1) have to pay the difference between your credit amount and the amount of the new ticket if it is more expensive; (2) will only be able to use the credit for the same person. (For instance, if you bought a ticket for John Smith, your ticket credit can only be used for a future ticket purchase for John Smith – it cannot be transferred to another person without a penalty); and (3) the credit likely must be redeemed within twelve months.
Emotional: For some, the cancellation of the event also involves an emotional cost. Competitors who are planning on turning the trip into a vacation, seeing family or friends at the particular location or hoping to see their martial arts friends at the event are disappointed. Many have taken time off of work or school and are emotionally invested. It is not unusual for people use their flights and hotel rooms to travel to the venue anyway and just go on vacation. You can connect with a martial arts school or martial arts friends in the destination and do some extra training or use the extra time for more fun activities – or even sleep.
You can’t control whether an event will be canceled but you can control how you react to it. Make sure to take steps to assure that you can restore your financial and emotional equilibrium despite the setback.
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