I wrote last week about the decision to cancel the Tokyo Olympics for 2020 and to move them to 2021, an unprecedented move. It was expected that they would be around the same time, especially since the Track and Field Championships that were to be held in August of 2021 had said they would move.
The New Dates for the Tokyo Olympics
Now, we know the dates of the Tokyo Olympics for 2021 – and they are almost exactly one year later than they would have been.
Here is part of their statement from today:
THE OLYMPIC GAMES TOKYO 2020 WILL BE CELEBRATED FROM 23 JULY TO 8 AUGUST 2021. THEY ALSO AGREED ON NEW DATES FOR THE PARALYMPIC GAMES, WHICH WILL BE CELEBRATED FROM 24 AUGUST UNTIL 5 SEPTEMBER 2021
There you have it – the 2021 Tokyo Olympics will start on July 23 and run up to August 8. The Paralympic Games will begin a couple of weeks after that.
What Should You Do If You Were Going to the Tokyo Olympics This Summer?
For now, just sit tight. If you are in the US, you would have purchased your tickets from CoSport who had updated their website last week and you can see their update here.
What Happens to Your Tickets?
As I said last week, the Olympic Committee had said that there were a lot of logistics to work through and some of those involve what happens to people who hold tickets to this year’s Olympics? I am pretty sure that those tickets will carry until next year. The real question is what happens to the people that cannot go next year?
What has happened with far smaller sporting events is that they will sometimes set up a portal where the person who is no longer able to go can list their tickets for sale at the face value. This way, it is done completely through the agency who originally sold the tickets and new people who want to go can buy the tickets. Unlike other systems, my guess is the transaction fee that is normally charged in such a circumstance would be waived since this is not anyone’s fault.
What About Travel Plans?
If you have hotel reservations, pretty much every hotel chain is allowing even non-refundable reservations to be canceled. So, you can go that route. Flights will be a bit trickier. While many airlines are allowing for rebooking with no change fees, that only runs through the end of their schedules, which is around March 1.
For flight schedules covering July of 2021, you would need to wait until after your flight is set to depart – and I am guessing most flights will be flying again by that time so that wouldn’t work.
I would guess that, as long as airlines are already in a changing mood, they will allow the passengers to cancel the ticket and give them an open ticket. This is what Turkish is doing for all passengers and it works like this – you can rebook at any time for travel up through the end of the schedule. In this case, my guess is the airline would just let it be booked for travel up through the end of August next year.
But, again, sit tight for now. The airlines are likely not going to be easy to reach right now – especially for flights that far off. Cancel your hotel reservations now (unless you still want to go this year!) and wait to see what the ticket agencies and airlines offer for alternatives.