The TRELIS Leadership team is carefully monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation.  At the current time, we are proceeding as scheduled with all of our plans for the May 26-28, 2020 event and the subsequent Symposium (May 29-31, 2020). If it becomes necessary to change or adjust those plans, we will announce things as quickly and directly as we can. 


Q: Should I purchase flight insurance to attend TRELIS and the Symposium?  

A: Flight insurance does provide peace of mind for some types of cancellations, but it is uncertain that a policy will help in this case. You may need the "Cancel-for-any-Reason" type of policy which is not the type that most people purchase, and other date restrictions will apply, based on when you purchased your policy. Travel insurance companies such as SquareMouth and Allianz Travel have more information on their websites. 

Q: What input will the TRELIS leadership team, and its respective universities and organizations, use as they make decisions about TRELIS 2020? 

A: Human health and safety are the only important factors. We will be regularly monitoring information sites being updated by the Centers for Disease Control for travel guidelines and risk assessment. The World Health Organization is maintaining a helpful data dashboard as well. 

Q: My university is recommending that I avoid all non-essential travel in the coming months. I'm conflicted about traveling to Hawaii, even if the TRELIS workshop continues as planned.

A: Making travel decisions must ultimately be made within your own comfort level of risk acceptance. Participation in TRELIS is voluntary and at your discretion, and we understand if you choose not to attend. We would only ask that you inform of us that decision as soon as it is made so that we can continue with planning arrangements.

 Q: I have purchased a non-refundable airplane ticket to fly to Hawaii in May, under the expectation that I would be reimbursed (up to $750) towards this. If TRELIS ends up having to be changed, or I decide I am unable to participate, what do I do with my airplane ticket?

A: Great question!  First of all, we are all very appreciative that *many* airlines are waiving the "change fees" of non-refundable plane tickets. The way this has worked best (in our recent experience) is to call their customer service number and explain to the agent that the cause for cancellation is COVID-19 related. You will not be refunded your money, but you may get that amount in "credit" with the airlines to be used towards a future ticket with them. If there regularly were a $250 change-fee charge, for example, and you'd originally purchased a $1000 ticket, you'd only receive $750 in credit. But these change-fees are what some airlines are currently waiving (so you end up with your full $1000 worth of credit). Airlines will have different policies about the time frame by when that credit must be used; often it is one year. Please familiarize yourself with your airline's policies.  

  • If you decide that you are unable to participate, even though TRELIS continues as planned in Hawaii in May 2020, you will now own that credit and can apply it towards any other trip you may take within the possible time frame. The University of Maine cannot reimburse you if you end up not participating and TRELIS continues as planned in Hawaii. 
  • If TRELIS 2020 could not take place in Hawaii in its scheduled time-frame, the leadership team would make a decision about whether the event would be modified to be held online OR it would be rescheduled for a different place and time (such as May or June 2021, for example, though we would be on the mainland, not Hawaii). As soon as that decision had to be made, we would immediately inform the group about the alternative plans. If postponed to spring 2021, for example, the airlines credit could be used towards that trip instead. Everyone will have different circumstances, and we will do our very best to accommodate the diverse needs.