Overseas adventure travel financial problem want to sail down the Nile, trek in the Himalayas or island-hop in the tropics? If you’re an older American, you may be able to do it, thanks to a Boston-based company called Overseas Adventure Travel.
But this travel-company giant is sidestepping refund laws and putting travelers at risk for financial problems. That’s why you should know about this company’s outrageous policies before you go.
One of the main reasons to choose a tour operator that specializes in small groups and cruising is the ability to get refunds for any unused portions of your trip. Unfortunately, some companies are ignoring refund laws established by state and European Union regulations and are instead pocketing travelers’ money. Fortunately, you can use this pandemic as an opportunity to demand that your tour company bend the rules and give you your money back.
If British Airways refunded the unused portion of your ticket, Overseas Adventure Travel financial should have accepted it and offered you a full refund of your tour price as well. Its policy on single supplements is clear, and it should offer a refund to anyone who has already paid for a tour in full or whose travel insurance company refunded them for the unused portion of their trip.
The Boston-based tour company, which is part of the Grand Circle Corporation family of travel companies. Has received numerous reader complaints in recent weeks regarding cancellation policies and slow payments for reimbursement. I’m surprised at its audacity in continuing to operate this way, especially since the Supreme Court has made it clear that companies are required to refund customers’ money under federal and state consumer protection laws.
2. Cancelled Trips
No one books a trip hoping to cancel it, but unfortunately it sometimes happens. When it does, it is important to know what steps to take to resolve the issue. For instance, some reservations and pre-paid tickets have time restraints. May need to be canceled within certain periods of time in order to receive a refund. If you have questions about your particular situation or need assistance, consider consulting with a travel attorney.
As travelers face the reality of a return to normal life after travel to most parts of the world came to a screeching halt during the coronavirus pandemic. Travel companies are trying to keep their heads down and avoid the public relations battles that inevitably accompany refund demands. It is easy to see why they do so, but it does not make the situation any less frustrating for those who have been impacted by these decisions.
The biggest offenders, in my view, are Boston-based small group and cruise company Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T.). They continue to ignore the time frame for notifying travelers of cancellations.
Even after the Massachusetts Attorney General sued them and the Better Business Bureau delisted them. In addition, they still require payment in full 90 days out for trips that aren’t likely to run. This seems like blatant greed on their part, but they are betting that negative press and class-action lawsuits are still preferable to the risk of having to pay out refunds. In my opinion, it is unfortunate that the industry has allowed these types of practices to thrive.
3. Credit Card Charges
Credit card charges can add up quickly overseas. This Credit card companies often charge foreign transaction fees that can run as high as 2.99% of the total purchase amount. Travelers may be able to avoid these fees by applying for a card that doesn’t have them or by exchanging enough cash before leaving the country to cover all travel expenses.
While a 2.75% fee may not seem like much, it can really add up over the course of an entire vacation. To help offset these fees, Overseas Adventure Travel offers a Good Buy Plan that provides discounts to travelers who pay by check or electronic funds transfer 12 months or more prior to their trip departure date. This can save them up to 10% of their trip cost.
4. Baggage Charges
Airlines no longer automatically include all baggage charges. Often, additional bags and equipment such as surfboards and mountain bikes incur extra fees. Be sure to check out airline prices and bag charges before you book your ticket.
For peace of mind, purchase a travel protection plan.
It will reimburse you if covered reasons such as your illness, injury, or death cause the cancellation or early termination of your trip. A family member or traveling companion. It will also cover medical expenses and emergency assistance. A good plan will also give you access to a 24/7 travel emergency helpline.
Insurance is the final piece of the vacation puzzle. It doesn’t protect you from anything that might go wrong on your trip (although it could). It’s one of the best ways to prevent large, unexpected expenses.
Travel companies sidestep refund regulations and other customer-friendly policies, recognizing that issuing credits and refunds would bleed them dry. That’s especially true during a recession, when they can’t offer the same high profit margins of years past.
Check with your health insurance company to see if your policy provides overseas coverage. If not, an adventure travel medical plan can meet the requirements for many visas. Help offset unexpected costs while you’re traveling abroad. Click here for more information. GetHuman, an independent entity, is not affiliated with Overseas Adventure Travel financial or any other company mentioned in this article.