university travel safari

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May 3rd, 2005, 09:22 AM
  #1
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university travel safari

has anyone dealt with universitytravel.biz? their prices are good and the majestic south africa safari sounds good. thanks for your help
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Sep 26th, 2005, 11:57 AM
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Well, I booked this trip through universitravel.biz earlier in the year. Happened to go to the website today and they appear to have gone out of business. So there's your answer.
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Sep 26th, 2005, 02:02 PM
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glad I cancelled my safari with them and got my air tickets in hand. Did you book with them soupset? Sorry if you did and lost it all.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 01:02 PM
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Yes, I did book with them. I did receive my air tickets, so at least I have something. I am looking at my travel insurance coverage and contacting the list of supplies they have on their website to see if any other portions of the trip had been paid for. Next time I will know better.

I wish you better success with your safari trip.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 01:43 PM
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SoUpset,
Sorry to hear this happened to you. I would be both and right now!

I hope you can still salvage your trip and recover most of your funds. If you don't mind me asking, when and where were you headed? Best of luck to you!
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Sep 27th, 2005, 01:54 PM
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SoUpset,

I hope you are able to salvage some of the services you paid for and that you still able to enjoy your safari.

What a rotten situation to be in.

Please let us know how things turn out for you.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 01:58 PM
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SoUpset,
Well, I'd be beyond upset. If you are booked at lodges/camps, perhaps you can salvage the safari because rooms/tents are being held in your name?

What a mess. I really hope you can still go.
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Sep 27th, 2005, 02:01 PM
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It looks like about 60 people were booked on this particular trip through 2006. Good luck with your trip insurance and making new plans soupset, I really feel for you. I would be devastated if my plans went kaput! at this late date. Keep in touch and let us know what happens! As far as "next time I'll know better", noone knows and it can happen to anyone. Hang in there and good luck!
Dennis
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Sep 27th, 2005, 02:21 PM
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according to their website, they paid vendors in chronological order so that those closer to departure were paid first. hopefully this is the case with you soupset and it will all work out.
Patty-the trip "majestic south africa" was 3 nights Capetown, 3 nights Kruger (tremisana lodge) 1 night Vic Falls (a'zambezi lodge), 3 nights chobe (chobe safari lodge) and 1 night johannisburg. I was originally booked on this but thanks to Rocco and others, cancelled with them and booked a different safari, losing my deposit and having to pay to change airtickets.
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Nov 15th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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I found out today that University Travel apparently no longer exists - I was due to go to S.A in Feb. Don't the company have a legal obligation to inform clients of their situation; at least then we could stop any further expenses e.g travel insurance, malaria pills and other supplies for the trip. Has anyone explored a legal comeback here?
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Nov 15th, 2005, 04:33 PM
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I don't know about a legal comeback, but individuals would be at the back of the line for refunds/settlement if they had any capital left at all. you might search for "soupset" for what he did after finding out about U.T. roughly 3 weeks before departure. Did you at least get your airline tickets? did you send in your final deposit? if so, i think you're out everything. Sorry to hear about your loss in this.
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Nov 15th, 2005, 05:00 PM
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Now that I'm getting over the shock, I realise I'm relatively lucky - I'd only paid my initial deposit,plus insurance etc. that I purchased on my own. I wish I'd found this site before I planned my first safari - I'm now wary but still optimistic for good trips in the future.
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Nov 15th, 2005, 06:22 PM
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there will be good trips in the future, just stay on fodor's and take their advice!
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Nov 21st, 2005, 11:52 AM
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JustFoundOut,
Yes you are so lucky that you only made the initial deposit and purchased insurance. For a period of time University Travel had a message on their website universitytravel.biz re: going out of business. It now appears that the website was taken down. I have replicated their notice below in case any other travellers on this board did not have the opportunity to see it.

The first thing you should do is see whether your insurance coverage is robust enough to compensate for your loss. My coverage was not extensive enought. I've logged compliants with BBB (they responded that they cannot help me) and the Attorney General (I have not yet received a response).

I really was upset when I found out they went out of business. Once I recovered a bit, I decided to bite the bullet and go to Africa anyway. I had a wonderful time - I have less money in my pocket than I should - but the experience definitely eased the pain. You will definitely find good advice on this board if you decide to proceed with a trip. Good luck!

Excerpt from universitytravel.biz:
"September 17, 2005 UNIVERSITY TRAVEL IS CLOSING ITS DOORS
University Travel, its affiliates, its owners, and its employees are very sorry to announce that the company is insolvent. Due to the extreme competition on the internet, and resultant too low of pricing by University Travel, the company does not have enough funds to continue operating. Obviously, others will say it was poor management, which you can always make a case for when an enterprise goes under.

We stopped selling (taking in money) last week, because at some point you must do this when you realize insolvency is just around the corner and inevitable. However, it is a difficult line to draw, as we tried to get enough sales in the weeks just before this to overcome the insolvency.

In regard to employees: You will be paid for hours worked, and our apologies in how this will affect your situations. The first responsibility of any company going insolvent is to pay its employees monies due, In regard to suppliers/vendors: Most all vendors are paid up to date, but our apologies for the few that might not be. Thank you for working with us. To our knowledge, we have bounced no checks and decided to fold before that started inevitably happening. In regard to those clients still to travel: Some of you are the most hard hit by this very bad business failure, and again, our apologies. We tried to keep the company going, but it is obvious that in the next week we won't be able to fulfill our obligations.

Some of our clients' travel has been paid for (we have continued paying as we could), other parts have not. There was no "fair" system to determine what to pay for and what not to pay for in this last month (other than going chronologically). We paid for what we could, and always tried to get any client's trip paid in full that we could, so as to disrupt as few people's plans as possible. With the high number of passengers we have for October, it is clear that we are short tens of thousands of dollars.

You may find some or all of your services have been paid for with our suppliers. You may find none of your services have yet been paid. Following are suppliers we have used and trusted. Some, none, or all of your services may be booked and/or paid for. Again, you may wish to purchase from these suppliers directly if some or all of your itinerary is not complete and you still wish to travel.

Airfare to Africa:
MCABEE TOURS (800) 622-2335
AIR TICKETS .COM (800) 207-7300

East Africa Ground Supplier/Tour Operators:
PREDATOR SAFARIS 255-741-511701(Tanzania phone number) Email: [email protected]

GOOD EARTH TOURS 512-294-6989 (Florida phone number) Email: [email protected]
Southern Africa Ground Supplier/Tour Operators:

JAMBO SAFARIS 27 21 854 8897 (South Africa phone number) Email: [email protected]

GREENLIFE SAFARIS 27 21 780 1391 (South Africa phone number) Email: [email protected]

Also, if you like a certain lodge you might just put the name in a search on Google and buy directly from the lodge for some services.

(If you have your tickets, that means your flights are paid for.)"
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Nov 21st, 2005, 12:32 PM
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Sorry for the additional post - here is a link to an AP report regarding the agency.



http://www.theindychannel.com/news/5363533/detail.html
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