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appalled at refund requests

Old Sep 21st, 2001, 01:26 AM
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appalled at refund requests

this is a correction to previous post. for some reason the text of that message didn't take.

first, i am only a traveler. i do not represent any travel group, hotel, airline or anyone that works in the travel industry. i am just a traveler, one that wishes to be fair to the millions of people that work and provide for the travel industry.

forgive me my rant, but i am simply appalled at what i am seeing and reading here on several posts.

i am surprised and shocked that i am reading people who are saying nasty things about their tour groups and hotels when they are not able to obtain refunds because these travelers have made a decision to cancel their trips.

to be brief, i am appalled and think it very opportunistic for such people to decide that it is not fair when tour groups, hotels, etc. expect you to honor your contracts, people.

it is not their fault that this has happened and it light of how devasting this could be to the travel industry, i can't understand why someone, any traveler, would expect the other party to waive their normal refund policies. to me such a request is taking advantage of that other party by using this tragedy as a excuse.

now, i am NOT talking about someone who had experienced the loss of a friend or family member, home or job as a result of this tragedy, to me these are the people who have a right to expect some special consideration.

i also understand anyone's wish to cancel out of fear or respect. however, when they make that decision, they should do so knowing and understanding that the party on the other end of that contract has a right to expect you to honor your travel contracts.

most people that have planned trips, if done so smartly, will not be out a dime. my reservations were made knowing the refund policies. my hotel allows you to cancel if done so 3 days in advance. most have such policies. if i canceled say 1 day in advance i would not question if the hotel felt they should charge my credit card for that 1st night. that is my penalty for making that decision.

it is the responsiblity of the traveler to understand refund policies prior to making any payment. and they need to understand those policies were put in place to protect the industry or groups they contracted with. these reservations were a promise, you promise to show up if they reserve a room for example. the hotels and travel industry have to support themselves, pay their staff, and support their families on such promises.

don't take advantage of this people, honor your contracts. i can understand some peoples fear or need to cancel because of this. i cannot understand taking advantage or expecting the other party in that travel contract to lose out because of that decision.

i personally am going to try to go on my trip. if i had to cancel it would only be because we are at full scale war. and i will make that decision in time enough to honor my contract with all parties. if everyone cancels, our economy, europes economy will serious suffer and in the end that is what the terrorist want. i can't give into that fear.

please, honor your contracts, that is the only way to be fair and not try to take advantage of what has happened.
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 01:45 AM
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I agree with you at this point, but the scenario was a little different for people scheduled to travel Sept 11 and the days following when no flights departed or later when only people scheduled to fly on Sept 11 were allowed on the first flights out. There is no precedent for this regardless of cancellation policies. I don't think businesses OWED refunds but it was a nice gesture on their part. However, people who want to cancel at this point are doing so on their own free will and I agree that they have to absorb the loss, not the hotels, etc. Everyone can say, "it's not fair," including tour operators, hotels, tourists, etc. It's not fair, none of this is fair and nobody likes what happened or what is resulting from it. This has made me rethink travel insurance, which I've never bought before. You never know what might happen that will affect your travel plans.
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 03:56 AM
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joeg, I have to agree with you, too. For sure, people will be reading those contracts and cancellation policies more carefully in the future!
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 05:57 AM
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In the last thread Concerned Traveler thought that we all must be involved with the industry to not be trying to take advantage of them at this time.Not so in my case I have no connection whatsoever.Like Joeg I feel that I need to live up to my end of the deal and that means no trying to finesse my way out of a contract.When I made reservation with my travel agent I asked all about refunds and knew what I was getting into,I even waived the puchase of travel insurance being a cheapskate.Probably wouldn't matter under current circumstances anyway.
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 06:00 AM
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I agree with you. I also agree that it isn't fair.... to anyone, but that is terrorism.
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 07:11 AM
mimi Taylor
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It would be nice to have the refund, as a sympathetic gesture but they must make a living. We stay with friends in Normandy who run bed and breakfast. We always pay them and insist because it is their bread and butter and we are using one of there rooms that is their business.The other thing that is unfortunate and you see it all the time on this board. I am told that Americans are notorious for it-that is, booking at one place , hearing of a better one they'll book there two. This messes up their booking with all the no shows.
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 08:26 AM
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i agree with you for that week that people could not travel. as you stated i am talking about people that planned to go say in october or later.

Old Sep 21st, 2001, 09:10 AM
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Thank you for that "rant." I have been spurred to post on several of these other whiney threads--"appalled" is a good word for my reaction to the audacity of some to expect special slack because they have decided to voluntarily change their plans. I, too, am not in the travel industry but for some reason it makes me fume to see these otherwise reputable companies being disparaged.
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 09:38 AM
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I have to agree as well. We're still deciding whether to go through with our November trip to Italy. If we don't, I'm going to insist that the hotels and other accomodations we've booked keep their deposits.
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 09:42 AM
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I also agree with you that people should try to understand and honor their contracts. We all know that we are taking some risk that we will not be able to make it when making these agreements. But, if you do have a legitimate emergency, I see nothing wrong with explaining that to the other party and politely asking for a refund or change in dates. (It is common practice in all businesses to change contracts do to unforeseen circumstances. Notice right now, just as one example, all of the airplane order cancelations that Boeing and Airbus are getting and the massive layoffs this is causing.)
The threads that I saw on this board involved a person who could not get there because there were no planes and was not offered any refund and a person who requested a change of dates, not a refund. One day's lodging penalty seems a reasonable penalty but some people have had to pay in advance for their entire trip or for their entire stay. If you tell them that due to an unforseen change in circumstance beyond your control you cannot make it, they then don't have to incur the expenses of housing you and are free to rent to someone else. Is it fair then for them to keep everything and then rent for further profit.
I totally agree that one should know the cancelation penalties and also how flexible or rigid the people you are dealing with are likely to be. I am likely to remember who both are when doing future business.
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 09:47 AM
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People did not choose to cancel (as all you travel agents have decided to say), the terrorists, the U.S.Federal Government, and the Airlines "CHOSE".
It never ceases to amaze me that you travel agents/tourist industry losers
(you are in a minority within your own industry)either think the rest of us are morons to accept your foolishness, or simply STILL JUST DO NOT GET IT!
Most hotels/inns/tours around the world gave deposits back if it was concerned with travel between the dates of 9/11 to 9/20.
Those that did not, I hope other posts inform the rest of us who they are! If you just don't understand the concepts of fairness and justice, that is your problem, not ours.
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 10:00 AM
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We had tickets for England Sept. 13, but our flight was cancelled. Finally on Sept. 15 I found out we could re-book or cancel with no charge (Air France). We re-booked for Sept. 27. Everyone -- car rental, all 6 accommodations, even a small B&B -- expressed much sympathy for our nation's tragedy, and re-booked us (or told us "not to worry - they'd figure something out) without any cost. I was amazed and grateful. I felt empowered to make the decision to go on with our plans. You never know what will happen. And you are no longer safe sitting at your desk. You may as well go on living your life!
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 10:46 AM
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Um, Toast. Joeg said very clearly in his original post that he is NOT in the travel industry. And I, also not in any way affiliated with the travel industry, am glad he posted what he did. A few days ago, I noticed two posts on this subject - one slamming a B&B owner (or something of the kind) in France who stood by the original terms of her agreement with the poster and kept the deposit, and one lauding a B&B owner in Scotland who wrote out to her US clients offering a full refund if desired. (Neither of these posters was travelling until October.) I thought the former was the correct response: the businesswoman in Scotland went far beyond what was required, and it was a very nice thing to do to recognise her for that. The businesswoman in France was not able, for whatever reason, to be as generous, but she still did nothing worse than keep her word. She did not deserve to be singled out and "punished" for this.

Of course, I think people whose travel plans were disrupted immediately after the attacks should be allowed refunds - they would have been in any case if the issue had been, say, a natural disaster. And of course people who have suffered the deaths and injuries of family and friends, the loss of homes and offices, and the trauma of being close to or on the scene of the actual events are in a completely different position. But for someone in, say, California, who knows virtually no one in New York or Washington or any of the victims of the hijackings per se, to cancel a trip happening weeks or months from now ... well, I can't criticize the decision to cancel, but I certainly can fault them for demanding full refunds (not even credits) on payments that would otherwise not be refundable. I'm sure every situation is different, but in general, it sounds like a lot of people are panicking and making decisions without really thinking through the full set of consequences. To these people, I have to ask - would you still cancel if you weren't going to get any refunds at all?
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 10:49 AM
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Give "toast" credit for consistency: On the "Deposit Denied" thread Toast did not add to the discussion, but instead attacked all opposing opinions. Toast also tried to discount the legitimate arguments different than his/her own, by pigeon-holing the posters as friends of the hotels. Here, he/she is trying to pigeon-hole anyone who agrees with you as a travel agent. Toast's responses seem pretty personal; he/she may be the "Ron" who started that Deposit denied thread. Often on this board we try to prevent the Ugly-American stereotype. Unfortunately, people like Toast are being quite ugly, DEMANDING returns of deposits, etc., despite their agreement to the hotel, etc., terms. They argue "well we couldn't get there". It wasn't the hotel's job to get you there. The Hotel, etc., doesn't care if you arrive by bus, train, plane, foot or car, but if you agree to be there you should pay (unless there is a more liberal cancellation policy). That said, Kudos to those hotels, etc., that give the deposit back. However, one might have a legitimate beef with a tourgoup if the tour operator was responsible for your transportation (and couldn't get you there).
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 02:51 PM
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To Herwe:
Regarding this subject, there are no LEGITIMATE arguments relative to mine. As I stated above, you just don't get it. You and several others of you using a variety of names make personal attacks on those of us who disagree with your absurd position. I was prevented from going to Germany on September 12. The two German hotels that I was planning to stay offered me my money back, no arguments given: in their minds, it was simple: I was not able, not because of a personal problem, but due to a global one, to get there. Their feeling was we all lost in this tragedy, I not only my trip, but other expenses involved with it.
Yes I was on that other thread, as you were. Using other names you posed the same absurd arguments. Your anger is quite palpable, and disturbing. I stand by my position stated before regarding the fairness of this question, and that you are part, a greedy part and unfair part of the travel industry. Your words give you away.
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 04:01 PM
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First, I would like to apologize for posting with this user name, however, under the circumstances, I prefer not to be berated on these boards any longer.

I would like to comment that from what I have read here, on other travel sites, and in email I subscribe to is that many if not all businesses affiliated with the travel industry have offered either full refunds or 100% credits for future travel if their clients were not able to go abroad or for that matter travel in the US because of the forced shutdown of the airlines in the US.

Most businesses in the travel industry limited any type of refund to travel originating after September 25th (however, some extended that date). Obviously, this does not apply to people who have purchased "unrestricted" airline tickets. For further reference, please review the information provided in Frommer's and Smarter Living's recent newsletters. If travel arrangements were for dates prior to September 25th, these companies were very accommodating, either offering full refunds or full credits. After September 25th, the client would be responsible for any cancellations fees. Also, I believe people directly affected by the September 11th events have been handled by these businesses on an individual basis (if their travel plans were for after September 25th).

It seems that only inter-European airlines like buzz, Go and Ryannair have blatantly refused refunds or credits, however tickets purchased for these specific airlines are highly discounted air tickets, with no refunds or exchanges, or else with hefty cancellation fees. Any losses passengers may have incurred by booking with these specific airlines are minimal losses.

However, I would like to inquire as to why people are cancelling? Excluding those that were directly effected by the events on September 11th, how many people are cancelling because of threat of war, fear of flying, fear of being caught overseas, and the ones that I think are more obvious but have not been written about, the extreme losses in the stock market and the fear of being laid off and deciding that their monies are better used for housing, food, etc. during their possible unemployment?

I'd honestly like to know your opinions.
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 04:17 PM
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For what it's worth, and in case it applies to any of you, United Airlines is offering full refunds to anyone who cancels before September 25. My office assistant was due to travel to France last Wednesday and she canceled and got the full refund. It won't be in her hand for 8-10 weeks, but it will be. Since United is facing economic hits of unprecedented enormity, I thought it was awfully nice of them to come through for her.
Old Sep 21st, 2001, 07:35 PM
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in fairness to you and others that had travel plans disrupted because of this tragedy, i really was not refering to you or anyone during these past 2 weeks.

my rant concerned people that were originally scheduled to go later, say in october and had decided to cancel plans because they did not feel comfortable traveling right now.

what upset me was simply that,here and on other boards, the people that were cancelling later plans and were upset about not being offered a refund etc.
and were badmouthing those establishments that did not fall in line with their decision.

thanks everyone for listening to my rant.

Old Sep 22nd, 2001, 05:47 AM
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When we make agreements, we generally do so believing we are making a fair agreement.

The dispute seems to focus on whether things that are unfair make what was previously considered to be a fair agreement, unfair. The death of someone in one's immediate family never seems fair, even when it is due to natural causes. Nor does the illness of oneself or one's family member seem fair. Consequently, there are those who believe that such circumstances should render the original agreement unfair, and therefore it should be null and void, with no penalties applying.

Perhaps this has to do with the judicial tradition (in countries following English common law) of intent being taken into account. As a result of this tradition, many of us have come to believe that if we didn't intend to be unfair, if we had no control over the circumstances that cause us to act as we are (cancelling an agreement) then we should pay no penalty.

On the other hand, if we plan our trips expecting that we may be hit with some liabilities, be these in the form of forfeited deposits or other kinds of disappointments, regardless of what our intent was, then our perception of what is fair and what is unfair is going to be quite different.

I tend to go with the latter attitude not because I think it's the 'right' one but because it's the one that causes me the least stress. I once read in "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" a wonderful idea that suggests one have a quota for crummy things in one's life: so many flat tires, so many rude clerks, etc. Then, when another bad thing happens, one can think, whew! There's something to apply towards my 'quota.' Again, I'm not suggesting this is the 'fair' way, just a way that leaves me feeling I have some control.
Old Oct 2nd, 2001, 03:41 PM
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