OAT bumping update

Old Dec 30th, 2004, 05:49 AM
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OAT bumping update

Per my being bumped off an OAT trip due to overbooking:
As of today OAT credited my credit card with the total amount I paid them, but not without a number of phone calls. At first they were not going to credit me with the extra I paid for an upgradable air ticket. Then after agreeing to give me that, they were going to keep a $100 service fee. Finally, I was able to get the total refund .
I assume I will be reimbursed for my vaccinations as promised.
The letter I sent to the owner of Grand Circle was never answered.
As a side note on OAT, check out the Ombudsman column in January 2005 issue of Conde' Nast Traveler.
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 05:56 AM
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It would be helpful to post a link to the original (closed) thread for people who don't know what this is about, as well as for those of us who do, but who may have forgotten the details. I don't understand how they could keep a service fee when THEY cancelled YOU!
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 10:02 AM
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Glad it worked out SQ.

I look forward to the January issue of CNT.

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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 12:52 PM
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SusieQQ

Iím glad to hear you got your refund, and sorry to hear about all the hassles. The newsstands here donít yet have the January 05 issue of Conde Nast Traveler, but I will be looking for the column you mention.

I went back and reread more carefully OATís policies as listed on www.oattravel.com. In their FAQ they refer to a waitlist policy for late applicants, as opposed to an overbooking policy. However, I also learned that they have a policy of provisionally taking final payment from waitlistees.

http://www.oattravel.com/gcc/general...oid=54186#item 54194
(hope that works, I'm lousy at pasting links).

Thus, unless the company warned you, in writing, that your initial deposit gave you only waitlist status as opposed to formal acceptance, and unless they gave you the opportunity to forego being waitlisted from the outset, then your being cancelled indeed looks more like a case of involuntary bumping, and less a case of a simple failure to clear any pre-acknowledged waitlist. So, it could help your complaint if you saved all the copies of any written communications with them.

As I said in the other thread, I think you are wise to ask for something specific in the way of compensation, should they indeed agree that they bumped you. However, notwithstanding what someone might have promised you (presumably on the phone) be prepared for the company's legal counsel to point out that the vaccinations you got were part of a contract you had with your health care service, not with OAT. They will likely make the same point in respect of any other things you might have bought from third parties in anticipation of making the trip, say luggage or special clothing. It could be difficult to get around this. This is why I suggested on the other thread that you keep open to the possibility of doing future business with OAT. I know, you are very much annoyed with them as a result of all this, but you donít know what the future holds. Maybe their policies, or even the management itself will change, such that you would find the idea of giving them another try more palatable. In that case a discount voucher or whatever could come in handy. More to the point, my experience has been that such things are more successfully bargained for than cash.

Good luck.
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 01:10 PM
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My parents are in Australia right now on an OAT trip. They had booked to fly on 25Dec, but they tell me OAT called them saying it was overbooked and moved them to 27Dec. OAT covered the Qantas change fees, but not their connection flight that they booked on their own. I don't know if they were told it was a waitlist or not, but they believed the tour had been oversold.
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 01:23 PM
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I'm glad you've been persistent enough to get pretty much waht you wanted.
I have to say that YOUR "experience" was definitely an "overseas adventure" and you didn't even have to leave home!!!!
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 02:50 PM
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original thread: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34546783
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 02:51 PM
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further discussion: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34547442
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 02:58 PM
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Good for you, SusieQQ, for being so persistent.

And may the gods of capitalism frown upon OAT, and may they get their just desserts for their questionable business practices: bankruptcy!
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 05:08 PM
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Sorry, but what is OAT?
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 05:25 PM
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Hopscotch, see the other threads linked to above.
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 05:32 PM
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By the way, I absolutely was not on wait list status. I was bumped on a Thursday. The following Monday I received my "final" documents for the rrip, including airline tickets, final instructions, list of participants, hotels, etc.
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 06:19 PM
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All this time I thought that Oat was a grain...
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Old Dec 31st, 2004, 02:37 PM
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Susie ....Given your experience and that of others I've heard ( e.g. no answers to letters to management) I think the CEO of Grand Circle (parent of OAT) has adopted Henry Ford's response whenever things went awry: "Never complain.... never explain." -

(That's the latest Henry I'm referring to...)
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Old Dec 31st, 2004, 08:02 PM
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Susie,

Congratulations on getting most of the financial issues resolved. Hopefully all of them will be resolved as expected. Hopefully the New Year will bring smoother travel planning for you!

Thank you for taking the time and effort to update us. Each of us can make up our own mind as to whether to do business with OAT.

It will be interesting to see how long before Fodors also shuts down this thread.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 04:58 PM
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Hmm. I am booked on an OAT trip to Turkey on May 11, but am now worried that our pre-trip to Eastern Turkey may be cancelled; if so, I don't want to go on this tour. I picked it over others because of the pre-trip option.

I found out the pre-trip was in danger when I called to see if they'd found me a roommate. They said no, but then said the trip was "full" (with 11 people). Buuut, not really, what they are doing is only booking people wanting a pre-trip on it.

And what's really weird, is that the pre-trip meets up with a "main tour" that's not even on their website as existing.

They also told me that if they cancel the pre-trip, I can't still travel on the same date so I can visit Eastern Turkey on my own. (Uh, wait a minute, I am a grown up and I can survive in Turkey for 5 days on my own--who are they to tell me what day I fly?)

I'm wondering exactly when they are planning to communicate with the tour group members about this pre-trip. If they cancel last minute (which is sounding possible), it will be too late to make other arrangements to visit Eastern Turkey, or to change my vacation so I can go on a different tour. They can also keep 50% of my money if I cancel the main tour, or refuse to take another date with a pre-tour within 14 days.

A word of warning: I was originally booked on the tour and pretrip leaving May 7th. Only problem is you will be in Antioch on Monday--the Mosaic museum and the St. Peter's grotto are both closed that day. There's no point in going if you don't see them. The Mosaic museum has the second largest collection of mosaics in the world. That's why I switched to the tour I'm booked on now.

When I informed customer service about the Monday closure problem, they didn't seem to care. I was surprised that they weren't concerned about 5-6 potentially unhappy travelers, but I'm not so surprised after the stuff I've read today.

Maybe I should just cancel now, cough a while at the 125$ service fee I would be out and rebook with somebody else...

And no, I do not want to travel independently, except maybe for a few days. I usually do so, but I do not want to travel for a month by myself. I want to travel this year without my children, with other adults, who don't need to be cattle-prodded out of bed in the morning to see the stuff you came half way around the world for. But not alone, which is why I chose a tour.

cmt, can you email me so we can chat more about the tour? I have a few questions you might be able to answer.
[email protected]
Lisa
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Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 07:09 PM
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Several years ago when we were contemplating doing Turkey with OAT, one of our concerns was that we were going to be in Europe already -- on a 5 month trip on FF miles. I spoke to a rep who said we could do the land tour and they would deduct several hundred dollars for the unused airfare. It seemed fair enough. But then I called again to check more specifically on one of the dates and I was told that wasn't possible as they needed the full number for them to get a group airfare rate (which did make sense), so there would be no reduction for not flying with them. Needless to say, we didn't do the trip with them. I think what bothered me the most however, was telling us one thing, then telling us something else.

Mowmow, you have reason to be concerned with what you have described. It sounds like you could get the axe very easily.
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