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I realize this is a tough time for everyone in the travel business and it is a stressful time for all. However, I am very disappointed in the cancellation policy. We are scheduled to go to Ireland on 10/1. CDC and State Department have put Ireland on a red alert (do not travel) yet the tour is going on. As I understand from your customer service agents, options to cancel are limited. We just want a full-refund or price protection for the future trip. We have reluctantly booked a trip for 9 May 2022. However, I can't believe that they want to charge a loyal customer $100 change fee and changes in airfare. My mother has travelled with GCT many times. Isn't our loyalty worth this small amount of money?
On 7/23/2021 I booked a cruise with Grand Circle Travel (aka Overseas Adventure Travel - OAT). At the time of the booking, I was in constant contact with a regional adventure counselor and the reservation process went smoothly (including the transmission of funds for my deposit and for the Travel Protection Plan). The counselor submitted a waiver request for a $100 certificate that is scheduled to expire 9/6/2021 so that it could be applied to the reservation.
For the past 3 days, I have tried to contact OAT for a status update via 3 different phone numbers. Each phone number has a prerecorded message that wait times are up to 2 hours. On 7/28/2021, I waited on hold for over 2 hours before giving up. On 7/29/2021, I waited on hold for over 3 hours before giving up. I emailed the support department and received a reply that they would respond in 8 - 10 business days. At this point, I am most likely going to cancel my reservation and request a full refund, which is allowable under the Travel Protection Plan.
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Due to COVID we had to move our trip. Then after a year, we wanted our money back. They refused to refund our money. They told us to contact Alliance for a refund. We did. Alliance said to call Grand Circle. Finally I read some of these complaints and did file with the suggestions made where other people received refunds. Will keep updating this site. I will never travel with them again.
My trip was rescheduled for 2021. I called Grand Circle and asked about travel insurance for the rescheduled trip. I was sold the insurance for $545. Then I figured out I already had the insurance and was sold it a second time. I contacted Grand Circle and a refund was approved on July 20th. I was told it would take 30 days for the refund. I called after 30 days and was informed it would take 60 days. After 60 days I called and was told it would take 90 days to refund. Then I called again - this time it was 90 work days. I am currently at over 100 work days and no refund. I sincerely question the financial viability of the company.
A group of seniors, of which I am included, reserved a river cruise on December 30, 2019. We placed a $500 deposit and $499 Allianz insurance policy. We were told we could cancel for any reason. I was paying for 2 friends to accompany me as I suffer from Stage 4 lung cancer. Over the next 3 months, one friend suffered a heart attack with a subsequent unstable heart condition and the other friend suffered an orthopedic injury that her doctor advised would make walking very uncertain.
The pandemic hit soon after and my oncologist advised that I not travel overseas due to my compromised immune system. We finally agreed to cancel or reservations on April 15th. We called Grand Circle Travel and were advised to file a claim in order to get a refund less a service fee. I asked about the insurance and was told that I must file a claim for all 3 of us. I followed what I was told and the disastrous results followed. Both friends received a $300 refund from GCT and I received a $300 voucher! After vigorous fighting, I received my $300 refund in July. However, I was in constant communication with Allianz insurance.
After reviewing my situation with all medical documentation, they finally told me that although I had filed a claim, they would reimburse me $499 per person, to my credit card, as my situation warranted this money as I was "INCORRECTLY ADVISED" by GCT to even file a claim! You see, by filing a claim, that makes you ineligible to retrieve your insurance premiums!
When a month went by and I did not receive the $1497 refund, I contacted GCT who informed me that I would NOT receive the money as I had filed the claim! I called back the manager at Allianz who told me that they had in fact refunded GCT the $499 per person to be refunded to me the month prior! I called back GCT who still refused to return the monies back to me standing on principle that I had filed a claim! When I told them that THEY told me to file the claim and had I been properly informed that by doing so, I would lose my insurance premiums, they began double-talking and recanting.
Bottom line, they were unethically withholding my refund from Allianz---and still do so to this day! A manager got on the line with me and promised to get back to me within days. I have yet to hear a word!! This company is despicable, deceptive, unethical and the worst travel experience I have ever dealt with! It is most likely the last travel experience I will ever have so I strongly advise everyone NOT to use them for your dream vacation as they are only interested in stealing your dreams! I have been lied to, conned and swindled. Please don't let this happen to you!
Earlier I wrote a review about GCT and how after two months I still had not received a refund for a cancelled trip. I was notified by GCT on July 2nd the refund was being credited to my credit card. This after the State Attorney General's Office and State Insurance commission contacted them. I was unhappy with the delay, however GCT and OAT trips have been great trips, especially OAT rank quite high in our many trips. Up until the fight to get a refund, my wife and I have been happy with the company and when things settle down would recommend them for a great travel experience.
I have been trying for 2 months to get a refund for a trip GCT cancelled and have been stonewalled. My wife and I are 11 time travelers with GCT/OAT. We prepaid $12,000 for a May 2020 river cruise. We received notice on April 2, 2020 from Allianze Insurance CO. that GCT would give us a refund for the policy. In addition the GCT website for our account showed we were due a refund for the trip. That was removed and now shows a reservation for a trip in June 2021 which we did not ask for. I recommend everyone with a denied refund request to contact the Federal Trade Commission, your state insurance commission and your state attorney general. Their websites make it easy to file a complaint.
My friend and I contacted by phone Grand Circle Travel, in Boston in early February stating we did not feel comfortable traveling to Europe in mid April and were requesting a refund. Received a letter from Mr. Irwin, Director of Finance dated 2/24 stating we would receive a refund within 7-10 days for a full refund less applicable fees. So far we have received $849 and 301.75 each with no notation as to what it covered. The trip was $4962 each. I again contacted Mr. Irwin on 4/24 stating we did not receive another payment from them. On 5/1, I received a letter from Harriet Lewis, Vice Chairman and she stated we would be rebooked for May, 2021 and issued a credit of $500.00 towards another trip. We are 79 and 83 and told her we did not wish a trip and do not feel comfortable about traveling outside of the USA. A general e-blast was sent verifying her original letter. I feel this is very irresponsible and our money should be refunded.
It seems funny that some people get their money back and others don't. We wish to cancel, but it's impossible. I will never use this company again. We can't help what's going on in the world. Grand Circle changes the rules!
On 9/13/19 my husband & I booked a trip to Spain/Portugal departing 10/14/20 for $9479.35. On 4/30/20 we called and cancelled our trip due to the pandemic. At the time, Rep. explained that there was a $300/each cancellation fee & we would forfeit our Travel Ins. of $1098. We would receive a refund check of $7781.35. In May GCT changed their policy to Voucher only (lack of funds). I contend that we cancelled before their change of policy and GCT should keep their word.
We had one planned for June 1 of 2020, but of course it was canceled. Grand Circle was very honorable and returned our money with the exception of an administrative fee (which is understandable). We hope that the Travel situation will be different next year so that we can again travel on a Grand Circle river cruise.
Grand Circle Travel Company Information
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- Grand Circle Travel
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