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April 8, 2020 Susie Rutz

Update 3 From East Ivanhoe Travel

Hello Travellers,

We hope you are all well and coping with this new (temporary) era we have entered!

As for us, we are continuing to work from home for the foreseeable future (pics below for proof & sorry no, we will never get a photo of camera shy Jannene!).   We miss each other, the village, our clients and, most importantly, we miss travelling!!

We just wanted to write a little note to keep you updated, say hi, and try to keep it light.

Refunds & Credits 
Wow, what a minefield this one is!   Airlines can be tricky to deal with in ordinary times but add a bit of a Global Crisis and oh my, it becomes Rocket Science!   Rocket Science on steroids that changes almost daily.   Luckily all your consultants are actually first rate Rocket Scientists in real life and we are here to decipher all this for you.

To give you a little run down, some airlines are refunding (either in full or partial as some taxes are non-refundable), some are offering credits, some are offering credits with bonus credit and, to be honest, some are just a little bit useless!

While we navigate all this we just need to make a few points:

•    Keep in mind that the whole world has just cancelled their holidays/travel plans and obviously this has put a massive strain on airlines to try and process refunds. Some airlines have even put a stop to processing any refunds until later this month.  Some airlines have stopped flying for a while or are arranging special flights to repatriate stranded passengers globally; not an easy task when navigating various government restrictions along the way.

•    As most businesses are also having to stand down staff this makes processing times & actually speaking to anyone just that much more difficult. Thankfully we do have some great connections out there and a supportive network so this definitely helps at times like these (lucky you used a Travel Agent!).

•    If your airline ticket is/was eligible for a refund then please note this is going to take a long time to get the actual funds back. Our consolidator that issues/handles all our ticketing has some brilliant technology and now that most people are repatriated they are turning their focus to processing refunds as fast as they can.   Please note though that in many cases this still could take a couple of months due to the sheer volume.

•    We have found land & cruise suppliers have been pretty forthcoming in offering credits and most of them are offering generous bonus credits rather than refunds.  We understand that sometimes you prefer a refund if terms & conditions allow, but by opting for the credits (and bonus credits in some cases) it simply means you are already one step closer to your well overdue holiday when the time is right!

•    Also just in regards to what we call “Involuntary Changes”, which is where the supplier has cancelled or changed your plans (not you).  Under normal circumstances you would be entitled to a refund however we are clearly not in “normal circumstances”!  The ACCC has allowed all suppliers to offer credits as a suitable option instead of refunds. You can read more here .

•    As for our business, we always have been and always will be fair and honest. We will always work hard on your behalf to secure the best possible outcome for you.

Future Travel 

I wish I had the answer for this one – “When will we all get back to doing what we all love?”.   Far or near, we cannot wait to get travelling again.  We think domestic travel will be where it all starts again and hopefully we can do some later this year. Don’t forget even though we are World Wide Rocket Scientist Specialists, we are also pretty good at creating exceptional holidays in our own backyard. Keep us in mind for your domestic holidays, and don’t forget our friends across the ditch in NZ!

As the year moves on we will be able to start re-booking your 2020 plans for 2021. Some we can already do and some of you aren’t quite ready yet & that’s no problem; we are ready when you are.

Travellers, stay safe, stay well and stay sane (especially all those home schooling…. oh my!)

If there is anything you would like to see in our updates or on the socials please let us know, now is the time to engage and be creative!

All the best
Susie, Jannene, Robyn & Rochelle
Rocket Scientists   

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