Traveler continue to waiting for refund after COVID cancellation

Q: Past 12 months, we booked a tour to Portugal and Spain by Vantage Deluxe Entire world Travel. This was to be our 3rd Vantage journey in as many several years, and the next with close friends. Which includes the optional excursions, air, insurance plan and costs, my spouse and I paid $12,959 for the tour.

This March, Vantage canceled the tour for the reason that of COVID-19 fears. On March 16, I asked for a refund. Vantage agreed to challenge a refund in 30 days.

Two months later on, I received an email affirmation that the refund was “in system.” I have made many phone calls and a few written requests considering that then. Immediately after 100 days, I am even now awaiting the refund. Vantage is stonewalling.

Vantage’s Tour Participation Arrangement states that Vantage will situation a “prompt” refund for any tour canceled by Vantage for any rationale. Can you assistance me get my Vantage Deluxe Planet Travel refund?

— Rick Pedersen, Fulshear, Texas

A: Vantage need to have refunded your tour within just 30 days as it promised — and as it is contractually needed to do. But it experienced no way of recognizing what would materialize in the next 30 days. In March, you will remember, travel floor to an pretty much comprehensive halt. Just about every one of Vantage’s suppliers expert similar delays. So the refund approach slowed down significantly.

How slow? Well, as I publish this, just one cruise line is telling passengers they’ll have to have to wait around two many years to get their refunds. And enable me skip ideal to the resolution for individuals tourists: File a dispute with your credit card company. Question your bank to take the cash back.

But with this Vantage refund, I can have an understanding of the hold off. It appears as if they had been definitely honest in their intent, and they stayed in get in touch with with you (at least to begin with). But you were being far more than affected individual and 100 times was a great deal of time for Vantage to get its act alongside one another.

I’m glad you outlined Vantage’s Tour Participation Arrangement, the authorized deal involving you and the tour operator. It is worthy of studying the phrases and conditions right before you ebook your tour, but if you are dealing with a cancellation, you unquestionably have to know your legal rights. I browse the deal the similar way you do if Vantage cancels, you get a full refund.

Other tour operators altered their conditions and conditions midway via the pandemic so they would only have to offer you a credit history. Then they used the regulations retroactively. To its credit history, Vantage didn’t.

You can find the names, numbers and addresses of the Vantage supervisors on my shopper advocacy web page

I contacted Vantage on your behalf, and you continued to go after your refund. Finally, on Aug. 14 — 5 months soon after promising it — Vantage entirely refunded your $12,959. Far better late than by no means.

So why am I crafting about a scenario that solved nearly five months ago? My purchaser advocacy group has a situation backlog, also.

Christopher Elliott is the main advocacy officer of Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit organization that allows individuals take care of their difficulties. Elliott’s most recent reserve is “How To Be The World’s Smartest Traveler” (Countrywide Geographic). Contact him at or [email protected].