Dear valued clients and fellow travellers
The travel industry has been dealing with the coronavirus since January, an additional two full months before it impacted anyone's lives here. And I️ know it will be the last industry to start up again since there is now so much fear installed in people's minds of being on a plane, a cruise ship, a hotel, or even any crowded space.
There has been an excessive amount of change surrounding the current Global Pandemic, COVID-19, and we also understand your concern and frustration about making forward decisions.
The other challenge is that most travel providers are taking a wait and see approach to this, by choosing not to cancel or amend their schedules until closer to departure; for example one or two weeks before travel.
Given the current COVID-19 Pandemic, the amount of refunds our refund team has been receiving and processing weekly is 8,000+. We expect this weekly demand to continue as overseas travel bans are extended. As of April 20 2020, our refund status is "refunds received early March 2020 are being processed to date". We have had circumstances where airlines have changed their policy overnight without notice.
The airline rules and regulations bound us, and with airlines updating refund policies daily, it's incredibly challenging and demanding, so we ask for your patience over this time. We ask in this challenging time that you note refunds are not guaranteed and subject to the airline paying the respective refund amount back via the appropriate channels.
Regarding cruise, tour and hotelier reservations, we are working with our suppliers to either rebook your travels for 2021 or obtain a refund, if possible, where possible. Again, we ask for your patience over this time, especially with our turnaround times as this is proving to be a very lengthy and timely process.
All information around refunds, cancellations, rebooking procedures are updated daily. Josh Zuker Travel, ATAS Accredited [A13007] are working closing with ATAS to provide, you, the customer the information as quickly as possible.
We also note that payments made to our agency via a bank transfer or credit card charge have already been paid to, for example, suppliers, airlines and cruise companies involved within your booking. These funds are held entirely in their trust account and not our agencies.
Travel agents only get paid when our clients travel. Most are not eligible for any government loan, even with the small business funding and until that runs out. Agents have been refunding their hard-earned money back to their clients by the thousands. Most haven't had new trips booked now for months.
We also strongly advise against clients applying for a refund when travel is after June 30, 2020, as most policies are changing over time and being extended, granting full refunds in lieu of credit and cancellation fees.
When you do decide to travel again - PLEASE use a travel agent and don't click a "book" button on a website! Use a person that cares, being a member of our team, or your local travel agent.
We thank you for your patience and cooperation in this challenging time, and for further advice, please don't hesitate to call our team, or send a text, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Kind regards and stay safe.