How do I know if my current trip is being canceled or rescheduled?
Our trips have never been ‘one size fits all’ but have always been tailored to each group. We have been working with each of our groups on a case by case basis to ensure that we provide solutions that are right for each group. Your group organizer will communicate with you as to whether your trip is being rescheduled for a later date or is being cancelled altogether.
Will the current COVID-19 situation affect my future trip?
The health and safety of our travelers is our number one priority. EDT will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and follow guidelines established by the CDC and other public agencies in order to ensure our programs are as safe as possible. In the event that a group is unable to travel as scheduled, EDT will work closely with the organizer to determine the appropriate course of action. Our goal is always for students to have a safe, memorable and educational experience. Therefore, our first course of action will be to look into rescheduling the program. We will handle each group on a case by case basis, as each group and each situation is unique, and the manner in which we will respond will depend on actual circumstances nearer the time of travel.
Why am I not getting a full refund?
The exact amount of refunds varies and is determined by a number of factors. Group travel programs require a significant amount of upfront planning and financial investment. Payments & deposits are made to hotels, airlines, bus companies, and other vendors in advance of travel. Each of these payments are governed by their own cancellation & refund policies. Our team is advocating on your behalf to recoup as many recoverable costs as possible and we are not applying our standard cancellation policy to trips impacted by COVID-19.
What are the non-recoverable costs?
The amount not returned as part of our refunds helps to cover some of the non-recoverable costs associated with each trip. We have been actively preparing this year’s trips for 6-15 months, which includes itinerary planning, scheduling, customer engagement, accounting, and prepaying of vendors (activities, events, hotels, meals, transportation, etc). Our experienced travel team works with teachers & directors to create customized itineraries for each group. Many of you have likely spoken with our staff who assist you making payments as well as handle all of the logistics of each trip. The timing of the spread of the coronavirus coincided with the start of the student travel season. This means that, in addition to having made most vendor payments, we had invested in these internal costs with the expectation of a great tour season. These internal and external costs far exceed the money we will collect this year. Click here to see an infographic which will give you a behind the scenes look at the trip planning process.
When will we receive our refunds?
We are committed to processing refunds as soon as possible and as quickly as possible. Refunds of this magnitude are not common in the group or student travel industries. Prior to processing refunds we must recover money from vendors for payments we have made on your behalf. Many vendors are temporarily closed or working with a reduced workforce.
The actual processing of individual refunds is detail oriented and time intensive. Many of our trips involve PTA, school, scholarship, or fundraiser payments and we must ensure that refunds are accurate. Our new virtual work environment further complicates this task.
We don’t expect to be able to begin the process of refunds in full or in part at least until shelter in place restrictions have been lifted in destinations. Actual timeline will depend on vendor reimbursements.
But I know of people who have received refunds from hotels, attractions, etc?
“Group Travel” is very different from “Individual Travel”. While hotels, airlines, and attractions may offer full refunds or vouchers to individual travelers, this is typically not the case with group purchases. Group travel typically involves reduced pricing and special accommodations. Along with these differences in pricing there are differences in terms & conditions and refund policies. We have been advocating on your behalf with all of our vendors to receive refunds and many vendors have altered their terms & conditions in light of the pandemic. However, the refund process takes 2-6 weeks under normal circumstances. Currently vendor refunds are taking 8-12 weeks or longer due to the volume of refund requests, the stay-at-home orders that have forced many of them to work from home. Additionally, many vendors remain closed at this time.
What if I can’t travel on my trip’s new dates?
If you are traveling on a Performing Arts trip and are unable to travel on rescheduled dates please communicate this to your director/trip organizer.
If you are an individual on a California History or East Coast Educational program you will need to notify Educational Discovery Tours directly of your intention to cancel from rescheduled trips. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the name of the group and traveler(s).
I bought travel insurance. What do I need to do?
Great! EDT encouraged all travelers to purchase travel insurance when they registered for their trip. If you were traveling on a Performing Arts or East Coast Educational Program your insurance was purchased through a third party. Please contact the travel insurance company for details on how to file a claim.
If you purchased insurance upon registration for a California History Program which was scheduled to take place between March and July 2020 please contact EDT at 1-800-544-4723 to process your claim.