...as this ubiquitous virus has become a pandemic officially per the WHO (not the band, but the World Health Org) and the State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory, Do Not Travel for the world.
Wow, what an unprecedented month at Suncierge! We started 2020 with our biggest month EVER in January, and our clients’ giddy anticipation has turned now into wait-and-worry frustration. Rightfully so, as this ubiquitous virus has become a pandemic officially per the WHO (not the band, but the World Health Org) and the State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory, Do Not Travel for the world. We are devastated for everyone who has been impacted medically and financially and share our deepest sympathies and wishes for their recoveries and improved situations very soon.
Here at Suncierge, the safety and health of you and your companions continue to be our top priority. We deeply appreciate the patience and trust many of you have placed in us as your travel advocate, especially during this time of anxiety, stress, and disappointment. In turn, we have been collaborating diligently, creatively and resourcefully with our worldwide partners to brainstorm, advise, revise, pivot, postpone and cancel travel experiences over the last month all in the name of safety.
For ALL our clients so far who have canceled or postponed their paid-for travel due to the virus (even the ones who were in a penalty time frame), we've been able to leverage our relationships to secure refunds or credits, frequently up to the full cost of travel.
So how are we earning our keep? Advocacy in action!
Aside from the fact that we are keeping our clients from being on hold for hours on end with online travel booking sites only to find out refunds and credits are not available...
Here are our results from strategically timing plan changes and leveraging our relationships with our partners to get our clients the maximum value possible:
- For ALL our clients so far who have canceled or postponed their paid-for travel due to the virus (even the ones who were in a penalty time frame), we've been able to leverage our relationships to secure refunds or credits, frequently up to the full cost of travel.
- For those who are postponing their travels within a year out, we've been able to negotiate comparable pricing or a pricing freeze on their rescheduled travel plans.
- We've been able to push out the final payment due dates for clients who wanted more time before having to pay in full for their future trips.
- Most cruising has been halted worldwide through April, and we’re negotiating with the cruise lines on credits, waivers, and refunds. We will keep you posted on our cruise partners’ plans.
- We’ve worked with our two primary insurers to move clients’ travel insurance policies in alignment with their new future travels at no additional cost.
- Thank you to those who have postponed or finalized their travel experiences for fall 2020 and early 2021! Rescheduling your travels to a future timeframe instead of canceling will also help small businesses recover globally and save you money in the long run.
- Lastly, we're constantly researching, communicating with, and educating our clients both 1x1 and collectively when impactful changes in the situation occur.
As this continues to evolve, you can count on us to supply fact-based guidance during your decision-making process, develop contingency plans suitable to your preferences, and represent your best interests - even over our wallet - as we continue to negotiate all the favors and waivers we can for the most optimal results for you.
With all that is happening in the travel universe, we are going to continue advocating for the next experiences we believe are uniquely perfect for you. Travel is our passion and mission that drives us at our core. That's not to say that we have our heads in the sand. We are still (obsessively) monitoring, reviewing every update sourced from reputable organizations like the CDC, the WHO, the State Department, and our partners on the ground, and communicating what, when, where, why and how it may affect each of our clients' plans. See the latest COVID-19 travel-related updates here.
At Suncierge, our dashboard monitoring of weather, health, political, economic and other conditions globally resembles a NASA-like rocket launch. It’s all in the name of making sure you’re educated in your decision-making and prioritization of travel goals.
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