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Author: diannajt

Joined: 2/18/2011
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2000

January 05, 2014

Grand Circle's catalog states "Choose to purchase Grand Circle's airfare and your airport transfers and government taxes, fees, and airline fuel surcharges are included.  We made our airline arrangements and paid through Grand Circle, but because we arrive a day early they will not provide transfers from the airport. 

We do not want a transfer early as we are staying overnight at a hotel at the airport.  Our requested pick up would be at the exact same day and time as though we just got off the plane.   I do not understand why they will not transfer us with everyone else.

 

Grand Circle also encourages travelers to "Break Away" before or after the trip.  They do not tell you, however, that you will not receive a transfer to the ship if you do this.

 

We are not asking for anything more than everyone else will receive, we just don't understand the logic of their refusal.

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

January 06, 2014

When I went to Ireland in 2011, there was no direct flight from Boston to anywhere in Ireland on Day 1.  I would have had to go through JFK, which is farther away and would add an hour to the transAtlantic flight.  So I told the flight arrangements people that I wanted them to make the reservation to Shannon a day early and I would take care of the hotel myself.  And that's what we did.  The next morning, I went back to the terminal and met the driver who was picking up everyone else.  He did have my name on his list.  Otherwise, I would have bought a ticket on the commercial bus that takes people to Galway from Shannon.

Did you verify with GCT that the driver wouldn't take you from the airport to the ship?  Even if you paid a nominal fee?

 

 

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

January 06, 2014
If you made the arrangements with GCT and would meet the group at the airport when they arrive, I don't see any reason you should pay any fee. I would call again and ask for a supervisor.

Author: diannajt

Joined: 2/18/2011
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2000

January 06, 2014

Yes, I have spoken with Grand Circle several times, including a supervisor, who verified they would not pick us up.  After telling the supervisor that we would be at the airport at the exact same time as everyone else, she did offer to sell us transfers at 50 euros per person.  We are a group of four, and since I knew we could hire a taxi or van for much less, I did not accept this offer.

 

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 381
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2002

January 06, 2014
I'm not trying to "excuse" GCT, but as a possible "explanation": I had a similar experience last summer in Ireland. I had booked my own air travel but asked to book the ground transfers through GCT. I had read that it was $50 per person each way, and I was willing to pay that for the convenience. As the time for the trip was approaching and I did not have vouchers, I called and was directed to the air operations desk. They asked for the flight numbers. For arrival at Belfast, everything was fine. When I said I would not be flying out on the last day of the tour but wanted to be transported to the airport so I could rent a car, I was informed that GCT transfers could be used only to meet a flight on the day of the flight. So they refunded the $100 I had paid for the Dublin transfers. On the final day of the tour the PD was making up the schedule for the shuttles to the airport. A 12-passenger minibus was being used. The group going to meet airplanes at the time that would be appropriate for my First Mate and me to pick up our rental car included only four passengers. So the PD urged us to join them, and we did. Did we get something for free that others paid for? Perhaps. I don't know if the airport transfer is considered part of the base cost of the tour or part of the air transportation fee. Probably the latter. But did we inconvenience anyone? No, and we had actually paid for the transfer and had the payment refunded by GCT because it did not meet the letter of their procedure. When (and if) I do another GCT tour I will almost certainly do my own air arrangements. If there are no break-aways involved I will also probably purchase airport to hotel transfers from GCT. The convenience is worth that much to me. But if GCT books the flights for me and I pay through them, and if they allow me to dictate when and where the flights will go, I would be very upset if I were denied transfers just because my flight did not arrive or depart at the same time as others on my tour. If I am paying for the transfer, either in the base tour or the air fee, I darn sure better receive what I have paid for.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 486
Trips Taken: 15
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

January 06, 2014

 Dianna,

Just out of curiousity, what trip and city is this for?

Author: diannajt

Joined: 2/18/2011
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2000

January 06, 2014

Our family is going on the Great Rivers of Europe cruise in April.  We are leaving a day early so we can see the Keukenhof Gardens.  The tulip festival is supposed to be amazing, and as long as we would be in Amsterdam, we didn't want to miss it.

My husband and I took this trip several years ago and enjoyed it so much we are taking our daughter this time.  I should add that we have been on several Grand Circle tours and always enjoyed them.

Author: patmckinney

Joined: 3/11/2010
Posts: 50
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

29 countries

Traveler Since: 2009

January 06, 2014
I agree with Captain Larry. I think it's pretty simple. If you purchase your air from GCT then you get the transfers. If you do air on your own, then you pay extra and GCT will take you from and to the airport. We have done both. Never had a problem. And of course, we have also had situations where we have arrived or departed a few days before or prior and made our own pick up reservations outside of GCT. With the original post, I just don't see how GCT could have refused them. As long as you are at the airport in the same spot as the other travelers it makes no difference which day your flight arrived. GCT booked their flight. They should have had the transfer.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

January 07, 2014
It's interesting that the driver had Pauline's name on the list in 2011, so the policy has been changed since then. There is no logic; it's either a mistake or just about money. Maybe you should show up at the airport and ask the PD if he/she will let you ride with the new arrivals. As in Captain Larry's post, I think some PDs do allow it. And in his case, he'd made the flight arrangements.

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 263
Trips Taken: 0

January 08, 2014

Hello everyone,

Thank you for your comments.

We apologize if we were not clear regarding transfers as they relate to our Breakaway feature. This thread will be forwarded to our Marketing Department to see how we can make this policy clearer in our materials.

We provide transfers for those who purchase air from us. For those travelers who choose to do a breakaway we are unable to provide transfers due to operational and logistical reasons.

Diannajt, I will be contacting you within the next day to talk to you off-line about your specific experience.
 

All the best

Annmarie

Forum Moderator

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

January 09, 2014
I understand logistical and operational reasons on breakaway when the traveler would not be in the same location as the group; I took breakaway in Istanbul and made my own arrangements to the airport. But in this case, the travelers will be at the airport when the group arrives -- it would not be a separate pickup, so no logistical reason to deny them transportation.

Author: ginirn

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 15
Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

US including Hawaii. Ireland twice.

Traveler Since: 2013

January 09, 2014
well it clearly states that you can purchase transfers if you do your own airfare. So this does not make sense. In any case Customer Service should bend over backward to prevent this kind of bad press. These are customers who have traveled several times before. Does make good business sense to lose customers when it looks pretty simple to make them happy.

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 263
Trips Taken: 0

January 10, 2014

Thank you ginirn and luisa for your additional comments. 

Let me try to clarify further.  

We can make air arrangements with our popular breakaway feature, however because of the various arrivals of those who take the breakaway option we are not able to secure transfers for all those potentially different arrivals.  

We do offer the option of purchasing transfers for those who, for example, choose to provide their own air arrangements and are arriving on the same day and time as our groups. 

In the case of the orginal poster,  you can have complete confidence in knowing that I have made contact off-line and we are working on this together for a satisfactory resolution.  

All the best 

Annmare

Forum Moderator

 

 

 

 

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 953
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

January 10, 2014

I should hope that this would be straightened out in favor of the original poster.  She said that they made their travel arrangements and paid through GCT.  And they would go back to the airport to be there when the rest of the group arrives.  So what's the difference if they get there a day early?  They're not asking to be picked up at their hotel.

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