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Author: amfceo

Joined: 3/6/2011
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 2
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2007

March 09, 2011

My wife and I were part of a GCI group staying in Christchurch, NZ at the time the earthquake hit.  Fortunately, our group was away from the hotel which is located in the downtown area and we all excaped unscathed.  Our luggage and all our personal belongings remains in the hotel.

This morning I contacted Tripmate Insurance Company and received the following information:  Prescription drugs are not covered, nor is any doctor's visit/consultation.  Anything purchased as essential items (clothing, toothbrushes,medications,etc.) are not covered.  Some of the items that were left in the hotel may be covered up to a maximum of $1500/person ($600/person for jewelry).  There will be no processing of claims until word is received if/when the luggage can be accessed/returned. So, it would appear that the work Ronan, our tour director did in listing all our expenses was for nothing.  Some of these items may be covered under personal homeowners policies. 

I then contacted GCI and asked what they would be doing to cover our loses.  As of this morning, there is a letter being compiled that states that GCI will not be responsible for any loses incurred.  This includes emergency purchases and anything that doesn't make it back from Rydges.

Yesterday I contacted Rydges Hotel direct via email.  .The hotel manager indicates it will probably be a month or more before they have access to the hotel.

If anyone has any further information, please post.


Author: irwinab

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2010

March 30, 2011

My Wife and I were also part of the Group that were caught in the Earthquake in Christchurch.It has been more than a month since the disaster occurred and as of today we still have not heard when,how our possessions will be returned to us. Rydges have not let any  of us know what condition our luggage is in. We should know by now if their is water damage etc. All their legal people wanted was a release of liability form signed.  We have been held hostage by Rydges and GCT in requiring a signature releasing liability sight unseen. GCT and Rydges could have examined the bags by now and taken digital pictures to show to their guests before requiring blanket liability clearances. For some unknown reason GCt would not send a representative to verify luggage that was located as well as a condition assessment.

It is disappointing to have travelled for two weeks without our luggage and then to return home and to struggle to get answers. Both company's are sticking to the corporate lines provided by their legal staff. We have travelled twice with GCT and have referred a guest.  

Author: rosedith

Joined: 2/23/2011
Posts: 6
GCT Trips Taken: 2
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2011

March 30, 2011

 I've been following the Christchurch news as we will be going on the Aus/NZ/Fiji trip in May. The area around the Rydges Hotel is still in the Red Zone as far as I know. The buildings in that area were closed to all access so it's likely that even the hotel owners have not been able to go in, let alone take photos of the luggage that was left behind. The hotel website says that the building isn't badly damaged but there are other buildings in the area in danger of falling from what I have read.

It would be nice if GCT would give you more information about what is going on but it's likely that they will have to wait for specifics until the hotel is open again. 

I sure am happy to hear that GCT travelers were out of the area at the time of the quake!

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