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Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 188
GCT Trips Taken: 13
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

January 25, 2013

If I understand this correctly, I would not be able to use my travel credits if I book a "last minute travel deal" ... see direct quote from online GCT.

This discount may not be combined with any Frequent Traveler Credits within 60 days of departure. All other credits may be applied.

If I am understanding correctly that I could not use the travel credits I earned, it seems unfair to deny the use of them since we "earned" them.

After all, by signing up for "last minute" deals, we are usually taking cabins which might not be our first choice, getting ready at very little notice to take the "last minute deal", etc.

I feel that these credits should still be applied if they are used by the dates we were originally assigned.

Any feelings on this?

P.S. So far, we have not done any last minute trips.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 724
GCT Trips Taken: 14
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Countries Visited:

Antarctica, Argentina, Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, 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 25, 2013

We have  taken last minute trips several  times, and, having taken 13 trips, we have used frequent traveler credits many times. and have many referrals, so we have used Vacation Ambassador credits very many times. We also book well in advance for those trip that we don't feel will be available on short notice and make use of the Good Buy Plan. We work very hard minimizing the cost of our trips. We have also lost both Vacation Ambassador and Frequent Traveler credits due to expiration.

That being said, we can't get upset about this restriction. The savings for Last Minute deals usually dwarf the Frequent Traveler credits. This is very similar to, but actually more liberal than is used by much of the retail industry where many discounts state "may not be combined with other offers". Unfortunately the Last Minute Deals are not as large as they used to be, as many people, including us would hold off until the last minute, hoping for a half price deal. This made it difficult to sell trips at full price, thereby creating more empty slots.. 

We think that policy is fair and spelled out up front. Obviously we would like to be able to combine the credits, but we can live with this restriction.

Author: garyrr

Joined: 8/25/2012
Posts: 205
GCT Trips Taken: 2
OAT Trips Taken: 20
Countries Visited:

Albania, Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Curacao, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Peoples' Republic of China, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Russia, S. Korea, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2000

January 25, 2013

I agree totally -  the "discount" given for the short notice booking far exceeds the frequent traveler credit.  While it would be "nice" -  I cannot fault OAT for not allowing them to be used on short notice.    We recently lost a credit because we were at the limit when we took advantage of a short notice booking.    I still preferred the big discount we got!

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 231
GCT Trips Taken: 9
OAT Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2007

January 26, 2013

 In general, we agree, as well, however, with the caveat that not all frequent traveler credits are created equal.  Some trips( those taken with OAT in particular ) offer very generous travel credits because of the cost of the trip.  Given the fact, as has already been stated, that the 'last minute deals' are not as generous as previously, it is conceivable that one's frequent traveler credits can actually be as large as the perceived last minute discount.  The Good Buy discount is another matter, and can be as large as 10%pp, if the trip is booked sufficiently in advance.

We also concur with nanaandpapa about planning our trips in advance so as to maximize savings.  We 'saved' just about 25% on our upcoming trip to Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet by combining those credits and by pre-booking.  And it is not likely that this trip with the extensions will be available on a 'last minute deal,' in consideration of OAT's small group size.

Of course, if one is exteemely flexible as to their personal schedules, and wants to take advantage of a serendipitously occurring trip availability, on a whim on short notice, the 'last minute deals' do offer savings.  

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