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Old 03-29-2013, 02:19 PM   #1
anna08
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ABD newbie questions

I have been researching ABD on the Disboards today, and have come up with a few questions that I haven't found answers too. If anyone could help with answers, that would be great!!

1. Are there benefits to booking airfare through ABD? It appears that you do not have to do that immediately, correct?

2. Better to buy ABD trip insurance or on your own?

3. Is there a way to know if a trip is full by looking online or do you just have to call?

4. When booking, there is a $300 per person deposit, and then you must pay in full by ?90 days prior?

5. Do you advise arriving more than one day in advance?

Thanks much!
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:55 PM   #2
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We have booked our air through Disney and on our own. When Egypt was canceled and we had booked it on our own, Disney said they would pay any change fees to change the flights even if we used those flights some other time, not for an ABD. We all lucked out and the flight was canceled too, so the money was refunded to us.
You can book your air any time. We try to use Disney, but if they can't get the same price we have found ourselves, we don't use them. No problem either way.
Insurance, we always buy our own. Disney's is sort of expensive and you can get your kids for free and cancel for any reason if you buy your insurance on line within 14 days of initial trip deposit. Sometimes you have to estimate the cost without having purchased your air yet. We have never needed the insurance, so I can't say if Disney's would be better. WELoveABD had his backpack stolen with all the passports. The Disney insurance took care of everything.
Generally the price goes up as the trip fills. It's easiest to call to find out how many are booked (or call Dreams Unlimited, they are the travel agency that hosts these boards). If a date is no longer available, I think they remove it from the list of dates and rates, but not sure about that.
You have the deposit and payment correct.
We usually go at least a day before, but that depends on where you are going and how you like to travel. We like to get over jet lag as much as possible and see a few of the sites that are not included in the trip. We are going 2 days early to Vietnam.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:55 PM   #3
tufbuf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anna08 View Post
I have been researching ABD on the Disboards today, and have come up with a few questions that I haven't found answers too. If anyone could help with answers, that would be great!!

1. Are there benefits to booking airfare through ABD? It appears that you do not have to do that immediately, correct?

2. Better to buy ABD trip insurance or on your own?

3. Is there a way to know if a trip is full by looking online or do you just have to call?

4. When booking, there is a $300 per person deposit, and then you must pay in full by ?90 days prior?

5. Do you advise arriving more than one day in advance?

Thanks much!
1. The benefit of booking airfare through ABD is it lessens the hassle for you in case the trip is canceled. They are very good in helping you out if the trip is canceled and you booked your airfare yourself though, which happened to us. They will cover the penalty cost.

2. I usually get insurance on our own.

3. You can tell if certain dates are filling up by the increase in price. The more popular, the faster the increase in cost of booking.

4. Yes, and you can pay in increments any time before the PIF date.

5. If you will travel overseas, it would be nice to arrive a day or two in advance to overcome jet lag. Most trips are really active and you will be on the go most of the time. It is also nice to explore the city on your own and cover the places ABD will not take you.

If you do decide to take one, it will be so worth it!!!
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anna08 View Post
I have been researching ABD on the Disboards today, and have come up with a few questions that I haven't found answers too. If anyone could help with answers, that would be great!!

1. Are there benefits to booking airfare through ABD? It appears that you do not have to do that immediately, correct? As tufbuf says, it makes for a smoother time if your ABD is canceled. Booking airfare through ABD is not like booking airfare through DCL. On DCL, you pay them a set amount, they book you on any airline they want, with any connections, leaving any time, etc. With ABD, you can call them up, tell them the exact flights you want, and they'll book it for you. At the same price you're seeing, if it's still available. Or you can let them research it, and come back to you with options. You don't have to do it right away.

2. Better to buy ABD trip insurance or on your own? It really depends. The good thing is, the ABD trip insurance has a pre-existing condition waiver (unlike DCL) if you buy the policy within 14 days of paying your deposit. For my last 2 international ABDs, their insurance was a much better deal than I could buy on my own. Other times, it's been more. So do some research, and find which one works better for you.

Do note that if you don't fly to the city the ABD starts in, and from the city it ends in, then your flights are not covered by the ABD insurance.

3. Is there a way to know if a trip is full by looking online or do you just have to call? As the others said, the only way to tell is by what is happening to the price.

4. When booking, there is a $300 per person deposit, and then you must pay in full by ?90 days prior? Correct. Note that the deposit is non-refundable after 14 days.

5. Do you advise arriving more than one day in advance? Absolutely. Although it's not like the hotel is going anywhere (like a cruise ship would), you want to give yourself time to adjust to any time changes, since, as the others have said, these can be pretty active trips. Also, many ABD's have a Welcome Dinner that first night, and you don't want to be falling asleep during it. I always like to give myself at least a day to adjust, and see more of the arrival city.

Thanks much!
Hope that answers some of your questions! Feel free to ask more!

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Old 03-29-2013, 06:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anna08 View Post
I have been researching ABD on the Disboards today, and have come up with a few questions that I haven't found answers too. If anyone could help with answers, that would be great!!

1. Are there benefits to booking airfare through ABD? It appears that you do not have to do that immediately, correct?
There is no downside, which is why we did it. They will use your FF numbers and you can select the airline, flights and seats you want , or let them find the best deal for you, and they will book it for the same price as you've found ( provided it doesn't change between who you look and they actually book- which can happen within even minutes!)

2. Better to buy ABD trip insurance or on your own?
we usually get our own, most policies have a protection from operator bankruptcy if purchased under certain conditions- if the tour company insures themselves you could be out of luck with both the tour and the insurance. We use insuremytrip to compare policies. Some find it convenient just to take the Disney package, but I like to compare prices!

3. Is there a way to know if a trip is full by looking online or do you just have to call?it will note if its wait listed, but you have to call to get actual numbers. Our TA called for us closer to departure and was able to get kid ages too, which is helpful!

4. When booking, there is a $300 per person deposit, and then you must pay in full by ?90 days prior?thats sounds about right, it's only the 300 pp till much closer to departure.

5. Do you advise arriving more than one day in advance?depends on what you'd like to do...if you want to spend stem time on your own in the departure city, it's great to have more than one day to acclimate and tour. If you just plan to to themABD, I do recommend at least one day ahead, just to avoid travel delays and to rest and acclimate- ABDs are paced really really busy...and the folks on our trips who were dashing in were really overwhelmed!
In San Jose, CR we arrived the night before which was plenty, and in Quito, Ecuador, we wanted to spend more time touring, we arrived 2 days ahead and had a whole day to spend touring the city before our ABD. The guides are generally available the day ahead and will give you helpful tips about where to go etc on your own!


Thanks much!
Good luck with your research!
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:19 PM   #6
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Many thanks for all your answers! I'm really excited to try ABD and this info helps a ton.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:44 PM   #7
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ABD has decided to release their "guaranteed dates".

You can find out if the date you are looking at is a guaranteed departure or not.

You can find this information here:

http://www.dreamsunlimitedtravel.com/abd/#itineraries
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:25 PM   #8
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If you happen to use Icelandair

On the flights, we fully intended to use ABD to book them and bought the expensive insurance, but when we decided to go via Icelandair and spend 2 days in Iceland beforehand, they could not help us and we then had to purchase additional insurance to cover the flights. Took forever to figure this out, with many calls by our helpful DU agent, but because of the delay our flights went up and the one day we wanted to go from Iceland to Paris was booked. Just a caution based on our experience.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anna08 View Post
I have been researching ABD on the Disboards today, and have come up with a few questions that I haven't found answers too. If anyone could help with answers, that would be great!!

1. Are there benefits to booking airfare through ABD? It appears that you do not have to do that immediately, correct?

2. Better to buy ABD trip insurance or on your own?

3. Is there a way to know if a trip is full by looking online or do you just have to call?

4. When booking, there is a $300 per person deposit, and then you must pay in full by ?90 days prior?

5. Do you advise arriving more than one day in advance?

Thanks much!
1. I always book my own airfares when I do ABD, but have thought about letting them book it for me. One of the upsides should be no hassles if the trip is cancelled.

2. I always buy my own trip insurance whenever I do an ABD. So far I haven't needed to file a claim, but I feel comfortable that if something happened I would be in good hands.

5. I always arrive at least one day before my ABD and stay one day after so that I can see some of the sights that ABD won't see(museums, etc.). I always stay in the ABD hotel because I know it will be centrally located and up to par. To me, most of the ABD trips are once in a lifetime trips. I want to see everything on my list in case I don't go back.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:09 AM   #10
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Quote:

2. Better to buy ABD trip insurance or on your own?
I know this is going to sound a bit silly, but I didn't realize there was an option when it came to buying the trip insurance. We bought ours through ABD, but if I am reading this correctly, you can buy trip insurance elsewhere? Is that correct?
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by AquamarineSteph View Post
I know this is going to sound a bit silly, but I didn't realize there was an option when it came to buying the trip insurance. We bought ours through ABD, but if I am reading this correctly, you can buy trip insurance elsewhere? Is that correct?
Yes, you can buy trip insurance from other sources. You can purchase it directly from the provider. Or you can go to ***************** and compare policies/prices offered by different companies. ABD's insurance provider (for this year at least) was Access America.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:44 AM   #12
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....on the trip insurance their is usually a "window" of time in which you need to purchase from the date of when you book your reservation. Also if you need "pre-existing conditions" clause you should read what is included in each policy.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:02 AM   #13
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I have found that, especially on the more expensive trips, ABD's insurance has been a really good deal for me. Of course, I'm of an age where the outside insurance companies have started to charge me a premium for being old...

The other good thing about ABD's insurance (as compared to DCL's, for instance) is that they *do* offer a pre-existing condition waiver. (I can get into an explanation of all that if anyone would like). And you do have to purchase the insurance within 14 days of paying your deposit to ABD in order to get that waiver. I'm not sure if there's a limit on when you can add it if you don't care about the pre-existing condition waiver.

But definitely do check out www.***************** or www.tripinsurancestore.com and see if you can get a better policy for a better price.

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NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)

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Old 05-01-2013, 11:29 AM   #14
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Thanks for the information!

Having said that, I generally like to buy all my stuff in one place. I love convenience, but it is good to know that there may be options for future trips!
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:30 AM   #15
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Most guests find ABD travel insurance to be a bargain.

That being said, doing your research is always beneficial.

Kevin@DreamsUnlimitedTravel.com
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