Why would anyone rebook with ABD?

Grifdog22

Barking Mad!
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
I think I've been a patient customer. We've done many trips with ABD. Our May 2020 Rhone River trip was cancelled (properly) due to the COVID. As was our lifelong dream of seeing Egypt (October 2020). We appreciated the efforts to address those and take precautions. When the May 2020 Rhone trip was cancelled, we were able to get refunds on our associated pretrial and post trip deposits, and we moved the trip to June of 2021. We should have listened to SayHello's warning, but we did it anyway. Then our June 2021 Rhone trip was cancelled, but not due to COVID. Trip insurance is refusing to pay the out of pocket pretrial cancellations because we can't get a statement from ABD as to why the trip was cancelled, as it couldn't be due to COVID. Our "vacationista" has given us a link a couple of times to ABD for assistance, but no response. When June 2021 was cancelled, we talked about it and saw only two trips left for the Rhone trip. For us, this trip was one of a lifetime and we really wanted to go. We talked to our vacationista who assured us there were enough people booked on the May 2020 trip it wouldn't be cancelled, so we took the leap. A few weeks later, it was. So again, we are out our pre-trip reservation costs now for the second time. Three times the trip was cancelled on the same trip plan - in my book -that's an OUT. Why would we EVER trust their representations again? And now they want me to continue to tie up money, at a higher rate than was previously available, to book yet another trip instead of a refund?

We still have the original trip we booked in May for Poland set, but we are not doing anything on that and frankly I don't want to travel with ABD again. For the very first time I am hoping they cancel it. Again, no problem with the COVID cancels - that was the right thing to do. But two trips 8 months in advance, one of which had enough people to make it a go? That's a NO.

While we may be Insiders, we are headed outside for the exit from ABD. Can anyone direct me to a travel company that can be counted on?
 
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Grifdog22

Barking Mad!
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
As an addendum, it appears that AMA Waterways is now offering the Rhone River cruises on the same dates as our two cancelled trips. Perhaps less on the land adventures, but many remain as part of their itinerary. And a WHOLE lot cheaper, with airfare included for some trips. Also specials for single travelers. Perhaps I've found my replacement travel company that can be counted on....if/when I get my refund processed...
 

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*WDW*Groupie*

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Have you tried calling ABD and asking to speak with a supervisor? They are usually very helpful. You have to be persistent, but once you are speaking to the right person they should be able to help you get the documentation that you need to get your out-of-pocket expenses back.

I am sorry that you have had so many trips cancelled. That is extremely unfortunate.
 
  • CaliforniaGirl09

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 4, 2009
    I think I've been a patient customer. We've done many trips with ABD. Our May 2020 Rhone River trip was cancelled (properly) due to the COVID. As was our lifelong dream of seeing Egypt (October 2020). We appreciated the efforts to address those and take precautions. When the May 2020 Rhone trip was cancelled, we were able to get refunds on our associated pretrial and post trip deposits, and we moved the trip to June of 2021. We should have listened to SayHello's warning, but we did it anyway. Then our June 2021 Rhone trip was cancelled, but not due to COVID. Trip insurance is refusing to pay the out of pocket pretrial cancellations because we can't get a statement from ABD as to why the trip was cancelled, as it couldn't be due to COVID. Our "vacationista" has given us a link a couple of times to ABD for assistance, but no response. When June 2021 was cancelled, we talked about it and saw only two trips left for the Rhone trip. For us, this trip was one of a lifetime and we really wanted to go. We talked to our vacationista who assured us there were enough people booked on the May 2020 trip it wouldn't be cancelled, so we took the leap. A few weeks later, it was. So again, we are out our pre-trip reservation costs now for the second time. Three times the trip was cancelled on the same trip plan - in my book -that's an OUT. Why would we EVER trust their representations again? And now they want me to continue to tie up money, at a higher rate than was previously available, to book yet another trip instead of a refund?

    We still have the original trip we booked in May for Poland set, but we are not doing anything on that and frankly I don't want to travel with ABD again. For the very first time I am hoping they cancel it. Again, no problem with the COVID cancels - that was the right thing to do. But two trips 8 months in advance, one of which had enough people to make it a go? That's a NO.

    While we may be Insiders, we are headed outside for the exit from ABD. Can anyone direct me to a travel company that can be counted on?
    Wow, that is absolutely unacceptable. I agree with WDWGroupie. Don't give up and ask to speak to a supervisor. I'm assuming you mean 3rd party deposits, since presumably ABD did refund your deposits through them?

    Once a trip has been cancelled, I definitely think it's better to take the refund and wait rather than rebook. The world is just too uncertain right now.
     

    Mathmagicland

    Disneyland - the original since 1955
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2014
    We still have the original trip we booked in May for Poland set, but we are not doing anything on that and frankly I don't want to travel with ABD again. For the very first time I am hoping they cancel it
    If you booked Poland in May 2020, when it first opened up, your booking should be one where you can get a full deposit refund up to PIF date rather than waiting for a cancellation.
     

    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    I am *SO* sorry to hear all of this! I know how much you and Mrs. Grifdog were looking forward not only to our original cruise (as was I!!!!) but both subsequent re-schedules. And now it looks like ABD has dropped the Rhone altogether. If you're still interested, I would encourage you to seriously look into booking directly with AmaWaterways. Their ships are beautiful, and their staff is just totally first class. While you won't have Adventure Guides, or all the same excursions, I'm sure what AmaWaterways *do* have will be first class.

    I agree with the others. Ask to talk to a Supervisor about your cancelled trips. It's not like you're asking ABD to pay for your pre-trip tours. You just want documentation from them so you can get reimbursed by the vendors. Totally reasonable of you, and totally unreasonable of ABD to not give it to you!!

    Honestly, given your feelings and experiences, I'd get a refund for Poland, and re-visit it later if things with ABD improve.

    :hug: ❤❤❤

    Sayhello
     

    CaliKris

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2015
    I understand your frustration and really think ABD made some very poor decisions at the beginning of the pandemic. I hope those people stranded on the England/Paris and Australia trips were properly compensated. In ABD's defense, information was changing rapidly not only daily, but hourly at the beginning of the pandemic. I still think some of their decisions are indefensible and some heads should roll.

    ABD is down to a skeleton crew, so I suspect the vacationistas answering the phones at home really don't know why the Rhone River cruise was cancelled. It is not like they can turn to a supervisor in the room and ask them. I suspect it was a financial decision at the executive level. I agree that you will need to speak with a supervisor. With that said, many of us have lost money with pre-trip tours that we have had to cancel due to the pandemic. We have been given travel credit from companies that we doubt will be in business after this mess is over and have also lost $$ that will not be refunded. We have, however, received full refunds from ABD. We are fortunate to have disposable income to afford trips like ABD and feel that this is just part of the cost of this terrible pandemic.

    Will I book with ABD again? Yes. Maybe I am naive and driven by my emotional attachment to Disney. I have never liked some of the ABD policies that frankly feel money-grubbing. I do think daily about the fabulous ABD guides that are now out of work. I am anxious to see them back to work guiding again and to travel with like-minded people hopefully in small groups. I hope to meet you one day, Mr. GrifDog, on an ABD but understand completly if you take your business elsewhere.
     
  • Sakura1017

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2019
    ABD is still not handling the situation properly. Only offering future credit or changing itineraries is not an option for some people. It may be for people that have disposable income, but the majority actually want their full money back, and for them to hold it hostage is ridiculous. I dislike how they refuse to refund travelers who purchased in January and Feb when early bird new bookings opened up. This is because the virus wasn't a pandemic at that time they won't give traveler's their money back. It may not have been a pandemic and it was not circulating in US. Yet, it was definitely going on in other countries, and ABD should have acknowledged that. Instead of offering customer assurance on new bookings in the summer that have the fully refundable deposit, they should have been working with the current travelers and their itineraries.

    No one should have to keep hoping/praying that their trip gets canceled out two to three months before start date to get the full refund back. Realistically everyone and ABD knows that their trip was gonna get canceled and for them to hold onto your money and build interest on it when we all need our money back shows just how money hungry they are. Them also starting these private tours, in practice sounds great, but then when you find out how they are cutting corners ( i.e. less tour guides, more meals out of pocket, if a member of party cancels, you need to make up difference). Also my concern is that you may have a small group, but then you may be joining other small groups from other tour companies then it's really not a private tour anymore. It's not a safe small group anymore if their trying to limit covid exposure.

    I've always wanted to travel with ABD because of the good reviews and itineraries, but seriously the way they have handled my China and Rhine trips, it's going to be a long time before booking with them. I would seriously book at the very last minute and not care about early bird savings with them.
     

    *WDW*Groupie*

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2006
    I am reminded of our Disney Med cruise (with ABD add-on), which included a stop in Tunisia. Just before our trip things were really starting to heating up in Tunisia. I was calling ABD a few times a week asking when they were going to cancel the stop in Tunisia and look for a substitution. Their answer up until a week before departure were along the lines of "we are still going to Tunisia and it's your choice if you want to go on the ABD excursion or not" (I would definitely not have gone ashore). Given the high price of the add-on I was appalled at that response and also that they were even still considering docking in Tunisia.

    Then a few days before we left for Barcelona I called and was told that they had cancelled the stop in Tunisia but hadn't found another port. I asked if there would be a partial refund for the cancelled port and was given a flat no. Once we boarded however they had booked another excursion in Sicily, which turned out to be very good. I understand these things take time to plan, but just the thought that we came that close to stopping in Tunisia still makes my heart skip a beat.

    My purpose in posting this is to show that their response to COVID-19 isn't only the time that they were very slow to react to a situation that should have been very obvious. Also by even thinking about taking their ship to Tunisia would have put all the passengers who got off the ship in serious jeopardy. They waited way too long to cancel the port (I wouldn't even have been comfortable being on the ship while docked in Tunisia).

    However I have continued to book with them because I do enjoy their product. My next trip isn't scheduled until March, 2022 and while it would have been nice to have my money for the cancelled (October) Egypt trip back I am fairly confident that our NZ trip will go as planned.
     

    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    I am reminded of our Disney Med cruise (with ABD add-on), which included a stop in Tunisia. Just before our trip things were really starting to heating up in Tunisia. I was calling ABD a few times a week asking when they were going to cancel the stop in Tunisia and look for a substitution. Their answer up until a week before departure were along the lines of "we are still going to Tunisia and it's your choice if you want to go on the ABD excursion or not" (I would definitely not have gone ashore). Given the high price of the add-on I was appalled at that response and also that they were even still considering docking in Tunisia.

    Then a few days before we left for Barcelona I called and was told that they had cancelled the stop in Tunisia but hadn't found another port. I asked if there would be a partial refund for the cancelled port and was given a flat no. Once we boarded however they had booked another excursion in Sicily, which turned out to be very good. I understand these things take time to plan, but just the thought that we came that close to stopping in Tunisia still makes my heart skip a beat.

    My purpose in posting this is to show that their response to COVID-19 isn't only the time that they were very slow to react to a situation that should have been very obvious. Also by even thinking about taking their ship to Tunisia would have put all the passengers who got off the ship in serious jeopardy. They waited way too long to cancel the port (I wouldn't even have been comfortable being on the ship while docked in Tunisia).

    However I have continued to book with them because I do enjoy their product. My next trip isn't scheduled until March, 2022 and while it would have been nice to have my money for the cancelled (October) Egypt trip back I am fairly confident that our NZ trip will go as planned.
    That whole situation is really sad. I did the Med cruise ABD add-on in 2010, and Tunisia was one of my favorite stops. The Berber village was really quite fun (and delicious) and the people there were very welcoming! Sad how things can change!

    Sayhello
     

    TravelJunkieHubby

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 28, 2019
    Another example - we went on the Costa Rica ABD in March 2018. The itinerary was changing after our trip and we were supposed to be the last group where they included a flight to the Tortuguero National Park to see the turtles. A few months before in Dec 2017, two families were killed in a plane crash (on the same airline I believe) in Costa Rica along with a Backroads guide:
    .

    When we got to Costa Rica the guides told us they were adding an excursion after zip-lining at Mt. Arenal and taking out the trip to Tortuguero (they never confirmed the crash was the reason why but it's hard to imagine any other reason). I was more disappointed than anyone else in my family but nonetheless felt it was the best decision given the circumstances.
     
  • Mathmagicland

    Disneyland - the original since 1955
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2014
    I have two ABD booked for 2021, and plan to continue to travel with AbD. I haven’t had any issues with the way AbD has handled my 2020 cancelled trips - I feel they’ve done their best in an unprecedented, still evolving situation. It was hard to predict last spring and early summer just how long this would last to this degree, and had they cancelled trips early on that could have been possible, there would have been a different group of people upset with those decisions.

    I had a couple of 2020 trips with two other companies (military history tours) and both their handling & total lack of communication has been abhorrent. They do nothing proactively, provide little to no info when asked, and refuse to fully refund on trips they have cancelled, citing it is past their cancel for full refund date or keep partial money as an “admin” fee. Needless to say, I will never be traveling with those companies again.

    I don’t think many if any companies have been perfect during this time, as each is different and travelers are different. Disney has been better than most for me.
     

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