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Review by Anne Leer1 month ago
I will NEVER recommend Vacations by Rail to my friends or associates. My husband and I planned to take a Canadian overland/rail trip in December 2020. I also planned to invite my daughter and grandson who live in Melbourne, Australia since they seldom see snow and the itinerary sounded perfect for the Christmas holidays. This was all planned prior to travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19. Now U.S. citizens are banned from entering Canada as tourists and my daughter and her children can only travel within a 15 mile radius of their home. My husband paid the initial deposit of $2,000 for all four of us in February, and we obviously did not make the final payment in September. Our travel agent called and asked for a refund of the deposit but was told that "funds had already been committed to hotels" used on the trip. She called each hotel listed on the itinerary and they indicated that this was not the case especially given that the trip was more than 90 days away from the start date. Clearly, this was a "story" used as an excuse to keep our money. On top of that, we have been informed that the trip has been cancelled by Vacations by Rail! A voucher for future travel was offered but how helpful is that given the current travel restrictions and the one time opportunity for my daughter and grandson to come to Canada?
I would also point that Air Canada refunded all of the airfare to and from Australia for my daughter and grandson. In addition, the travel insurance company used for the trip also provided a full refund. That is the way to do business and keep customers coming back! Apparently, Vacations by Rail knows nothing about customer relations. We had not heard of Vacations by Rail before this booking, and we don't care if we ever hear their name again. Our travel agent will not be recommending this company to her other clients given our terrible experience.
Review by Courtney3 months ago
I am extremely disappointed with this company. As others have stated, they have been completely unflexible with the Covid pandemic. We had a trip booked June 2020 to Switzerland. When I made final payment covid was not yet in our news or a big deal but I did ask about it and they told me to not worry about it that if it became a problem they would take care of it because it is no fault of our own. So I went ahead and booked. Well then when it became apparent that we could not travel they refused to refund anything and just gave us a voucher that can be used in 2020. I am due to have a baby in Oct so when am I supposed to travel to Switzerland in 2020? We aren't even allowed to travel there right now. When I complain they just push my voucher out further to 2021. Well when am I supposed to book a trip then? We have no clue when COVID will be resolved and I will then have a newborn baby which was not in my travel plans. You can not hold $6,000 of mine during a time of economic crisis when we need that money for other things. I can not book future travel having no idea when covid will be over and it will be safe to travel and my life situation will be completely different as I will have a baby! I know they did not have to spend a dime of my money on my trip, as hotels and rails were all cancelled and refunded back to them (the one rail that wouldn't refund they charged me additional for!) so why can I not get my money back? Other companies are refunding their customers, not keeping their money and not providing what was paid for. I am expecting to join a class action lawsuit. I already told them that my Doctor says I am not to travel being pregnant with COVID but they still refuse to refund which I am pretty sure is against HIPPA law. It is infuriating and ridiculous.
Review by Penny Hogan8 months ago
I will never recommend Vacations by Rail. For a company recommended by AARP they are heartless when it comes to the elderly's welfare. My 83 year old mother booked a trip for herself and 3 other family members. Starting in Chicago and ending in LA. When the corona virus outbreak started her doctor and health navigator at her retirement community both advised her not to go and wrote letters stating this which were sent to Caroline at Vacations by Rail. This was the response, "I spoke with our operations team and they’ve confirmed nothing can be refunded at this time. These are our standard terms and conditions that we must enforce for all tours visiting areas that are considered safe for travel" Now my mother has to either go against her doctors orders, risks her health or lose $10000. We even just requested a postponement not a refund.
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309 West Washington Street Suite 650