"I think we all have a new criteria when choosing travel companies going forward. How did they respond to customers during the current crisis? Rick Steves Tours has passed with flying colors. It may well be that the companies listed above also did the right thing by their customers. I would take a few moments to research this before committing to a tour."
I think Carol's statement is very valid.
I did not have a trip planned for this year so have not had to cancel any arrangements.
Based on what I've been seeing on the very pathetic Road Scholar forums I'm not happy with their response. They were slow to cancel programs and slow to inform travelers. Some of the first people to post on that forum after they cancelled indicated Road Scholar staff was rude and uninformed. I DO realize companies were scrambling the first few days but under stress and with the total senior focus their employees should be better trained to respond in a crisis. At the very least the company should have let it's phone staff know they were in meetings trying to decide their course and to advise people to call back later for more information. There does not seem to be open communication between management, phone staff and customers.
They are a non-profit organization. In the midst of all the uproar about whether people were getting refunds or not, the president of the company sent out an email asking for donations. What? You want me to fund someone else's refund? I thought that was poor business.
Even with this, though, it would not keep me from booking another trip with Road Scholar. I would get travel insurance (carefully reading the post-COVID19 policies) and not spend more than I could afford to lose or have deferred to another trip.
Based on reading Trip Advisor forums regarding various companies, Rick Steves Europe is a stand-out in how they have responded.